Clean Mokume

SONY DSCOn Polyform’s website, there are numerous free lessons. If you have admired Melanie Muir’s clean mokume technique, you can get the basics and create your own from this great little tutorial on Polyform’s website. It’s nice to see the tutorial emphasize the importance of color contrast–light and dark, but there is also bright and dull, warm and cool and picking from opposite ends of the color spectrum.  All of these will give your color palette some level of drama. However, there is nothing at all wrong with choosing analogous colors, colors with similar saturation or value or anything else. It will create a different feel, and the less contrast, the less visual pop and drama you will see. But, we’re not always after that, are we?

So, why not choose a color palette that fits your mood, an outfit or reminds you of a great time or place and try Melanie’s approach? There are some great little tips in this lesson, which makes it worth at least a quick read for anyone into polymer surface treatments. And the resulting sheets or pendants could really get you ahead on creating for your gift giving list!

 

If you like this blog, support The Polymer Arts projects with a subscription or issue of The Polymer Arts magazine as well as supporting our advertising partners.

businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   butterfly ad 150x150 - Clean Mokume   TPA Blog Newsletter Ad  ShadesofClay 1014 v2  lpedit  tpa black ad oct 15 - Clean Mokume

Outside Inspiration: Shades of Metal

alex horst  collageAlex Horst’s pieces are gorgeous, traditional mokume gane metal work, but being limited to metals doesn’t mean being limited in color. When given a limitation, use it to find new, creative additions and alternatives, like how to gain more color if that is what you want in a piece. Alex brings in color and a range of texture with variations in metal treatments and the addition of complimentary gemstones.

My one complaint… his online images are so small! This is why you are seeing a collage of his necklaces. They are actually each pretty impressive, but how wonderful in a collection like this. Still, as a curious buyer or an artist, it would be immensely helpful to see more detail here. It is an intriguing tease to get a glimpse of the beauty, but  as a buyer I might wonder if it’s even worth the time to write and see if there are better images to be had, and so I might not take the time. Keep that in mind if you depend on online sales. Clear, large photos and detail shots can really make the difference between getting that sale or not!

Have you ever wondered how the metal mokume process differs from what we do in polymer? Well, you can see it on Alex’s website, in this step by step outline of his mokume approach. While you are there, take a look at his other jewelry designs. Just beautiful pieces all the way around!

 

If you like this blog, support The Polymer Arts projects with a subscription or issue of The Polymer Arts magazine as well as supporting our advertising partners.

businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   butterfly ad 150x150 - Outside Inspiration: Shades of Metal   TPA Blog Newsletter Ad  ShadesofClay 1014 v2  lpedit  tpa black ad oct 15 - Outside Inspiration: Shades of Metal

Monochrome Mokume

rebecca geoffery mokume monoI always hesitate to post pieces with little or no color, as they just don’t get that immediate attention that really colorful work does. But, it would be hard not to talk about monochrome, which is another classic color palette that is ideal for mokume. The advantage of monochrome is it’s striking and often graphical nature. As artists, we are forced to look at value, form, line, etc. instead of leaning on color. Now, I know lots of  color is one of the fun advantages to creating mokume, but monochrome is a little bit of a challenge and one that can result in amazing pieces.

This pendant by Rebecca Geoffery is just one such example. The fact that she worked with a very controlled approach to line and value works so well for a piece that can’t lean on the impact of color at all. Sure, this could have been done in a really striking set of colors, but I think it might actually have taken away from the beauty of the lines and the repetition. They take front and center in this simple piece, and I think it’s just about perfect as is.

I can’t sign off today without a virtual hug to all my American friends celebrating Thanksgiving today. This is the day we should be contemplating the truly wonderful and blessed advantages, people and opportunities in our life. I am most thankful to you, my many readers, who allow me to blather on about things I love and am so passionate about. Thank you for allowing me to have this as part of my daily life! A very Happy Thanksgiving and a big hug to all my friends and readers across the globe!

 

If you like this blog, support The Polymer Arts projects with a subscription or issue of The Polymer Arts magazine as well as supporting our advertising partners.

businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   butterfly ad 150x150 - Monochrome Mokume   TPA Blog Newsletter Ad  ShadesofClay 1014 v2  lpedit  tpa black ad oct 15 - Monochrome Mokume

Blended Approaches

befuddled broochThis gorgeous brooch, created by polymer and precious metal clay artist Kelly Russell, is actually a combination of techniques, with mokume being one of the primary ones. Do you actually see the mokume as mokume when you first look at it, or do you see the sections as kind of blending together like a series of textures and melding of color?

