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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
“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 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.
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.