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Pavla-Beatle Inro boxWhat would you say to a week of small, wearable containers? I personally have a very particular interest (maybe a tiny bit of an obsession) with things that little treasures and secrets can be stored in. So, I’ve been digging up a number of interesting examples of wearable cases, and there is more variety in this than I would have thought.

This little beauty is styled after an inro; a traditional Japanese container that would have been hung from a waist sash. Traditional Japanese dress did not have anything like pockets, so the inros would be the method by which small necessities could be carried. They grew from purely functional objects to works of high art and have, obviously, been adopted for adornment beyond what would accompany traditional Japanese dress.

This inro style container is by Pavla Cepelikova. She created a series of these over the last couple years that she calls Beatle Inro Boxes. I believe the reference would be to the insects not to the band, but I could be wrong. The wing-like shapes created by the polymer inlay is certainly reminiscent of a beetle. The flat top works as a cap, sliding up the cord as an inro top would. Yes, we would usually see the inro in more of a box shape and with an overlapping cap, but this does work the same way. The shape and surface decoration make for an original and charming version of the traditional case. It’s a good example of taking a traditional idea and moving beyond what is usually done with it.

You can see the rest of the series on Pavla’s Flickr pages along with many other little beauties. Enjoy!

 

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103316258Well, has this week’s cool patterns got you hankering to try a some new dramatic patterns yourself? Here, I found a great online tutorial that uses the drama of graphical black patterns edged by white to pump up the color and pattern of scrap canes. It’s a beautifully simple technique brought to us by Pinklily of France. I decided to show you just the resultant sheets here and hope you’ll go see what can be made from them on her blog post. Because the options are too fun to miss I thought you might just get curious and click through.

The instructions on here are in French and can’t be copied into Google translate, but I think the images are pretty self-explanatory. Although she uses canes for the background, you could really use any kind of pattern from marbling to leftover mokume to Stroppel canes. You could even keep it simple with a solid or Skinner blend background. The general effect will be the same.

Pinklily is pretty generous with her tutorials on her blog, so if you like this, take some time to wander about and see what other fund stuff she might have for you.

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BTakenaka

I pulled this one out particularly for you mad cane slicing artists who might want some fresh ideas for creating patterns with your slices. Barbara Takenaga is a painter who works solely in pattern rather than imagery or abstraction. Her paintings have the illusion of depth and movement that creates wonderful drama, as well as an often mesmerizing effect.

Since the energy and movement is created by the arrangement and size of the forms–spots, in this case–one can easily imagine creating such movement with cane slices using canes of various sizes. A few extruded snakes to emphasize the lines and you could end up with some pretty amazing wall or decorative art.

Time spent wandering her gallery is like a trip through a galactic field of stars and sometimes kind of like an acid trip, but it’s wonderfully engrossing. You will get lost in the work. You have been warned.

http://www.barbaratakenaga.com/

 

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spiritwearelephantA week of dramatic patterns would not be complete without a little Jon Anderson. You have likely seen at least a few of his larger, cane covered animals or maybe his bowls or even his guitars. But, have you seen his jewelry?

Jon’s fascination with canes is all about the pattern. The forms he covers are more of a canvas than the source of inspiration. Of course, animals and the spirit of them is where his finds a home for his patterns, but his canes come from what he has seen on his travels in other decorative artwork, as well as architecture and the decorative elements of buildings.

Jon has such an amazing eye for how to lay out the canes in a way that enhances the form. Also, his canes are so carefully created and reduced that he can bring them down to a size that can be applied onto forms as small as the pendants you see here. This means that many of us can afford to collect a few, even when our budgets are small.

Although Jon is American, he lives and creates in Bali with his wife who takes care of his promotions and PR. He also has an agent in the US who takes care of the sales and distribution of his work, so Jon gets to just focus on his art. Lucky, lucky guy.

You can read one of his only personal interviews in the Spring 2012 issue of The Polymer Arts and see more of his work on his website.

 

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aGarrod Rainbow neckringConsistent forms or motifs in a pattern can get a bit stale, but they can also be raised to sublime heights with the judicious use of color. In this case here, Angela Garrod uses a gradient wash of color across a series of alternating lines consisting of triangles, more like arrows, to bring in variation and change the atmosphere of the piece.

