Picarello’s new book

This polymer scarf pin from Julie Picarello provides another good choice for keeping warm with a spot of polymer. Julie’s style is distinct and her special techniques are laid out in her new book, Patterns in Polymer which is due out this spring. The yummy pictures on her Flickr pages give you a taste of what’s ahead.

Another upcoming book popped up in that dangerous “you might also like” section on Amazon. Masters of Polymer Clay will show the dazzling works of 40 of our most noted fellow artists. Looks like this spring’s crop of books will be a good one.

Spread the word

Holiday festivities and travel almost made me forget that I’m scheduled to teach classes in Worthington’s lovely MAC art facility starting January 5 for six weeks. As on PCDaily, my classes will offer a smorgasbord of polymer possibilities. Help me spread the word! Thanks!

You may note more food references than usual slipping into my vocabulary. I’m on the road and the free wifi networks at restaurants are having a subliminal effect!

Muir’s highland style mokume gane

Muir's mokume polymer cuff
Muir's mokume bracelet

Scotland’s Melanie Muir says, “I am constantly inspired by the colours and patterns that surround me in the Highland landscape and by the patterns in semi precious stones such as agate and jasper.”

Melanie’s studio overlooks the ever changing waters of the Moray Firth whose turbulence and colors are often reflected in the distinctive look of her polymer mokume gane.

An article on Melanie’s work appears in the current issue of the UK’s Craft & Design magazine. She even squeezed in a sidebar tip-of-the-hat to her fellow polymer clay and metal clay artists. I’m kicking myself for not having sat down with her at Synergy to get the full story.

Melanie has been entered for the magazine’s Selected Awards 2010 so be sure to scroll to the bottom of her page, fill out the required boxes and vote for her. The public votes until April 30.

Monday lessons from Uliczny and Campbell

Uliczny's mokume earrings

Michigan’s Christi Uliczny (RiverValleyDesign) combines pearlex powders, alcohol inks and gold leaf with two different clays to create these shimmering Rocky Path earrings.

When I saw that her tutorial detailing the process is available I jumped on it. I’m a klutz with powders and inks and need all the help I can get. Her method is straightforward and clearly explained. I’ll start my week with a lesson.

Campbell's ballet sculpture

Sculpture lessons

Heather Campbell shows her work step-by-step in a recent post. Starting with two candlesticks, toe shoes and hat boxes, Heather builds an amazing polymer-covered sculpture for Utah Ballet West’s annual “Shoe In”. This small photo doesn’t do the piece justice. It’s the kind of art that’s best appreciated up close.

Russell’s polymer/pmc combinations

Maryland’s Kelly Russell has resurfaced on the web with a new blog, Beadfuddled. If you’ve ever been skeptical about combining polymer clay and precious metal clay, Kelly will remove all doubts.

On her blog she prepares for workshops and works through problems and house renovations. She’s a fine craftsman and a fearless experimenter.

Kelly’s new at blogging so leave her a comment to let her know you’re watching.

Wolfe and Peel polymer surprises

Just when you think you’ve seen every version of polymer clay mokume gane, you happen upon River Wolfe’s summer collection which reveals some surprising patterns and designs.

And when you think you’ve seen every earring design possible, you run into Krista Peel’s white collection. Though there’s not much polymer on her Etsy site, look at the way she bends wires in endless ways to produce simple earrings that have class and drama.

Krista is a versatile artist and her website it full of unexpected delights. I was led to Krista via Eugena Topina’s site. Have a surprising weekend.

Hughes’ article in Ornament

The Path from Nothing to Something is the title of an article on Tory Hughes in this month’s Ornament magazine. Tory’s path usually leads to new levels of play, experiment and expansion and it should be a good read.

If the article and the delicious photos aren’t enough, you may want to consider Tory’s creativity retreat, Perception and Play, in France this fall. The two basic concepts of the retreat are:

    1. What you perceive leads directly into what you create and teaches you who you are as a creator.
    2. How you play teaches you to experiment, learn, integrate, expand and express without risk.

      Doesn’t that sound enticing? Find all the details here.

      Geoffrey’s chic pendants

      Rebecca Geoffrey’s clean graphic look is hip and chic and she’s got a whole gallery of similar pieces on her IndiePublic site. She shows an incredible ability to control and exploit every mokume gane slice and cane pattern.

      It looks as though Rebecca has narrowed her web choices to IndiePublic, there’s little on her other sites. Networking has become overwhelming and I imagine that we’ll all be narrowing our focus soon.

      The Tucson bead show in February sounds warm, sunny and tempting at this time of year. Just look at the roster of classes at ToBeadTrueBlue and the list of vendors. Thanks to Barbara Sosna of the Tucson PC Guild for reminding us.

      Extreme Mokume from McGuire

      Making mokume gane in polymer clay is an exercise in finding the balance between control and chaos. It can easily become a jumble of patterns and a stew of colors. These mokume earrings and pendant by Barbara McGuire show what can happen when you master the technique.

      Barbara is teaching her “Extreme Mokume Gane” (as well as two “faces” classes) at Bead and Button in Minneapolis Milwaukee this June.

      A list of all the polymer clay classes being offered at Bead and Button is available here. Thanks to Ronna Weltman for the heads-up.

      Picarello’s prototypes

      A little more from Julie Picarello. She’s bravely added her latest polymer clay experiments to her website. Julie’s returned to her job designing integrated circuits and her studio work may slow down as a result.

      These are her prototype pieces for classes at the Fall Foilage Clay Festival in Wisconsin. "I bought a bunch of gorgeous silks from Class Act Designs and students will be mixing clay for mokume gane stacks that match the silks," Julie explains.

      In the August/September issue of Beadwork Magazine the editor interviews Julie as the featured beadmaker.