Polymer roots

Shelley Atwood puts her own spin on scrap mokume gane earrings on PolymerClayDaily.com

Think of polymer techniques as having a lineage when you look at these earrings from Texas’ Shelley Atwood.

Kathy Amt taught Dayle Doroshow who shared it with me who showed a whole bunch of folks this scrap technique on video. Who knows where it came from even earlier or where it will go next?

It’s circled back around to Shelley who’s put her own spin on it on Instagram. Shelley layered thin bits of scrap and then carved her design, which revealed colors underneath.

It’s invigorating when we see new life in our roots.

Keep going

Meisha Barbee's pushes forward to a new retro brooch on PolymerClayDaily.com

California’s Meisha Barbee began this brooch with a slice of stripes in her wonderful colors. I might have stopped there but she wanted to push on.

She was fond of her silicone trivet with a bubble pattern (strange in-process shot) so she made a mold of it and used that mold to create a mokume gane pattern on top of the stripes which looked weird to my eye.

Meisha Barbee's pushes forward to a new retro brooch on PolymerClayDaily.com

Meisha kept going and added random balls with her Etch ‘n Pearl tools. Better, but I wasn’t loving it.

Stretch, make a border, bake over a lightbulb and wow! A retro pin is born…along with a lesson about following your vision.

So I’m back to daily posting, refreshed and wiser and following my vision thanks to a month of being with friends who know the importance of following theirs.

Mokume gane magic

Kay Burns discovers mokume gane in a Carol Simmons workshop on PolymerClayDaily.com

This big reveal is from Kay Burns (beadhappyshop), a student in Carol Simmons’ weekend class in Ireland.

Carol teaches her own distinct way of stacking and mark-making that results in dense and jewel-like layers. There’s something exciting about the first slice through the layers and then there’s the excitement of figuring out how to make use of every lovely bit of magic.

Polymer brainstorm

Shannon Tabor paints through the storm on PolymerClayDaily.com

Shannon Tabor’s (CharlestonClay) series of squares shows her abstract paintings combined with polymer to great effect!

Were her swirling images inspired by the storm? She’s from South Carolina and I’m hoping she’s dry.

The polymer mokume gane pieces are mounted with lifts that make them appear to float above the canvases. The triptych will be sold as a set. See them on Instagram.

Shannon’s brainstorm enlivens her paintings and shows us a tantalizing twist.

Settled and safe creating

Juliya Laukhina's cosmic mokume gane on PolymerClayDaily.com

This cosmic-looking mokume gane brooch from Moscow’s Juliya Laukhina stopped me in my tracks. Turns out, a while ago Juliya’s home caught fire and she and her family moved to another place. She’s finally feeling settled and safe.

“The tragic mood has already passed, everything will be fine. I will sculpt here, but it takes time while we settle down. A beautiful night like this I wish to all. Sculpt, create, create! It is not so important that others buy or not, appreciate or not, it is important for the tranquility of the soul to create something,” she says.

Juliya’s Instagram and Etsy are full of pieces that reflect her gratitude and tranquility.

In a NY-minute from Moscow

Galka Vasina reveals her graphic tricks in a NY minute on PolymerClayDaily

This superfast video from Moscow’s Galka-Vasina starts the day with a most welcome kick in the pants!

I had admired how foggy and amorphous her graphic-patterned terra cotta beads looked. One glance at the video and you’ll be smacking your forehead like I did. Nuff said!

Looks like they’re soon doing a live online event about these methods if you care to figure out the time change.

Playful experiments

Alessia Bodini weaves strips of her favorite scraps into a brooch on PolymerClayDaily

A browse through the photos of Italy’s Alessia Bodini is like skipping through her brain.

Alessia experiments and turns the pieces that speak to her into designs that please her. She shapes and reshapes until her eye is happy.

Alessia Bodini's earrings orbit a center bead on PolymerClayDaily

The blue extrusions were just her colors so she wove them into a brooch. The earrings are pleasantly off kilter. Thumb through her Flickr and Facebook photos to remind yourself how it is to play.

More with less

Barb Fajardo embraces matte finish on PolymerClayDaily

Albuquerque’s Barb Fajardo has tweaked and tried every variation of her mokume gane. Her color choices are striking and her compositions are amazing. Now she’s trying to do less.

“I’m loving making earrings these days since I’ve recently forgone sanding. I’ve gotten lots of great feedback on the matte finish,” Barb says.

Is there a step in your work that you need to rethink and dial back?

Join us at StudioMojo Saturday where we look at lots of alternative approaches to work. Bigger? Brighter? Simpler? Crazier? Sure! Why not? Pop on over for a walk on the sometimes wilder side. 

Secrets from the hardware store

Julie Picarello's secrets come from the hardware store on PolymerClayDaily.com

California’s Julie Picarello has a new batch of focals ready for the annual Tucson bead show next week. She’ll be buying, selling, and teaching her new Lunar Feather Beads.

She prowls through hardware stores and walks the long aisles of the big box stores looking for pieces she can stamp into or otherwise incorporate into her mokume gane designs.

In her Tucson classes, students will learn how to use new tools she appropriated from the HVAC department!

In the group pictured here, Julie gives a nod to textiles but look closely and you’ll see washers and traces of metal. This new series is done in her signature color palettes and sprinkled with painted and torched do-dads. She’s on Facebook here.

Fidget spinning polymer

Fidget spinner mystery from Ebet on PolymerClayDaily

Running into someone as anonymous as Ebeth00Studioe is rare these days. I was deep into Photoshop cutting out this photo when it occurred to me that I should look for background information about Ebeth.

Her Instagram profile left me pretty empty-handed so I’ll have to rely on PCD readers who may know something about her. Country?

Colors sometimes grab me and I’m off to the races. Silhouetting in Photoshop provides my evening meditation. You’d think I’d know to slow down by now but I’m lulled into a familiar routine.

So we know it’s mokume gane of some kind. Maybe it was the fidget spinner bead in the middle that enticed me to play. Does anyone out in PCD-land have some clues?