Polymer with sweet mud

Haunani on PCDaily

Lindly Haunani has hit the color sweet spot with her latest series of brooches which she produces in a range of color blends. Mud, gold Premo and a Rolls Royce of a pasta machine have helped her along the way.

Of course a degree in printmaking, years of creating art and teaching polymer and a supreme color sense also contribute to her masterful combinations.

But back to the mud. A dollop of gray/brown clay is mixed into some colors to mute them ever so slightly. Gold added to others brings out a lovely luminosity. She mixes a 9″ x 12″ sheet of rainbow colors, tweaking it until the colors sing.

“The rest,” she says, “is a meditative process of making thin veneers, cutting them, combining them, flipping them so that dark-to-light butts against light-to-dark.” Once the patterns are assembled, she impresses them with 120-grit sandpaper to give them a soft, textile-like surface.

Lindly sold these brooches when she was teaching in Europe recently to help finance her new electric dough roller (like this one). “It’s like driving a Rolls Royce,” she admits.

You can learn some of Lindly’s color secrets in the book she and Maggie Maggio wrote. See where she’s teaching and see more of her color magic on her site and on Facebook where these brooches have started a buzz.

Dramatic polymer

Anar on PCDaily

If there’s anyone whose polymer art captures the heat of August, it’s Greece’s Anarina Anar.

The hot colors of her decorative shapes are made more intense as they bounce off the irregular black background on this wide bangle. To unify the look, both surfaces are roughly textured and accented.

She uses the same technique on pieces for necklaces, earrings and more for an effect that’s pure drama. Her Flickr and Facebook pages are full of these striking examples.

Colorblind polymer

Grigoryan on PCDaily

White popped up today so let’s run with it. Barcelona’s Sona Grigoryan disregarded the color in Gaudi’s architecture and concentrated on the famous architect’s shapes that she interpreted into a polymer cuff.

Wendy Malinow took the color out of flowers and bones and applied them as a background on the platform of some summer sandals she’s working on.

Sometimes you can disregard color, focus on form instead and end up somewhere entirely new.

Split ring polymer

Maggie Maggio will be in person and online Wednesday night at Craftcast teaching her split ring technique. PCD has featured her innovative technique and you’ll find people imitating her idea all over the polymer web. Maggie has expanded on her original idea and shares lots of new tips for construction and for successful color.

Maggie’s a great teacher and if you’ve ever wanted to meet her and ask her your questions, this is your chance. No matter where you are, you can login and join the group for a 90-minute workshop (and keep a copy of the recording for future reference). Sign up here. Check the rest of the Craftcast schedule (including my class on October 10).

Bowl of bold beads

There are no wimpy colors or shy designs in Barbara Bechtel’s bowl of beads. (It was a grab bag and it’s gone.) While she specializes in beads inspired by tribal fetishes and netsukes, Barbara gives her polymer versions strong contrast and updated colors with fashionable flourishes.

It may take you a while to make the rounds of all the web addresses this prolific artist uses on Etsy, Facebook, and for her blog.

Read the artist interview with her on ArtBeadScene where she says, “I like that my work has remained true…I think it has always been a reflection of myself….a documentary, if you will. I can look back at both the good work and the bad work, and I can see what was going on in my life at the time.”

Normal polymer

If you had any tired or timid thoughts this Monday, prepare to lose them. This shot of exhuberant, exotic polymer beads, called Same Same But Different, comes from Thailand’s Aow Dusdee.

Her beads are made into simple necklaces here. Her more elaborate works mix beads and fibers and polymer in constructions that drape the body.

Aow has added new images of “my crafty home” to her Flickr site. Crochet and polymer and color surround her in an inviting tropical home. Polymer beads hang in the doorways, pair up with tassels and embellish sculptures. Colors that might seem garish in other settings fit perfectly here.

It’s a big world out there and there are many, many ways to express yourself with polymer. A page from her sketchbook reads, “Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.” Happy Monday!

Polymer in nature

Polymer has never played quite so nicely with nature as it does in Rachel Gourley’s hands. Her new website is a delight.

This Vancouver artist takes polymer rocks back to the seashore where they look completely happy. Her clay fungi and early shoots jump out of the surrounding wintry woodland foliage.

You might think that her alien artworks are complete abstractions but if you examine her gallery of photos, you can see that her keen eye is drawn to nature’s own bright palettes and outlandish patterns as she’s traveled around the world.

PCD has featured her before (check out these polymer sand dollars and 2004 spondylosis) and it’s great that she’s made herself a home on the web where we can visit her more often. Thanks to Lindly Haunani for the link.

Polymer shrinks the world

The ladies of the Samunnat Nepal project graciously wrote me to ask if they could make more of what they call “Petal Mala” polymer necklaces to raise money for their studio and I happily agreed.

They were very sensitive about copying my design for profit. On one of the panel discussions at the RAM weekend, Pier Voulkos reminded us that she only taught a technique when she was finished with it, had moved on, and could let it go out into the universe without resentment.

My pinched petal lei was “released” when the step-by-step instructions were published in our Color Inspirations book. How gratifying it is to have shared this pattern and watch it travel around the globe to help others.

My Hawaiian-inspired design arrived in Nepal via Australia’s Wendy Moore. Cynthia Tinapple, PCD publisher, will continue this story about our “shrinking” polymer world when she returns in December.

guest post by Lindly Haunani

Polymer with mystery and surprise

When Laurel Swetnam wore this study of polymer cone shapes the other day you couldn’t miss the movement of the shapes and vibrancy of the colors against her blue shirt. The oranges and yellows added an unexpected pop.

Mystery and surprise in our work have been a topic of conversation that we’ll explore on PCD as soon as I get home and get settled.

Laurel’s a Portland artist who’s delving into color studies. You may recognize this design from Maggie and Lindly’s book and Laurel’s taken it in a direction that’s entirely her own. Laurel shyly admitted that she’d put a few of her works online so you must visit and welcome her. (Mari was bowled over with your visits and kind comments yesterday.)

I’m missing all of you and will be happy to return to my daily ritual of scrolling through what’s new in your art world. I hope your weekend offers a bit of mystery and surprise.