Putting nature in polymer

Nature flies into Jayne Dwyers' remarkable canes on PolymerClayDaily.com

These robin canes from New Hampshire’s Jayne Dwyer closely mimic what I saw outside my kitchen window this morning.

Jayne has a grasp of figurative caning matched by few other artists. Her shading and depth keep getting better. Jayne generously sends her cane ends to Ron Lehocky, Ohio inmates, and others.

Nature flies into Jayne Dwyers' remarkable canes on PolymerClayDaily.com

The caned images are even more remarkable in person and she sells them for a very affordable price in her Etsy shop.

I thought the robins were the bomb and then I saw these 3D pinecones. Google her images to see the range of her work and how her canes continue to amaze.

Bright colors reflect a bright spirit

Polymer and a bright spirit helped Rachel face challenges and look forward to a bright spring on PolymerClayDaily.com

If the holidays are truly over, spring can’t be far behind, right?

Need a shot of springy colors? Here’s a super one from the UK’s Rachel (madebyracheluk)

Her colors remind you that brighter days are coming and her story will certainly lift your spirits. Rachel had her heart set on a career in medical science but health challenges made her change directions.

The bright colors reflect the bright and determined spirit of the artist. Here’s Rachel’s story on Facebook. Her can-do spirit shines through in these delightfully colored flower cane beads gathered into bouquets on a string.

Confounding Monday twists

Carol Blackburn twists black and white in new ways on PolymerClayDaily.com

We thought we’d seen black and white manipulated and stretched and combined in every way possible. Then UK’s Carol Blackburn took another look and came up with this Barcode necklace.

It’s made of her hollow tetra beads, dimensional shapes that remind me of small cream containers and fancy tea bags.

So not only are the striped patterns confounding, but the shapes add another layer of difficulty. The most magical thing is that her methods are actually elegantly simple. Here’s hoping she adds this to her upcoming classes.

Polymer beshert

Joey Barnes explains "beshert" and her timely donation on PolymerClayDaily.com

How did Texas’ Joey Barnes happen to have a spare Lucy clay roller that she donated to the women at the Ohio Reformatory? She explains that “When these machines came out several years ago, lots of customers were having difficulty understanding the machine’s roughly translated Czech/English instructions.”

Joey offered to improve them. That led to her translating their teachers’ contracts and operators’ manuals. When she refused payment, Lucy Tools sent Joey their biggest “Elephant.”

But the Elephant was too big for Joey’s workspace so she set it aside waiting for the right use.

When she saw that the ORW students needed a second Lucy Elephant, she thought, “Beshert!” That’s the Yiddish word for “meant to be.” The funds raised on PCD will go to other needs of the prison program.

Ever the collaborator, Joey credits Carol Simmons, Ivy Niles and Corrie Beth Hogg for giving her inspiration for her flower box (shown here) and garden series.

Mix and match tree decorations

Erika Bregani decorates her trees on PolymerClayDaily.com

These bright, cheery trees are from Italy’s Erika Bregani (Centodiecigrad).

Their sharp-edged shapes are covered with happily collaged patterns. Because Erika consistently uses bright colors and strong contrasts in her canes, even the smallest bits play nicely with each other and make sense.

She mixes and matches her earring pairs, putting a tree on one and an ornament on the other.

Tomorrow’s StudioMojo takes a look at some of polymer’s current cutting edge artists who are reflecting current cultural thoughts in their work. Join us for a look at what our work says about us.

Pattern repeats make a polymer fabric

Cecile Bos turns little canes into repeating patterns on PolymerClayDaily.com

Aren’t you tempted by these in-process photos from France’s Cécile Bos (11Prunes)?

Cecile made 17 or so small canes with distinct geometric elements, all with the same high contrast color in the background. She assembled them into a larger complex cane.

Cecile Bos turns little canes into repeating patterns on PolymerClayDaily.com

The resulting pattern repeats and gives the cane a fabric feel. The beads made using this method have a delicacy that pulls the eye in to examine.

Put this on your to-do list. We’ll be seeing more of these.

Layl McDill digs in

Layl McDill follows her own path to polymer success on PolymerClayDaily.com

Minnesota’s Layl McDill makes large canes that she reduces from the middle, making the two halves look like large Hershey’s kisses.

It works and she ends up with very little waste. Here it is in a time-lapse video.

Layl works in unorthodox ways with off-brand clays and homegrown techniques. She teaches without a pasta machine and doesn’t feel the need for many tools.

The stories on her blog and her dream-come-true studio will make you a believer in the value of persisting and marching to the beat of your own drummer.

So put down your tools and check in on StudioMojo for the rest of this story about the class Layl taught in Ohio this week. It’s refreshing and a little disorienting to forego our tool addictions and let our hands dig in.

Sending happy out

Pamela Carman sends happy out for your Monday on PolymerClayDaily.com

“It’s the joy of riotous color and pattern that drives me to create my work. It is my way of sending happy out into the world,” says Florida’s Pamela Carmen.

Nothing better than a bird of happiness to fly into your Monday. Can you picture the supply of canes Pamela must have on hand to feather her large menagerie? See her creations on Flickr. 

Her entry in a recent show called Woof, Meow, Chirp, and Slither: Artists interpret the world of pets earned a top award from Florida CraftArt. When you send happy out, some of it returns to you.

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