A Wine Break … to go with your new Spring Issue

Jan-1-Bronze-1Okay … I’m not really drinking here (but you go ahead!), but I did want to change gears from repetition to just show you these versions of wine colors that Syndee Holt put together for Polyform. They are just so juicy. Pantone declared the color of 2015 would be ‘Marsala’, so last month, Syndee whipped up some color recipe options to match the Pantone swatch. This is just one of them.

I guess I had my head down getting the spring issue out and missed them. They’re just gorgeous though, so I thought I’d halt with the repetition theme to bring you the recipes to try out this weekend if you haven’t already. That’s if you don’t have your head buried in the spring issue. Because it came out today!

15P1 cover Med

 

If you have a digital subscription, you should find the access email in your inbox. If you don’t see it, check your junk mail folder or other email accounts that might have been given to us during the purchase process (if you paid by Paypal, the email Paypal has is the one that is given to us).

If you are waiting on your print issue, they started on their journey yesterday and should be with you shortly. If you haven’t ordered or subscribed yet, well you can do just that on The Polymer Arts website.

 

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

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Outside Inspiration: Continuous Curling

9-collier_3_LuisAcostaThis piece is going to be a bit more complex than what we have been looking at all week, but I wanted to share it because I could see it inspiring repeatable forms in polymer. This is a stitched paper necklace designed and constructed by Luis Acosta who lists his work on his site in English and Spanish but looks to hail from the Netherlands. Makes me curious to hear his story but more curious is his work.

A complex piece like this could take upwards of 60 hours to create. That is dedication. But, the end result is quite mesmerizing. The repetition of that curl layered in the same repeated stack makes for a controlled energy that comes across as beautiful, concise movement. I like that although the paper starts out layered in the same sequence, the curls end up a little mixed on the top. Kind of a controlled confetti party. How fun would this be to wear!

Luis’ work is all about repetition. Take a look at more of his rather extensive collection of forms on his website for more great inspiration.

 

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A Rainbow of Repetition

raluka color repeat necklaceThis was such a gorgeous find. Actually, everything this artist has done is just amazing. The thing is, it doesn’t seem to be polymer, but it took quite a bit of research to convince me otherwise. The work is by Raluca Bazura, a Romanian artist working in contemporary jewelry. From what I could tell from the translations on the various little snippets I found about her online, she seems to work primarily in porcelain ceramics. This must be why all the pieces are stitched together. Of course, that may allow for movement and flexibility, but it might not be necessary if it was polymer. Really, this should be polymer. OK … yes, perhaps I am a tad biased sometimes.

But, whether this is made in ceramics or polymer, it is another wonderful example of the dynamic complexity that repetition can bring to a piece. And yes, we’re looking at a gradient of color, but this time only in terms of the collective set of overlapping scales not blended. It still has a similar effect in helping aid the feel of movement as the arrangement fans out. Raluca uses this kind of color effect in a lot of his work, but she’s also done a whole series in just black with the occasional gold or silver additions.

If you find this at all intriguing, you must go take a look at more of her work on her website. You’ll see many other pieces that you’ll swear are polymer, or should be. Go see and tell me what you think.

 

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

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Repeating Wave

carolblackburn_xx_1ph8Gradient color, as well as repetition, seems to be the theme this week. Carol Blackburn has created lovely examples of both in her interlocked strips designs. You have likely seen at least her earrings in this style which are one dangling bead of these repeated strips wrapping around and overlapping at the ends. She calls them shell earrings. But, they become something different when repeated over and over.

Take that repetition of overlapping strips in the bead element and repeat the bead. Repetition within repetition, aided by gradient color, makes for a wave of movement smoothly running from one end to the other in these pieces. She calls these her Moebius necklaces; no longer a single static object but actually off into the often unfathomable realm of mathematics. The mobius strip (also moebius strip) is said to have one side and one edge, but because it has been twisted in the middle, so that when the ends are attached, what we would have called ‘the back side’ of the strip now meets the front side. Yeah, I know. Its a little mind-boggling even when you see an image of it. How Carol brings all her strips together to wave so smoothly like this is also a mystery. This is what is so wonderful about art. When the ideas behind it start to hurt your brain, you can always just admire the beauty. The beauty here is something we can all understand.

Much more and less mind boggling art by Carol can be found on her website. And, if it isn’t already, be sure that her classic book Making Polymer Clay Bead(printed in several editions including French, German and Italian) is on your book shelf for regular references. The wealth of techniques and ideas is amazing with beads for beginner to advanced. I think it’s one of the best polymer books out there.

 

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

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Another Take on Repeated Folds

judy dunn folded beadsToday, we have the pleasure of looking at a similar form and similar elements as yesterday, but with a different approach and result. Yesterday’s repeated pattern was folded circles of clay arranged in a sunburst type of pattern. Well, today we have beads also created with a folded circle, the formation repeated in bead after bead, but all the beads are slightly different.

In this necklace, polymer artist Judy Dunn uses the repetition of the bead form to connect the otherwise varying elements in this design. The circles used to create the beads have different visual textures on them, as well as being different shades from pearl to deep blue. If the beads had all been slightly different, a more chaotic feeling would have emerged, but between the steady beats of the repeated pattern and the calm colors, we have a shimmery, elegant piece.

You can see other variation of these repeated forms along with a ton of other projects and materials (a Jill of all crafts she seems to be!) on Judy’s Flickr page.

 

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

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Repeated Folds

folds enrhukeI have been wanting to talk about the use of repetition for a while, but it is just such a huge subject. So, I’m going to get started on it this week with some really obvious versions, and then maybe next week we’ll get into more complex examples.

