Happy International Women’s Day from Stroppel scraps

Alice Stroppel finds faces her her scraps on PolymerClayDaily.com

Happy International Women’s Day from the work table of Florida’s Alice Stroppel. Alice paints scraps onto a glass tile that she puts directly into the oven. She mounts the finished commissioned piece on wood.

Her father produced a cartoon for the local paper each week when Alice was growing up. She reminisces about how exciting it was to watch over his shoulder as he drew faces. Now we lean over her shoulder and marvel at the women she finds in her scraps.

Come on over to StudioMojo to see whose work we’re examining, what products have promise, and what we can learn from other art forms (or what they’re learning from us). We bump into the most interesting developments in the most unlikely places!

Shaggy dog story

Joseph Barbaccia paints with extruded strings on PolymerClayDaily.com

Zoom in on this polymer dog portrait to see how Delaware illustrator, Joseph Barbaccia paints with extruded strings of polymer.

His polymer brushstrokes are layered over each other. It looks like he works from corner to corner. Joseph’s subjects are usually people. This fuzzy, furry pet provided a welcome departure from humans.

Joseph Barbaccia paints with extruded strings on PolymerClayDaily.com

His in-progress shots are from Instagram while his finished work appears on Facebook.

Handy polymer accessory

In my neck of the woods, it’s mighty cold. This woman-covered flask/bracelet from Alice Stroppel looks like a handy accessory for those who dare to brave the weather.

But wait a minute, Alice lives in Florida! A beach accessory for staying hydrated perhaps.

Start your week with a smile!

Muse in polymer

Angela Barenholtz recreates Matisse portrait in polymer veneers on PolymerClayDaily.com

Israel’s Angela Barenholtz recreates Matisse’s Green Stripe painting in polymer using an assortment of veneers. Angela’s version measures  6 1/2″ x 7 1/2″.

You can find her methods for creating these marvelous scrap quilt veneers in her Etsy shop.

The simple geometric structure of the portrait of Matisse’s wife translates perfectly into our medium. It’s a good day to feature a portrait of a woman.

If you need a break from the news and political hubbub, come on over to StudioMojo for a deep dive into the polymer world where everything is colorful and full of creative promise. It’s your Saturday morning dose of enthusiasm and sanity. 

More selfies!

Ann de Bode takes a selfie on PolymerClayDaily.com

We need more polymer selfies!

This new self-portrait by Belgium’s Ann de Bode captures a sparkle and her sense of fashion. And it’s a nice break from the overworked and over-thought photos for Facebook pages that we usually see.

Ann’s an accomplished illustrator so she makes this little sclupt look deceptively easy. Still, wouldn’t it be fun to see more of these poly people popping up?

Ann’s latest book is based on old family photographs. Poke around on Ann’s Facebook page. Her ancestor’s clothes are fine and the story’s a good one.

Bringing polymer alive

Barbaccio on PCDaily

Pre-holiday jitters? Nope, that’s Gene Wilder during his famous “It’s alive!” moment rendered by Washington, DC illustrator Joseph Barbaccia and made entirely of extruded strings of polymer.

You’ll have to look closely to see how the intricately interwoven colors blend into a dimensional mosaic.

A powerful portrait of a soldier (pictured here) was selected to appear in Lurzer’s International 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide 2016/2017.

Read more about Joseph on Facebook, SaatchiArt, and his site.

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.

Seed beads in polymer

Dembicer on PCDaily

When I say seed beads and polymer you probably envision small beads woven around polymer cabochons. Connecticut’s Peggy Dembicer thinks differently.

Here she embeds seeds beads in polymer to create a mosaic portrait. She was inspired by a 1940s photo of her mother-in-law. It measured 8.5″ by 11. Even though the beads are pretty widely spaced, they read as a soft, moody photo. Look more closely here.

For this cover of ArtNews magazine she cut out large areas of polymer to make the background of the mosaic. Cruise through Flickr to see more.

Peggy mixes her media using her background in textiles and fiber arts to present a modern take on traditional techniques. She reinterprets her world in fiber, beads and polymer. Let’s hear it for mixing your media!

In polymer wonderland

Stroppel on PCDaily

It’s hard to keep up with Alice Stroppel! I just figured out why so many of her images, like this White Rabbit sculpture, are from Alice in Wonderland. Alice does Alice, get it?

In her own wonderland, Alice’s polymer work spreads across table tops and covers the bases for lamps. Her fish swim up the walls and wind around arms. I’m particularly fond of this haunting portrait of a woman gazing intently…much like Alice herself.

Stroppel on PCDaily

The rabbit seems right for today. People are arriving in town. I’m late! I’m late! Must get to the party.

Chasing after Alice will keep you busy. She’s all over Facebook and Etsy too. If you’ve never made a Stroppel scrap cane, you simply must watch the tutorial.

Alice shared her story on camera a couple of years ago. If you’d like to see more videos like this, join StudioMojo, the weekend newsletter.

Rees self portrait

Rees on PCDaily

Utah’s Adam Thomas Rees thinks big. He usually covers large animal sculptures with polymer patterns but this time his subject was himself.

First he painted a self-portrait. Then he decided to continue his self study by converting the painting to a 12.5″ x 10″ cane.

Rees on PCDaily

He chopped the big cane into 20 small (2.5″) square canes to minimize waste and distortion during reduction. The reduced canes were then reassembled into the finished portrait.

The process is fascinating to see (and his web site is under the weather). I’ve repeated his Facebook photos in a special gallery for you non-FB readers.

It’s not just the size and reduction that make us study Adam’s cane. What look like slap-dash layers of unexpected color build into an exciting self portrait.

That should start your wheels turning on a Monday!

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