Thinking inside the box

Odd Fae

Sometimes it’s good think inside the box as in Dawn Schiller’s latest polymer OddFae tucked in a 1″ locket. Guru in a box? Consultant in a box?

Dawn cautions, “For the record — If anyone EVER hears me say, Gosh, I’m bored! I think I’ll sculpt a little, tiny, less-than-an-inch-tall oddfae into a copper box! Feel free to whop me upside the head ’til I drop the sculpting tool.”

Check out more of her work in the June issue of PolymerCafe magazine. Her Faemaker book is due out this August. Read about her latest exploits on FaceBook and Etsy.

Abstract polymer from Kathleen Dustin

How lovely to end the week with Kathleen Dustin’s Layered Fragment brooch. Kathleen explains, almost apologizes, that her focus is changing from narrative and representational to abstract.

“It seems to me that truly abstract work probably most reflects our humanness because it is based on spirit and what we do not see or know. Narrative or representational work is based on what we see and know. It has been a true challenge for me to make work not based on what I see or know,” she says.

Though her focus may change, her reliance on ways of translucent layering that she developed remains. Breath-taking washes of color pull you in as scribbles of metal float in and out of the frame. This new direction forces other changes and she asks for your suggestions here.

Birthday presence

Birthdays have a way of reminding you to get busy and for Scotland’s Melanie Muir and West Virginia’s Judy Belcher, recent big days pushed them into action.

This hollow-bead Skye-line necklace was inspired by Melanie Muir’s birthday trip to the Isle of Skye and the dramatic mountainous landscapes there. Invited to submit work to several prestigious US shows this year, Melanie says she’s been “squeezing my brains” to develop new work. You can see the results on her Facebook page.

Judy Belcher’s birthday prompted her to launch her new and improved website today! (It was polished by my dear daughter.) Judy’s energy and savvy shine through on every page.

She’s also developed a new MicroKnitting class for CraftEdu that debuts on Wednesday. Be sure to get in on her clever twist on the polymer knitting craze.

While both Melanie and Judy welcome your birthday wishes, sometimes it’s the gifts we give ourselves that are truly important.

Monday mind-benders

When you take a close look at this new Encrusted polymer bracelet from Jana Roberts Benzon are you as mesmerized as I am? The colorful texture is sumptuous and mystifying. How could you possibly make such a multi-dimensional pixel-like construction? It’s a Monday mystery.

Jana admits, “Honestly, when I finished it, I was just like dang, this is the coolest thing I’ve ever done.”  More pix on Flickr and Facebook. Jana’s teaching in Philadelphia in April.

Polymer-covered pasta machine handle

Can a pasta machine handle survive the heat of the oven? Lisa Pavelka tested hers and the answer was yes. The next step, of course, was to cover it with a base layer of scrap clay and start adding cane slices.

She’ll never lose her handle in a class! Lisa’s theory is that you make better art with artistic tools.

 

Polymer with an African aesthetic

See new work from Ohio’s Debbie Jackson on Facebook and on her Black Art in America page. She’s off to LA to sell these new works at the Pan African Film Festival.

A trip to Ghana injected Debbie’s work with renewed ethnic vibrancy and she mixes polymer with treasures she brought back with her. Her artistic aesthetic is rooted in Africa.

This new necklace includes polymer focal bead with eggshell mosaic, stick coral and African brass beads.

Debbie’s a vital part of our local Creative Women of Color collective that provides a creative connection with the community. Thanks to Jeanne Dumond for the link!

Party Time

Tonight at 8:30 ET at Craftcast. Join us for a free event all about tools.

Deadline polymer earrings

Germany’s Anke Humpert brightens a gray winter Friday with these cheery red polymer umbrellas. With a second week deadline looming, she whipped up these earrings for her 52-week challenge. The pressure of a deadline can force out surprising creativity.

Determined to start the new year right, Anke’s been tackling the organization of her studio and you can vicariously enjoy her progress here. Have a cheery weekend.

Hollow faux glass

Katrin Neumaier is hooked on Pardo translucent clay and she’s becoming expert at showing off its glowing properties with these brand new beads and watery earrings. Here’s her polymer beach glass from October.

The recent hollow forms make the clay even more delicate and ethereal looking as she pushes Pardo in new directions. We can look forward to seeing more of this faux glass trend in 2012.

Faux raku

You’ll want to look closely at Bettina Welker’s newest faux raku bangles and brooches. The densely crazed surface of her faux technique was achieved after much experimentation.

Her process is a further exploration and refinement of the ideas she developed for a class last summer. This will be a fun one to watch.

Let’s hope your weekend isn’t totally crazed! Bad pun but it fits.

Switching identities

Tory Hughes made this new necklace specifically to wear at last week’s RAM gala. It’s part of her new SeaCliff series using various techniques with the major elements pin-hinged together. Sea Cliff is a reference to an area of San Francisco that Tory sees as full of light, color and energy.

The necklace was on Tory one minute and then on Penina Meisels the next. (Tory decided it looked better on Penina.) Maggie Maggio’s necklace migrated to Cynthia Toops’ neck. It was as if the artists were switching nametags. The game to keep up with who was wearing whom made me realize how good it is to develop your own signature work.

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