I recently noticed that there has been quite the decline in representation of the non-English speaking countries in our community on this blog lately. It is certainly nothing intentional; I previously worried I leaned a bit too much that direction since I am personally drawn quite strongly to the aesthetic tendencies of many of our European clayers. But when I thought about how I have been finding the material lately, I realized that my search methods necessarily leave out non-English websites–or more specifically, sites and images that do not have “polymer” spelled out in English. This has to be fixed, I thought, and I immediately went about determining ways to search based on theme and not miss wonderful artwork because of English search terms. Turns out this will not be easy, but then, it must be done.
I will get to my solution at the end of the post (and ask for a little of your help!) but first, let’s start rectifying this shortcoming by making this week’s theme based on artists living in non-English speaking countries. Since The Polymer Arts readership has such a huge Eastern European following, I thought it appropriate to honor our talented clay folks from that region.
Variation in visual texture is the hallmark of work created by Slovenia’s Ursa Polak. This piece uses canes, crackle, and hand tooled circle patterning, with little to no repetition in the lines and shapes of the surface treatments as applied to each bead. The collection of applications is made cohesive by the green and black theme throughout and the symmetry of the basic bead shape, size, and arrangement.
Ursa is a self-taught polymer jewelry artist who works heavily in millefiori and mokume, with a great deal of exploration into the variety of shapes upon which to apply her canes and other surface treatments. More of her work can be found on her blog and on her Flickr photostream.
How to Search for Polymer Art in Other Languages
So here is my solution to finding more polymer art when it is not posted in English. It requires actually using the translation for the word polymer in both the spelling and text characters used. This could be quite a job if I did this for every search; so for now, I think I will try and do themed weeks based on languages or geographical regions. What do you think?
Based on the subscribers of The Polymer Arts magazine, I made a list of how polymer is spelled and written out. I thought some of you might find this of interest if you regularly search for polymer art online; these are the languages in the many countries where we have readers of The Polymer Arts magazine that do not spell polymer as we do in the English alphabet. I think I might still be missing a few, so if you don’t see your language and you know polymer is not spelled or typed as it is in English on native language pages, do let me know! You can leave a comment below or, if getting this by email, reply to the email.
I do worry that I will still miss out on a quite a few gems out there, even searching with these translations. So for those of you who live outside the US, especially non-English speaking countries, would you help us out and send links to blogs, websites, forums, and specific artist’s websites to help me with the geographical themed weeks and just to get me linked in on pages I might be missing? Art has no language barriers, but the web often does, and I don’t want that to get in the way of us being able to learn from the whole of our international community!
(To translate pages you find in the links this week, copy the web address for the page and paste into the translation box at http://translate.google.com/ or use Google Chrome as your web browser as it automatically offers to translate pages for you into your native language. Go here for more information on this cool toolbar.)