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.

Fabric inspirations, software samples

Carol Simmons shares a kaleidoscope software program that she uses to sample colors and try out designs. (Kaleider is for PCs only and offers a free trial.) Carol rotates and recombines student Nettonya Ryane’s polymer slice for amazing effect.

These colors are taken from Nettonya’s favorite fabric. Carol talks about the value of looking at fabrics for color inspiration. Many of us don’t sew and feel guilty about collecting fabrics for the simple pleasure of looking at them. No more guilt.

Carol swears she’ll work only in earthtones in Colorado. Maybe she’s cleansing her palette! Pictures from Colorado as soon as the network is more stable (apparently our group crashed it).

Polymer that’s not quite

Whenever the news I’m listening to gets complicated and worrisome, my eye gravitates to the most simple, straightforward polymer designs it can find. Unfussy design and bright color feel like an oasis in the desert, calm in a storm.

Australia’s Rachel Wightman presents the most basic polymer shapes in sizzling colors. Her work as a stylist on interior design magazines plays out in her minimalist choices.

The photos on her Etsy site are plain and effective, highlighting necklaces that might look childish in another setting. Even the names of her pieces, not quite round, not quite flat, etc., seem to take the pressure off.

The Oh Joy design site picked up her necklace and paired it with some very graphic Marimekko sheets at Crate and Barrel. Rachel’s easy not quite approach turns out to be spot on for today.

Simple shapes

Ontario’s Karen Pasieka specializes in simple polymer shapes and subtle details which is perhaps a result of her training as an architect. These ice blue hydrangea baubles are constructed on filgree cores and hung from wire loops. Pale crystals add sparkle to the delicate earrings.

There’s no fuss to her rosebud bouquets. The soft shades of the groupings give them sophistication. Even her Christmas trees (yes, she keeps them up year round) have an architectural feel to them, relying on color and shape rather than fancy pattern tricks.

Using the colors you love

“Turquoise and green are simply my favourite colors, working with them is easy and big pleasure,” says the Czech Republic’s Eva Haskova.

In this new batch of work she combines her colors so closely that the patterns vibrate in tight stripes and blends. Each bar is layered with a thick layer of turquoise running through the middle, underneath the patterned surface for added interest.

Some of the new work appears on her Flickr site and Lindly Haunani sent in the link to her Voila page which contains even more examples.

Eva credits her guild participation and event attendance for giving her the confidence to sell her wares to make her living from polymer. She also teaches and continues working in graphic design.

Polymer medicine

Another dose of color for you from Anna Anpilogova today. The warm colors of her polymer “mango” beads remind us that spring is not far off.

The text on her blog is in Russian and it’s fun to follow along on her studio experiments in Belarus. Anna’s Flickr pages give you the pictures without having to translate anything. She invents constantly and offers this simple faux chevron tutorial that ends with a sophisticated result.

Thanks to Claire Maunsell for the link.

Creating signature style

Tricia Dewey’s newest polymer beads hum with color and they come with a good story.

Tricia bought Christi Uliczny’s popular “Rocky Path” tutorial and modified the instructions extensively to create beads rather than pendants. Tricia used the tutorial as a launch pad to combine leaf and alcohol inks and mica powders on polymer in her own way.

Sidelined by an elbow injury, Tricia was taking a break from her fossil series of polymer/encaustic multimedia wall art to experiment with beads. Using a new set of instructions and working on a smaller scale, Tricia’s signature style still shone through.


How did I miss the sizzling colors of Suzanne Anderson? I bumped into her (here’s her blog) as I was browsing through Laura Balombini’s site yesterday. She and Laura are east coast neighbors. I found this recent interview and pictures of Suzanne’s studio in the Bangor Daily News. She gravitated to polymer after years as a beader and metalworker.

These earrings are from her Fiesta line. I enjoy the way she separates her online galleries by color. Suzanne chose her studio name because the word expresses the upbeat mood of her jewelry…Yikes!


Leave a comment on yesterday’s post to enter our first holiday giveaway of our hot-off-the-press Creative Sparks! Wow, loads of lovely comments have come in already. I’ll close entries at 5:00 Friday and choose a lucky winner.


The lucky Creatives Sparks winner was Crystal Gordine of Kingston, Ontario. You were all so enthusiastic that we’ll do another book giveaway soon!

Askin blogs

Gloria Askin tacked a blog onto her site and I just discovered it. Her attitude about color is infectious. “My love of color is best expressed in the Yoruba belief that the more colors you wear (or, I believe, use in art), the more positive energy you are putting into the universe,” she explains.

She forms cupped polymer disks edged with contrasting colors and gathers them into vibrant and playful accessories that are bursting with positive energy. Gloria has a most appropriate Facebook profile picture!

Have a colorful weekend!