Repetition doesn’t sound like it is that big or complex of a subject and in essence, it’s not. But, how it’s used with other elements of design is pretty monumental. First of all, aside from color, repetition can be one of the strongest visual elements in a piece. I think we respond to repeated forms and elements on a fundamental level because it is so abundant in nature, thus familiar and essential in our vision of the world. It represents a visual rhythm. Rhythm being another kind of element we readily recognize and are drawn to since it rules so much of what we do and experience from the cadence of our walk to the beat of our heart, to the beat of city sounds to, of course, all kinds of music.

In art, repetition is a way to integrate a kind of music into your work. You can use that music as a basic background beat or as the one element that carries a very simple piece. A string of pearls, for instance, is about as basic a show of repetition as you can get. In these pendants we see a very basic repeating composition, however, Enkhtsetseg Tserenbadam takes things up a notch with gradient color in the clay. The colors give the simple repetition a bit of liveliness that will keep drawing the eye back to it.

Repetition and color are truly Enkhe’s thing. If you need a good dose of color in beautifully simple, and some not quite so simple patterns, you have to jump on over to her Flickr pages or her beautifully simple and elegant website and have a good long gander. 

 

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

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Outside Inspiration: Fabulous Fairy Fashions

1a7c76a0ae2dff383353e59bd0896dceOkay … I am apparently beyond tired or something. I thought yesterday was Thursday, and so I didn’t do an Outside Inspiration piece as I usually do at the end of the week. But easily fixed! We’ll make today our look-at-something-outside-polymer day.

I don’t have any idea what category of art this would be under–it’s kind of in its own category. If you haven’t taken a really close look at this little dress, do so now. Do you see what it is made of? Petals, fern fronds and feathers–a bit of fashion made for faeries. I just thought this was genius. What else would a fairy truly dress in but what nature has available to them. The thing is, you don’t realize that it’s not a dress when you first look at it. It’s just a construction of natural elements arranged to illustrate a dress; delicate and pretty, but just an illustration. A fabulous little illustration.

The clever little fashion tailor is UK artist Emily Bazeley. She became obsessed with created these fantastical bits of haute couture after getting a gift of pressed flowers from her artist grandmother, and while looking for something that would honor both the gift and her grandmother, created her first bit of fairy fashion. It was a natural fit for her. As Emily explains, “I have always been captivated by the beauty, subtlety and sheer magic contained within each petal of a flower; each vein of a leaf; not to mention the miracle of seeds, nuts, acorns and fir cones.” It sounds like a perfect artist endeavor for this nature lover.

She constructs and frames her creations and then sells them as wall art. I was thinking about all the beautiful elaborate canes made in our community and wondered if this would inspire our caners to illustrate some simply magical fashions or illustrations of their own. For more inspiration, take a magical stroll through Emily’s website to see more fashions, dwellings, furniture and, my favorite surprise, fairy washing lines with all the little bits a fairy might have to put out to dry. Adorable.

 

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

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A Mix of Fabulous Influence

ledanovaOkay … I love this piece, but I hesitated posting it at first. And I bet you can guess why. The beads are beautifully crafted and the combination of contrasts lets each bead stand apart while still feeling like a part of the grand party that this necklace is by using regular jumps to red and and the limited palette. However, there are a couple very obvious bits of ‘borrowing’. I figured that word hits the middle ground on what some people might think about what Olga Ledneva does with work created in the styles and techniques of Dan Cormier and Helen Breil. Through books and classes, these two masterful artists make these techniques available to learn and create from. You can’t just learn these techniques and then not use them, right?  However, you do still need to make them your own.

Upon seeing this, I knew neither Dan nor Helen created this piece. The beads echo theirs, but are not theirs for one or two reasons in each case. I think Olga really has applied her own style to the creation of the beads and, more specifically, to the combination and design of the necklace. The question, however, is whether or not you agree. I am definitely for taking something you learn and putting your own spin on it to the point that its original influence is not readily recognized rather than just add your own flair. But at what point does that happen? How far afield do you go before you can feel it really is your own work?

These are the first of this kind of work from Olga. We featured her own very unique constructed elements style about six months ago, and I can’t say I would have thought this was by the same person. Except for the meticulous finishes. That is really what is so fabulous about this. It is just so beautifully crafted. I am very interested in seeing where she goes with this kind of work. She obviously has her own particular voice and is trying to applying what’s she’s learned to her style of work. The outcome down the road could be tremendously exciting!

So what do you think? Do you think she should have taken the look and forms a touch further, or do you like how well she has learned what was taught and how she changed it?

You can see see more of Olga’s insanely meticulous work on her Flickr page.

 

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

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A Fabulous Glow

Moise braceletThis piece is unusual for two reasons–one because, well, look at the way those colors glow! It’s pure color illusion, but they look like glass at first glance. The colors are a kind of candy luscious, and I think the space between the little blocks assists in the illusion that they glow because the little blocks of gradient color are not overly competing with neighboring color sets; our perception of colors changes depending on what other colors are sitting next to them. The second reason this is unusual is that the artist is one of those rare creatures in our community… a guy!

Moïse Vanden Broeck is a dental technician with his own laboratory (you can get quite creative in a dental laboratory!), as well as having a penchant for some really unusual approaches to jewelry. This piece has caught him at just doing something beautiful and fabulous. But, he’s also a pretty funny guy. You have to go read the interview on Parole de Pate where I first found this bracelet. Although, if you are going to read it in English, it will also be humorous due to translation. But it’s both an interesting and entertaining read in any language.

That interview is a few years old, though. To see what Moise has been up to recently visit his website and blog.

 

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

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