Forced blooms

Bonnie Gilmore breathes spring into polymer earrings on PolymerClayDaily.com

Perth, Australia’s Bonnie Gilmore (Hatching Sparrows) loved making these commissioned statement earrings. They are a vibrant mix of colors, cultures, and styles. They combine ancient culture with a modern twist.

The earrings combine stories of family, history, weddings, Peranakan (Chinese) outfits, and favorite flowers. “I loved using elements of traditional culture alongside the client’s modern-day self,” she says.

Bonnie adds small sculpted polymer elements onto a slab base. Here she photographs the finished earrings laid on a magazine page to stunning effect. She gives us a breath of Spring. See more of Bonnie’s gorgeous polymer appliques on Instagram.

Need more beautiful reminders of spring? Come on over to StudioMojo for a look at what beauty these difficult times have forced into bloom. You’ll be pleased with the stories we uncovered this week. 

Signs of spring

Shannon Tabor's spring Nests predict a vibrant spring on PolymerClayDaily.com

We look at polymer for signs of spring and if South Carolina’s Shannon Tabor (Charleston Clay Jewelry) is any indication, the season will be bright and energetic.

Her Nest earrings are uninhibited and unafraid coils of polymer decorated with splashes of color. On her Instagram, you’ll see polka dots as well.

She makes them into studs or, for the bolder customer, studs with big dangles. They are selling briskly, according to Shannon. Are you ready for a big, bold spring?

Polymer panache

Zazu does a simple cane with style on PolymerClayDaily.com
Zazu does a simple cane with style on PolymerClayDaily.com

Spain’s ZaZu shares her basic cane in a 15-second tutorial that’s hard to resist.

Zazu does a simple cane with style on PolymerClayDaily.com

Her design looks like stitching and she turns it into all sorts of trendy geometrically shaped earrings and pendants in a wide variety of colors.

While the designs aren’t complex, they’re rich with panache and style. Here’s ZaZu on Facebook.

Beachy boho Monday

Lorraine Vogel creates a bit of beach on her earrings on PolymerClayDaily.com

The Zen of these earrings from Florida’s Lorraine Vogel (wiredorchid) offers us a smooth transition to Monday.

She embeds rings into the tops of satisfying painted shapes. They feel balanced and swingy. A vacation vibe on your ears.

The painted surfaces are some combination of her batik and pretty grunge techniques. (Correction: Lorraine says: I created this surface with stencils and acrylic paint, not by using my batik technique.) Lorraine offers tutorials on her boho beachy styles. She’s here on Instagram.

Made you look!

How does Jana Honnerova roll up blended colors with cracked edges on PolymerClayDaily.com

When I find myself stuck on a photo, I stop and ask why it’s captured my attention.

That’s what’s happening with these rolled-up earrings from Prague’s Jana Honnerova.

Narrow strips of clay in blended colors are rolled up. But look at those cracked edges! And how does she control the color or is it random? You start drilling down into Jana’s methods and it makes you think about her skill, her tricks.

But on top of that is the elegance of these little gems simply stacked on a headpin. Sweet! And that’s what it boils down to. Do your designs make people take a second look? That’s the real trick.

Balanced reds

Pat Bolgar balances a bouquet of polymer pods on PolymerClayDaily.com

A splash of red from Ohio’s Pat Bolgar (AccessoryArt) rounds out the week.

Pat perches a tight bunch of delicate pods on silver circles. Their balance and fine details make them a perfect lead in to Valentine’s Day.

Let the reds and the hearts begin! Here’s Pat’s work on Instagram.

How did we get to Friday already? We’ll parse the developments that rocked the polymer world over at StudioMojo tomorrow morning. Join us!

Why the Aussies are leading the way

PickledGinger's Drifters earrings teach us a thing or two on PolymerClayDaily.com

Perth’s Pickled Ginger (pickledgingerjewellery) is on fire…in a good way. Owner Fe is one of the young, energetic, enthusiastic polymer artists that are currently on the cutting edge in polymer clay art.

They know how to use social media, they know how to produce products, collaborate with clothing designers and start social campaigns. They take simple designs like these Drifters earrings and inject them with color and excitement.

Over at StudioMojo, we’re spending January looking ahead to see what’s on the horizon. Australian artists seem to have a strategy that works. Come on over if you’d like to know what secrets the Aussies have unlocked and why they’re so hot right now. They’re teaching us a thing or two. 

Barbara McGuire’s shimmering mokume

Barbara Mcguire's painterly approach to mokume gane on PolymerClayDaily.com

North Carolina’s Barbara McGuire will be teaching her own special brand of Mokume Gane this weekend at Tryon’s Arts and Crafts school. These class samples have me salivating.

Barbara’s Shimmering Mokume brings influences from Gustav Klimt with a touch of Paul Klee (to my eye at least).

Wouldn’t you love to know how she arrives at such painterly pieces?

Study her on Facebook. She offers some wonderfully deep rubber stamps in her Etsy shop.

Monday zigzags

Greece’s Katerina Strouggari (@mepolymeraki) zigs and zags her polymer earrings, tucking in balls of clay for an imitative soutache design.

She starts with one long strip of black and white, adding alternating colors of balls between each turn.

Soutache is the narrow braid embroidery associated with military and band uniforms.

See how she creates the same effect on pendants on Facebook