A Polymer Journey

kamolpornwijiRipple-Preview978355834There is a new series of books on the way which myself, as the editor, and the rest of the board involved are very excited about. Polymer Journeys is set to be an annual or bi-annual retrospective gallery style book that aims to present and record the best and most innovative work in polymer as well as take a look at polymer trends across the globe. We are doing this to record what is happening in polymer as well as, hopefully, impress the world with the variety and quality of polymer art and its artists. And, of course, it will be a beautiful and revealing book to peruse for all polymer and fine craft enthusiasts.

Did you receive an invitation? Invitation emails may have been spam filtered for some people or the board may not have the most recent contact information for all the artists they are hoping will contribute. So, if you have not seen an invitation but believe your work is important, innovative, or can help create a full and accurate picture of the impressive and wide-ranging talent in the world of polymer art in recent years, please check your spam folder or write to the board using the form on this page of the project’s website.

If all goes well, the book is due to come out in February. If you want to be notified of discounted pre-sale opportunities to buy the book and announcements about its publication, you can sign up for that on this page which describes the book in more detail.

While you are contemplating that news, or not, let’s look at some artwork that was deemed to be some of the best in the craft world, not just polymer. This piece, which looks so much like silver, is another all polymer piece by the amazing Wiwat Kamolpornwijit. Wiwat has been a Niche Awards winner or finalist for I don’t know how many years running. The Niche Awards celebrate the best in United States and Canadian fine craft in every major craft discipline and form. Polymer even has its own category, making this just one more place that recognizes polymer as a major player in the world of fine craft.

We hope to help keep that trend going. Hopefully Polymer Journeys will give it another good nudge in that direction. Let’s see what we can do.

 

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

The Great Create Sept 15 blog - A Polymer Journey  never knead july 2015c 125 - A Polymer Journey  Print  Tavoos Blog Nov 2015 ver2 - A Polymer Journey

TPA McGuire blog ad - A Polymer Journey  PCA Nov 15 Blog  PCW kaleidoscope Oct 20151 - A Polymer Journey  Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog - A Polymer Journey

___________________________________________

The First Polymer Pioneer?

Sigrid-Smolka-coverOn the last page of the Winter 2015 issue, we have a very, very special Muse’s Corner article. It was brought to us by Anke Humpert, who had the good fortune to connect with a polymer artist who may very well be the first published polymer pioneer, unknown to most all of us. The reason we may not recognize the cover of this book, or the author, is probably that it was written in German. Which makes sense since that is where polymer clay was invented and first produced commercially. But how have so few of us even known of dear Sigrid Smolka?

Here is the thing that so shocked Anke (and, later, myself) when she first found out. This book was published years before Nan Roche’s seminal book The New Clay. Now, we aren’t talking 3 years, or 5, or even 10. This book was published 17 years before, not too long after the clay actually hit the market. Isn’t that amazing?

All on her own, Sigrid developed techniques and processes that we will all find familiar and common today. I guess that really shouldn’t be a surprise. The clay can leads us to obvious conclusions even now. But it was just so early on and she did this all on her own and so hidden from the rest of us. But not anymore.

You can read Anke’s whole story about Sigrid Solka in the Winter issue. Get your copy ordered, if you haven’t already, so you can read this and all the other wonderful contributions your fellow polymer artists shared with you in this issue.

_________________________________________

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

The Great Create Sept 15 blog - The First Polymer Pioneer?  never knead july 2015c 125 - The First Polymer Pioneer?  Print  Tavoos Blog Nov 2015 ver2 - The First Polymer Pioneer?

TPA McGuire blog ad - The First Polymer Pioneer?  PCA Nov 15 Blog  PCW kaleidoscope Oct 20151 - The First Polymer Pioneer?  Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog - The First Polymer Pioneer?

___________________________________________

Fascinating Hidden Clasps

Plum flowersJoLeciaCroweAnother absolutely fascinating article in the newest issue is the one by JoLecia Crowe on hidden front clasps. I think she must have tried every possible hidden clasp there is and she shares a ton in this variation article.

