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?

Nicking polymer

Juliya Laukhina nicks a net of pattern on PolymerClayDaily.com

Moscow’s Juliya Laukhina refines her carving with this newest batch of beads on Instagram. Long nicks of clay dramatically reveal contrasting layers underneath in an almost net-like pattern.

On Etsy, you can see her trying other shapes and sizes as well.

Cuticle cutters are great for carving raw polymer. Could that be what she’s using? I’m adding one more must-try to my studio list. Yours too?

Bead & Button begins

Picarello heads to Bead & Button on PolymerClayDaily.com

Even the smallest bits that California’s Julie Picarello reveals on her way to Bead & Button whet our appetite for her signature colors whipped into lizard tail beads and mokume gane pendants.

There’s a little more on her Facebook page but you have to go to Milwaukee for the full effect. Julie and several other polymer teachers will be teaching and selling.

The story in your work

Kalashnikov on PCDaily

Thumbing through Elena Kalashnikov’s Flickr photos you’ll see how she’s taken popular techniques and given them her own spin.

She’s interpreted others’ designs with such exuberance and skill that it’s only a matter of time until she discovers something all her own.

Kalashnikov on PCDaily

These earrings have the luster of a silk kimono with gold and blue mokume gane pieces applied on top. Elena is Russian and lives in Israel. She started out making lace so it’s not surprising that her works have resonances of fabric and embroidery.

Your story is written in your collection of works. You might as well own it, capitalize on it and celebrate it.

Colorful chaos

fajardo_fbflopped

New Mexico’s Barb Fajardo rolled out a new series of Controlled Chaos pendants that combine a smorgasbord of techniques. She shows off a mix of work in her recent posts on Facebook, Flickr, Pinterest and Instagram.

fajardo_pendant2

Her inundation of new pieces feels like the grand finale at the fireworks. It’s exciting and leaves us wondering, “Is there more?”

The southwest colors and simple shapes play a big part in the success of the pieces. Studio chaos is sometimes a good thing.

Simple curves

LN Jewels on PCDaily

Sometimes a simple sensual curve and a hollow spot add to the allure of a piece. Here a mokume gane veneer drapes gently over a flat back layer and a cord slides easily through the middle of the resulting pendant.

France’s LN Jewels Creation sprinkles tantalizing design bits throughout her polymer works on Instagram and Facebook.

Computed polymer


Sila on PCDaily

Ponsawan Sila’s many experiments spilled out of her boxes and bags at the Indiana French Lick Atelier. She’s still in process with these pieces which rely on scavenged computer parts for creating mokume gane over Skinner blends.

Sila on PCDaily

The finishes are layered and lustrous. On the black and white version she sews through the holes to add a dash of color with thread.

Ponsawan encourages her students to ask “what if” and if we are lucky and she finds enough parts to upcycle, she’ll explain these clever methods.

She offers a few pictures from the weekend on Facebook here and here and more work on Flickr. Sort through her tutorials and the results of her endless experiments on Pinterest. She shares her ideas freely.

Last but not least

Picarello on PCDaily

If you thought you were the only one who worried over their FIMO50 entry, think again. Even Julie Picarello fretted about working in a size and shape she wasn’t used to. “I have never made anything that size before and was honestly a little overwhelmed. I’m just so glad my tile is done,” Julie admits.

What better way to start May and end the project than with Julie’s dreamy colors and ethereal mokume gane? There’s more on Flickr and her website.

If your entry is just getting to the mailbox (the official deadline was extended to May 3), let me know.

Over a hundred tiles from the US have been individually wrapped and I’m looking forward to boxing and shipping what looks suspiciously like a large heap of contraband.

Heartfelt thanks to all of you who worried and worked to help others.