Another look at polymer deviants


This tetris bracelet (based on the computer game) from Ukraine’s BeautySpotCrafts lured me into the Deviant Art site. Her gallery is full of unusual polymer clay designs (check out the piano key theme) and following BeautySpot’s links will lead you to other treasures like the gallery of Meella (Camille Young).

Newspaper earrings

My web connection is down today and I’m hitchhiking on a friend’s network. Start your week with a bit of exploration. I’ll wait for the repairman. Thanks to Lindly Haunani for helping me out with today’s link.

Pattee’s odd times

Just like Pattee’s polymer clay sculpture, Harold, I’m wondering what time it is as I head back across time and temperate zones after our lovely visit with my daughter. The California/Ohio swap is a bit of a shock to my system (to say nothing of leaving my baby behind).

Pattee (Odd Dolls) says she likes her world “a little off kilter” and you may enjoy her sculptures to begin your little-off-kilter week too. Look inside her studio where she’s surrounded by bits and bobs that inspire her.

I’ll be synced up and back in gear tomorrow.

Perishable polymer

Body jewelry artist, Hermeone Lavender (Perishables), makes polymer clay jewelry that resonates with me as alien, caveman, primitive and unconstrained. The strange beauty of these pieces sucks me in.

Ear adornments meant to be worn in stretched ear lobe holes and necklaces paired with pierced nipples communicate in a language unfamiliar to me. It’s good for me to look at this perspective, even if I retreat to safer spaces. Energy and change come from the edges of convention.

When we last covered Perishables, he called Philadelphia home. Now the Etsy site lists him as Chicago-based and his line has a strong following. Thanks to Ronna Weltman for the reminder to revisit the site.

Polymer clay MealyMonsters

Today I felt like Priscilla, one of the polymer clay mealy monsters. Faced with packing and organizing for a trip out West I was overcome with inertia and ended up sitting, sneezing (allergy season), gazing into space.

These endearing creatures speak to me even though I’m rushing the Halloween season. They’re the creation of Buffalo, NY artist, Nicole Johnson, who describes them as, "whimsical, creepy, fun, strange, cute, weird, one-of-a-kind, decorative, art dolls." You can see a little of her behind-the-scenes work on Flickr and on her blog.

If you share my mood, you’ll enjoy kindred spirits at MonsterEtsy. Now I must go pack, really. Thanks to Susan Lomuto for the link.

Polymer clay on wheels

The UK’s Simon Buck and Utah’s Bill Robbins have found most unusual ways to incorporate polymer clay into their vehicles.

Simon specializes in fluorescent and glow-in-the-dark murals as well as polymer clay (glow-in-the-dark, naturally). The picture you see at the right is the sculpture on the steering wheel of his van. You’ll have to imagine it at night. And you can see one of his glowing figures here.

Bill Robbins (aka elmerpresslee) lovingly built the most twisted polymer clay baby car ever for his daughter who seems to truly delight in the madness. Of course his studio, the nerdatorium, is also a trip.

Both artists look like they’re have such fun with their art that it’s easy to look beyond the scarey parts. I scrounged the Robbins link from Kim Cavender who gravitates to the deviant side herself.

Darker, rougher polymer art

Monday’s child is full of angst…or at least it appears that way. Here are two young male polymer clay artists, one from Canada and one from Israel, who like our art’s darker side.

Roy Ginat (fimoman) from Israel, based his small man-eating bird at the left on a character in a Hieronymus Bosch painting. The one at the right is a more contemporary monster.

Andrew McCaffrey from Edmonton, Alberta, follows mostly music groups, capturing the intense gestures and poses of his musical heroes in polymer. The muscular stances and intense facial expressions that he builds in his rough style are remarkable.

Both artists express passionate sentiments that may make the viewer uncomfortable. A Monday reminder that polymer clay is not just for pretty.

Thanks to Italy’s Leila Bidler for the link to Andrew McCaffrey.

Creatures from Ellen June

Ellen June prefers her polymer clay critters in the shapes of griffins, serpents, dragons and such. From Hamilton, Ontario, Ellen (or Creaturesfromel) shapes ferocious things in elaborate detail and with regal finishes.

The pictures on her sites are small and it’s only when you see her work close up that you can appreciate its complexity and detail. Look here and here. She incorporates "…an understanding of animal physiology with a love of the fantastic, grotesque and absurd."

I admire artists who can conjure up the wild creatures within them, transform them into clay and share them with us.


LoopyBoopy sculptures

It’s time to check back in with LoopyBoopy, the Louisiana artist who sculpts wonderfully creepy polymer clay kids with marbles for eyes. Each is accompanied by a poignant story.

Colleen (no last name) says of her eerie sculptures, "I think people connect to their little tragedies personally and are perhaps drawn to them for this reason."

There’s a great interview with her on Win Crafty. "Most of my kids and their little stories come directly to me from my daughter’s daily wonderment, fears, nightmares and dreams." she says.

You can see more of Colleen’s work on Etsy, Trunkt and Flickr.


Leslie Blackford and Ira Glass – Keep making art

I’m allowing myself an existential moment. And Leslie Blackford’s polymer clay figure says it all (the mask flips up to reveal a much less benign character).

I’m doing a little self-talk about how to be a studio artist. Who knew the prospect would panic me? Here’s a great little video piece by Ira Glass. It’s not my usual Friday fare but this is special.

I love the idea of closing the gap between your good taste and the quality of the work you produce. Have a special weekend.