Color winners and Simmons’ jeweled beads

Three polymer clay artists were named in the top 10 entries in the Step by Step Beads Colorworks Contest that was limited to works in the purple-green-orange triad. The other finalists are seed bead artists.

Lindly Haunani, Maureen Thomas and Carol Simmons were among the finalists. Carol entered the beads pictured above that use an extruded cane process she’s been refining. See the complete necklace here.

Carol has resumed teaching after an 8-year hiatus, hitting the road to teach her new jeweled technique that exploits the properties of metallic clay, producing patterned surfaces with extraordinary depth and luminosity. See her jewel eggs from an earlier post.

Carol is a researcher and scientist at heart and you can be sure that she’s discovered some entirely new processes that will change the way you think. Her fall classes are full. She’ll be teaching at the Phoenix guild in March (I’m signed up) and is setting up her 2010 schedule.

Kulakova’s polymer canvases

Russia’s Mariya Kulakova (pterdaktell) doesn’t just take a painterly approach to her beads, she uses polymer clay as her canvas!

The twenty year old produces polymer Picassos, Klimts, Warhols, Van Goghs and her own flowers and scenes on bead canvases.

Check out the Flickr site of this St. Petersburg artist’s dazzlingly bright colors sometimes mixed with caned spirals and traditional onion dome beads.

Understanding Russian polymer

These watermelons from polymer artist Natakorneeva are from a Russian site that translates incomprehensibly and muddles my brain. All I know is, “Me likee.” What more can I say?

Some days sorting out the best, the most interesting or the cleverest polymer clay art from around the world feels like trying to drink from a fire hose.  Try me tomorrow and enjoy Natakorneeva’s summer fruits in the meanwhile.

Craynor’s faux African beads

Utah’s Cody Craynor sent me a link to his meticulously constructed polymer clay faux African chevron beads. Cody is refreshingly clear that his interest is only in the beads, not in making jewelry. He claims that his passion for beads began when he was transfixed by the color and clatter of a bead curtain in his parents’ 1970s bathroom. Take a look at his new site and work.

The mention of African beads derailed my daily research as I remembered earlier faux ancients. Here’s where the wayback machine took me:

• Jamey Allen’s folded beads (as seen on the Polymer Art Archive)
Desiree McCrory‘s faux chevrons
Klew‘s folded beads

Play-Doh video

I didn’t quite get the concept of last week’s Play-Doh/shaped cane breakthrough. I missed the part about Play-Doh only being used for a barrier layer with filler polymer layered on top. This video from ArtbyYonat answered all my questions. All reports are that the technique works.

Modern polymer charms on silver cores

The build-your-own-bracelet system from Pandora is a hit with both teenagers and their grandmothers here in the USA. Libby Mills posted about how to create polymer clay beads on the silver cores made to be used with the Pandora line. She created the ones shown here for her daughters.

Customers line up to buy this modern version of the charm bracelet. Perhaps polymer clay artists can give collectors more interesting and unusual choices. (Lindly Haunani put me on to this trend.)

If you’re looking for even more unusual choices, look at the polymer clay earrings from Arkansas’ Giovanna Coraggio (via Eugena Topina). In her Etsy shop she offers a selection of tendril-like plugs, earrings and hair sticks.

The ear gauges that Giovanna and her fashionable friends use look like slightly larger versions of the cores Pandora uses for bracelets!

Charuau carves and backfills

France’s Céline Charuau (GrisBleu) has taken her polymer clay beachball bead (see last week’s post) a few steps further and again shared her methods.

She explains how she carves baked striped beads with linoleum cutters and backfills the carved designs with acrylic paint. She sometimes embellishes the base beads with canes as in this Spring Snowflake necklace.

Celine uses polymer and wire in unexpected ways and with dazzling results. Her galleries and Flickr pages provide great inspiration to start your week. Here are earlier features about her.

Toops bead video

Seattle’s Cynthia Toops takes you through the process of making polymer clay beads in this quick and wonderful video. It’s sure to give you breathtaking inspiration and overwhelming studio envy to start your week.

Toops’ jewelry is featured in the installation, A Bead Quiz, on view now at the Seattle Art Museum. Her husband, Dan Adams, has a companion video here.

You might want to look at Cynthia and Dan’s self-published book and her Facere Gallery listings too.

I’m scouting out polymer clay in Chapel Hill, NC today and send my thanks to Carol Simmons for sending me today’s link.

Blackburn’s polymer clay M√∂ebius Strips

Carol Blackburn’s “Möebius Strips” polymer clay necklace fools the eye. You’ll have to look closely to see how Carol cleverly combines strips of Skinner-blended clay to look like undulating, interconnected beads. My science guy husband was impressed with the engineering of the piece.

Read more about Carol in this article in the March/April Craftsman magazine.

I first came upon the Möebius necklace on the British guild’s site. The necklace made its debut at last year’s EuroClay Carnival. This year’s event sold out quickly as polymer clay expertise and enthusiasm grow in Europe.

Davis’ faux fossils

Lynn Davis makes polymer clay faux ceramic beads like no one else. In her recent post she lets us peer over her shoulder as she finishes a batch.

Repeated painting and buffings give her beads a patina and hints of past lives. These faux fossils are particularly alluring and the use of links instead of holes in the beads makes them even more unusual. Her Etsy shop shows a great selection.

If, like me, you want to know how to get started, take a look at this polymerclayweb tutorial. Here’s an earlier post about Lynn.

Gesing’s polymer curiosities

Ohio’s Michele Gesing (GabrielStudios) creates polymer clay curiosities – flowers that open, birds in cages, slightly twisted mosaics, little niches, painted pendants, molded beads and more. She paints on polymer to achieve her highly personal, mysterious, soft, moody artworks.

Here’s a little more about her from an ArtBeadScene interview last year. And her Etsy shop is here.

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