Ancient polymer faience

Mari O'Dell's Egyptian mummy beads on PolymerClayDaily.com

Don’t try to predict where your ideas will take you. Hop on Mari O’Dell’s magic carpet to see what I mean.

Mari’s journey started in the mummy section of the NYC Met Museum where she hung out as a teenager.

Recently she took my “Slots and Dots” online polymer class and reconnected with her Egyptian impulses. She learned to extrude narrow tube beads like those found in the layers of mummy wrappings. In Mari’s version, a scarab and beads dusted with metallics are interspersed with her imitative ancient faience tubes.

Beads are an ancient form of art and currency. Their echoes still ricochet around the globe. Please wait until the carpet comes to a complete stop before you leave your seat. Who says we can’t travel during a pandemic?

If you’d like to recharge your batteries, join us over at StudioMojo.

Culture on a string

Ohio’s

Debbie Jackson explores black culture on a string on PolymerClayDaily

Debbie Jackson and I had a conversation today about recent events. We decided to lean into the discomfort of the issues that have been swirling around us to get some clarification and to be able to move ahead.

I knew I’d make some blunders (I did) and Debbie knew she wouldn’t have all the answers (she didn’t). But it was a start.

Debbie is exhausted and emotionally drained by recent events but she’s also hopeful that society can be repaired.

Come see how a black artist who has worked hard to make her living in polymer has plowed through a difficult landscape and succeeded. Debbie’s works are sold at the National Museum of African American History and Culture and she has taught and written, collaborated, and organized in amazing ways.

Her Miami University summer workshop (now postponed) is entitled “Culture on a String” and that says a lot about how Debbie envisions her polymer art.

Our StudioMojo interview was a start in my education and a necessary first step to better understanding and healing. 

Tempted by tribal

Tribal echoes resonate with Dani Kirova on PolymerClayDaily.com

UK’s Dani Kirova (temptedbyartjewelry) has been feeling tribal with a series of masks and images.

You’ll find shield shapes, geometric ethnic caned patterns and echoes of Africa in her works on Instagram. Whether she’s carving or caning, these images are strongly imprinted on her spirit.

They jump out from her other works. Instagram’s presentation of many pieces at a glance give you a quick overview of work and allow themes to emerge.

 

Sewn polymer neckpiece

Elena Fernandez bold mosaic exudes an ancient/modern vibe on PolymerClayDaily.com

Madrid’s Elena Fernandez (NaniPollito) combines many talents in this mosaic polymer neckpiece. The polymer elements are sewn on and surrounded by intricate beadwork,

The focal piece is strung on a long cord of polymer and antique trade beads.

Wherever her muse leads, Elena bravely follows. Her work is free form and dramatic. It requires bold wearer.

You can sense that Elena has been a painter all her life. Look at her wide-ranging art on Flickr.

Contrarian polymer

Lela Todua's bright mixes tell a story on PolymerClayDaily

The slicker and more commercial the holiday frenzy gets, the more I appreciate roughly handmade, Bohemian, tribal, rustic, gypsy, hippie, ethnic designs like this pendant from Ukraine’s Lela Todua (Leland Jewelry).

Lela’s techniques and patterns follow her own whims. She pulls the mix of various textures together with color themes and accents of paint.

I realize that PCD featured Lela’s butterflies just recently. Once my eye locks onto a vibe, I find myself visiting and revisiting a collection to soak it up. Lela builds compelling stories as she picks and chooses an assortment of related components.

Follow her story on Etsy and Instagram.

Polymer in DC

Jackson on PolymerClayDaily.com

We can all get up and do a little happy dance that polymer clay is making its appearance in the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington D.C. thanks to the work of Ohio’s Debbie Jackson.

Jackson on PolymerClayDaily.co

She will be offering two series of designs for sale in the museum shop. Debbie’s indigo line shown here combines polymer clay, indigo fabric, African brass, metallic foils and raffia into a powerful group of shield shaped pieces.

See the rest of her designs on Facebook.

Debbie is also working with DC sculptor Woodrow Nash to produce beads and pieces that will embellish his dramatic figures.

It’s been a banner year for Debbie full of paperwork and negotiation and waiting. Debbie has long been known as a talented and persistent artist and teacher here in our home town and we’re very proud of her. She shows us all how hard work pays off.

Grab a rope

Todua on PCDaily

These bracelets from Ukraine’s Lela Todua (Leland) have an urban tribal vibe.

Big hole tube beads strung on thick rope or multi-strand cording make them a favorite for both men and women.

Todua on PCDaily

The beads are polymer stamped with ethnic patterns or graffiti art highlighted with paints.

Catch up with Lela’s rough and ready look on her Etsy store and on Facebook.

Rough treatment for polymer

Sypkova on PCDaily

Olga Sypkova from Kemerovo, Russia plays rough with her African Ethnic beads.

What starts out as cane slices simply applied to clay bases becomes much more interesting once she draws a few lines with circles, scrapes some lines and scratches the surface with sandpaper.

A coat of light acrylic paint accentuates the marks. The rough treatmentt gives an ordinary polymer bead a tribal look with a mysterious past. The beads must have been worn and treasured.

Olga offers you a step-by-step free tutorial. See more of her work on this Russian site (use your translator).

 

 

Artfair polymer finds

Lori Wilkes’ was one of six polymer booths at the local show and I spotted this new necklace. The beads looked African to me but she swears that she was following an Italian influence. Either way, kewl. She revealed that tool used to distress these beads is a fine wire dog brush.

Lori has a book coming out in October that may satisfy readers who complain about how artists getting started in polymer can be deluged with confusing and conflicting information. Lori’s book, The Absolute Beginners Guide: Working With Polymer Clay, is from Kalmbach Books and it’s available for pre-order on Amazon. Sample a few pages here.

Spotting polymer at artfairs is one of my favorite games. The others I found yesterday were Kim Arden, Valerie Wright, Annabelle Fisher, Greg and BJ Jordan, and River Wolfe. Hope I didn’t miss any.

Polymer with an African aesthetic

See new work from Ohio’s Debbie Jackson on Facebook and on her Black Art in America page. She’s off to LA to sell these new works at the Pan African Film Festival.

A trip to Ghana injected Debbie’s work with renewed ethnic vibrancy and she mixes polymer with treasures she brought back with her. Her artistic aesthetic is rooted in Africa.

This new necklace includes polymer focal bead with eggshell mosaic, stick coral and African brass beads.

Debbie’s a vital part of our local Creative Women of Color collective that provides a creative connection with the community. Thanks to Jeanne Dumond for the link!

Party Time

Tonight at 8:30 ET at Craftcast. Join us for a free event all about tools.