Pansies on the wire

Iryna Chajka drapes spectacular pansies from a hoop on PolymerClayDaily.com

At this time of year, I very much admire gardeners who can weed and prune their gardens to highlight spectacular specimens. They run to their studios to replicate them in polymer.

See how Ukraine’s Iryna Chajka suspends pansies from metal hoops.

She specializes in succulents but her pansies are outstanding.

Garden elements

Cecile Bos will combine these elements into a garden scene on PolymerClayDaily.com

You probably have some questions about how France’s Cécile Bos (11prunes) creates these delicate canes.

How big are the original canes (these seem impossibly small), what’s her inspiration?

Cecile intends to mix up these canes. The white background surrounding each of them ensures that she can combine the elements into a larger botanical image.

Here’s a previous similar cane to give you an idea where she’s headed. Cecile brings a fabric designer’s sensibility to polymer. We are used to kaleidoscoping and repeating designs. These are complex canes from a different perspective.

No shrinking violets

Maryanne Loveless finds hundreds of flowers in her garden on PolymerClayDaily.com

Utah’s Maryanne Loveless has been creating a garden of earrings for her 100-day challenge. No shy, shrinking violets here.

She arranges flower petal and leaf cane slices a backing shape and then adds texture, pods, and dotted details. They hang head up or down. She arranges a garden of delight from a handful of small canes.

Maryanne and her mother started long ago making salt dough creations and she carries on the tradition. Here she is on Etsy.

Leather flowers

Olga Kadokhova explores Fimo leather clay for flowers on PolymerClayDaily.com

How are some of the new clays being used?

Here Olga Kadokhova puts Fimo’s leather effect clay through its paces. The texture is softer and the clay is flexible and holds up for her thin spidery petals.

I don’t know where Olga is from or much about her. Fill me in if you know more.

For those of us who are timid about testing and trying new products, it’s instructive to watch others explore.

Bright colors reflect a bright spirit

Polymer and a bright spirit helped Rachel face challenges and look forward to a bright spring on PolymerClayDaily.com

If the holidays are truly over, spring can’t be far behind, right?

Need a shot of springy colors? Here’s a super one from the UK’s Rachel (madebyracheluk)

Her colors remind you that brighter days are coming and her story will certainly lift your spirits. Rachel had her heart set on a career in medical science but health challenges made her change directions.

The bright colors reflect the bright and determined spirit of the artist. Here’s Rachel’s story on Facebook. Her can-do spirit shines through in these delightfully colored flower cane beads gathered into bouquets on a string.

Polymer beshert

Joey Barnes explains "beshert" and her timely donation on PolymerClayDaily.com

How did Texas’ Joey Barnes happen to have a spare Lucy clay roller that she donated to the women at the Ohio Reformatory? She explains that “When these machines came out several years ago, lots of customers were having difficulty understanding the machine’s roughly translated Czech/English instructions.”

Joey offered to improve them. That led to her translating their teachers’ contracts and operators’ manuals. When she refused payment, Lucy Tools sent Joey their biggest “Elephant.”

But the Elephant was too big for Joey’s workspace so she set it aside waiting for the right use.

When she saw that the ORW students needed a second Lucy Elephant, she thought, “Beshert!” That’s the Yiddish word for “meant to be.” The funds raised on PCD will go to other needs of the prison program.

Ever the collaborator, Joey credits Carol Simmons, Ivy Niles and Corrie Beth Hogg for giving her inspiration for her flower box (shown here) and garden series.

Sending happy out

Pamela Carman sends happy out for your Monday on PolymerClayDaily.com

“It’s the joy of riotous color and pattern that drives me to create my work. It is my way of sending happy out into the world,” says Florida’s Pamela Carmen.

Nothing better than a bird of happiness to fly into your Monday. Can you picture the supply of canes Pamela must have on hand to feather her large menagerie? See her creations on Flickr. 

Her entry in a recent show called Woof, Meow, Chirp, and Slither: Artists interpret the world of pets earned a top award from Florida CraftArt. When you send happy out, some of it returns to you.

Let go and see what happens

Libby Mills lets nature inspire her world of geometry on PolymerClayDaily

Swap anxiety hits everyone! Connecticut’s Libby Mills felt threatened by the requirement that swap items must be “nature-inspired.”

Look at how she invites nature into her geometrically-inspired comfort zone! She stacks irregularly shaped layers into lovely natural forms.

As we pack our supplies for a week of claying, we laugh at ourselves for worrying. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens.

In my rush to get everything done before I leave, I popped a fresh video into this week’s StudioMojo which is all set for Saturday delivery. I’ll be traveling so next week’s PCD posts may be sporadic. And StudioMojo will be full of mountain air polymer (whatever that means). Come find out!

Whipped into shape

Nancy Nearing brings veneers to life with dimension on PolymerClayDaily.com

What a difference dimension makes! Ohio’s Nancy Nearing has been on a roll since taking Lindly Haunani’s class.

The flat veneers below are very much Lindly-inspired but they are infused with Nancy’s aesthetic.

When Nancy ruffles and bends

Nancy Nearing brings veneers to life with dimension on PolymerClayDaily.com

and sculpts the flat collages, she takes them to a whole different place.

Nancy’s a neighbor so I caught this project mid-process. They’re not even on her Instagram yet! We will revisit them when she adds more flowery details and mounts them in shadow boxes.