Polymer clay artists love the science and the process of making lentil beads (here’s Desiree McCrorey’s how-to). I see plenty of examples and no one makes a finer, more consistent lentil than Wisconsin’s Laura Timmins.
Two Finnish polymer clay artists, Petteri Leppikallio and Pörrö Sahlberg (Hiidet), have launched monthly challenges for themselves that they’re posting on their site. Their blog posts (this is just a small sampling) are becoming an online sketchbook and a visual glossary that they hope will inspire others.
This month Pörrö has been using two colors which she shapes into basic shapes using basic techniques. Petteri, a woodworker, has been exploring textures.
The ground rules for the year-long project specify that the ideas are more important than results.
“I need to study simplicity. There are tons of techniques available in the literature and the net, however I feel the simplest things and themes are somewhat unstudied. There must be lots of new ways to do old things and probably some new ideas rise from repeating the old ones,” says Pörrö.
With their studious and structured approach, their collaboration will be a fascinating one to follow.
I’d love to sit down and try some of the beads that Belinda (birnco) has been working on during her first year with polymer clay. The technique looks simple (an extrusion/mokume gane combination) and the effect is stunning.
She’s got a great sense of color that makes the end result luminous, improving as she’s progressed through the year. This riot of color is a good way to start the week.
My daughter’s here to visit and help with Thanksgiving festivities. Maybe we can sneak a couple of hours off to play in the studio like we used to.
Note: Carol Simmons gives a few more clues about reducing her cane with help from the microwave. Scroll way down in the comments on her post and you’ll see her response.
Barcelona’s Elvira Lopez Del Prado mixes her media and works with polymer clay in unconstrained ways. Her use of color is refined and her designs are exhuberant. She dabbles with many polymer clay techniques and comes up with some brilliant pieces like the stunning red beads below (transfers? stamps? canes?).
She’s equally adventurous with felt, wire, fabric, paper and resin and her fearless approach is just what I need to start my week in the studio. She shows her work on several sites and you’ll want to visit them all here, here and here.
Lori Wilkes (Millori) has a knack for integrating found objects with polymer clay. This bracelet includes antique china embedded in polymer. Her transfers are an intriguing mix of old images on backgrounds of bright modern colors and she’s working on an “industrial meets organic” concept.
What amazes me is that I’ve overlook Lori’s work and she lives just a few miles away from me here in Ohio! It was only by thumbing through bead magazines at the library that I ran into her work. It’s great to start the week with a new name and a new website (plus blog, Etsy, Flickr) on our list.
Wisconsin’s Laura Timmins put polymer clay on the cover of Key Milwaukee magazine. Laura makes her own cord and carefully crafts all the findings and beads in her asian-looking designs. You’ll love the look at her process. She uses a no-nonsense approach to marketing and selling polymer clay that works.
This magazine article promotes the Hidden River Art Festival at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts held September 19-21.
Thanks for all your good wishes. We’re fine and without power for another few days. I will continue to visit my sister nearby for showers and internet. I’m slowly catching up on my email and research and I appreciate your patience.
I’ve been trying to push my polymer clay design ideas a bit further so I was intrigued when I saw how Julie Picarello has been taking her earlier metalworking ideas (top left image) and reworking them for polymer (bottom pair). She’s also got a cute pinwheel shape started from some playful experimentation.
Barbara Fajardo has rediscovered swag-shaped beads, a graceful shape that she wants to explore.
This makes me want to take a second look at concepts that I may have abandoned too soon.
I’m completely beyond my comfort zone as I cruise through a polymer clay German Flickr site and a MySpace page. I need help understanding both the German language and the MySpace culture. I’m convinced I’ll learn something if I persist and I liked Annerose Tulpe’s Doering’s music choice. (I’m not even sure that’s her name. Thanks, Bettina)
I’m loving Annerose’s homage to Austrian painter Hundertwasser and Rene Brault. Their colors and styles are perfectly compatible with ours and Annerose captures their spirit. Her extruded polymer clay string-covered beads are polished to a sheen and have a vibrant unpredictability.