Culture on a string

Ohio’s

Debbie Jackson explores black culture on a string on PolymerClayDaily

Debbie Jackson and I had a conversation today about recent events. We decided to lean into the discomfort of the issues that have been swirling around us to get some clarification and to be able to move ahead.

I knew I’d make some blunders (I did) and Debbie knew she wouldn’t have all the answers (she didn’t). But it was a start.

Debbie is exhausted and emotionally drained by recent events but she’s also hopeful that society can be repaired.

Come see how a black artist who has worked hard to make her living in polymer has plowed through a difficult landscape and succeeded. Debbie’s works are sold at the National Museum of African American History and Culture and she has taught and written, collaborated, and organized in amazing ways.

Her Miami University summer workshop (now postponed) is entitled “Culture on a String” and that says a lot about how Debbie envisions her polymer art.

Our StudioMojo interview was a start in my education and a necessary first step to better understanding and healing. 

Tap into your glow

Terri Wlaschin brings passion to her energetic collages on PolymerClayDaily.com

These small tribal mask brooches from Key West, Florida’s Terri Wlaschin (Shanty Chic Beads) are sculpted, collaged, painted and textured with great energy and spirit.  “I am continually inspired by what I see riding my bike around town, walking the beaches, and observing the colorful characters that inhabit this island,” says Terri.

“I did not even know I had a creative side until my late 30’s when I started dabbling in creative writing and photography. When I began working with beads, I couldn’t stop. I never really knew what having a passion for something was until then. It’s like a religious experience to me, bringing joy and a glow to my spirit.”

Thanks to Sharene Screws for the link to an article about Terri in Jewelry Making Journal. Go with your glow!

Ethnicity in the details

Jaishree Chowdhary adds great ethnic details onto simple shapes on #polymerclaydaily

New Delhi’s Jaishree Choudhary (JudaMani) creates mostly items based on Indian themes. These masks have more of an African flavor.

The features are added with a few rolls for lips and eyes and sharp triangular-shaped noses.

Jaishree Chowdhary adds great ethnic details onto simple shapes on polymerclaydaily.com

The colors add drama along with carved and textured details. Looking at the mask bases may tempt you to try to create your own tribe.

Jaishree has been working for several years to bring realism to her polymer figures and faces. Even her unpainted tiles have great power in their simple shapes adorned with abundant and accurate details.

Where do I our ideas spring from? That’s one of the subjects we’ll look at in this weekend’s StudioMojo. We found a fun and surprising story about how “what goes around, comes around.” Come on over to StudioMojo for a smile and a surprise. 

Driven artists

Kathleen Dustin is driven, see why on PolymerClayDaily.com

This lovely picture of Kathleen Dustin’s World Traveler earrings is only half the story.

You’ll have to go to her Instagram or Facebook to see where she was working. Scan the comments to see how many others with restless hands work in their cars on their laps or with the glove box as a work surface.

That’s what I call being driven!

Tempted by tribal

Tribal echoes resonate with Dani Kirova on PolymerClayDaily.com

UK’s Dani Kirova (temptedbyartjewelry) has been feeling tribal with a series of masks and images.

You’ll find shield shapes, geometric ethnic caned patterns and echoes of Africa in her works on Instagram. Whether she’s carving or caning, these images are strongly imprinted on her spirit.

They jump out from her other works. Instagram’s presentation of many pieces at a glance give you a quick overview of work and allow themes to emerge.

 

Smile for hairy pods

Sarah Shriver's inscrutable pods elicit smiles on PolymerClayDaily.com

Why do Sarah Shriver’s new Hairy Pods (at another point she calls them rubber chickens) make us smile? Those bushy tops look unmanageable. Does one wear the pods or are they simply meant to delight the eye? The colors and patterns are tribal and muted yet unquestionably hers.

Don’t you imagine that Sarah has an explanation and joke to accompany these smile-eliciting objects? Sometimes it’s just as well that we don’t understand a piece. Better to just smile and enjoy their beauty.

Get more clues about what Sarah’s thinking on her Instagram.

Tribal echoes

Shelley Atwoods' tribal echoes on PolymerClayDaily.com

The stitching marks on Shelley Atwood’s earrings contain echoes of Kanta stitching, embroidery from South Asia that’s quite popular. The red beads on the edge provide a wonderful contrast.

Much of Shelley’s work has a tribal and fabric look that’s both powerful and fashionable. Go to her site and Facebook to get the full effect.

Contrarian polymer

Lela Todua's bright mixes tell a story on PolymerClayDaily

The slicker and more commercial the holiday frenzy gets, the more I appreciate roughly handmade, Bohemian, tribal, rustic, gypsy, hippie, ethnic designs like this pendant from Ukraine’s Lela Todua (Leland Jewelry).

Lela’s techniques and patterns follow her own whims. She pulls the mix of various textures together with color themes and accents of paint.

I realize that PCD featured Lela’s butterflies just recently. Once my eye locks onto a vibe, I find myself visiting and revisiting a collection to soak it up. Lela builds compelling stories as she picks and chooses an assortment of related components.

Follow her story on Etsy and Instagram.

Spring finery in polymer

Dustin on PolymerClayDaily.com

New polymer purses for spring from Kathleen Dustin appeared just in time for the Smithsonian Craft Show April 26-30. See the other new additions on her Instagram and Facebook. (David Forlano and Steven Ford will also be at the Smithsonian show.)

These designs continue a couple of Kathleen’s series. At the left is her Tribal Circus Purse that continues a combination of carved areas with bands of textile-like patterns.

Dustin on PolymerClayDaily.com

Below is her Scratch Purse that has a more painterly feel with areas of sgrafitto and panels of patterns.

If you want a closer look at how Kathleen explores and experiments, sign up for her class at Metalwerx (Boston) in May or CreativeArtsFest (Laurel, MD) in June.