Inch by inch

Just guessin’, but rough calculations suggest that there are about 1500 polymer inchies on this 30″x52″ wall piece that Leslie Blackfordand her husband assembled during quarantine.

It’s quite a collaborative piece that contains Leslie’s collection of 1″ mementos from conferences, classes, and events around the world. The silly squares almost became a nuisance to make as swapping them turned into a ritual at each meeting.

After 20+ years of encounters, the collection turns Leslie’s wall into a warm reflection on friends from around the world gathered in one cozy corner in Kentucky.

The community is growing by leaps and bounds. Lucky that we have a solid history of sharing and support to guide us forward.

Unbroken circle of friends

Keeping in touch Kentucky style on

I like the bags of “inchies” swapped and then squirreled away in ziplocks in the back of the bottom drawer. They make me nostalgic and bring a smile. But much better to do what the Kentucky group did this year and create arty trinkets that you can wear or drape from shelves.

Swappers received short lengths of ball chain onto which they add their beads. Members amassed their trades and snapped the lengths together. One look and longtime friends know whose work is whose.

It’s a way of touching base, waving hello, saying something comforting or sassy or silly.

We’re still here and with any luck, we’ll be together again.

Joan Tayler shared this swap idea some years back. The Kentucky guild whose members are sprawled across the midwest decided to use it in a year when this is this is the closest we can get. Ron Lehocky heads up the group while Mary Clyde Sparks and Francie Owens (and others I’m sure) made it all work.


Forced blooms

Odile Marchais and Nikolina Otrzan team up for early spring flowers on

France’s Odile Marchais uses techniques she learned from Croatia’s Nikolina Otrzan to make these stylized springy brooches. Nik teaches a surprisingly simple way to fill unusual shapes with air, keeping them light yet strong.

The childlike design of spring Odile’s flowers reminds us of the spring flowers we’re forcing to bloom at this time of year.

Nikolina Otrzan gathers her inchies into a brooch on

In Nikolina’s most recent post, she shows how to make use of those “inchies” that lots of us have collected from various classes and events. She picks out a few favorites and gathers them into a great looking pin.

Offline lines

Marta Hugas' inchies draw us in for examination on PolymerClayDaily

These inchies from Marta Hugas line up in a lovely graphic way. They’ve been shared and scattered across Europe now that Polimeralia 2018 in Valencia, Spain is over.

Marta writes in her blog and faithfully documents her art. Her methods are different than you might expect. Are these dotted lines hand drawn?

The time with family restored me. Unplugging was a good thing. A long plane ride home helped me switch back into gear to organize this week’s StudioMojo. I’m surprised at how much polymer energy is in the air! Join us and see what I tracked down. 

Art by inchies

Garcia on PCDaily

Spain’s Miryam Garcia moves us away from yesterday’s large works to witness the power of small ones.

Inchies are so ubiquitous that we hardly notice them. But when Miryam grouped hers, the dots and textures took on new life as a colorful quilt. Wall art by inches!

Earlier this year Miryam’s Occluded Symmetry won a Staedtler design contest. She shows her impressive prize loot on her blog.

Even better, she reveals her design drawing (below right) for perfectly positioning all the dots on the pendant. And here’s the back of the piece.

Garcia on PCDaily
Garcia on PCDaily

You can wander through her Flickr photos and see how dots and cracks have evolved in her work as she’s taken classes and developed her style.

Polymer squares

France’s Christine Aubin (Krissobe) likes a square format. So when her group held a square-themed challenge, she jumped right in with this collage of polymer squares on a wire form. You’ll find similar earrings and pieces on her site.

Doesn’t her necklace give you ideas for all those inchies you’ve been collecting?

Explore further and you’ll see that Krissobe has a gallery of square tiles that mix patterns and colors in painterly ways.

The pendant on the right shows that Krissobe doesn’t shy away from other geometrics.

You’ll find all kinds of interesting polymer creations on her blog with great color boards and inspirations on her Pinterest site.

Polymer independence

The Orange County, California guild pulled out their red, white and blue polymer to help celebrate this flag-waving Independence Day weekend.

Guild member Cassy Muronaka explains how an inchie swap is a democratic art activity, “Newbies can go toe-to-toe with more experienced polymer clay artists, because creating a one-inch piece of art that probably will be used in a mosiac isn’t that big of a brain drain.  If you want to go crazy and make a tiny little masterpiece, you can.  But designing the inchies does not have to suck up a large chunk of your life, and the challenge that is presented to your creative muse is relatively modest.”

Flags abound on the Internet this week. Florida’s Sarah Berman displays a heap of polymer patriotism with the stars and stripes on her Etsy site. This bangle is a favorite. Have a grand weekend.

Mystery mosaic

The Ontario and Quebec guilds have pulled me back into mosaic/inchie mode. I’m intrigued by their group’s mystery project that Cynthia Blanton talks about on her blog.

“On the first day we were each given a small square of paper with a fragment of a photo on it. Our job was to duplicate the image in clay, matching colors and size,” she explains.

On the last night the squares were assembled on a larger canvas to reveal the image and produce the masterpiece. What a great project for a group (or a virtual group).

Polymer by inches

Inchies, one-inch square polymer tiles, have become all the rage for swaps among artists.This set of fall leaves from Mama Tierra was part of the trading flurry at the EuroClay Carnival in Madrid. Repeat a technique 81 times and you’re bound to get good at it!

They look great in a grouping. Here are some more inchie pictures that caught my eye:

Maybe my muse wants me to start small this week.