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Katya Tryfonova scratched earringsWhat a weekend! There was lots of heavy lifting as I continued to get my new home and studio set up in California and in the background, I’m thinking about the news of yet another craft magazine closing down while here at TPA we are ramping up plans for a new periodical (see the TPA newsletter for this news and check out the links to the sale I Love 2 Craft is having on our book and back issues), all this while hoping we don’t get washed away the heavy deluge of rain here. I have to say, I’m a thoroughly worn out. And yet here is a new week to greet us with much left to do!

Perhaps that is why I found myself collecting images of work with scratches and dings and wonderful worn textures. I kind of feel the same way. However, there is beauty even in the worn out and scratched up.

These simple bell forms, created by Katya Tryfonoava, are elevated, rather than diminished, by a cacophony of scratches. The lines, emphasized by what I assume is rubbed in black paint, show energy as well as give the beads texture and contrast. This is quietly balanced by consistently sized and evenly placed dots marching around the higher slopes.

Katya’s simple shapes and hand crafted texture seems to be at the heart of her desire to combine the modern with folk art. As she says in her Flickr profile, “My goal is to empower modern styles with the inner truth, the energy and wisdom of generations that are naturally embedded in the traditional art. This is what I define as a largely overlooked link between the old and new cultures, worlds, ways of life. I don’t want to simplify the contemporary art to primitive, but I want to bring to it character, spontaneity, energy, living vibrations, expression and passion, which are inherent in folk art, to fill the contemporary shapes with new meaning.”

See where her goals have taken her by perusing her wide array of exploratory pieces on her Flickr photostream.

 

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gabriellepollacc organic matter journalJournal covers are very much like blank canvases, which means you can do anything you desire on them. Your medium is probably the only thing that will constrict you, but then you aren’t restricted to one medium, are you? Polymer is amazing and will always be my go to material but I wouldn’t ignore other wonderful options, especially since so many other mediums work so well with polymer.

Here is a journal cover that has no polymer on it but most of the materials used are quite familiar to polymer clayers and could be combined with it to create looks inspired by this texture rich cover. Gabrielle Pollacco uses an insanely wide array of paints, inks, powders, sprays, stencils, stamps and a few other things to create this cover. Sometimes, too many materials is like too many ingredients in a recipe … going overboard can really muck things up. But Gabrielle brings it all together here by limiting her palette and sticking with a weathered look as her thematic motif.

She seriously looks like she is having way too much fun in this video tutorial that she recorded of her full process for creating this cover. I now have a new list of products to find and try so if you watch this, you have been warned that it may result in a bit of frenetic online shopping! Also … the music she uses may get stuck in your head and have you bopping about the rest of the day. It’s not a bad thing. Just wanted to give you a head’s up so you are ready to defend yourself with the mute button if bopping is not appropriate at the time.

Weekly Inspiration Challenge: Create a journal cover for your goals and plans book. Try some new materials to really make it interesting. If you’ve not covered a journal or sketchbook before and find covering a pristine new book on your first try to be a bit too much pressure, create on a separate sheet of clay that can be glued to the journal later or, if you like it as is, can be a bit of inspiration to frame. A sheet of raw clay, cured between two tiles to keep it perfectly flat can be a great ‘canvas’ to work on.

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Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog   never knead -july-2015c-125   The Great Create Sept 15 blog   businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front

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monika autumn journalNot only is today’s journal cover an inspiration for what you can do with your own decorative journal cover, it’s a beautiful example of ‘painting’ with polymer.

England’s Monika Duchowicz actually does do a bit of acrylic painting on this along with the polymer applications but it doesn’t come across as painted. I would guess most of the painting is in the moss on the stone and in the water which is beautifully rendered and in a way that polymer would not be able to emulate in such a seamless fashion. With a successful background in painting, it’s no wonder that the water and its complex reflections look so real.

Journals are a primary form for Monika, especially these painterly ones. You can view more of her journals as well as wearable art in her Etsy shop and on her website which is in Polish and English although some pages are just one or the other. You can always drop the URL of a page or parts of text into Google Translate if you come upon text that needs translating. .

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

Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog   never knead -july-2015c-125   The Great Create Sept 15 blog   businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front

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I’m sorry we are a little late posting this week. We had a few technical and timing difficulties but we are back on track now. Speaking of which … how many of you are still on track with your new year’s resolutions or plans for 2017? It can be so exciting to come up with the […]

For a last look at moths this week, I thought I’d share this work by Cheryl Lee Myers of Elemental Urchin. This is probably not polymer clay but rather two-part epoxy clay. I say that because for one, I found that she paints these all on a black base that looks very much like epoxy I’ve used […]

Apparently I am not the only one who likes moths! The first post this week knocked the meter off the scale and was shared, liked and viewed thousands of times. We also got our answer as to who the artist was–Darya Telegina of Balambeshka on www.vk.com. I’ve added it to the post which you can see here. […]

I don’t know what it is, but moths seem to be popping up all over the place in the polymer-sphere. They are pretty amazing too. This one was hard to miss. The translucent wings and choice of colors that are smoothly graduated in beautifully executed detail make this moth feel quite ethereal. Even the fluff and […]

Since this week seems to be about juxtaposed color that causes visual shifting, I thought I’d check in on Sandra Trachsel of Koniz, Switzerland who creates some of the most splendid three-dimensional looking cane layouts. Her pieces are visual illusions of space and movement, all created with changes in shades and values of color and how […]

At first I couldn’t figure out what Carol Blackburn had done here and could only stare at this in wonderment. But then, I was looking at the image on my phone as Randee Ketzel had forwarded it to me and I have to immediately check out anything Randee sends my way. On closer examination (and on […]