The arrows create energy that pushes the eye back and forth across the width of this ‘neckring’ as she calls these forms, but the soft colors bring in a calming element. The gradient of color in the rest of the circle is deep and rich, and it borders on almost being too much of a contrast to the soft color of the center texture. But that tension may be just what Angela is after, and only the viewer or–maybe more importantly–a buyer can say whether it really works or not.

Angela has been playing quite a bit with patterns of late, as well as this interesting form of neck adornment. To see just what she has been up to, flip through her shared photos on Flickr and the gallery on her website.

 

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95292610A bit of dramatic patterning can be accomplished with a combination of patterns. Here we have an attractive combination of very Klimt-like colors and lines along with a few jeweled accents to give our eyes a stopping place here and there to rest. The accents also visually anchor the patterned clay in order to keep our view from regularly wandering off the edges.

I originally found this set on the ever intriguing blog Parole de Pate (translates as “Word of Dough” by Google, but let’s go with “Words of Clay” or its subtitle “Petit Journal de la Polymere”, which shouldn’t really need translation.)

In any case, that is where I found Arliane of Paris who made this set. She is very heavy into visual patterning, especially in the mokume techniques with some really gorgeous color palettes. For more of Arliane’s work, take a look at her blog pages.

 

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5898010421_8f96d73e92_zAfter a very pointed week of focal points, I thought it might be fun to follow-up with dispersed drama in the form of repeated but highly interesting patterns. Although focal points are highly desirable, they aren’t absolutely necessary. It really depends on what the artist wants to convey or have the viewer experience.

In this mirror by Russia’s Julli-ya (julliyaa on Flickr), there is no focal point in the traditional sense. The reflective glass dominates the center, but it is not where our eye goes (unless we’re looking into it.) Instead, we are fated to wander the spaces around it in the fun and busy clusters and paths of colors. The consistency of the patterning–using the same round concentric circle cane slices in a scattered manner–along with the regular islands of warm color on a sea of cool blues and greens helps to keep this from being purely chaotic. It becomes all about the visual texture and the fun, bright colors.

This regular patterning is something that Julli-ya comes back to again and again. You can see larger images of this and other work like it on her LiveJournal pages (scroll down on this link to see the nice big photos) and on her Flickr photostream.

 

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I was trying to find a piece that kind of brought together all the various approaches that we talked about this week. Finding something that specific is a little tough, but this piece by Slovenian artist, Tina Mežek hits on a number of approaches to create a really dramatic focal on her necklace. Obviously size is helping to make […]

Some of the most dramatic focal points are the quiet ones. Like the way a room can be buzzing with conversation and movement as people mingle at a party, but the one person who keeps drawing your eye when you look around is the quiet one, not talking, just leaning up against a wall and […]

Dramatic focal points don’t need to be shiny, bright, high contrast, busy or have anything much at all. In fact, negative space – the space between, around, or within elements – can create very elegant and dramatic focal points. Here is one such example by the talented Mathilde Colas. The necklace uses a ring of combined textures […]

Shimmering and shiny or high contrast are not the only way to make a focal point stand out. Texture and lines can bring our focus to the prime point in a piece as quickly as anything else. In this very curious brooch/necklace piece, Russia’s Radada combines pieces of paua (abalone) shell and textured polymer in such […]

A focal point can pop without a lot of shimmer or shine. This poor, but beautiful, little heart looks like it’s been through a rough time or two or ten. But, it has this one bright spot on its battered surface–an off-white accent that almost glows against the deep, dark colors of the rest of the […]

Who doesn’t like a little drama? Well, with half the world just in love with over-the-top reality TV and crazy viral videos, maybe a good deal of people actually prefer a lot of drama. But, rather than going over the top or trying to shock, let’s look at ways to get a big punch out […]

Nature has such a wide variety of flower forms, and not just the nested petals we are so familiar with such as roses, peonies, daisies and the like. The forms, not to mention the colors of course, are incredible. Search “Unusual Flowers” on Pinterest or Google images and you will see some of the craziest shapes […]

Glass work has really been making the rounds lately, which is my excuse for showing off glass two weeks in a row. But really, this was just too beautiful of a piece not to share, and who knows when a theme would come up again that would have allowed me to share this beauty. The […]

Today, I thought we’d just admire the easy way that flowers can be used, like any singular element, as a way to create lines. Lines define and give direction, as well as creating energy by creating visual movement. An arrangement of many small flowers will create those lines just as would a series of beads, […]