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This week’s theme will start with one of our more notorious creative instigator, Christi Friesen. On my end it started when my better half came back from an orchid show not with any orchids but rather with a 4 foot tall branch covered in air plants and I thought, “That is far too many air plants for that stick. I should save some from their crowded existence and make planters for them! In polymer. Of course.” However, in my world, the time between the germination of an idea and gaining the free time to implement it can be pretty vast. A few days later, I saw this photo pop up on Facebook. Apparently thoughts of air plants are, well, in the air!

Being a simple rolled cone construction with a ton of possibilities for color, texture, and embellishment, these little wall sconces of Christi’s are sure to get creative sparks flying for those of you looking for something new, easy and fun to play around with. There is plenty of room in this kind of project for your style and voice to come through. Work up something of your own like forming bowls, boxes, or tubes instead of cones and design it with your own signature colors and treatments.

Easy and fun are the signature marks of Christi’s classes and books, not to mention her community site, Christi’s Creative Neighborhood where have access to all sorts of tutorials, videos and creative ideas along with a chance to share with other like-minded clayers. Check out Christi’s happenings there, on her website and on her Facebook page.

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        The Great Create Sept 15 blog

businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog

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We don’t often look at food as inspiration on this blog but I am starting to think maybe we should. Just look at these cookies! They are little works of art that I can’t imagine actually eating, or at least there would be great hesitation … at first. I bet they are as delicious as they are beautiful.

This tasty artisan is Frances of the Banana Bakery in Dallas. Texas. With a background is in product design, she had a good basis for developing visually appealing pastries when she started on her baking journey in 2010. Realizing that this was where her real passion lies, she left the world of product design behind and turned to focusing on the thing she loved the most–decorating sugar cookies. Her love of this art is quite apparent and her skill is mind-blowing. It’s not that other people are not doing this kind of thing but from what I’ve seen, her skill and range of application is fairly rare.

As for why this would be a polymer inspiration … I suspect it is obvious how one could create this kind of thing in polymer either with extruded strings or as design inspiration for polymer embroidery. The color combinations are wonderfully joyful and could be a source of color palette ideas.

The sad thing is, you can’t order these shipped to your house, at least not at present. It looks like she keeps exceptionally busy filling orders as it is but if you are in the Dallas area, I’d suggest making a point of seeking out the shop. In the meantime, you’ll just have to drool from a distance with a stop by Frances’ website or Facebook page.

 

Weekly Inspiration Challenge: Take a piece or technique that you have recently created or worked with and make at least 5, preferably 10, or more, versions of the piece or technique. Change it up each time in some significant way to see where your muse takes you.

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

        The Great Create Sept 15 blog

businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog

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Exploring technique and design doesn’t ever end, or at least I don’t think it should. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been working with a material, there is always more to learn. Barbara McGuire is a true and long standing polymer pioneer who may often return to signature techniques but she keeps expanding on what she has done, sometimes in subtle ways, sometimes in big leaps.

This collection of beads is one of her subtler explorations. Barbara has been making face canes for ages but she keeps changing up what she does with them. The angelic looking collection here gets its ethereal feel from the use of translucent wings and background cane slices. Past variations were commonly surrounded by opaque slices and balanced or radial backgrounds. The more freeform application here adds to the otherworldly feel of these little angels.

Barbara posts most of her recent work on her Facebook page while her products and news can usually be found on her website.

 

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

        The Great Create Sept 15 blog

businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog

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Looking over a collection of work can tell you quite a bit about an artist and what intrigues them. The posts this week will give us a chance to consider, in a more complete and varied way, what an artist might be doing or be after in particular types of work. Carole Monahan-Kampfe recently posted some […]

Another way to push the disk element in strung jewelry design is to create designs on those inside surfaces. This might push you to design the disks in such a way as to open up space between them so that the work on the inside could be seen. That might present a bit of a challenge but […]

Let’s move on from the ‘ordinary’ disk necklace and really push what these could be. First of all, who says they need to be round? Or strung on their center sitting neatly one on top of the other? Well, no one, that’s who. Silvia Ortiz de la Torre goes completely off the disk reservation by squaring […]

Disc beads are fantastic for the complexity they can create just by sheer numbers. They also pull the design away from any one bead and put the focus on how they work together. Employing Skinner blends to create the series of well-arranged colors on this necklace, Spain’s Carmen Morente del Monte, develops a rather striking look with […]

To round out this week’s quick focus on beads, I thought I’d share focal beads in another medium that is very well-known for them–glass. Glass artists have some very particular and, literally, inflexible limitations and yet they create these extremely intricate and amazing beads. They do get to work with super clear transparency–a characteristic of […]

How about just a little bead beauty from the consistently wonderful Sarah Shriver today while I amble down the road? Six canes constructed into a cube that is both turned on its side and has had its corner’s tweaked makes for a beautiful simple bead design. Just those two changes to the upright and steady […]