Stitching it All Together

tanya mayorova stitches pendantSome days we are drawn to things primarily because they seem to reflect our state of mind, our emotions, or the thoughts that are taking up the majority of our time. I think that is the case today. So, what does this pendant have to say about where my thoughts are at?

We are wrapping up the Summer issue which has been taking far longer than usual to get all the t’s crossed and i’s dotted. When things do not go as planned, you find ways and tear things down and put them back together until they fit and then you hope you did a good job and that it will all hold. That’s been my past week so it’s no wonder I am drawn to a mosaic piece with what looks like random stitching.

This pendant by Tanya Mayorova has some gorgeous textures and colors and once you stop thinking about the metal wire stitching, you can just get lost in what each little square encompasses. This is also a bit like my mind right now. Lots of things going on, in their separate little boxes in my brain, each with their draw and their importance. I don’t know if these were all scrap pieces or if any were particularly made for this but it’s a great idea to put together pieces of your other work into one. The piece would represent that set of work, where your color palettes lean, and what textures and techniques you have been working on. It would be a three dimensional snap shot of your recent work.

More beautifully stitched together polymer can be found on Tanya’s Flickr photostream, her Live Journal pages, and her Live Master shop

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Create the conglomerate piece, a snapshot of your recent work, as described above, in whatever form most appeals to you.

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Swirling Density

beloved beadwork swirlA denseness of elements that forms a texture can obviously be quite beautiful in a random pattern. The randomness gives it a bit of frenetic energy but that doesn’t mean a dense collection of elements can’t be beautiful and energetic when well-organized.

This brooch is one such example. Not only are the elements strictly organized, but they are all organized in the exact same way, with a circular motion lined up next to other lines of beads also following the same swirling motion. This emphasizes the energy of each line. As you know, lines, especially those with unfailing direction, can create a feeling of movement which is where the energy comes from. So as you can see, multiplying lines that are already energized by the sense of motion makes for some very dramatic energy.

The South African cooperative company, Beloved Bead, is credited with this creation, although Anna Richerby looks to be the designer and primary force behind the group of 12 women creating these gorgeous beaded works. There are dozens of variations of this brooch on their website along with many other beautifully designed beaded adornments. The company, collectively owned by the twelve women, also has a strong sense of purpose in both promoting bead art as well as “a keen interest in economic justice” which is represented by the way the company is slowly turning over ownership to all 12 participating women. It’s an interesting idea. You can read more about what Anna is doing with her group on their website and on her blog.

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Organize  your elements in strong directional lines. These can be beads or marks or the way can slices are laid out. Try to create an intentional level of energy. If you would like a sophisticated but strong energy, straight horizontal or slightly curved lines will work well while meandering lines will convey a more relaxed energy and diagonal will be strong and highly directional. Every line has a specific type of energy, so play around with this to find what you like.

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

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Dense Joy

a018ff87ea561ec1a0ad92764db0ca2dI guess we are moving from the garden theme to more of a density of texture theme, because what I found for you today, although representative of what you might find in a garden, has me thinking a lot about the crowding of elements. We have all heard that too much of a good thing is bad, but that is hardly true across the board. I have always thought it was more about knowing when to stop, which might not sound so different of an idea, but I think it is the defining point. Eating an entire extra large pizza is too much of a good thing for most of us, but I have a roommate who is too thin and has a doctor constantly begging him to eat more. I have low blood pressure issues so my doctor pushes me to go overboard on salt. Too much is completely relative and comes down to what you need.

In art, the place where you stop putting too much on is going to be determined by the effect you are after. If you want to make something showy then bling it up, but if you want quiet and serene go minimal. In the case of our art today, created by Alice of Liska Flowers on Livemaster, simple, quilling-like forms are densely packed in to create texture and to give this bird a joyfully colorful look. The swirls and whorls give off the impression that the bird will flit off into some aerial acrobatics any moment. Alice really pushes this density of forms, and for pieces like this, the place at which to stop is when the space is completely full!

Alice creates all kinds of creatures with this approach as well as creating polymer flowers. I believe she creates, at least in part, with a Japanese version of Ultralight. See for yourself by flitting off to her Livemaster pages.

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Create something extremely simple and minimalistic or something intensely busy. I suggest choosing the extreme that is least like what you usually do.

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

PCTV March 2016 Blog  Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog  2Wards Blog May 2016

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Hanging Gardens

succulent gardenWhen the Summer 2016 cover of the magazine came out on Wednesday, I interrupted my week of garden goodies to share it with you, but I hope you will put up with one more garden and a couple other earthy treasures this week.

