IPCA Auction … Join the Madness

2016-07-19_11.56.54 KDustinLive auctions are mad. There is such a scramble for the items up for bid because you know it’s your only chance to get that rare piece that caught your eye and you can feel that same energy from others in the room. Online auctions won’t have that same live energy but there is a scramble nonetheless! The IPCA, in an effort to include members that were not able to attend Eurosynergy this year, saved about half the donated items this year and created an online auction that you can participate in.

Have you ever dreamed of owning an original Jeffrey Lloyd Dever, a Melanie Muir, or a Bettina Welker piece? Those big names and others have donated their gorgeous work to help raise money for the IPCA projects. So it’s not only a chance to own a beautiful piece, like this unusual Kathleen Dustin necklace, but its money that goes to a cause dedicated to polymer artists. The IPCA has a lot of ambitious ideas on the drawing board but they need money to get them of the ground. So take a look at the items up for bid on the IPCA auction page.

Our contribution was a copy of Polymer Journeys signed by 25 of the contributing artists. If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, this is the copy to have. Or if you have one but want one signed by so many of the artists you love, you can bid on this rare copy here. If you just can’t wait, get your copy from our website at 10% off the cover!

 

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Into the Forest

13576637_10154283234709491_7192967860885552779_oOkay, so this might just be a week of announcements but they are exciting announcements, let me tell you.

During her general assembly presentation at Eurosynergy, Laura Tabakman spoke about her projects, many of which are huge undertakings involving installations of her work and the work of others in anything from organic floor compositions in a gallery to entire bridges yarn bombed by the whole of the local community. So it wasn’t a complete surprise that she has a very ambitious project up her sleeve right now. The difference is that this project can include you!

Laura paired up with the very organized and motivated Emily Squires Levine to work on a project inspired by their time under the aspens in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Living here, I completely get what got their creative juices flowing. I am constantly amazed by the color, variety and just stunning beauty of the mountains here. I honestly have yet to find a place in the world I think is more beautiful than the scenery here. Laura and Emily were similarly impressed and started working out an idea for a large Rocky Mountain forest inspired installation. Later on they got Julie Eakes on board and between the three of them the seeds of the “Into the Forest” project was born. And just hours before Laura’s presentation, the threesome set up a Facebook page to help facilitate what is certainly to be an immense and fascinating project.

So what is “Into the Forest”? The image here is their first assembly based on the project idea and here is their description:

“An international collaboration of polymer artists and enthusiasts inspired by the high altitude aspen groves in the Rocky Mountains, “Into the Forest” is an evolving mixed media international installation organized by collaborating artists Laura Tabakman, Emily Squires Levine and Julie Eakes. Imagine yourself in a forest. On the ground beneath a canopy of branches and leaves, unexpected life exists. Look closely, be amazed at the variety of these organic forms. Be a part of our Forest and help it flourish! Create pieces which will form its life elements. We will combine them into living colonies of varying shapes, colors and sizes. We are looking for 1000s of elements, created by our international polymer community, to inhabit our Forest.”

To get involved, request an invitation to the “Into the Forest” Facebook group. There are already over 150 polymer artists and enthusiasts that have pledged to help. I know I’m excited. Jump over to the Facebook page to get more information and follow the project on Instagram (intotheforest17).

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Here’s a simple one … join the project! Make one element a day or at least every other day, to send off to the project. I started on leaves on the weekend and ideas for lichen and other creeping color. We have until April 4th of 2017 which, making one little simple piece a day means you could have a couple hundred to contribute by April!

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Serenity and Simplicity … the new Fall Cover!

Cover 16P3 med paddingI’ve had this waiting for its final tweaks for nearly a week but, like half the Eurosynergy convention goers, I have been trying to rise up from the flu that knocked so many of us out. But I am now down to maybe 4 naps a day instead of 12 and got this done over the weekend. The flu and the loss of one of my main staff has got me behind so its nose to the grindstone for me now!

Don’t you just love the simple beauty of this neck-piece by Sonya Girodon? She is the featured artist interviewed by polymer pioneer Lindly Haunani for the Color Spotlight section of the Fall issue of The Polymer Arts. As you might know, Maggie Maggio has been the interviewer and conductor of that section of The Polymer Arts for nearly three years but now that her focus is shifting to expanding color education in grade schools, she has passed the torch onto the gracious Lindly. Lindly has taken it up with much gusto and has for you an absolutely entrancing article, highlighting Sonya’s color choices and philosophy.

Of course that is but one reason to be sure you have your copy of the next issue when it comes out at the end of August. Dan Cormier has written an absolute treasure of an article highlighting all the ways you can use scrap for easier, distortion free canes, mokume and other sliced veneer techniques along with other priceless tips and tricks from this master. Tory Hughes will help you access your creativity, Anke Humpert will show you how to make a variety of mandalas for a truly zen art experience, Julie Cleveland has all the basics on bangles for you, and I will reveal the secrets to creating great simplicity in design with exercises included to hone your skills. There is much more but we’ll chat about that later. Enjoy the sneak peek of the cover!

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Challenge your use of color. Find an artist whose work you admire but whose color palette is quite different from what you usually use. Borrow one of their color palettes and integrate it into a piece with your more commonly used techniques and forms. How does the color change the way your work appears? Does working with different colors cause you to create differently as well?

