Interpreting the eclipse

Interpreting the eclipse in polymer

Are you ready for the eclipse? It’s all the rage in the US and we hardly know what to expect.

Since our Colorado group is near the path, we’ve created some solar-themed big bead totems for a swap, brushed PearlEx powders into our hair and tried on our eclipse glasses. We’re psyched!

Randee Ketzel's bleached eclipse tee

The sun/moons are by Wendy Malinow, the cutout light/darks come from Barb Harper, Eclipse cane beads were from me (Cynthia Tinapple).

Joan Tayler’s raven pendants allude to How the Raven Stole the Sun, an ancient Native American myth. Randy Ketzel models an eclipse tee that she created using bleach. Here’s wishing you clear skies and a momentous event.

A flock of beads

Rebecca Watkins' flock of bird beads on PolymerClayDaily.com

Rebecca Watkins turns bright beads into cheery birds. They’re 2-inches long from beak to tail and she whitewashed the newest batch to give them more flutter.

Rebecca is an experimenter and you can easily spend more time than you intended reading about the methods she’s come up with for embossing and metallics and etching and more.

Rebecca Watkins' flock of bird beads on PolymerClayDaily.com

She shares all the details (lots of videos) of her late night adventures in polymer. Track her down on her blog and Facebook and Etsy.

Weaving a mystery

Eliska Koliosova weave extruded strips into beads on PolymerClayDaily.com

A number of woven polymer beads have popped up online.  Eliska Koliosova weaves extruded strips in this light summery choker. She alternates the colors under and over each other, perhaps creating a flat sheet that’s then cut up and rolled into a bead.

Or maybe Eliska is using the Mummy Bead technique that Emma Ralph outlines on her site. She starts by winding a base color on a wooden skewer and then layering on additional colors.

My brain doesn’t decode weaving very readily so rather than ponder this any longer, I’ll show you and hope that some enterprising PCD reader can unravel the mystery.

Whatever the method, the effect is eye-catching.

Thanks to Carrie Harvey for leading me to Emma’s tutorial.

Step by step with Loretta Lam

Loretta Lam steps us through a necklace to start the week on PolymerClayDaily.com

There’s nothing juicier than a step-by-step from Loretta Lam to kick off the week. First, the sketchbook magic pulls us in. Then the jumble of companion canes brings color into the equation.

“I spend a lot of time on the palette. I know the feelings that I want to convey and it has to be just right. In this case – fresh, vibrant and youthful but still sophisticated,” says Loretta.

Loretta Lam steps us through a project to start the week on PolymerClayDaily.com

The naked bead forms seem dark before she brightens them with slices of patterns.

If you go to her Facebook page, you’ll find a slideshow in which she arranges and completes the necklace plus lots more pictures to encourage you to trot off to your workspace.

Loretta will be teaching her Designing with Distinction methods in Durfort, France in October and in Monza, Italy in September.

Nicking polymer

Juliya Laukhina nicks a net of pattern on PolymerClayDaily.com

Moscow’s Juliya Laukhina refines her carving with this newest batch of beads on Instagram. Long nicks of clay dramatically reveal contrasting layers underneath in an almost net-like pattern.

On Etsy, you can see her trying other shapes and sizes as well.

Cuticle cutters are great for carving raw polymer. Could that be what she’s using? I’m adding one more must-try to my studio list. Yours too?

Stars and stripes from abroad

Shuli Raanan's star canes turn into patriotic beads on PolymerClayDaily

Each year our red, white and blue canes are provided by another country! Aren’t you proud of that?

Thanks to Israel and Shuli Raanan for these stars and stripes canes. Her Etsy site is full of flags and tidy swirl beads topped with stars in unusual ways.

Shuli Raanan's star canes turn into patriotic beads on PolymerClayDaily.com

If you’ve ever made a bicone bead that swirls as hers do, you’ll appreciate her precision. It still looks like magic when Shuli does it so well. You can find her work on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

Visiting grandchildren will be distracting me for the next few days so PCD posts will be intermittent or missing altogether this week. Have a great holiday!

Czech tide pools

Phamova's anemones on PolymerClayDaily.com

Can there be anemones and tide pools near Dana Phamova’s (fruitensse) in Czech Republic? Must be! How else could she reproduce them in glowing translucent polymer colors so well? Her photo of a pile of these beads on Instagram will make you want to dive in.

Dana will teach these twisty beads during Lucy Clay Academy Polymer Week in July. “We will explore transparency and flexibility of polymer clay and I will show you how create Anemone jewelry,” she says. Here she is on Flickr and Facebook.

Picasso to polymer

Prais-Hintz collaged beads on PolymerClayDaily.com

A group challenge pushed Wisconsin’s Erin Prais-Hintz out of her comfort zone and into these collaged beads and surface treatments.

Picasso’s Bowl of Fruit painting was the starting point. Erin decided not to stress over not being able to see any fruit and instead focused on the colors and bits of paper and writing that resonated with her.

Picasso bowl of fruit painting

She took the opportunity to apply some of the Debbie Crothers surface tricks to create raw and rusty veneers. Erin did it her way and yet the resulting beads have a Picasso feel. She nailed it! Read her story on Facebook.

What a great way to stretch and try something new. Do you have a favorite painting that you’d like to try in polymer?

Black and white for drama

Powers on PolymerClayDaily.com

Heather Powers (HumbleBeads) will be showing these new lentil beads in her trunk show on Facebook on Friday at noon. Black makes a dramatic background for the layers of flowers over the crackled gold leaf. The bits of white pop forward.

You can see how the layers enhance the impression of depth when they’re set in bezels here. The beads will also make their way to Heather’s Etsy shop.

Friday tidy

Have you checked out Claysino June 2-4, the first Staedtler (fimo) event this side of the pond?

May 2 is just around the corner. That’s the deadline for shipping your works for the Into the Forest exhibit. How often do you get the chance to be part of an international exhibit? Grab it!

And join up with us on StudioMojo for the rest of this week’s story.

 

 

 

 

 

Butterflies are free

Into the Forest submission on PolymerClayDaily

This butterfly bush (more pix here) is a group project from the polymer clay students at the Ohio Reformatory for Women for the Into the Forest exhibit.

The clay came from generous artists who were destashing. (The ORW students are happy to condition old polymer. Let me know if you’re cleaning out and have extra clay.)

They created 27′ of big hole beads that were slipped onto brass rods and inserted into a wooden base made by my husband. The brass rods couldn’t be taken into the facility so we had to visualize the piece and assemble it at home. I’ll take the whole shebang apart to ship it off to Pittsburgh.

Will you be part of this international exhibit? The deadline has been extended to May 1.

You have plenty of time to make your mark on the fanciful forest that Laura Tabakman, Julie Eakes, Emily Squires Levine, Libby Mills and Nancy Travers concoct from your submissions.

The event opens in Pittsburgh in November with a teaser preview on view at Synergy4 in August. Are you tempted to make some beads to cheer up your own garden?

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