Contrasts from the biosphere

Donna Greenberg finds her voice in the biosphere on PolymerClayDaily.com

New Jersey’s Donna Greenberg launches us into the weekend with one of the latest in her Biosphere series of small polymer vessels. Pinecone? Fungus? Her works are some combination of what appears in nature and come out of Donna’s experiences.

She says of her work, “Standing in the reeds and saw grass on the nearby Hudson River, watching a heron while viewing the Statue of Liberty is a perfect example of the kind of contrast that I look for to translate into my art.”

Donna’s polymer bio-systems flow across walls and make us more aware of our changing world.

On StudioMojo this weekend we’ll look at what appeals to us, what repulses us on the way to finding our voices. What do we have to get out of our systems? There are plenty of others on this path. You’re not alone. Come on over this Saturday.

When simple is soothing

Juliya Laukhina extrudes and wraps beads from a spring palette on PolymerClayDaily

Today we examine close shades of extruded ribbons of green polymer wrapped around ultralight core beads.

Again easy and effective techniques that rely on color and repetition. No overworking or overthinking. Leaching or cooling the clay accentuates the ragged edges of the flattened extruded strings.

These spring beads are from Moscow’s Juliya Laukhina and you’ll find more of her delicate, natural way with color on her Instagram and Etsy sites. (The beads are already on their way to a customer in Connecticut.)

Sometimes we make our creations more complex than they need to be when simple can be so effective.

Carved hearts

ponsawan_sila_hearts

This won’t be an all-hearts week but how could we pass up these carved white Ultra Light pendants from Indiana’s Ponsawan Sila?

She has nicked horizontally across the surfaces by hand for an almost basket weave appearance.

Ponsawan may not be finished but the long narrow hearts seem pure and remarkable just as they are. You’ll have to visit her on Facebook or Flickr to find out what happens next.

Ponsawan doesn’t toot her own horn but you’ll see lots of her work and tutorials pinned on Pinterest. She’ll be teaching at French Lick (so will I) in June.

Shriver’s polymer splash

Sarah Shriver sneaked a few new photos into her site recently. This end of the summer Splash bracelet is perfect for today. One last dive into the summer pool.

Sarah has been exploring unusual shapes that snuggle up against each other. She builds them in Ultralight and covers them with slices of wavy, organic polymer canes.

As I prepare to leave for a week in Colorado, I’m dangling shiny new things in front of you to keep you happy while I pack and do all the errands that I’ve put off. No time for the computer, I have to lean on old friends’ work. Thanks, Sarah.

Bashing ideas

Carissa Nichols’ Ultralight Sculpey pendants caught my eye at Ohio’s Buckeye Bash (my pictures here) in Dayton. She sculpts the pieces in white clay, bakes and then colors them with alcohol inks and seals them with a spray. Inking the chalky surfaces allows for a bright, frilly effect.

The marshmallowy ultralight requires more gentle handling than other polymer clays. Once baked, however, its soft texture, makes for easy carving and it can be used as a strong armature for large pieces. (See Sarah Shriver’s big beads and Melanie West’s biobangles, for example.)

Carol Simmons was the Buckeye Bash’s visiting artist this year and the room was abuzz with teams creating kaleidoscope canes and slicing them deli-thin on her prototype slicing device.

Shriver’s big beads

Sarah Shriver has added big polymer shapes, a bit of metal and new palettes (her Frida colors) to her repertoire. She calls the series pictured here her acorn beads. She’ll be teaching how to make these new big beads, veneer beads built over ultra-light clay, at CFCF in February.

Clicking across the images on her site’s front page makes me want more, more and bigger pictures. And it makes me wish I were on the west coast in December when she sells and parties up and down the coast. If you’re in the area, put one of her events on your calendar.

Brandon’s faux Mexican pottery

Brandon's Cinco de Mayo polymer necklace

Our flower power week ends with fiesta polymer clay beads from Arizona’s Anita Brandon. They’re what she calls “faux Mexican pottery” and made of polymer over an ultralight base to keep them lightweight. Cane slice appliques give the beads extra dimension.

Anita wanted to capture the excitement of the Cinco de Mayo fiestas she remembered as a child. Have an exciting weekend.

Her monarch and morning glory necklace is not to be missed either.

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