Chalks and inks

Virginia dentist, Page McNall rolled out a sheet of ecru polymer and added a few scrap clay pieces made using Maggie Maggio’s watercolor technique.

Then she colored the flat surface with alcohol inks and liquid chalks, textured it and embedded Mykonos ceramic beads for accent. She calls the resulting polymer assemblage Currents.

From this flat sheet, Page cut out pleasing shapes that became brooches and pendants. These two she calls Faux Stone Dentates (tooth-like, of course).

Her soft painterly chalks and inks are deftly applied. Page’s beautiful results may have you heading back to your inks to try again.

Traveling polymer…and you can ride along

In preparation for my November trip to Nepal, I’ve been immersed in creating easy, fashionable polymer patterns that I can teach the women in the Samunnat project. The tour will be led by Australian polymer artist Wendy Moore.

I stand on the shoulders of many polymer artists who have taught me their tricks and tips over the years. You’ll find a little Toops, a dash of Korringa, a bit of Benzon, hints of Voulkos, a touch of Tinapple and more in these new designs.

You can be among the first to test out my crazy quilt/gypsy bead, bangle, and bowl designs in a class I’ll be teaching online on Craftcast on October 19 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Proceeds from the 90-minute class will help support the Nepal project. Sign up!

I’m anxious to report back to you on how Samunnat and other women-centered projects affect lives. Check out The Girl Effect (here on Facebook) to learn more.The videos are stunning.

To have polymer artists involved in efforts for change is exciting. Thank you for your help.

Pieced polymer

Gera Scott Chandler shows her “starter sheet” of polymer that ends up covering a series of her fusion bangles.

The luminous sheet is a sandwich of polymer, foils, translucent clay and alcohol inks. Loose graphic designs are stamped and scored into the clay.

The big sheet is cut into pieces which are fitted and smoothed over bangle bases.

The black polymer bases underneath make the overlay glow like faux stained glass. Socket joints stretch and close easily over the elastic that holds them together.

A starter sheet is an efficient way to produce a series of companion pieces. It helps, of course, to begin with a signature palette and lots of experience with foils and inks. You’ll see what I mean when you study the colors in Gera’s Flickr site.

Working in circles

Working in circles is how Utah’s MaryAnne Loveless describes the polymer collages she assembles on boxes and books and jewelry.

I’d already spotted her work because of its range of pleasing patterns and palettes. A note from MaryAnne’s son made me bring her to you today.

“My mother is an amazing polymer artist, all familial bias aside,” said Joe. He thought that recognition on PCD would surprise her and make her proud. A son’s thoughtfulness makes for a heartwarming Monday story.

Sometimes good things happen even when you feel like you’re working in circles.

A spirited approach to polymer

Washington’s Fanita Brandeis is another overlooked name in polymer history. Fanita opened the first bead shop in Washington, Sunshine Bead Co., starting in 1967. Ronna Weltman and Doris Coroch sent me links to Fanita but somehow I missed her page.

Recently a picture of her studio bead table on Flickr caught my eye and made me want to reach out and run my hand over her stash of polymer goodies.

Fanita prefers her art with some imperfections and I kept finding references to her “queen of collage” status. Her beads are not the result of any special tricks or techniques. They exude a spirited approach toward color and life.

Cane, layer, texture, repeat

These polymer pendants from France’s Cathy (dumauvobleu) are intensely caned, collaged and textured. Balancing colors and patterns takes skill and patience. Cathy must have her dot technique down to a rapid fire rat-ta-tat-tat because her Flickr pages are full of patterns riddled with texturing.

In the mood for spring? Take a look.

Vacation Update

Who knew that a 3-hour time change could wreak such sleeping/waking havoc? Surely I’ll feel awake tomorrow!

Space Girls polymer

Wanda Shum is only inspired to create one or two polymer-covered teapots a year. This year’s Space Girls theme was prompted by the Jetson-like shape of the pot. The best view of the rest of her line of jewelry and accessories is found on her Facebook page (it’s public).



If you click on these images, you’ll see the smooth, flawless finish on Wanda’s intricate collage of canes and textures.

She provides inspiration to rocket us into a new week.

Quilted polymer

Dumauvobleu polymer pendant

Because my vacation mates are serging and sewing I’m drawn to France’s Cathy (Dumauvobleu) whose pendants resemble quilted and collaged fabrics. Here’s her Etsy shop.

Cathy textures layered and collaged canes and strips of colors to achieve a sunny mix that blends into a cohesive design.

The link comes to us from Betsy Baker. Betsy’s published some new work and a couple of tutorials that you’ll want to examine.

Herson’s polymer recipe

Looking for a good time in the studio and exciting polymer clay work?

Listen to Marcia Herson’s recipe, “I surround myself with clay, images, texturing tools, gold and silver, pieces of glass, a cup of tea and then I play. My work is about integration and balance. There must be both movement and stillness, vibrance and subtlety too.”

Marcia’s been working her formula for a number of years and you can see results on her other sites here and here.

Gaedechens glows, Udell collages

Germany’s Caroline Gaedechens (on Etsy as NuitBlanche) is an illustrator who mostly creates 2D illustrations and soft sculptures.

She has a penchant for glow-in-the-dark polymer clay, however, and her monsters and magnets (scroll sideways) are somehow a perfect blend of scarey and reassuring.

As I was exploring the web’s nooks and crannies, I also discovered that Luann Udell has an Etsy site.

Her jewelry and fiber collages are inspired by the Lascaux cave in France. This ancient cave, long considered the birthplace of human art, is filled with paintings of prehistoric animals.