Here is another wearable garden for the desert or xeriscape lover. This was created by Ukraine’s Darya Tarasenko. The wonderful denseness of the texture from the mini clay succulents makes the fact that they are recreations of real plants rather secondary.  Or more precisely, the unusual textures is what is most attractive, then you get to looking at the variety of plants and the subtle colors changes and find yourself just smiling. Well, at least that is how it was for me. Now, how did she create that dusty, matte surface so characteristic of succulents? Hmm.

She does these hanging gardens in several variations, creating each one as a custom piece when they are ordered through her Etsy store. She has others with more purple and with different shapes. She lists her primarily sculptural pieces on Etsy and posts them to Instagram and Facebook.

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Create texture from variation. Identify something you like to do as part of creating your art … certain marks on the clay, certain types of small beads, a favorite cane … and recreate it. Not just a few times but 20 or 30 or more times. Each time you make that mark or roll that bead, change it just a little so it is still similar but unlike any of the ones you made before. With a favorite mark, you can make it deeper, long, wider, use a different tool, etc. A bead could have a slightly different form, the bead holes could go through them in a different direction, the color/texture/treatment of its surface could be different, etc. Make these variations, then create a piece including as many of them as you can.

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

PCTV March 2016 Blog  Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog  2Wards Blog May 2016

The Great Create Sept 15 blog  never knead -july-2015c-125  TPA Blog 125x125 2015 - Hanging Gardens

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An Idyllic Shell

mini_garden_2_by_spanktb-d9e0idy

Ok, back to looking at the ground for inspiration. I’m finding a lot of fascinating and miniature gardens, but this one is in an unusual vessel, as well. The use of a snail-shell very much matches the idea of a garden, so it seems natural for it to be a tiny garden’s home but … it IS actually a snail-shell. Talk about tiny! I love the little lily pads and the lushness of the greenery. I would love to grab a nap by that little pond.

This beautiful little creation is the work of Germany’s SpankTB. Spank is a female artist, but that is all I could divine from her pages. She is a master of the beautifully tiny in polymer as well as working in illustration. She says something about having created other gardens, but this is all I could find. I am in a bit of a rush today with much to do still to get the Summer issue off to the printer, so if you want to investigate her gallery on Deviant Art or the ones on her website, or even rummage through her photos on Facebook, you are welcome to send me more links and put them in the comments as short cuts for others to enjoy.

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Find two things on your work table, in your supply bins or in that box of incomplete or failed experiments, things that you would not normally put together, and start thinking about what they have in common. If you find that theme or form or concept that connects them, start thinking about how you could represent that in polymer. A snail and a garden pond are connected by being things that might be found at the same place. What can you create that encompasses this new connection you found at your work table?

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

PCTV March 2016 Blog  Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog  2Wards Blog May 2016

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Summer 2016 issue Cover … Movement!

16P2 Cover v4 web newsletterWe interrupt this week’s looking at the ground for inspiration to being you the latest cover of The Polymer Arts magazine!

This issue is not out yet, and although we would usually get this out to you by the end of May, it looks like it will be the first week of June, but we are moving along as quickly as we can while still ensuring you have wonderful quality content and beautiful pages to enjoy.

So, what do we have coming up for you in a few short weeks? Some truly energizing articles! As you can see, the theme is Movement, so we have really fun and dynamic articles for you including …

… Randee Ketzel  sharing her beautiful new faux bakelite in a flowing bracelet design.

… Lisa Pavelka shares secrets on using illusion and juxtaposition for dynamic and vibrant color.

… Loretta Lam gets you thinking about how to create visual movement in your compositions.

… I’m sharing  a mulit-piece kinetic earring and pendant tutorial set as well as a tutorial on creating balanced mobiles.

… my staff is going to give you some ideas on creating dangles as well as putting together truly wonderful PDF tutorials to sell.

… Shannon Tabor talks us through looking at the big picture to move your business forward.

… Tory Hughes has a fascinating discussion with long time polymer supporter Robert Liu of Ornament magazine.

… Anke Humpert has dug up secrets and plans in her interview with the amazing Georg Dinkel.

… and much more! Sheesh. I need to catch my breath!

While I’m catching my breath and polishing your next issue, enjoy this cover with this intense wall piece by Bonnie Bishoff and J.M Syron. It’s mesmerizing and wholly moving besides being completely enthralling just trying to figure out how it was made. If you need to get your subscription up to date, you can do so on the website at  www.thepolymerarts.com/Subscribe.html. I apologize, we don’t have single issue pre-sales yet, but I hope to have the site updated by next week so we can do that.

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Pick up an old copy of The Polymer Arts (or any craft magazine or book) and spend some time with it on your work break, over coffee, or to wind down tonight. Our old magazines and books are a treasure trove of inspiration.  Find something you had wanted to try or find yourself wanting to try now, and do it. Make a goal of attempting of accomplishing a new technique, form, or approach by this weekend, no matter how busy you are.

