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kilgast catepillarsHere is another pretty and much less creepy insect to admire this week, as well as being one  you can create for yourself with Stephanie Kilgast‘s instructions in this great video tutorial. Part caning, part sculptural, this tutorial actually has a lot of great ideas for all kinds of claying enthusiasts whether you like creepy crawlers or not.

Stephanie actually has quite a thing for happy bugs. In fact she has a whole line of them and other bug making video tutorials as well. Here is what she says about her Happy Bugs project:

“The happy bugs projects comes from a desire to sculpt happiness and not always focus on the desperate state of the world …  I need that fresh breeze of joy and you might too. Happy because laughing makes us kinder too and bugs because insects are a treasure of beauty, colors and textures.”

I completely agree with her sentiment! Find more on bugs, food, and hybrid plant-animals on her colorful and quite happy website.

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Just create something that makes you happy. Let this be a happiness filled weekend.

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christi friesen dragonflySo I finally found out what the crazy, giant, alien looking thing was hopping down the trail after me and my big black German Shepard the other day. It’s called a Tarantula Hawk although it’s a type of wasp and not a bird. I found a few images and one absolutely horrifying video of it trying to take down a tarantula even bigger than itself (and these things are already 2 inches /50mm long or more!) I’ve not seen a horror movie quite so scary since Halloween! These giant wasps are definitely the thing of nightmares, maybe more for tarantulas, but their sting is logged as the most painful sting/bite in the world next only to that of a bullet ant. One person said it felt like they were being struck by lighting for 3 long minutes straight. Yikes!

In any case, I am still freaking out over the things so the goal today was to find a pretty version of such a creature and I totally have it here with Christi Friesen’s Jeweled Insect. The creature I saw was seriously about the same size and had a similar body type but I am much more enamored of this one. I imagine many of us would be!

This insect is part of a journey Christi is on (and not the kind where strange insects start chasing you down the trail!) She and I are in similar places with realizing how little we do art for ourselves, being entrenched in the creative businesses we have. She and I have had some long talks about this as well as with others and have made recent re-commitments to our studio time. She got a jump on this much earlier than I (I’m still working it out) and created a number of things like this blingy bug created last month. You should read her blog post about her thoughts on this studio commitment idea and how it might apply to you on her blog here.

She is also teaching this as a project in Brisbane next week although I heard it was sold out. However, she may very well teach it again so keep an eye on Christi’s class announcements on this page and through her email ‘blathers’.

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Create a piece that is just for you, that you have no intention of selling or maybe even showing to anyone else. Create without worry or inhibition and enjoy the process, giving yourself no limitations.

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Like this blog? Lend your support with a purchase of The Polymer Arts magazine and visit our partners:

never knead -july-2015c-125  2Wards Blog May 2016  PCTV March 2016 Blog

The Great Create Sept 15 blog  Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog  TPA-Blog_125x125_2015

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joyce-fritz3Ok, so you know what is on my mind this week? Bugs! First something nipped on me several nights in a row while I slept then later this past week these brilliant green bugs keep popping up in one of the bathrooms (turned out to be stink bugs … yuck!), then I was chased down a desert trail I regularly run by the biggest and strangest hopping beetle/mosquito looking thing the other day. Now, I am not a squeamish girl and I actually really like bugs–they are amazing creatures–but I’ve nearly had enough. So to resurrect my love of bugs, let’s do beautiful bugs this week. We’ll see what I can find.

Joyce Fritz came to mind first, of course. I have been admiring her bugs since nearly day one of my polymer inspired existence. I remember reading an interview about her use of recycled telephone wire for the legs to make appendages as colorful as the clay canes most of her bugs are built from. I thought that was so clever. The antennae and other parts are made from wire and beads. She sells almost exclusively through wholesaling which means she makes a LOT of bugs, and yet they all look so fun and inspired. I love that this one has an entire landscape scene on its back, perhaps carrying an image of its ‘native’ environment. That would be a very interesting bug to find while out on a trail.

While I go looking for more beautiful bugs, enjoy a little gallery showing of Joyce’s work on her website.

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Create a more appealing version of something you tend to find ugly in nature. Bugs, snakes, fungus, weeds … just come up with something you regular try to avoid and see if you can’t create a beautiful version of it or let it inspire form, color, texture or motifs for a new piece.

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Like this blog? Lend your support with a purchase of The Polymer Arts magazine and visit our partners:

never knead -july-2015c-125  2Wards Blog May 2016  PCTV March 2016 Blog

The Great Create Sept 15 blog  Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog  TPA-Blog_125x125_2015

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To encourage further play with metal and polymer, I dug up a very easy tutorial for you that requires no significant metal working skills. Gloria Fort has step by step instructions for creating a fun, modern necklace with nothing more than polymer and metal rings. Easy peasy and quite appealing, you can choose your own […]

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If you haven’t yet heard, the range of precious metal clays available has expanded tremendously over the last handful of years, even into the availability of not so precious metals including copper, bronze, and even steel. What this means is that experimenting with these art clays can be done without the huge investment that the cost […]

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Have you ever considered combining polymer and metal but shied away because you just don’t have the metal working skills? Well, you don’t have to be a metal smith to have fully integrated polymer and metal pieces. I thought I’d share a few ideas for you to consider if you have been hesitant to try adding […]

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As promised, a little weekend dose of art is here for you. This piece is a mixed media painting by Amy Longcope and definitely something that would bring joy and energy to a room. I’m going to let an excerpt from her biography speak for her process: “Amy Longcope’s approach when creating a new piece is not […]

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I tried to get something up on Wednesday but fate was not going to let that happen. I have, however, been relieved of my elderly parent watching duties until the end of next week so I should be able to keep up and will try to plan ahead. Plus, I’ll sneak in a little something […]

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I’m sorry I am a bit late getting this out today. I have, unfortunately been spending a lot of time at the hospital where my mom is laid up with a fracture of the spine and also at the family home where my dear father is valiantly fighting the vagaries of dementia made more difficult by […]