Pantone polymer

Unaodd’s Lynn Lunger was inspired by Pantone and spring seed catalogs. She mixed her own Tangerine Tango, Pantone’s color of the year, and started developing her 2012 palette.

Lynn confesses to a crisper drawer full of extra flower seeds from years past. That doesn’t stop her from considering if she should buy some of the new ones offered in this year’s crop of February garden catalogs.

In an effort to resist giving in to seed acquisition, she started filling custom-made silicone molds with her new polymer colors. Imprints of last years’ blooms had been pressed to make the forms. The resulting polymer beads give us visual taste of spring.

What’s happening in Lynn’s studio usually reflects what’s growing outside and her blog is a good garden and studio read. Think spring this weekend.

Polymer studio in a box

San Diego’s Meisha Barbee shares her new spring palette, the result of a whirlwind color mixing fling (check it out). Once the polymer colors were mixed and conditioned, she carefully stacked the sheets into thick and thin layers that play off each other’s intensity. Her stripe canes grab attention.

With a box of companion bullseye canes and another box of mica shift textures, she’s assembled the raw materials for a fresh line of brooches, pendants and earrings.

Since Meisha works both in her home studio and at her Spanish Village Art studio, she needs to transport her canes from place to place. Doesn’t this tidy arrangement make you want to develop and organize your spring palette? See earlier pictures from this Niche Award winner here and here.

Discover your palette

Dee Wilder (Malodora) and Matilde Colas show pictures of their inspirations and allow us to follow the paths to their final interpretations.

For most polymer artists, the ability to convert an inspiring palette of colors into polymer is what draws them to the medium. These two do it with style.

Dee discovered her colors in a fabric swatch and accurately mimicked the batik’s layers of colors on her beads.

Matilde was attracted by a photo of flowers that she turned into a juicy assortment of colors. She cut out gently curving pieces and stacked them to make pins and pendants.

Staying alert for color inspiration is the trick (and the fun).

Yellow and blue make an opportunity,

Many polymer clay colorists and teachers are concerned about Polyform Products’ announcement that the company is changing its Premo color palette. While I prefer to avoid manufacturing topics, this is one where several dear friends who could be impacted have asked PCD to get the word out in hopes of making a difference.

Please read and then add your voice to the matter. We’d like to urge the company to rethink its decision. Some relevant links are listed below.

Among Polyform’s changes, two primary colors, essential for color blending and teaching color theory will be eliminated from the Premo line. Zinc yellow and cobalt blue, essential for most of the primary blends shown here, will no longer be available.

An x below a strand in the top row of Premo blended samples indicates an affected color. The bottom row shows the remaining colors. Thanks to Carol Simmons for the illustration.

If you’ve ever seen the meticulous, laborious processes that polymer colorists and teachers go through to develop their theories and formulas, you can understand their distress. Fine artists who rely on signature colors for their livelihood, will be forced to undergo costly reformulations.

We applaud Polyform’s appeal to the hobby market whose vitality improves the future of our craft. At the same time, we appeal to the company consider the needs of the artists who have supported them and who continue to expand the use of Polyform products and make the brand visible to a wide audience through fine art, education, and research.

Thanks for helping. Tomorrow we’re back to beauty as usual!

Mix and match polymer

Bright colors, crisp patterns…a winning combination in polymer from Illinois’ Terri Stone. If you’ve ever muddied up a promising palette, you’ll admire Terri’s ability to mix and match.

Her holiday Etsy shop is bursting with more examples.

I’m packing for a rare weekend with my sisters and these colors look as cheery as I feel. Thanks to Lindly Haunani for the link.

New book and Saturday school


Polymer Clay Color Inspirations, the new book by Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio, has hit the bookstores just in time for the back-to-school season. This is the text you’ll need to advance in your polymer education. You can explore your color instincts and develop your own palettes through a series of projects.

Starting next Saturday, September 5, Maggie will be posting “Weekend Extras” on her blog to encourage you to go through each of the exercises in the book. You can send in your questions and comments as you work along.

Lindly and Maggie have long been friends of mine and I wrote the book’s forward (which is scintillating). I may be a bit biased but everyone agrees that they’re the best.

This week has taught me many things and made me appreciate what those of you with slow and unreliable connections have to endure. Thanks for your patience and your help. Have a spectacular weekend.

Clarke’s summer colors

Cantelope, mint and grass with a bit of sky blue…these summer-colored polymer clay buttons by Lisa Clarke match the July day.

Lisa’s afternoon experiment demonstrates the value of accurate color mixing. She tried using premixed colors and couldn’t tolerate the off-key results.

You’ve got to have cool hands and patience to reduce canes in an 80 degree house. The results are pure summer.