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!

Hollywood polymer

Viner on PCDaily.com

Mike K. Viner's 10" polymer caricatures are so spot on that they compel you to stop and study them.

Replicating facial features in polymer (no paint) is one talent. Finding a defining gesture takes his portraiture to a higher level. This Russian who lives in Tel Aviv is hard to find online with a slim web site, a few YouTube slideshows and a newish Facebook presence. I keep gravitating back to his page. He'll be worth watching.

Back to school

Susan Lomuto (Daily Art Muse) starts another online web class in September. It's a dynamite course and the students' web sites are testament to Susan's great teaching. Her sliding scale price offer ends July 31.

Polymer that emerges with hope

“I’m loving this new project,” Heather Campbell said in October, “It’s so physical and messy. I guess a darker side of me needs to erupt and show itself before I can move on.”

The December result is Holding It Together, a large polymer and mixed media sculpture with a hopeful, healthy message for the end of our year.

Heather explains that, “Our strength is our ability to sew and hammer and bind, to glue and nail each piece of ourselves together, until the strength of our parts makes us whole again. Holding it together is our challenge, emerging with hope is our goal. We are survivors.”

The scale and power of this piece is remarkable. Watch Heather rip into a mannequin form that serves as the base. Scroll down to watch this big girl take shape.

Heather will teach others how to make a powerful personal portrait of their own at Maureen Carlson’s Center in May.

As a fitting start for the new year, she received word that her rustic, layered polymer necklace has been chosen as a finalist for a Niche Award! Visit the Niche site to see more finalists. Happy 2012 to all of you!

Beat-the-clock polymer

Japanese designers Yuji Kawauchi and Yuri Hamaguchi of Atelier Sango sculpted mini-portraits out of polymer clay (Bend and Bake) at the recent Dwell on Design event in Los Angeles. Twice a day they picked someone from their audience and created a portrait in 30 minutes.

The duo produce figures for claymation videos and presented their work as part of the Yakitate! (fresh baked) show of emerging artists.Watch the video in the right column to see Kawauchi in action.

Can you imagine sculpting a likeness in front of a crowd with the clock ticking? They’re used to working fast since a 30-minute movie requires approximately 21,600 stops to change the figures for the frames.

You can see their animations and more information about them on the DesignBoom site. The link came to us from DailyArtMuse/Susan Lomuto.

Eakes’ extruded mosaic

Julie Eakes combined four pounds of extruded polymer clay into one remarkable 5.5″ by 8″ by 2″ mosaic face cane. Calculating colors and preparing each cane is a painstaking task that took Julie three weeks.

Julie says her inspiration came from those photo mosaics that are made up of other little pictures. She adds that, “My brother worked with Chuck Close years ago and I was lucky enough to meet him then. I have a painting that my brother did of me using dots. I have the picture my brother did (which was inspired by Chuck) so maybe subconsciously I was inspired by Chuck.”

Julie is letting the cane rest while she considers her next step. Should she reduce it? How small should she go? It will be fascinating to watch.

Creagers’ extra heads, new blog

A spare head might come in handy this Monday, don’t you think?

Jodi and Richard Creager have a pile of extra polymer clay ones on the shelves of their studio. Jodi says in her new blog that the heads also come in handy as Christmas ornaments.

The Creagers have been in the polymer clay fine art doll and miniatures business for 30 years. Their web site is a testament to their mastery of the art form.

They’ve also added four free sculpting tutorials on their YouTube page. The intriguing tutorials are small segments taken from their sculpting DVD series.

via CreatingDollhouseMiniatures

King’s inventive portraits

“Endlessly inventive” is what some call Arkansas’ Jay King who makes polymer clay heads that are remixes of other faces and molds of found objects. The hybrid personalities and the accompanying descriptions act like a fun house mirror. You may find yourself peering intently, trying to figure out the strange reflections.

I was particularly tickled by this one, called “Multitasker”.

But Jay doesn’t stop at visual jokes and stories, he also has a rollicking audio podcast. For the full treatment, visit his Flickr page and his blog. I lost myself in his artwork and I’ve completely forgotten how I got here. If you sent me the link, remind me so that I can credit you.

Have a rollicking weekend.

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