Monday head scratcher

Melanie West joins fabric and polymer in new ways on PolymerClayDaily.com

Maine’s Melanie West posts daily on Facebook about an astonishing array of artists that she’s discovered.

She rarely reveals what she’s working on.  But in a July feature, she shows a new series brooches that she calls Fabric Rocks. Polymer is involved but she’s done a sleight of hand so that it’s difficult to tell what’s fabric, what’s textured polymer, and how the pattern is created.

She’s probably proudly smirking at having stumped us with her new tricks on a Monday. What’s your guess?

Succulent Skinners

Anna Nell makes blends for her new succulents on PolymerClayDaily.com

What would Poland’s Anna Nell make with the Skinner blends she showed on Instagram? A few days later she gives us the answer.

Anna Nell makes blends for her new succulents on PolymerClayDaily.com

She says she uses translucent clay, porcelain (I’m guessing she means pearl), and glow in the dark (she calls it “night effect”). She added pastels as well and some gold leaf for bling

Anna surrounds herself with a large collection of succulent inspirations so it’s difficult to distinguish real from polymer.

Pansies on the wire

Iryna Chajka drapes spectacular pansies from a hoop on PolymerClayDaily.com

At this time of year, I very much admire gardeners who can weed and prune their gardens to highlight spectacular specimens. They run to their studios to replicate them in polymer.

See how Ukraine’s Iryna Chajka suspends pansies from metal hoops.

She specializes in succulents but her pansies are outstanding.

Monday surprise

Anna Nel finds magic in mokume gane on PolymerClayDaily

Let’s ease into the week with eye candy from Poland’s Anna Nel.

She makes her mokume gane slices look tempting. “How hard could it be?” we ask ourselves.

Make a thin pad of colored layers, Poke some textures, and slice off the top to reveal Monday magic.

I hope your Monday surprise is as delicious as this one.

Jewelry from the garden

Marina Merkulova's gardening necklace on PolymerClayDaily.com

Down on your knees outdoors in your favorite jeans, you’re brought up close to the beauty of the weeds in the garden by this necklace that’s a collage of textures and shapes by Moscow’s Marina Merkulova.

Marina is part of one of those “no explanations”, “no words” challenges that asks artists to simply share their work on Facebook.

These soft rectangles and dark textures stack up in a way that’s relaxed and comforting.  That’s plenty good for a summer Tuesday.

Lovely to experience the soothing effects of a few weeds pressed into clay.

Concepts that ricochet

Galka Vasina cleverly combines popular designs on PolymerClayDaily

Russia’s Galka Vasina is playing here. She’s swapping beautiful components to see which ones look best together. They all work in my book.

From what I can glean from the translation, Galka was inspired by Tanya Mayorova. The commenters seemed to be lamenting what’s happening on VK, their version of Etsy.

Galka Vasina cleverly combines popular designs on PolymerClayDaily

To me these cutouts and textured components look like Sona Grigoryan meets Donna Greenberg meets Henri Matisse with a 2020 twist. Lots of artists contribute along the way.

I’ll happily jump on that bandwagon. Concepts are sometimes in the air and they pick up steam as they ricochet around the world.

Getting the blues

Betsy Baker feels the blues along with hidden gems on PolymerClayDaily.com

“All this sheltering in place is giving me the blues,” says Boston’s Betsy Baker (Stonehouse Studio).

Are you surprised by the small gem tucked in the middle of Betsy’s folded layers of polymer? There are gems hidden in this hardship and heartache. Look closely.

Polymer fungi

Kim Heeang layers petals of polymer that mimic fungi on PolymerClayDaily

South Korea’s Kim Heeang (9angko) moves us in a more thoughtful direction.

Her delicately assembled pieces take their central theme from mushrooms, fungi hat ware neither plants nor animals. They are everywhere and then disappear without a trace.

You may note that thin petals of polymer are being used more and more. The newer clays allow us to stack paper-thin layers in ways that mimic nature.

Join us over at StudioMojo if you’re interested in how polymer is being used in surprising and unusual ways. Stay on top of the latest trends with a Saturday morning review of the week. 

Changing obsessions

Juliya Laukhina moves to new obsessions on PolymerClayDaily.com

What are we looking at here from Moscow’s Juliya Laukhina? The translation isn’t helping much so let’s go with what our eyes tell us.

Juliya has loved repetition and detail in her round beads for years. But these pods take her obsessions in new and organic directions. She adds a variety of curvy forms, spikey balls, and lacey layers. What prompted this great change?

Go to her Instagram to examine each of these pods up close.

Scrappy moths

Bonnie Bishoff's moths are winging their way to the Philadelphia show on PolymerClayDaily.com

These magnificent moths are winging their way to the Philadelphia Museum of Craft Art Show. They’re new from Maine’s Bonnie Bishoff.

Bonnie’s combinations of caned bits and scrap stripes on the wings completely tickle me. And the shapes are spot on. It makes you appreciate moths. Usually, they’re the ones making scraps of our sweaters and woolens.

Enjoy them up close on Instagram.

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