Outside Inspiration: Lots of Tiny Frames

Framing doesn’t require a frame be used just once. One can use frames as a repeated design element as done in this necklace by Susan Remnant.  The forms that structure this piece represent an organic sensibility which is somewhat ironic since it’s rare to see nature frame it’s creations but in this case, I think the many little frames work to emphasize the forms and the randomness common in nature.

Susan Remnant

I found this bold, contemporary enameled pendant on the website of a fellow polymer enthusiast, Janice Abrabanel, who also prizes the inspiration we get from other mediums. Unfortunately, Susan Remnant does not seem to have a online presence but do enjoy Janice’s blog for inspiration today.

 

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Bold and Deep (And our 10% off Everything Sale!)

So yes, we’re having our once a year sale off everything in The Polymer Arts magazine store! See the information at the end of the post here.

But first, let’s talk art …

The type of frames we put photos or artwork in tend to be shallow affairs made to sit out of the way on a shelf or wall. But that tradition shouldn’t determine the depth of frames you make for your adornment, decor, or even wall art for that matter. Your frame can be as deep as makes sense for your piece.

For instance,  Tanja of Flickr’s Fantastisch-Plastischcan created a pendant with a deeply concave form to show off layers in a stack of polymer sheets. With this kind of form, leaving it frame-less would have been okay but instead of leaving it there she created a deep silver frame for it. This makes the depression feel more like the a reveal of an underground or celestial space rather than just being a concave form. It also brings in contrast–bright silver against muted greens–and allows her more real estate to expand on the red ball motif.

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It seems that all our artists this week, the ones pushing the idea of what a frame might be, are all explorers and experimenters. Tanja has played with a wide variety of forms as well as textures, both visual and tactile. She just seems to be having too much fun to settle down with a particular style or set of techniques. You can see what I’m talking about when you go through her array of work in her Flickr pages.

 

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Incomplete Surroundings

A frame doesn’t have to completely surround the focus of the piece or shrink back to be a barely noticed element. The framed piece we have for you today suspends the center stone between the framing elements, using negative space to enhance the design.

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As the artist, Georgia Morgan explains, “Working in polymer allows unlimited space to explore the synergy of color, pattern, and texture. My main artistic influences have been Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements, and the work that resonates the most with me combines organic elements in a geometric framework.”

Whether you’re creating your frame from polymer or some other mixed media, consider breaking away from the enclosed space and straight, balanced lines, unless your piece is about control, symmetry or otherwise needs the expected and calm of a standard frame. In other words, consider what your frame can be to help support the feeling or theme of the piece.

For more on Georgia’s often out of the box work, take a look at her website here.

 

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Wrap it Around

One of the primary reasons for using frames is to finish off the edge of a bead or element so it is functional but it doesn’t have to be purely functional. It is going to show, so why not make it a major part of the design?

Ivana Brozova has brought her frame into the design by creating a wave to the edge that comes up onto the bead’s surface. It gives the frame more surface so the analogous colors in the frame become a more substantial part of the bead and the wave in the frame plays off the aquatic theme of the necklace.

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Ivana is another explorer in the ways of polymer with some wonderfully different, often edgy but always intriguing work. Take a swim through her artistic world on her Flickr photostream.

 

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Polymer Framed

The presentation of a bead or surface treatment is often accompanied by framing  or creating some kind of window that puts focus on the focal point. This week I wanted to look at a few more unusual options for “framing” to give you some ideas on how to integrate the frame as part of the design rather than creating it as a more functional aspect used to simply finish of  the edges.

First of all, framing doesn’t have to stay on the outside. Bringing the framing into the center and letting it cross the treated surface, is a way to break up the surface design as well as integrate the frame directly into design of the piece. Here Sue Corrie uses the branches and trunk of a tree to create a number of windows for the polymer beneath. The result is the frame becomes foreground for the abstracted scene in the polymer. The treatment of the polymer can be kept minimal here because the bronze frame adds line, contrast in color and depth to this brooch.

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Sue is one of our more exploratory polymer artists working in quite a few different styles and approaches, making even other people’s techniques her own by pushing the process and trying new things with them. Take a look through her Flickr pages and her website for more inspiring pieces.

 

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Polymer or Porcelain?

I couldn’t resist a last little guessing game for this week.

When I was looking through my Pinterest boards, I found this set of beautiful, organically inspired bracelets by Armenian artist Sona Grigoryan, but I couldn’t be sure if they were ceramic or polymer. So what do think these are made of?

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Sona is an Armenian  living in Barcelona and she is in love with polymer clay.  I think it is the antiquing color added to these bracelets that give the polymer that almost translucent porcelain look. Most of her work would not make you think of polymer straight away. Her pieces look more like to be made of bone, wood or other natural materials. Take a few minutes or more to look through her fantastical work on her Flickr pages.

 

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A Collection of Toggles

Have you been having fun guessing the materials this week and thinking of ways to create these beautiful pieces in polymer? Well, here is a whole array of pieces to take a guess at. We are all on our own here as the Live Journal post doesn’t list what is what or how these pieces were created. This whole post is an interesting collection of inspiration for a polymer contest that revolved around art accessories embellished with the use of texture stamps.

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According to the Russian translation describing these pieces, they are made from ceramics, polymer, and/or metals. To read more about the competition and artwork submitted, take a look at the translated website. Enjoy!

 

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Naturally Faux

We’ve done non-polymer all week so I thought this Friday we’d switch that up with polymer work by an artist that doesn’t always work in polymer and if one didn’t know better, one would think she truly didn’t! Bettina Mertz’s faux polymer stones are amazing. She has a whole series of jewelry designs including  bracelets, necklaces, pendants, and earrings using similarly realistic faux stone. This fall set is one of the best designs adding kinetic movement and a randomness that just adds to the organic feel of the piece.

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Betinna is also intrigued by intricate bead embroidery.  If she can’t find a particular bead that she wants, she makes it out of polymer clay, using this stone and other faux techniques. You can see more of her polymer and bead work on her blogspot, Mertz Bettina Schmuck Design and her Flickr pages.

 

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Beauty in Transluscence

If you read our wonderful Fall 2013 issue of The Polymer Arts, you no doubt remember the cover piece by Kathrin Neumaier. That translucent glass look has been quite popular in the polymer community so when I saw these simple but elegant earrings, my first thought was that it was polymer. But no. And it’s not glass either. What’s your guess?

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The artist here is Barbara Fernald.  These are actually vintage Lucite beads, sometimes referred to as acrylic glass. Perfectly proportioned design transcends mediums. See more of Barbara’s elegant work on her website.

 

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