How to catch Love Bugs

Nicole Johnson's love bugs scramble away quickly on PolymerClayDaily.com

It only took seven minutes for fans of New York’s Nicole Johnson’s Mealy Monsters to empty her shop of Love Bugs, Love Grubs, and Infestation Monsters when she updated her shop last weekend.

Her loveable, horrible characters are perfect for Valentine’s Day. They’re ugly and often they hold strange, irreverent signs and sayings.

Nichole has a loyal following who appreciates all the work and whimsy she sculpts into these polymer characters. They creep out every holiday to say something sassy. You have to move quickly to catch them. Here they are on Facebook.

Start with a smile

Michelle Sansonetti spontaneously creates Monday's cat on PolymerClayDaily.come

Melbourne’s Michelle Sansonetti (Zedembee) can’t predict what polymer creatures will take shape in her fingers.

Here it’s a bemused cat with a bird on its head.

It made me smile and that’s the main criteria for a Monday post. The cat’s stripes are comfortably rumpled and the expression is satisfyingly silly (Felix and Philomena). It’s a good way to start the week.

Polymer Christmas elves

Pete Simpson's imps bring Christmas magic on PolymerClayDaily.com

UK’s Pete Simpson’s Imps and Things can make you a believer in all kinds of fantastical spirits.

Each imp relaxes in a 10cm diameter frosted bauble that’s ready to hang. “He’s completely guaranteed not to misbehave or cause chaos on your tree when you are not looking!” says Pete.

Watch Pete build his faerie folk on Instagram.

PCD viewers have made me a believer in helpful elves. We quickly met our goal of raising funds to purchase an industrial rolling machine for the polymer students at the Ohio Reformatory for Women.

Even better, the exact machine we were looking for appeared on my porch this weekend from a special secret sprite. Get the whole story tomorrow on PCD.

Snuggling up for winter

Karen Walker wraps her characters for winter on PolymerClayDaily

UK’s Karen Walker (ClaygroundUK) knows how to snuggle her characters for winter.

Whether it’s snowmen, bears, rabbits, or people, she wraps them in sweaters, hats, and scarves with fun buttons and patch pockets.

Karen makes it look like fun to go out in winter’s cold. They’re made of polymer, of course. Look on Facebook here and here.

I pronounce you “done”

“I pronounce you done,” said Virginia’s Melissa Terlizzi of her realistic polymer wedding cake topper.

Sculpting humans took her totally out of her comfort zone which usually keeps her in the animal kingdom.

Melissa offers tips on what she learned. It took her 9 heads and 6 pairs of glasses before she was pleased. See the in-process shots here.

Melissa gives credit to Maureen Carlson’s book (Family and Friends in Polymer Clay) for steering her in the right direction.

Thank you for your terrific response to the “Keep it rollin'” campaign for a new pasta machine for the inmates. Click the “donate now” button to the right of this post to add your Christmas cheer.  Or you can buy Helen Breil’s new tutorial and get yourself a gift and help the women at the same time!

Flower cups

Nicole Bucher builds layers of petals on her flower cups on PolymerClayDaily.com

If you’re fed up with jewelry and tiny formats, take a tip from Australia’s Nicole Boucher (BlueMallee) and slap some layers of color on a straight-sided form to make flower cups!

Layers of bright sunflower petals stack up over a graduated background. She piles on leaves and flowers with delightful energy. Her sculptural composition is topped with a decorative edge and brushed with a wash of dark paint to enhance the details.

Who couldn’t use a creation like this to hold tools or utensils? Nicole will introduce her new series at her gallery.

Over at StudioMojo, we’ll be looking at how to keep moving when your heart doesn’t wanna. How do you loosen up and let the clay do the talking? Come on over and explore with us.

A bird in the hand

Edith Fischer Katz finds a crow in her clay on PolymerClayDaily.com

Israel’s Edith Fischer Katz’ crow cane started at about 6″ in diameter. On Instagram, you can follow her as she builds the crow and then surrounds it with shadow and background.

She fearlessly reduces the plate-size cane. Edith cut a thick slice at about this size and sculpted a 3D crow out of the slice.

Edith Fischer Katz finds a crow in her clay on PolymerClayDaily.com

What will she do with her murder of crows? (Yes, it’s a murder of crows.) We’ll have to follow her Instagram to see where this goes.

Edith usually sculpts in clay as you can see in her Facebook photos of small figures. This cane is an interesting departure.

Elevating polymer art

Amy Hucks elevates her art to a new level on PolymerClayDaily.com

Ohio’s Amy Hucks’ sculptures had much more gravitas or importance or significance (same clever weirdness) when she elevated them on wooden stands.

Are you elevating your work with stunning packaging or thoughtful stands or fabulous findings?

I admit that I may have been affected by the first debates playing on the tv in the background as I composed this post. We in the US will have lots more of this strange and important process to sort out in the coming months.

This weekend on StudioMojo we’ll take a look at the new leather, liquid, and other polymers that are cropping up. What’s ahead for you as a polymer artist? We may not have all the answers but we’ll point you in the right direction. Join us!

Polymer that echoes

Jumin Bae makes us reexamine what we know on PolymerClayDaily.com

South Korea’s Junmin Bae makes our heads spin with her scrutiny of beauty and bizarreness in the movements of micro-objects. Her polymer shapes fluidly increase and decrease as if under a microscope.

We don’t know whether we should fondle these shapes or be repulsed by them. We sense echoes of insect eggs, tumors, and cells.

This puts our craft in an exciting predicament. Do we love it? Do we hate it?  Nevermind, her polymer work puts us directly in the midst of contemporary questions. Exciting works with a fresh approach!

 

Polymer street art

CityZenKane CZK's polymer works sprout on walls in the UK on PolymerClayDaily.com

Whenever I travel I train my eyes to scan for polymer. It sometimes appears in unlikely places.

In London, for instance, the elusive CityZenKane CZK on Instagram(not to be confused with the early business name of Ford & Forlano) mounts his guerrilla art on buildings and street corners.

Ten years ago CZK used polymer for the finished pieces but now he sculpts in polymer and then casts a silicone mold which he fills with resin. It’s educational (and somewhat trippy) to look at the videos of his work, his inspirations, and his installations.

This week I traveled to San Diego and my eyes spied several polymer artists in the studios at Spanish Village Art Center, a collection of galleries in Balboa Park adjacent to the city’s museums and its famous zoo. In StudioMojo I’ll share the photos and tips picked up from our West coast street artists. Join us for the rest of the story.