Featherweight polymer

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France’s Celine Charuau created this dramatic bunch of black petals on a delicate chain using polymer and sterling wire. The piece might have ended up heavy and dark in other hands but Celine has a way with wire and polymer that allows her to blend them into lightweight constructions.

Celine will be teaching her Plumes (in English and French) at EuroSynergy this spring. She’ll show how she forms her petals and constructs jewelry using wire. Take a look at her work on Flickr and Facebook and read more about the class here.

Polymer hibiscus

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Heather Powers calms our jitters with her Hibiscus Buds, part of the class offerings in her 3-day Inspired by Nature retreat in Michigan this October.

Her delicate polymer flower buds hug their petals around themselves. Topped off with leaves and wrapped with wire, they become pendants or charms to be mixed with an array of metals and bead components and gathered into autumn treasures.

Heather is a busy blogger, author and artist with sites on illustration, earrings and more. Her Art Bead Scene interactive blog has been around since 2007, celebrating the work of a group of jewelry designers who use art beads of all materials in their work.

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Heather's sites are full of polymer creations, all inspired by nature in a way that reminds us to slow down and cherish the beauty around us. (These Midnight Garden Wafer Beads are a summer favorite.)

Polymer goes BAD

Ponsawan Sila uploads her latest experiments to Flickr (and Facebook). Here she shows us Pardo translucent stretched over a steel wire armature, colored with watercolor pencils, and highlighted with gilder’s paste.

“Two years ago, I join the group called Ring A Day and we finished 365 rings in one year. My rings were exhibited and in a book, and I sold many of them,” Ponsawan says. This year she joined the brooch-a-day group (BAD) and she’s right on schedule.

Wired hearts

Staci Smith is a Pennsylvania mixed media artist who sometimes throws polymer into the mix. Her tray of hearts ready for the oven looked so full of possibility that it pulled me right into the studio to make a few valentines of my own. Her rough and random wires add playful touches.

Staci’s new to PCDaily and you’ll enjoy her metal clay and sea glass work as you search for her polymer pieces. Look here and here.

Identifying birds

Seems that the birds I attributed to Leslie Blackford on Wednesday were made by her students. All the more reason to take a class with Leslie! The bird featured in the post was made by Barb Kunkle.

Use jump rings to go ethnic

Svetlana Gracheva from Donetsk, Ukraine embeds what look to be jump rings into her faux ethnic polymer beads with a stunningly realistic effect. The jump rings become bezels for small imitation turquoise and coral pieces.

Other metal is sandwiched in the middle of faux amber and turquoise beads. You can see examples of the techniques in her Lhasa and Nagrang Tibetan-style necklaces pictured here.

On her Tibetan bead class description page, Svetlana offers pictures (scroll down her page) that show how she performs her sleight of hand. In that class she finishes the beads with mosaic inlays. What a treat for those of us searching for new faux fun.

Lombardi’s buds

Lombardi's Italian petal earrings

If yesterday’s polymer petals started you thinking, you’ll want to study Marina Lombardi’s version of flower buds as well.

Lombardi's polymer rose garden necklace

Her approach is more lyrical and less graphic than Kim Korringa’s. You can see that both artists (Kim in California and Marina in Rome) were inspired by the beauty dripping from hanging pots at this time of year.

Marina’s polymer roses woven on wire with crystals and seed beads creates a wearable garden.

Global design trends

Tina Holden, Canada Galina Grbennikova, Ireland Gudrun Stolz, Austria

The first three wire-filled forms filled with polymer clay come from two very different sources. Tina Holden from Vancouver Island was thinking of Picasso when she bent her rebar wire into shapes and filled them with clay.

Galina Grbennikova (she writes in Russian and lives in Ireland) used copper wire to create sea creature shapes. Others have bent and filled wire shapes and I see the trend re-emerging. (I should also have mentioned Italy’s Marina Lombardi…see here and here.)

The rough rings and bracelets made by Austria’s Gudrun Stolz are made by wrapping thin bands of clay into rings and bangles. It brings to mind earlier works of Ford/Forlano and a recent French trend to use dry, brittle-edged clay as a design element. (Thanks to Ann Staub for the link.)

I’m intrigued by our growing global design synchronicity. Have a harmonious weekend.

Weltman’s new book

Ronna Weltman’s polymer clay brooch called “Three-Ring Circus” seemed an appropriate feature today in the middle of our country’s craziness.

This crisp .pdf sneak peak at Ronna’s new book on polymer clay and wire is the perfect thing to distract your thoughts and brighten your day. Ancient Modern is coming out from Interweave Press in the spring.

“As much as I enjoy making art, I probably get more joy teaching and helping others find their voice in art and jewelry,” says Ronna. Check out her class schedule.