It’s probably obvious from the length of that second question that I think the choice of components are pretty synergistic so that no one technique stands out. The  jewel tones, subdued to bright pastels, run through all the components for cohesiveness. It’s also not that heavy on contrast, but rather sticks with a light to mid-range set of values, which makes it feel calm and serene.

I like that Kelly does not restrict her materials or her techniques in her pieces. She mixes it up while keeping it unified through color palette choices. Take a look a more of her lovely work on her blog and website.

 

 

If you like this blog, support The Polymer Arts projects with a subscription or issue of The Polymer Arts magazine as well as supporting our advertising partners.

businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   butterfly ad 150x150 - Blended Approaches   TPA Blog Newsletter Ad  ShadesofClay 1014 v2  lpedit  tpa black ad oct 15 - Blended Approaches

Limited Mokume

jan montarsi extruded mokumeAnother classic color palette that works really well with mokume is the limited color palette. Limiting the colors to just two or three (and keeping them either analogous or give one a real contrast from the rest) will force you to work with value (how light or dark a color is)  and composition. Too much color can be distracting in your composition and overpower your other other design elements.

In this extruded polymer mokume, Jan Montarsi uses a pink and peach color with white. There is very little contrast in the couple of colors. The colors are analogous, and the most value contrast is with the white, which is not a color at all. This minimal color set forces Jan to work with other elements like the intriguing layering and shapes within his pendant here.

The extruded mokume technique offers a lot of opportunity for the exploratory clayer. If you haven’t worked with it, it’s great fun, it can use up scrap clay if you like and creates a more definite and more controllable pattern. For a tutorial on the extruded mokume method, take a look at Kristie Foss’ nice tutorial here. And for more great mokume and beautiful finishes, have fun roaming Jan’s Flickr pages.

 

If you like this blog, support The Polymer Arts projects with a subscription or issue of The Polymer Arts magazine as well as supporting our advertising partners.

businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   butterfly ad 150x150 - Limited Mokume   TPA Blog Newsletter Ad  ShadesofClay 1014 v2  lpedit  tpa black ad oct 15 - Limited Mokume

Mokume Color & Contest Winner

???????????????????????????????I know we’ve looked at mokume before, but I have quite a few pieces that I’ve been storing up and want to share. Since the question of color palettes came up almost every day last week, let’s look at mokume and the chosen colors palettes as a jumping off point for this week’s discussion.

This set of mokume pieces was created by Carrie Harvey using a tutorial by Albina called “Hidden Flowers” (find it on Clay Lessons here.) I don’t usually post student renditions of other people’s techniques, but I think this was well done, and the color palette and shapes were a decent departure from that in the tutorial (as least as far as I can tell), which is as it should be. And the technique is really a take on mokume polymer, so it’s not particularly exclusive. It does, however, offer us an opportunity to talk about color choices.

This palette is pretty straight-forward, but can you recognize right off why it works? You have a sky blue, a coppery brown and a rust red. The blue and copper (basically orange for the sake of this conversation) are color opposites while the rust red is analogous to the orange (next to each other on the color wheel), which makes it a close contrast to the blue. In other words, all the colors have a relationship to each other, either contrasting or close enough to give the color palette cohesiveness. Although, this is a rather scientific look at these color choices, the instinctive connection comes from nature. The copper and rust red are fall leaf colors you might commonly see against a clear blue autumn sky. Nature knows how to use colors well herself, so if you are every stumped, take a look outside!

 

And drum roll please … The winner of our active critique week is Debbie Goodrow. Congrats Debbie. You should have an email in your inbox to let you know how to claim your giveaway. Thank you all so much for commenting. I think you all win in this little contest–the comments were incredibly insightful, and the varied point of you certainly demonstrates how much of art is really in the eye of the beholder. I hope you all found that it helped inform your view of the work and that you will keep it up, if not posting comments (and I would love to see more comments just any time), at least in your own viewing of the posts and art work. I give my opinion and my view, but as you saw last week, there are many, many ways to see a work of art.

