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Noelia Contreras C063Who doesn’t enjoy a flawless finish? A smooth and highly polished finish in polymer is particularly attractive and those of us who have tried to reach this pinnacle of skill are awed by it. I’ve seen quite a bit of nicely polished finishes lately including this beautiful set by Noelia Contreras.

This is a simple, fun, and colorful design that could hold its own without the finish, but the high polish takes it up a level, making it particularly eye catching.  The blacks look blacker and the colors appear brighter because of the clean reflection of light. This kind of finish takes a little longer than a basic sand-and-buff and is sleeker and classier than a varnish short cut, but the results are so worth it.

These polished finishes are common in Noelia’s work, as is her very particular attention to all the details of a piece. Take a few minutes to admire her skill on her Flickr pages and in her shop.

 

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: In your next piece, or with a piece you have already created but could benefit from a bit more attention, practice your flawless finishes. This will mean different things for different people as not every piece should be polished or flawless. The idea is that your piece is carefully and skillfully finished off in a fashion that matches the type of work it is. If you are going for smooth, take the time to polish it to the best of your ability. If it is rough or layered, be particular about the cuts you make, the backs, and the edges.

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

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Karen and Ann Mitchell transitorsI think this piece was actually created in 2015, so although not brand new, it popped up on my screen the other day and I just had to share.

This is a necklace by Karen and Ann Mitchell, probably best known for their contribution to our advanced knowledge of liquid polymer possibilities. Exploring and trying new materials and designs is nothing new for these two ladies, but take a close look at the focal piece. Do you recognize the ‘beads’ used in the center?

If you don’t, you could just open up your computer, or any electronic device really, and you’d find these little elements in there. These electronic transistors make a perfectly blended design with the color palette of the beads, and the ladder design continues (or may have been inspired by) the staccato beat of the elements throughout this piece.

If you are not yet familiar with the work of these two fabulous ladies, you can find out more on their website here. They also have two great books out, the classic and still best source on the subjectLiquid Polymer Clayand Bead Jewelry 101

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Wander into a hardware store, thrift store, or dollar store and find a small collection of items whose colors, shapes, or textures really grab you. Take them home and create a piece based around the characteristics of your new found materials.

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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

Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog  The Great Create Sept 15 blog  businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front

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Claire maunsell bollywoodWhen I think of Claire Maunsell’s work, I think of her lovely and very organic pods and vessels. Her matte but saturated colors along with those crackle textures and scratches have become identifying characteristics of her style. So when I saw this post in a Facebook group with this work in progress piece, I was surprised to see it was posted by Claire. The contemporary shapes and brilliant colors are a departure from her usual approach, but what a brilliant exploration it is.

Claire says this was inspired by Bollywood films, which was an easy an instant connection for me. Those Indian fabrics and decor are so luscious in color, and Claire’s interpretation is a beautiful collaboration of those colors and her penchant for heavy texture.

Although I can’t point you to the source of this image, you can see more of Claire’s beautiful work on her Flickr photostream and in her Etsy shop.

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Relax and watch a movie or show where the scenery, atmosphere, or fashion has a very particular look. Find colors, textures, forms, or imagery that inspires you and design or create your next piece based on this inspiration.

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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

Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog  The Great Create Sept 15 blog  businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front

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Maybe it’s just me, but 2016 seems like a year of new exploration for many polymer artisans. It’s like the year of trying something new. Not that some of the artists I’ll share with you this week don’t regularly explore, but these are kind of fun and a bit surprising. This tile, by Connie Clark, […]

One article in the new Summer issue that really could have used more room was the one on mobiles. You should see just my outline for it! The art of mobiles is so broad that it would be impossible to get even just a taste of all that can be done in one article, even if […]

We have some incredibly beautiful work in the gallery sections this issue. We are very fortunate that we got Bonnie Bishoff and J.M. Syron to showcase their new work (and grace the cover) and are thrilled to have the latest work from Staci Smith to share with you, as well. The surprise gem of our collection in the […]

Hurrah! The Summer 2016 issue went out on Saturday, so if you were waiting on a digital edition, check your inbox (or spam folder if it’s not there). We started mailing the print edition out on Thursday and the last of those (for subscribers with active accounts and pre-orders prior to Friday) will get packed and […]

Let’s look at one last example of chaos, tendrils, and limited palettes. This time we join Beth Petricoin who wrote a great article on her polymer quilling in the Spring 2015 issue of The Polymer Arts. Here she actually builds it into a few layers which you don’t often see in paper quilling, the inspiration […]

Moving along with the minimal color palette, as well as an unusual way to work tendrils into a piece, I have here, for your kind consideration, a piece by the lovely Klavdija Kurent who is always very inventive and exploratory. The chaos here is kept to a minimum and feels more like a small rebellion by […]