Last, but certainly not least, in this two week tour of our “best of” chosen artists for the Polymer Journeys 2016 book, we have Melanie Muir who is our sole representative of Scotland in the book. I think the draw Melanie’s work has is in its clean sophistication. She is so precise and has honed her particular set of techniques to absolute perfection.
Her mokume, although organic and flowing, has a feel of precision as well. The clean lines in her mokume come from a stamp or texture impression technique like the one you’ll find in the tutorial by Angela Barenholtz in our Winter 2015 issue of The Polymer Arts magazine.
Her large necklaces are lovely, of course, but I am partial to her pendants where the focus is on the mokume design, framed and centered so that the intricacies of the pattern grab your attention all by themselves. I love the color choices in this one, a bit autumnal using white to set up the saturation of the color. I found this little beauty while wandering around Melanie’s Facebook page.
Her precise shapes also generally come from a set of tools–her own shape templates. Because, like so many of our amazing polymer artists, Melanie applies her talents in more than one area, in this case, the creation of textures and templates. If you haven’t seen her offerings, you can find them on her site here and you can also purchase them on Etsy.
Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Focus on perfection. Create a small piece using a technique you’ve worked with before but maybe have not been doing for very long, and try to create the most perfect version of it. This may take a little forethought and patience to figure out how best to handle the material so it is not marred or defaced with finger prints to finish it well. You might want to take such additional steps as multiple curings or refrigerating to let the work rest between manipulations. See what you learn from examining and changing up the way you work. Can you develop more careful steps in your process or do you even want to?
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