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

PCTV March 2016 Blog  Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog  2Wards Blog May 2016

The Great Create Sept 15 blog  never knead -july-2015c-125  TPA Blog 125x125 2015 - Summer 2016 issue Cover ... Movement!

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Wearing a Garden

Christina Butler garden bowlLast week we looked to the sky, so this week let’s look at the ground around us. It is Spring for the northern hemisphere and Fall in the south so between budding flowers and falling leaves, the ground should be full of inspiration.

At one time, I created a lot of jewelry that held things …tiny scrolls of paper, essential oils, runes, dried flowers, and the like. I never thought about an entire tiny garden, though! How fun is this? Christina Butler created a series of these in pendants and pins a couple of years ago, but I just found them and am so enamored with the idea. I love that this is not too literal. There is the natural green and variation of plants and then these bowl shapes that simply suggest objects among the foliage, so you fill in the blank. What do you think they are? Abstract flowers? Lichen? Hollowed rocks? It just doesn’t seem to matter that they are not direct representations. Design wise, they are focal points that bring an anchor for the eye as well as being the actual suggestion that this is a garden and not just a bowl full of moss.

Being able to carry  a little world around your neck, something you can look at to be reminded of a peaceful place during a hectic day is so enchanting. And I am sure it would enchant everyone the wearer stopped to talk to and more than a few passersby. The surprising tiny world, plus the natural draw we all have to nature, would make such a piece pique just about anyone’s curiosity and need to get a closer look.

Christina has not been active online in the last year, so I’m not sure what she is up to these days, but you can see another version of this garden bowl and other ideas of hers on her Flickr pages.

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Encompass a big world in a tiny space. It doesn’t have to be a garden; it could be a city, a room, a park, or an entire universe. What elements would be essential to include to capture the essence of that space? Create or design a piece that encompasses how you see that space in any fashion you want including with direct imagery or abstract concepts.

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

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The Blue Between the Buildings

SdlOritz NY sky Fimo50 tile

Silvia Ortiz de la Torre offered up her vision of a sky on this Fimo 50 World Project tile as one familiar to many people–the small patch of sky seen through a crowding of city skyscrapers. Maybe this is not the sky you most often think of when you envision sky, but for many this is a very common daily view. There is certainly something about seeing that small patch of blue hanging there beyond the reach of these immensely tall buildings that attracts the eye.

As amazing and beautiful as the man-made structures can be, I think most all of us gravitate towards the natural world more strongly. The directional lines of the buildings Silvia outlines make that focus on the sky automatic. And her choice to make that sun both glow in the blue sky and come through the form of a building in a singular burst of red color makes that both the resting point, a place our eye does not feel like it has to bounce around as it is pushed by the strong lines of the buildings, and a focal point. It’s a beautiful and expert composition.

Interested in seeing all the tiles in the Fimo 50 World Project? You can casually go through the submission that were posted on the project’s Facebook page or on Cynthia Tinapple’s Instagram page she set up for it.

Inspiration Challenge of the Day: Create or design something that contrasts man-made with natural. What elements of each are you drawn to? Or consider a favorite natural object or form and recreate it with very clean and structured lines. Or take a man-made form and make it organic looking.

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

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Following Our Stars

MariaEva Ramos celestial ringThe wide open skies of the afternoon desert in the southwest have some serious competition. The stars are so very dense over the unpopulated areas of the United State’s southwest. The density makes for an almost unreal brilliance. All the constellations, the milky way, and the planets you see in photos in museums, in magazines, and on science shows are right there before you.

I think I know the feeling that inspired Venezuela’s MariaEva Ramos to create this series of rings. A night sky filled with stars can draw you in on so many levels. There is the beauty of it, of course, but then there is the realization that you are looking at other planets as large as, or maybe even larger than, our own and you suddenly feel so incredibly small and insignificant. Maybe that feeling is unsettling to some, but I think it is humbling. I think it reduces our stresses and the intensity of problems that seem so large and overwhelming because you realize that, among all of that space, those things are nothing but specs of dust.

MariaEva has a whole series of these star sky rings that can be found on her Flickr page, among other nature-inspired creations.

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Take a peek outside tonight. What out there catches your eye? It might be the stars or maybe a hazy lamp light. It could be the neighbor silhouetted in a kitchen window or a cat, gently lit, standing street side. Ask yourself how you can translate this to your art work and sketch or create a new design based on this inspiration.

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

PCTV March 2016 Blog  Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog  2Wards Blog May 2016

The Great Create Sept 15 blog  never knead -july-2015c-125  TPA Blog 125x125 2015 - Following Our Stars

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