Photos to polymer

Holt on PCDaily

Syndee Holt took a favorite family snapshot, converted it to a sketch, printed it and transferred the image to polymer. (There are lots of sketch apps that can help those who don’t draw.) She added color with oil based pencils.

Cotton balls added behind the clay under┬áthe cheeks and the palm of the hand gave her son’s portrait soft dimension. “I wish you could see it in person, you can literally pinch those cheeks,” Syndee says. The sculpted photo was then layered onto a backing of torn-edged clay and displayed on a stand.

Is your phone full holiday photos begging to be turned into fine art?

We can all thank Donna Greenberg for masterminding the Artchain that has grown like wildfire on Facebook (#PolymerArtChallenge). Each artist posts five works and nominates five others to do the same. The exercise has started our 2015 with a big bump in the number of formerly unseen polymer works from around the globe. Like this one!

See more of Syndee on the Sculpey site, her blog, and Pinterest.

The key to good gifts

As you start to make polymer mementos and gifts for the holiday season take a look at what you may think of as the lowly keychain.

Zona Manualidades (the photo) and Silvia Bordin (the keys) demonstrate a couple of memorable and fun options.

Baking polymer designs right on the keys makes construction easy and the hardware is minimal. The ball shown here contains tokens or coins.

I’m guessing that the bezel on the photo is polymer which has been filled with clear resin. The cording could have been strung through or baked in.

Think of it, there are few things you handle more often than keys! Make them memorable.

Strong women in polymer

These Frida Kahlo and Zora Neale Hurston polymer portrait pendants come from Massachusetts artist Laura Curran. For years we’ve only been able to feature bits of Laura’s work because she had little exposure on the web. That’s changed and here’s Laura’s new website. High fives all around!

These photo transfers of historic women to polymer send a strong message. Read about the history of portrait jewelry on Laura’s research page.

Class act!

Thanks to the participants in my Craftcast class! Send me pix of your creations. Next up, a doll head sculpting workshop with Marlaine Verheist on Sunday. Take your sculpting to a more professional level with this award-winning artist.

Tinapple’s clean slate

Integrating my polymer clay skills with my Photoshop expertise was on my 2009 list of resolutions and I’m happy to have made progress toward this goal with this vase which is my entry for the Synergy exhibit.

This 10.5″ x 8″ cherry vase was turned by my husband. I added polymer clay transfers of old photos of the women in my family. Maureen Carlson’s story necklace got me thinking about telling stories with my art.

The turning point in my experimentations was discovering Valerie Aharoni’s baking parchment paper technique for transfers. I used sepia here to make the photos a uniform tone but colors transfer well too. I fired the polymer with a paint stripper gun.

I promised to put more of my own work on the blog in 2009, didn’t I? The sound you hear is my scratching two goals off my list. I’m ending this decade with a clean slate. Read more in this interview I did with Eni Oken (ClayLessons).