The beautiful piece shown here didn’t make it into our pages only because she sent so much and magazine space is limited. So, yes, there is a clasp in that bunch of flowers somewhere. Even after reading, editing, and working on the layout of that article, it takes a minute to figure out where the clasp likely is as it is so well hidden. Can you guess?

JoLecia also has a brand new website and store where these beautiful pieces can be admired and purchased. And, if you still need to get your copy of the Winter issue so you can read up on her great techniques, you can do so with us online here.

___________________________________________

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

The Great Create Sept 15 blog - Fascinating Hidden Clasps  never knead july 2015c 125 - Fascinating Hidden Clasps  Print  Tavoos Blog Nov 2015 ver2 - Fascinating Hidden Clasps

TPA McGuire blog ad - Fascinating Hidden Clasps  PCA Nov 15 Blog  PCW kaleidoscope Oct 20151 - Fascinating Hidden Clasps  Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog - Fascinating Hidden Clasps

___________________________________________

Hidden Patterns in the Newly Released Winter 2015 Issue – Hidden

lehocky Propaher heart pinThe Winter issue of The Polymer Arts was released yesterday, to much fanfare and much relief from myself and the crew. Thank you so much for the many kind comments and compliments  you’ve already sent in. It’s always great to know we’ve done well for you. Digital access was sent to everyone who subscribed or pre-ordered prior to yesterday and all the print issues are in the mail or will be as of this afternoon.

If you don’t see the digital issue you expected in your inbox, check your spam folder, and if it’s not there, write Kat at connect@thepolymerarts.com and she will look into it.  If you don’t have your copy ordered or an active subscription you can do so on our website here.

I was so thrilled to have the genius of Ellen Prophater in this issue. She doesn’t post her work online, which I keep forgetting, but I’ve had the fortune of getting to see a lot of her work, both finished and in progress, at Creative Journey Studios and at events we’ve both attended, so it feels familiar to me. I thought I’d share a little Ellen that I own today while we wrap up things over here.

This is Ellen’s mokume, but it’s a Ron Lehocky heart pin (like you couldn’t guess that!) and the only reason it’s available is because it happens to be in my collection, a kindly gift from Ron. This is an example of my favorite of Ellen’s mokume methods where she uses embossing powder to create a beautiful granite-like look. She has so, so many methods and combinations for mokume, though. And we are such lucky kids that she shared nearly two dozen of her ideas in the Variations in Mokume article in the new issue. It’s not a step-by-step, but after the three sections that precede it – important secrets to great mokume, a very detailed tutorial by Angela Barenholtz on creating contour line mokume (sometimes referred to as impression mokume), and the new wild and twisted mokume Anke Humpert created a tutorial for – you’ll pretty much be ready to venture out on your own and try Ellen’s methods by recipe.

If you aren’t familiar with Ellen’s biggest creation, Creative Journey Studios, which she runs with the very kindly Sue Sutherland, do go over and take a look at all they do and have for you. They are a polymer supplier, but they also have one of the largest retail collections of filigree findings, and they are an absolute must as a place to visit on any polymer person’s bucket list as the studios house the most extensive retrospective collection of polymer art in the world. It’s amazing. If you are ever anywhere near Buford, Georgia (just north of Atlanta), you have to go there. It will knock your socks off. Or, you can make it a destination … they also do workshops all year long with some of the biggest names in the community, so take a look at their schedule and start planning!

___________________________________________

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

The Great Create Sept 15 blog - Hidden Patterns in the Newly Released Winter 2015 Issue - Hidden  never knead july 2015c 125 - Hidden Patterns in the Newly Released Winter 2015 Issue - Hidden  Print  Tavoos Blog Nov 2015 ver2 - Hidden Patterns in the Newly Released Winter 2015 Issue - Hidden

TPA McGuire blog ad - Hidden Patterns in the Newly Released Winter 2015 Issue - Hidden  PCA Nov 15 Blog  PCW kaleidoscope Oct 20151 - Hidden Patterns in the Newly Released Winter 2015 Issue - Hidden  Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog - Hidden Patterns in the Newly Released Winter 2015 Issue - Hidden

___________________________________________

Try Your Hand at Hollow Translucents

trans lpc beads youtubeHow about creating and exploring your own translucent beads this weekend? These beads you see here are from a video tutorial by Sandrartes.

