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 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. 

Where in the polymer world

Christi Friesen invites you to join her as she travels around the world teaching from now until December. Don’t worry about tickets or accommodations, Christi brings the flavor of her travel to your computer chair. She offers projects, prizes, free stuff, souvenirs and a glimpse of each venue.

“I looked at my teaching schedule and realized that I was pretty much going on a world tour, visiting every continent except South America. So many of you come along with me by attending classes or by following my adventures on Facebook that an official World Tour was in order!” says Christi.

You will need a passport and it’s available on the World Tour site along with all the details. This enthusiastic and energetic polymer professional will take you on a journey of discovery.

The Orca Potlach Box (pictured here) is the first project of the tour. It’s part of the San Juan Island workshop and was inspired by the First Nation peoples.

Blooming Idiots

Carlton on PCDaily

Blooming Idiots from Kentucky’s Keven Carlton are perfect for April Fools Day.

Leslie Blackford sent the photo along and I couldn’t find a link for Keven other than Facebook. If you know where she hides online, let me know. (Here she is! Thanks Ginger Allman.)

Then I hopped over to Jody Travous Nee’s site for more polymer puns – a shotgun wedding cake topper, road kill, a can of worms. Jody hears a pun and starts sculpting.

Humor may be one of polymer’s best possibilities. Happy April 1.

Polymer painting

Chandler on PCDaily

Victoria’s Gera Chandler lets her poppies climb off the top edge of this 16″ x 8″ canvas. She’s become expert at layering high intensity polymer scenes onto canvases, combining painting and sculpture.

Read Gera’s project in Polymer Clay Global Perspectives to learn her process. There are lots more examples on her blog and a bit on her Etsy shop.

You may have to look closely at Susan O’Neill’s canvas below to see where she’s headed. A pair of earrings hang from holes in the middle of the canvas. This dual purpose work allows the owner to wear the artwork or simply appreciate it on the wall.

You may also appreciate how she used her bird in a stunning pair of earrings.

Oneill on PCDaily

Susan has long experimented with combining liquid polymer and gauze (here and here). You can also track her progress on Facebook.

If you’re considering moving to larger polymer works, canvas is obviously one good path.

Polymer rainbow roses

Hlavach on PCDaily

Ann Duncan Hlavach knows her roses. The color tricks she learned in a recent class in Chicago with Lindly Haunani took her flowers to a new level. “I think my head may have exploded,” she says.

Rainbow roses are a real phenomenon. Here’s a tutorial on how to tint a natural white rose.

But I prefer Ann’s translucent petals with their contrast tinged edges and jewel centers. You can enjoy them for a whole lot longer. You’ll find more on Etsy, Facebook and Pinterest.

Monday dragons

Busanca on PCDaily

These Monday dragons are from Alessio Busanca, an illustrator from Sardinia who picked up polymer as his primary medium in 2010. His small sculptures combine influences from American comics and Japanese manga. His dragons may be his most popular series and he sells them on Ebay.

Busanca on PCDaily

His Pinterest page has the most up-to-date offerings. I also tracked him down on Facebook, DeviantArt, Twitter and Instagram. It’s worth the hunt to research his endearing miniatures. His pop culture characters, horror show stars and fanart creatures are packed with an endless variety of personalities and styles.

Polymer grandmothering

Tinapple on PCDaily

This is my way of explaining why I didn’t get my research done today. These 3″ sculptures are all about creative grandmothering with polymer.

I loved the little sculptures that Leslie Blackford was making at the Ohio Bash weekend. This blue guy with an ominous face has bitten into a fish. He joins a whole group of mermaids, dogs and devils in striped pants. She’s posted a few finished ones here.

While I can’t begin to channel Leslie’s wonderfully weird vision, I couldn’t wait to try making mini-me dolls for my grandsons. Leslie taught me that first you make a head using an easy photo transfer (with water and a laser print) and then you model a body and embellish it with abandon.

I hope that my first clumsy attempt at photo transfer sculpture won’t scare my lovely toddlers. Not great art but I had great fun in the studio.

USA polymer

Crowley on PCDaily

Olympic fervor has thrown us into an oddly patriotic mood. Who better to show team spirit than Chicago’s Dan Crowley? His ladies, loosely based on his aunts, are his favorite characters. This one is called America the Beautiful!

Crowley on PCDaily

Dan is a sculptor and puppeteer and you can watch him build a finger puppet while he talks about his career in this short video interview. He sells online through Etsy and Art Of Toys and shares new works and tidbits on Facebook.

Five winners

Five lucky PCD readers will be picked to win a copy of the Fire issue of From Polymer To Art magazine published by Saskia and Marjon in the Netherlands.

Scroll down and submit a comment to this post and you’re automatically entered in the giveaway drawing. Instead of competing for Olympic gold or silver, you’ll be in the running for Fire if you make a comment by Sunday midnight. Look at the goodies in this issue and have a winning weekend.

Polymer phone home

Blackford on PCDaily

A snake crawls through Leslie Blackford’s polymer woodland scene and bird peeks out of one of the tree stumps. Moss creeps onto the rocks. The creatures are waiting for something.

This small pastoral scene provides a perfect setting for a cell phone!

Leslie worked out the structure (it’s 4″ x 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″) so that a phone balances perfectly against the trees. Now your phone which used to get laid down and lost has a stand that makes it easy to find.

Blackford on PCDaily

She devised a Candyland scene and other themes for her phone cradle sculptures. Making polymer art that doubles as a useful household item is a trick that Leslie does with style.

Read about the L’Atelier: Polymer Clay Workshop that Leslie and friends are setting up from June 1-3 at the French Lick Resort in Indiana. Registration opens February 24.