Ahead in 2014

Freisleben on PCDaily

This imitative ceramic vase from Ariane Freisleben was among the 33 examples of student work on Iris Mishly’s site. You’ll see an impressive collection of ways that polymer artists have found to use the Cosmic Ceramic lessons for widely varying effects and styles.

But Ariane isn’t a casual polymer student. She is so enthusiastic about the future of polymer in Europe that she is constructing Galerie Freisleben, a beautiful class facility in the Bavarian countryside.

Ariane’s Flickr site shows more of her work as well as pictures of the renovations underway as she prepares the property to house 14 overnight guests and 18 class participants. A gallery and store are also in the plans. The opening festivities are scheduled for August with Canada’s Claire Maunsell teaching the inaugural class.

If you’re wondering what’s ahead for polymer in 2014, take a look at the buzz about the new Galerie Freisleben on Facebook.

Start your year with a bang by entering your work in the international awards program. The deadline for online entries is January 20. And don’t forget to register early for EuroSynergy in Malta April 30 to May 3.

Glazed polymer flock

Bushari on PCDaily

Israel’s Hila Bushari has helped a flock of birds take wing from her studio. You can watch as she cuts out the flat chicks that she makes into wall decor.

What brings them to life are the details and the faux ceramic glazes and finishes that she adds.

Mottled colors and textured surfaces give these otherwise simple creatures mystery and depth. Hila and Iris Mishly have developed a Cosmic Ceramictutorial series about their glazing techniques. See more of Hila’s glazing samples on her Flickr site.

Polymer funny things

Crothers on PCDaily

Australia’s Debbie Crothers starts the week with some Funny Things. Together her series of wrapped natural items becomes a mixed media wall installation.

Debbie’s been experimenting with faux ceramic effects, wrapping white polymer around natural coral and palm fronds. Forged artistic wire and rounded cane slices accentuate some of the pieces.

Flip through Debbie’s pages of work to see how she’s progressed, improving her skills, circling back and bringing funny things to a whole new level. Anna Winter sent the link and encouraged me to look at Debbie again.

IPCA Awards

IPCA on PCDaily

Beginning October 1, you may submit photos of your art into the IPCA’s Polymer Clay Awards, the world’s largest juried contemporary polymer art competition. The awards will be presented at the 2014 EuroSynergy in Malta in May.

Full disclosure: I’m one of the three judges and we want to dig up the best art possible. We’ll be hounding you from now until the submission deadline in January so you might as well get used to clicking on this call for entry icon.

Spring crop of tutorials

Cepelikova on PCDaily

Spring is the season for growing and there’s a promising crop of polymer tutorials popping up. Here are three that could broaden your options and save you lots of trial and error time.

Otrzan on PCDaily

Finishes are all the rage – ceramic, enamel, raku, crackle, batik. No new equipment is required, just pull out the inks, powders and tools that you probably already have on hand. These surface treatments could give your designs added oomph.

The tutorials’ authors are not the first to try these processes but each teacher has each come up with new twists and clever tricks that may make the information helpful for you. All are delivered electronically and some have videos. While they each offer projects that you can follow, applying these finishes to your own signature work is what will make the information valuable.

Test samples from one student caught my eye and have me itching to play in the studio. Come back tomorrow to see. If you’ve found other interesting tutorials, let me know. The ones that I like to feature on PCD are those that offer new and/or easier ways to work with polymer.

Hot polymer colors

Anar on PCDaily

Angeliki Anar has been throwing around polymer colors with exhuberance recently. Here are just a couple of examples of what this Greek artist has been churning out.

On these earrings Angeliki slices flat pieces of color that have been dusted with rainbow flecks (how does she do that) and shapes them into shallow cones. Contrasting edges heighten the color mix further. When she adds a glaze, you’d swear they were ceramic or perhaps enamel.

Anar on PCDaily

On the bangles she textures center beads that are captured between black polymer spirals. Take some time to soak up the warmth radiating from her work on Flickr and on her Facebook page. Have a warm, sunny weekend.

Mix and match harmony

Two new names for you today. The colors Angela (claynine) and Kim Peters used blend beautifully with PCD’s colors and may give your week a harmonious start.

These new works will keep you occupied while I take my grandson to the airport. Our lovely visit is over and it’s back to work/play.

The faux ceramic necklace above is from the UK’s Angela. I like the variety, dimension and color of this piece and its fanciful, “no worries” approach.

Kim Peters is a Pennsylvania mixed media kind of girl whose eye finds all kinds of baubles in colors that will perfectly accentuate her polymer pieces. She has a way of recycling vintage accents to fit right in with polymer. You can read more about Kim in an interview on ArtBeadScene. Here’s her Etsy address.