Textures for fall

Helen Breil’s recent polymer works (and some new stamps) show off more of her expertise with textures. A sneak peek at her radiating lines tutorial has convinced me to try textures this week.

I was also encouraged at a recent retreat by a chance to inspect Laura Tabakman’s stash of homemade texture plates made from Super Elasticlay.

She creates and collects graphic elements that transfer in a deceptively simple process. Of course arranging the elements is the trick and learning to use the plates is another art.

Look at the works of these two artists to get an idea of the possibilities.

Quilted polymer

Dumauvobleu polymer pendant

Because my vacation mates are serging and sewing I’m drawn to France’s Cathy (Dumauvobleu) whose pendants resemble quilted and collaged fabrics. Here’s her Etsy shop.

Cathy textures layered and collaged canes and strips of colors to achieve a sunny mix that blends into a cohesive design.

The link comes to us from Betsy Baker. Betsy’s published some new work and a couple of tutorials that you’ll want to examine.

Miniature polymer abstracts

Wells polymer Trailbone

In these new beads from Berkeley’s Selena Anne Wells the color comes from small surprise vintage glass cabochons embedded in black or faux ivory polymer, stained and buffed to look aged. Her mastery of simple and intricate sculptural and texturing techniques is impressive.

Wells Vertical Night polymer bead

Digging deeper into her Flickr history gives you a peek at her other interests – masks, faces, kaleidoscopes. Though she doesn’t reveal much in words, her art tells an engaging story.

She calls her small pieces miniature abstract wearable art.

Breil’s texture tricks

Helen Breil takes using stamps and textures to a new level with her most recent polymer clay focal beads. She introduces surprises and layers colors to provide drama.

I often hesitate to use stamps because they feel static. Helen has overcome that shortcoming with a bag of tricks that makes me want to try again. Looking at her design idea gallery is like taking a workshop.

I’m composing this post from 30,000 ft. in between time zones. Tomorrow is all about jet lag and preparing for an evening class at Craftcast.com. California beaches provided a heap of pebble research and I’m pumped for the class. Join us.

Aharoni’s polymer floating effect

Valerie Aharoni recently updated her site and added a blog. In this post she talks about baking polymer clay beads right onto wire (or bead thread) to get that floating effect. No crimp beads! Such a simple, elegant solution. (I know that Valerie’s not the first to do this. It caught my eye.)

Look at the textured beads, like this globe, on her Flickr site as well.

Why is it that I discover things I’d like to try when I’m least able to get to the studio…what with preparations for T-day?

I’m also thinking about Lorrene Davis’ theory that the size of a woman’s jewelry is directly proportional to her age. I looked at my visiting daughter’s tiny delicate pieces and wondered if Lorrene was on to something.