The translucent beads were created with liquid polymer and colored with markers. The video is pretty thorough, showing you how to create a form from a wrapped ball of cotton, covered in a simple air dry clay slip, all the way through making liquid polymer caps embedded with headpins to hang your beads. There’s no accompanying documentation or verbal instruction, just a few text screens to further instruct, so you need to pay careful attention to the visuals to catch everything she does.

Click here or on the image to see the video. These beads are actually quite different for her. Everything else she posts is of figurines and cutesy decor. But she is very generous with her tutorials, so if you are in the mood for something fun and light to play with this weekend, check out her YouTube channel.

 

 

 

 

___________________________________________

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

The Great Create Sept 15 blog - Try Your Hand at Hollow Translucents  never knead july 2015c 125 - Try Your Hand at Hollow Translucents  Print  Tavoos Blog Nov 2015 ver2 - Try Your Hand at Hollow Translucents

TPA McGuire blog ad - Try Your Hand at Hollow Translucents  PCA Nov 15 Blog  PCW kaleidoscope Oct 20151 - Try Your Hand at Hollow Translucents  Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog - Try Your Hand at Hollow Translucents

___________________________________________

Translucent Tests

Francoise HecquetHere I found an artist testing the possibilities of translucents in what looks like some fairly classic applications, but with the added complexity of coloring for depth.

Françoise Hecquet, aka Bounette, creates a wide variety of beads, but I think her translucent pieces really stand out in her collections.  I’m not sure what she was attempting here, although I think they were successful unto themselves. All she has in the text that accompanies this post is “Je sais pas si les couleurs…” which translates as something like “not knowing about the colors”. But that’s all she says. So, we are left to wonder what she was trying but at least we can admire the crystalline-like effect of the way the translucent was mixed and colored.

If you feel a little let down that she hasn’t hinted at the mysteries behind these pretty test pieces, she does share a pretty cool technique with opaque dots and translucent clay, which has a really beautiful effect. You can find that tutorial post on her blog here.  

 

___________________________________________

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

The Great Create Sept 15 blog - Translucent Tests  never knead july 2015c 125 - Translucent Tests  Print  Tavoos Blog Nov 2015 ver2 - Translucent Tests

TPA McGuire blog ad - Translucent Tests  PCA Nov 15 Blog  PCW kaleidoscope Oct 20151 - Translucent Tests  Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog - Translucent Tests

___________________________________________

Translucent Exploration

Anges Invasive 1The latest issue of The Polymer Arts is at the printers and I’m a bit of a zombie still. You know what I mean … after a big show or custom order is finally off and out, you usually just want to take a break from it all. Strangely, this time, all I’ve wanted to do is get in the studio. My studio also suffers from that deadline chaos so I first need the energy to clean it, but in the meantime, I have been researching translucents since many of the designs in my head will be focused on that kind of clay. I have to say, there isn’t a lot of crazy stuff being done with translucents still, but just as I was lamenting a lack of new translucent pieces to oogle, I came across this bit of fearless jewelry making.

I am pretty sure that Agnès (aka Primatoide on Flickr) used Cernit translucent and neon clay colors in creating this piece she calls Invasive I. She had made a comment in an earlier piece about wanting to explore the neons more and I think this must be one of her resulting explorations. Some of these beads look to be built on forms, others look to be hand-shaped, but all the forms are organic and aquatic. And bright! I can’t imagine it would not catch your eye on any wearer, especially if caught in the sunlight. I would love to see it back-lit, too, because light is what translucents are really about–allowing light to penetrate to reveal more depth.

