Scream of consciousness polymer

Wendy Malinow’s grinning polymer shaker is filled with steel shot which makes it fit for a serious percussionist. But her musician husband is frightened by the menacing 12 1/2″ tall multi-eyed root. The real teeth embedded in pink polymer gums add to the scariness of this piece that both attracts and repulses.

Her root has been accepted into this year’s 38th Toys Designed by Artists exhibition November 21 to January 6 at the Arkansas Art Center. Here’s Wendy’s official site.

In Las Vegas where Wendy taught last week, the shaker looked at home among the skulls and bones strewn across her work surface. The students made more benign eggs, bones and mushroom charms. Wendy’s quirky woodland vision merged perfectly with Leslie Blackford’s dark and deviant characters from the farm and circus. Check out this snake!

Their “scream of consciousness” approach to polymer art made students stretch their skills and search their souls. It was all in good fun and perfectly timed for Halloween.

Polymer Americana

School’s out! Jenn McGlon knows what’s coming up next! She and her friends over at SpookyTimeJingles are already gearing up for the Fourth of July with an offering of Americana art like these painted polymer Luettes.

The Spooky folks have jumped ahead to their favorite fall holiday as well.


A new, air dry polymer clay? DeCoRé is quite pricey but might be just the thing when you want to add inclusions that can’t take the heat of baking. Read more. Ronna Weltman sent us the link.

Julie Picarello’s new book, Patterns In Polymer, is a joy to read and to learn from! The copy is engaging and the techniques are dynamite.

The Green issue of the From Polymer to Art quarterly magazine has arrived. For U.S. readers, PolkaDotCreations carries this Netherlands publication.

Polymer on the beach

California’s Dawn Schiller cautions you to keep an eye out as you head to the beach this season.

“While walking the beach, I happened upon a sea seidh (pronounced “seed“), one of the tribe of little folk that used to live in the forest but have emigrated to the sea. These tiny fae dwell in abandoned shells of all types — much like hermit crabs — and live on dark moonlight and the breath of fishes,” she explains.

Faux birch

Wendy Malinow was decked out in polymer finery when we met up. On one arm she wore her signature antler bracelet paired with an early pebble bracelet by me (yea!) and topped off with a new birch bangle with skull, teeth and bone dangles. She has long arms! Organic with a strange, delightful twist.

The branches look separate but form one incredibly realistic stack. She admits that the piece took at least four bakings with a metal armature under the main branch to provide stability. The textures fool both the eye and the touch.

These pictures were taken late at night in the kitchen. I added a couple more here and here to give you the full effect. Check out her bracelet of thorns on her Etsy shop too.

You’d better watch out…

Look carefully and you’ll see molars sprinkled among the holiday candies on Wendy Malinow’s sparkly Too Much Candy polymer bracelet.

Look even more closely and you’ll note that the teeth have fillings in them. It’s Wendy’s wink and caution for this season of sweets.

Wendy adds her own brand of woodland spirit to the winter season on her Etsy site.

Malinow’s skull and bones

It’s October and you can predict a month of polymer skulls, candy corn and pumpkin art. We’ll start with this new skull and bones necklace by Wendy Malinow. She’s loaded up her Etsy site with dark and quirky works that are on the cutting edge (including this poison cameo bracelet).

Wendy’s ability to stay edgy netted her first place in the 2010 Saul Bell Award competition in the metal clay category competition. It was her fourth year as a winner! The competition challenges jewelry designers to push the boundaries of creativity to come up with innovative pieces. Here’s her winning Song and Eggs necklace that includes metal clay, gemstones and polymer.

Blackford’s sideshow

Leslie Blackford is breathing a sigh of relief as she finishes her first major batch of orders for galleries. The tagline for her “carnies” series is “Damn everything but the circus.” The theme continues through the sculptures to her imaginative packaging.

Pendant cords travel up through the top of her boxes through a slit that holds each pendant in place. Stacked together they form an impromptu fun house display of her sideshow characters. Her catalog is printed as a circus flier.

Leslie’s companion packaging and promotions amplify the impact of her intensely personal and engaging work, an edgy combination of dark and whimsical.

Leslie’s theme is based on an e. e. cummings quote that may resonate with you on a Monday, “…damn everything that is grim, dull, motionless, unrisking, inward turning, damn everything that won’t get into the circle, that won’t enjoy, that won’t throw its heart into the tension, surprise, fear and delight of the circus, the round world, the full existence.

West’s fantasy creatures

More wings! This time they’re on “Angel”ina, the polymer clay fantasy sculpture of Nevada artist Nicole West (wingdthing).

Nicole has an uncanny ability to imbue her creations, from pin ups to pixies, with hyper real features and emotions. It’s easy to see why she was selected this year’s Most Promising Sculptor by her peers on the Deviant Art site.

I’m in the Hollywood vicinity and couldn’t resist the pull of Nicole West’s sexy creatures. Thanks to Andrea Polite for the link.

Blackford’s hands on synergy

If, like me, you overlooked the hands-on classes that have been added to the Synergy2 lineup, be sure to look again. There are some gems being offered before and after the Baltimore conference.

The trick is that you have to contact the instructor directly (or his/her website) to get in on the deal.

Check out these whimisical narrative sculptures from Leslie Blackford’s “Off With Your Head!” class on the Tuesday before the conference. Their heads are built over small lightbulbs and you can change their head/body combinations to suit your mood.

If you’ve never seen Leslie conjure up creatures from a heap of polymer clay scraps, you’re in for a treat. Her spontaneous, direct way of bringing an idea to life will light your imagination. Here’s her Deviant site and here’s her email.

It’s rare to have access to this many top-notch teachers. The rest of the hands-on class roster includes: Seth Savarick, Tracy Holmes, Bettina Welker, Dan Cormier, Robert Dancik. Add to that the Cabin Fever Clay Fest workshops and their long list of experts. Take a class and your head will be spinning like the ones on Leslie’s sculptures!

Scarey autumn trends

Fall is Lance Perry’s (Crescent Hill Designs) season. His polymer clay sculptures are equal parts cute and scarey. Almost, but not quite, predictable with just enough spooky and strange to keep things interesting. See his work on Flickr and Etsy.

I can’t decide if Joo-Joo’s ghosts (Afsaneh Tajvidi) or Heather Powers’ gnomes suit me better. I’m a sucker for glow-in-the-dark but Heather’s gnomes have that dash of weird that I can’t resist. And her acorns and mushrooms look totally trendy for fall.

The Creagers are immersed in their element too. Jodi and Richard offer a few gothic pins (like the ghost above) and other small artworks on their Etsy site. I give up! It’s fall.