When interests shift

Kathy Cannella changes her groove on PolymerClayDaily.com

Kathy Cannella has a distinctive sense of color and a fondness for geometrics, mosaics, and veneers. But I don’t really know much else about this Santa Fe artist. It’s nice to bump into folks who hide out on Flickr or lurk quietly on other social media.

Look through Kathy’s Flickr pages. She’s been creating quietly and competently for several years and last fall she turned more active. She changed her groove. This is all conjecture on my part, of course, but I like to theorize and whatever happened looks positive.

When you examine your work, can you point to when something shifted in your life, an event happened or a direction changed? What would you like to shift in your art this year?

Repeat for effect

Victoria Mkhitarian repeats her birds for effect on PolymerClayDaily.com

Victoria Mkhitarian (vimhandmade) is smitten with birds and she finds a lovely way to capture her obsession in polymer. She gathers her small tiles into a couple of framed bird mosaics.

The birds are fancifully rendered in mokume gane polymer on textured backgrounds in various shades of yellow.

Do you have a mark or an image that you repeat again and again, sometimes without thinking? What could you make of them if you gathered them into a composition?

Victoria Mkhitarian repeats her birds for effect on PolymerClayDaily.com

Victoria is from Russia and now lives in New Zealand. It’s hard to keep track of you artists! You can be sure to see the latest from Victoria on Flickr and Facebook.

On a polymer bender

Mosaic artist Susan Crocenzi is on a polymer bender on PolymerClayDaily

Well-known California mosaic artist Susan Crocenzi says, “I am currently going through a major polymer clay bender. You wouldn’t believe how many tiles and doo-dads I’ve created over the past month!”

She sees polymer as an amazing material, especially for mosaic artists. “You can make tiles in the size, shape, and thickness you need! You can create super-flashy textured embellished colorific tiles, or quiet, flat, subtle ones. Seriously, this stuff’s flexibility will amaze you,” she gushes.

Here’s the info on her September 9 class in Portland, OR. Flip through her Instagram to see how she combines handmade polymer clay tiles with mosaic materials, most notably tempered glass.

If mixing media makes your heart sing, the flash and sparkle of mosaic might be just what your polymer muse yearns for.

Polymer with love

Webb on PolymerClayDaily.com

Illinois’ Linda Webb (creeksidestudio) tells her story in mosaic code, this one a heartfelt condolence to Manchester, UK families.

Linda keeps her work surface covered with sheets of veneers that she crafts into images. This Instagram photo of her workspace explains it all.

Mosaics offer another use for the polymer, paint and ink veneers that have been growing in popularity.

Mystery polymer mosaic

Hannorova on PolymerClayDaily.com

Does it bug you when you can’t quite figure out how a piece was constructed? I am stumped by this pendant/bar/bead from Jana Honnerova and the Czech translation doesn’t help.

Blended and stamped veneer? Extruded interlocking patterns? Faux mosaic? Silkscreen?

What you can clearly understand is that Jana put a lot of time and skill into developing this brain-teaser pattern. She has a masters in biology/genetics and was a skateboard champion too.

Here’s her work on FB, Flickr and Etsy. Oh look, Jana will teach in Dallas in March!

In the meanwhile, let her design tease your polymer brain.

Inspired mosaic

Boucher on Polymerclaydaily.com

The rich textures in the polymer mosaic work of Darwin, Australia’s Nicole Boucher (BlueMallee) reflect her tropical surroundings.

This particular oriental-inspired piece was snatched up by a customer who then sent Nicole a photo of its new home. It landed where it belonged!

Another photo of the mosaic here shows off its dark jewel colors with lustrous gold highlights. Over 90 tiles surround what looks like a slab of ancient text.

Scroll through Nicole’s Facebook to view some of her other mosaics and jewelry.

Strutting forward

Webb on PCDaily

This proud, colorful rooster from illustrator/artist Linda Webb (CreeksideStudio) brings our first week of the year to an energetic end.

With ruffled orange feathers and touches of gold, her wild polymer creature struts forward. Linda’s given him the can-do attitude that we’ll need as we barrel into 2017.

Linda brought a big plastic bag filled with failed projects to a fall show and her rejects became a hit. To her surprise, everyone was fascinated by her mistakes.

“I brought this ragtag bag of duds with a goal of showing the young people at my creation station that the mistakes I made while learning are not complete failures,” she says. “The things that went wrong for me while I perfected my art and the hard work are part of the process.” Good thing to remember.

Here’s her failure blog post. Linda’s been building an Instagram gallery of her mosaics along with her website and Flickr.

Flying high with polymer

Webb on PCDaily

Linda Webb’s little 4″ polymer mosaic butterfly, Monarch Migration, won the People’s Choice Award in the Peoria, Illinois ArtPop contest and grew into a 49′ billboard where it will be featured for a year.

The inspiration for this piece came after Linda learned about the Monarch Butterfly Task Force, a local group that educates the public about the rapidly declining numbers of Monarchs. The group plants milkweed and other host plants for pollinators.

Webb on PCDaily

“My hope was to create an appealing piece of art that could assist the Task Force’s efforts,” she explains. By giving them the reproduction rights, Linda allows the group to produce bookmarks, cards, t-shirts, posters and other fundraising items.

“The positive feedback I’ve received encourages me to think about more ways I could use my art to help local groups,” she says. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

Unveiling polymer

Eakes on PCDaily

Take one television show, 5 pounds of clay, 50 patterned canes, 4800 slices, a 30″x 40″ canvas and what do you end up with? A lovely portrait of actress Sophie Turner from the Game of Thrones television series.

Well that’s what you end up with if you’re Julie Eakes. She brings plenty of intensity and expertise to her latest project…to say nothing of the hours and hours she spent assembling it. The subtle skin tones were a big challenge.

Eakes on PCDaily

Not only is this Julie’s most ambitious mosaic piece, it’s also the one she’s most proud of. Follow the in-progress shots and explanations on her blog. Then fast-forward through the construction on YouTube.

Julie’s also been unveiling her work on Facebook. Thanks for letting us look over your shoulder, Julie.

Watchdog Wednesday

Toops on PCDaily

Cynthia Toops has added several 2015 works like this micromosaic Watchdog to her website. She lists a full lineup of spring/summer exhibits which have spurred her production.

Some of the items were created for a July/August Matter of Materials exhibit at Facere Gallery in Seattle.

From June to October she and her collaborator/husband, glass artist Dan Adams, are part of an exhibit of familial artists at the Racine Art Museum. All in the Family investigates how artists are influenced at home or in shared environments.

Cynthia’s carries her palette of prebaked thin threads of polymer in a divided plastic box. When I went to Philadelphia for a class, her teacher’s traveling studio fit in a small duffel bag while we students lugged large rolling carts of bulky supplies. Oh, to work small and with such concentration.

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