Agnes explores translucents as well as the more disturbing and degenerative aspects of nature. Right up my alley. Take a look at the wide range of forms, colors and approaches she uses by visiting her Flickr photostream and her blog.

 

___________________________________________

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

The Great Create Sept 15 blog - Translucent Exploration  never knead july 2015c 125 - Translucent Exploration  Print  PowerPoint Presentation

TPA McGuire blog ad - Translucent Exploration  PCA Nov 15 Blog  PCW kaleidoscope Oct 20151 - Translucent Exploration  Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog - Translucent Exploration

___________________________________________

Outside Inspiration: Live Color Shifting Layers

thermochormic ink leatherWe saw a beautiful combination of leather and polymer on Wednesday, so I thought today we’d dovetail into that with a look at what some designers are doing with with leather alone. Well, with some the help of some very special inks.

What you see here is only a momentary shift in color on a leather jacket. This leather is imbued with a heat responsive ink. And yes, that means what you think it means… there is an ink out there that changes color as it warms up. Pretty freaking cool.

Now to lay to rest the first question I am certain is popping up in many a head out there reading this: Can this be used with polymer? The answer looks to be yes, but with a huge caveat–the equipment and expense of using this “thermochromic” ink is beyond what any individual craftsperson can afford to do. It’s rather specialized and requires special equipment and treatments to be applied and stabilized. So, it’s not a product ready for polymer prime time.

As for the other possible question out there: Is this related to mood rings? And the answer there is also yes, but this is like mood ring technology for the new age. So, now that we have those burning questions out of the way, let’s simply enjoy the beauty of this garment.

This sculptural leather, with its feather look and scale shapes, covered with this heat responsive ink is what the artist Lauren Bowker calls fabric manipulation art. In this case, it’s a piece that reacts “to the movement of air, changing colour as environmental conditions shift in varying climates and when people come close or walk past … The summer environment will create a brightly coloured jacket that will dull in the wind to become black again, whereas in the winter the pieces are black until the wind hits them then revealing the colour shift.”

I am having to refrain from saying some other version of “Isn’t that so cool!” If you are as awed by this as I am, head to this page with a series of posts on Lauren’s work and poke around for yourself. And, if you really want to own one of her pieces, pull all your pennies together and go shopping on “The Unseen” website.

___________________________________________

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

The Great Create Sept 15 blog - Outside Inspiration: Live Color Shifting Layers  never knead july 2015c 125 - Outside Inspiration: Live Color Shifting Layers  Print  PowerPoint Presentation

TPA McGuire blog ad - Outside Inspiration: Live Color Shifting Layers  PCA Nov 15 Blog  PCW kaleidoscope Oct 20151 - Outside Inspiration: Live Color Shifting Layers  Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog - Outside Inspiration: Live Color Shifting Layers

___________________________________________

Leather and Layers and Polymer Insets

bolsadecuero Miryam GarciaI’m a little sleep deprived this morning so don’t mind my short write up here.

I found this last week while searching for layered polymer pieces. Such a chic and contemporary look in this purse by Miryam Garcia. I didn’t think it was polymer at first. But she says this Bolsa de Cuero is all handmade from the leather of the purse itself down to the mandala-like polymer insert. I’m not a purse girl, but I’d sling that on.

Okay  kids … back to polishing up the final files for the Winter issue. I’ll confirm the release date on Friday when I should have confirmation myself. In the meantime, go have some fun checking out the variety of work on Miryam’s Flickr stream and her blog.

 

___________________________________________

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

The Great Create Sept 15 blog - Leather and Layers and Polymer Insets  never knead july 2015c 125 - Leather and Layers and Polymer Insets  Print  PowerPoint Presentation

TPA McGuire blog ad - Leather and Layers and Polymer Insets  PCA Nov 15 Blog  PCW kaleidoscope Oct 20151 - Leather and Layers and Polymer Insets  Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog - Leather and Layers and Polymer Insets

___________________________________________

%d bloggers like this: