Friday piranhas

Estelle Marchal brings her inner pirhanas to life on PolymerClayDaily.com

This school of piranhas by France’s Estelle Marchal (lesPtitsmobiles) may not look very dangerous but they have a mouthful of scalpels.

It’s easy to understand mouthfuls of vitriol today (even though Estelle makes her fish look rather benign). See how she turns them into mobiles, schools of sea characters that float through the air with eyes that glow in the dark. Watch Estelle bring these characters to life.

Need to bring your creative side back to life? Head on over to StudioMojo for a look at the ideas that our wild times have hatched.

Quirky challenge

Barbara Nalepa's quirky characters enliven a 10-day challenge on PolymerClayDaily.com

Sweden’s Barbara Nalepa was nominated by EvaMarie Törnström to take part in an ad hoc challenge for 10 days.

Barbara Nalepa's quirky characters enliven a 10-day challenge on PolymerClayDaily.com

Barbara’s creatures have a wild and funny demeanor with an unexpected sprinkling of shimmering glitter from what may be low-fire enamel powder on polymer.

Since the challenge specifies that the artists don’t have to explain a thing, it’s hard to determine all that’s going on. Perhaps Barbara will elaborate on her quirky characters later.

More characters roam through her Facebook.

Going cuckoo

Gael Keyes goes a little cuckoo with outrageous birds on PolymerClayDaily.com

New Mexico’s Gael Keyes (@keyesgael) focused on bugs at last year’s Clayathon. This year she’s added outrageous fish and birds to her repertoire of wildlife.

Gael Keyes goes a little cuckoo with outrageous birds on PolymerClayDaily.com

Gael developed her own cane style that she pattern-matches in the Natasha bead way (here’s a quick tutorial) to create feathers, fins, and wings.

During the holidays she turns to her own brands of angels that you can see on Facebook.

Stronger together earrings

See how Miss Peppy Handmade and her Aussie colleagues are stronger together on PolymerClayDaily.com

Here’s another helping of Australian goodies from Perth’s Lisa (Miss Peppy Handmade). These birdie earrings are made from Skinner blends stacked in alternating layers of light-to-dark. Carving reveals the underlying colors.

A bunch of Aussie artists gathered together for a Stronger Together giveaway. As they explain, “We don’t have to think of each other as competitors, we can also be each others’ best advocates, cheerleading squads, sounding boards. We are stronger together because empowered women empower other women.”

And the best discovery is that we have until July 21 to sign up (add your comment) for their giveaway. Uh-oh, you have to have an Australian postal address. Bummer, but an uplifting project nonetheless.

Fishing for something

Fiona Abel Smith inlays stripes over a blend for her tropical fish on PolymerClayDaily.com

The UK’s Fiona Abel Smith is fishing for something on Instagram. This is no ordinary polymer fish pendant. Fiona added the details over a Skinner blend-covered sculpture. The stripes are patterned cane slices inlaid into the blend.

Fiona’s fish has personality and sparkle and believable tropical colors. She’s had some practice. Look at this school of fish she made a while back. Practice makes perfect.

Eye-catching fish

Lynn Yuhr builds her fish on beginner concepts on PolymerClayDaily.com

Florida’s Lynn Yuhr created this Gone Fishin’ as one of her class samples for 2019’s Bead and Button. In her post about deadlines and creativity, she wonders if the two concepts are compatible and concludes that the two are at odds until you jump in and start.

Lynn listened to feedback about her fish and even though the piece looks complicated, she based a new class on these basic shapes and beginner canes.

Her advice is particularly good for a Monday. Time to jump in and get started.

A reef at your fingertips

Toni Ransfield gives us calm smiles with her coral reef pen blanks on PolymerClayDaily.com

Just looking at this coral reef pen blank from Alabama’s Toni Ransfield will drop your blood pressure and bring a Friday smile to your face. Watch her rotate the design on her Instagram.

Toni calls it, “My favorite fish blank to date. I added coral this time. I think the coral is what made it look so awesome!”

Since this tube is meant for a longer (Zen model) pen, Toni was able to include coral and layer more fish swimming under your fingertips. See more on her ClayPenBlanks site and Facebook.

Keep your smile all weekend by joining us over at StudioMojo.org

Fish for the rainforest

Ann Kruglak creates fish for the rainforest, a win-win project on PolymerClayDaily.com

Colorado’s Ann Kruglak (MysticDreamerArt) has helped save thousands of acres of rainforest with her polymer art. She has donated 100% of her earnings since 2010 to the Rainforest Trust.

The project allows Ann to put her money where her mouth and her heart are. At the same time, her art has taken leaps forward as she has created hundreds of pieces of wall art and jewelry. Her colors have grown brighter and her textures deeper on clearly defined shapes to match her energetic retro patterns.

Ann is passionate about both her art and her service project. She sends each piece off with prayers of peace. It’s a win-win use of time and talent. Here she is on Instagram. Thanks, Ann.

Believable polymer

Helena Bogosian makes us float in clay on PolymerClayDaily.com

What is it that makes this detail from Helena Bogosian’s clay illustration so calming?

The shapes and shades of the water are quite believable and soothing. The goldfish glide unperturbed through the water. The cat floats through the scene unaware. It all looks effortless.

Helen is terrific at reducing the scene down to its essential elements for us and you can watch the steps on her Instagram. What most of us want to ask is, “How do you come up with these remarkable scenes?” Illustrators are an entirely different breed of polymer artist, don’t you agree?