 

If you like this blog, support The Polymer Arts projects with a subscription or issue of The Polymer Arts magazine as well as supporting our advertising partners.

businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   butterfly ad 150x150 - Mokume Color & Contest Winner   TPA Blog Newsletter Ad  ShadesofClay 1014 v2  lpedit  tpa black ad oct 15 - Mokume Color & Contest Winner

Lacy, Holey Tuts and Winter 2014 news–now out Dec 3rd

IMG_5862 (FILEminimizer)First of all, thank you to everyone who chimed in with their thoughts this week. It was really kind of amazing. Did you enjoy this little experiment? Should we do this semi-regularly? If so, I’ll try to do this one day every couple weeks or so in order for me to have time to arrange the giveaways and still have time to read all your comments and toss back some ideas too.

The plan for that this week kind of got thrown out the window, or I would have had more to say as the week progressed. The technical issues we were having took a couple days to resolve then there was catching up to be done. The printer was very patient as we got everything back up and files fixed, but it did delay production, so we have to reset the release date of the winter issue to December 3rd. That’s when the digital issue will be released and is the first possible day shipped issues could begin arriving. We are really sorry for the delay, and we are making appropriate adjustments and sacrifices to the techie gods in hopes this doesn’t happen again!

kopilka gel laceIn the meantime, I will pull a name for the drawing and announce it on Monday. And you call feel like winners with these couple of free online tutorials that are interesting holey and lacy techniques to try this weekend.

The first one is from Ange of AB Creations. Taking punched holes and creating a domed bead from a collection of punched dots and holes. Genius! Find all the details on Ange’s blog here.

The second uses molds or texture sheets to create polymer lace with liquid polymer. Both these techniques are so full of possibilities! The author of this liquid lace tutorial is Mary Kosovo. You will need some oven-safe molds or textures for this one.

Now go out and have fun this weekend!

 

If you like this blog, support The Polymer Arts projects with a subscription or issue of The Polymer Arts magazine as well as supporting our advertising partners.

businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   butterfly ad 150x150 - Lacy, Holey Tuts and Winter 2014 news--now out Dec 3rd   TPA Blog Newsletter Ad  ShadesofClay 1014 v2  lpedit  tpa black ad oct 15 - Lacy, Holey Tuts and Winter 2014 news--now out Dec 3rd

Outside Inspiration: Holey Ceramics, Batman

Van der

Moving away from polymer for your opinion today, I thought we’d look at a ceramicist because, for one, it’s another type of clay, so it should be easy to translate what you think of polymer into ceramics, and, two, holey ceramics is a little unusual and really, really cool.

Simon van der Ven returns again and again to these delicate ceramic structures, many with a lot more holes than you see here. What you think of the form? How about the combination of smoother leaves breaking into a very different kind of texture? Do you think this would have benefited from more color? Why or why not?

I think we will make this the last day of entering the drawing by commenting, and I’ll get you some fun holey and/or lacy techniques to consider for tomorrow. So, get your thoughts in today. We’ll get another drawing going soon, but thank you all for participating in this one!

 

If you like this blog, support The Polymer Arts projects with a subscription or issue of The Polymer Arts magazine as well as supporting our advertising partners.

businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   butterfly ad 150x150 - Outside Inspiration: Holey Ceramics, Batman   TPA Blog Newsletter Ad  ShadesofClay 1014 v2  lpedit  tpa black ad oct 15 - Outside Inspiration: Holey Ceramics, Batman

Make These Holes Your Own

travio10nov 004rLet’s do something a little different with our participation week today. This image does not contain  finished pieces, but rather they are a technique developed by Violette Laporte. You can go here to read about what she was doing and her thoughts, but what I’d love to see is your thoughts, not on the design, but on what you would do with these to finish them. Or, how would you apply this technique to things you already do? Even if it’s not your kind of thing, try to think of a way you could incorporate it into your work.

Also, if you go ahead and actually make something from this, please send me photos! I would love to see what this post might inspire!

And, don’t forget to go back to the previous day’s posts to see how your observations compare to other peoples. There is an amazing amount of similarity in comments. I got to speed read through them all, but we still had technical problems to fix yesterday, and today, I am getting on the road for some time with family and my other half. But you know, I’ll be here every day too!

 

 

If you like this blog, support The Polymer Arts projects with a subscription or issue of The Polymer Arts magazine as well as supporting our advertising partners.

businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   butterfly ad 150x150 - Make These Holes Your Own   TPA Blog Newsletter Ad  ShadesofClay 1014 v2  lpedit  tpa black ad oct 15 - Make These Holes Your Own

%d bloggers like this: