Coarse weave polymer

This newest faux polymer experiment from France’s Sylvie Peraud may take you back to the 80’s. Didn’t you own a sofa made of this material? With roman shades to match?

It makes me smile to think that the coarse weave is back in fashion and that Sylvie has mastered it in polymer. When you zoom in, you’ll swear it’s real.

Go to her site and her Flickr pages. I think we’ll be seeing more. Have a nostalgic weekend.

Polymer pod clusters

This cluster of polymer pods from Loretta Lam hangs like a bunch of colorful bananas. The pendant cluster is suspended on a long copper chain. It’s a new design that she debuted on her Facebook page.

Is it the ripe fruit look that makes them appealing and ready to be plucked?

Loretta thinks the configuration makes them look like fetishes. The vibe is very contemporary. She’s on to something.

Have a inspired weekend!

Polymer up a notch

Maggie Maggio made a conscious effort to step out of her comfort zone when she applied for the Society of North American Goldsmiths’ (SNAG) virtual exhibit, The Body Adorned.

“In the same way a landscaper trains a plant to take the desired form, this piece is designed to be shaped to the body of the wearer,” Maggie says of her exhibition pieces. Polymer tendrils sprout from the model who happens to be Maggie’s daughter Monica, herself an urban farmer.

On her updated website and blog Maggie explains how a polymer symposium at the Racine Art Museum exhibit prompted her to take her work up a notch.

Watch Maggie playing with a early version of these designs in this Studio Mojo video from last spring. Join with others who want to take their work up a notch by signing up for StudioMojo.

Fairy tale polymer

Julie Eakes has returned to her fairy tale canes, taking slices from her Beauty and the Beast and Red Riding Hood canes and making them into cylindrical pendants with polymer end caps.

Tiles with reminders about the stories hang from the bottom of each bead saying, “Beauty comes from within”,”Sweetest tongue has sharpest tooth” and “Wolves lurk in every guise.”

“I managed to get a cane slice to wrap around completely, working the tree and the bushes together to hide the seam which really looks cool up close,” says Julie.

See these and more of her recent cane portraits and elaborate frames on her site.

Artfair polymer finds

Lori Wilkes’ was one of six polymer booths at the local show and I spotted this new necklace. The beads looked African to me but she swears that she was following an Italian influence. Either way, kewl. She revealed that tool used to distress these beads is a fine wire dog brush.

Lori has a book coming out in October that may satisfy readers who complain about how artists getting started in polymer can be deluged with confusing and conflicting information. Lori’s book, The Absolute Beginners Guide: Working With Polymer Clay, is from Kalmbach Books and it’s available for pre-order on Amazon. Sample a few pages here.

Spotting polymer at artfairs is one of my favorite games. The others I found yesterday were Kim Arden, Valerie Wright, Annabelle Fisher, Greg and BJ Jordan, and River Wolfe. Hope I didn’t miss any.

Polymer cutwork

Fajardo cut and replace

“Remember Jerry Seinfeld and his black and white cookie? That episode popped into my mind when saving this image,” says Albuquerque’s Barb Fajardo. Named Can’t We All Just Get Along? or One Big Happy Family (take your pick) this new design is part of Barb’s push to develop techniques and class materials for next year.

Check out the color versions here. Barb has perfected her cut and replace technique, adding new twists that guarantee good workshops. Here’s her Facebook link, her blog and her CraftArtEdu page.

Moscow summer

Lauhina bangles
Lauhina cushions

Need a taste of summer? This is Moscow summer from Juliya Lauhina. Not only are the colors like sorbet and salads, her techniques contain twists and turns that will leave you scratching your head. How did she do that?

Plus you get to see Juliya at her booth in the market.

Beach bicones, spirals and stars

Laura Timmins’new polymer Ocean Yoko necklace sends us back to the beach with its wavy bicone beads, spiraled shells and starfish strung on cord that she hand twists from embroidery thread.

It’s as if she cast a net and strung up everything she caught.

Yoko is a new addition to Laura’s Swirl Stone line for galleries which, as you might guess, are mostly located on the seashores.

Check out the matching earrings.  What inspires you this season?

How to build a design

One of the satisfactions of attending a workshop for polymer artists is watching how others work.

The black marks that Loretta Lam sketched across these beads gave me a clue as to where she was headed with her design. The baked gray base beads are made from blended scrap clay (ultralight and polymer) which she covered with veneers, adding a few sculptural elements and textures.

This week Loretta posted a picture of the final necklace with the juxtaposed lines, patterns and shapes all in place. The mixture of elements forces your eye around the piece and offers something interesting no matter where your focus lands.

You can read more about Loretta’s art and business in this recent interview and on her Facebook fan page. Does this make you rethink your process?


Polymer shell game

Steven Ford solicits your opinion on the findings on this new Shells necklace. Silver or blackened silver for the chain and clasp? Silver or gold-leafed centers for the shells? Version 1 or 2? Steve contends that the white silver looks “unconsidered” while Dave likes the slinky polished white silver. How do you weigh in? (Leave a comment on their blog.)

Steve explains that, “In a way, this new work is getting back to our roots with caning polymer clay. There is an added layer of my recent interest in printmaking too, as the clay is embossed with a linoleum cut plate. It’s also painted to bring out the texture of the surface, and to complicate the color within the clay itself.” Read the full story here.

This shell design sat around in the studio for a couple of years before the artists could decide how to use it. Do you have designs marinating in your studio?