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A Well Adorned Man

Randy KMitchellI’ve never really understood why the majority of guys don’t like to wear jewelry. There are definitely masculine versions and, maybe I am partial, but I think jewelry is more expressive than a t-shirt or sports jersey to say something about you. I guess just wearing jewelry for a guy says something about that guy. So what does this huge piece say about this guy? It says he’s not shy to start with!

This is Randy, Karen Mitchell’s husband, and he seems to really like wearing the big and bold stuff she makes for him, so it wasn’t too shocking to see him show up on our Gala night in this piece. Karen is one half of AnKara Designs, which she has run with her sister Ann for 25 years now. For Eurosynergy, Ann and Karen had a slew of complex pieces to show off a variety of construction options for their “Polymer Jewelry Construction” presentation (which I didn’t get to see due to other obligations), and I can only assume this was one.

The movement of the swaying chains made for quite a dynamic piece to match Randy’s already dynamic personality. It also occurred to me that swaying chains on a guy says something quite different than it would on a woman. Here, it felt very strong and dominant, like it’s something a warrior would wear, but on a woman it would probably be more reminiscent of dancing and graceful movement. The wearer does make the piece, which is why some work seems to ‘belong’ on some people while it just falls flat on someone else. If I had not seen this on Randy, I never would have thought a guy could pull this off, but Randy sure did!

They posted a lot of their new work used in their presentation on their Facebook page, but you can also follow them and see where they are selling by going to their website.

 

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Big and Bold Tribal

RThickbroomHere is the lovely Rebecca Thickbroom showing off her tribal-esque jewelry at the Eurosynergy gala event last week. She was sitting there signing copies of the Polymer Journeys book when I snapped this photo of her and this bold neck piece. Rebecca’s work, although it has a tribal look, is never quite as one would expect that look to be. She is not afraid to go big with her pieces and arranges elements in uncommonly complex compositions for ethnic influenced jewelry. She also uses bright saturated colors alongside muted and natural tones for interesting and eye-catching color contrast. The results are big and bold and quite enticing.

Rebecca was not the only one signing copies of Polymer Journeys last week. A number of attendees went about with their copies collecting signatures from the 25 artists that were at the event that are also in the book. I got two copies signed by all 25 artists which included the likes of Kathleen Dustin, Jeff Dever, Georg Dinkle, Maggie Maggio, Melanie Muir, Christi Friesen and more. One of those copies I donated to be auctioned off online by the IPCA. The auction is not yet up but I will share the link here when it’s announced so if you want to get your copy of this signed edition of Polymer Journeys, stay tuned!

In the meantime, getting a closer look at the variety of color and texture on this piece you see here along with other work by Rebecca on her website here.

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Anke’s Eyes

AHumpert eyesI’m on my way home today after nearly 3 weeks in Europe. I really look forward to getting back to a regular schedule, and I will catch up will all of you who have been waiting for something from me. In the meantime, I thought I’d share some of the crazy pieces and wonderful people I snapped pictures of on the last night of EuroSynergy when we got dressed up for the closing dinner.

Here is the witty piece that Anke Humpert created just for this event. If you’ve been to any polymer-centric events, you know how much time we spend checking out each other’s jewelry, so Anke thought it would be fun to have a piece that stares back. It was very entertaining, as well as surprising, and caused much laughter as she made the rounds.

Anke’s work often draws from social and environmental inspiration. You can take a look at her wide range of pieces and techniques on her website.

 

 

 

 

 

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Charming Collection

DKassell creatures BLOGA little view of the charming world of Doreen Kassel who delighted us with her little characters while in the south of France. She set them up on this great wall on the back porch of the place we stayed at. Her child-like joy in creating her critters and other objects is so evident in the expressions of these pieces. She adorns them with such cheerful colors and fun details.

I wish I could write more, but I am packing to catch a train so I must be brief. I will go through my images from EuroSynergy on the train and choose some to share with you in the blog next week and in the newsletter that we’ll get out to you this weekend. For now, au reviour!

 

 

 

 

 

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The Dumont Collection

CDumont work

I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to not only see, live and in person, the latest work by the meticulous Christine Dumont but to see so much of it in one place. You can tell she spends hours getting every element just right, and I can only imagine how many hours she puts into developing her process in which she can achieve such perfection. The pieces here are examples for classes or are show pieces for the Fimo exhibition at Eurosynergy and not for sale, but I did get to try on and model a few for the gang and I was just in love with how they both looked and felt on. They are some truly masterful pieces of art.

Christine has not only been diligently working away on her own pieces but has continued helping others increase their creativity and exploration of design through the classes offered on Viola.eu. Take a look at the new set of courses she and Donna Greenberg are working on as well as dropping by Christine’s artist website for an eye full of her beautiful collection of work.

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A Greenberg Arrangement

I am getting into the week of Eurosynergy and I have a completely full schedule, so while I am collecting photos of the event and the wonderful art around us, I will fill this week with images from the art shared in the week before. But I will share a ton with you next week!
DGreenberg sets

Since so many of you just loved seeing Melanie West’s table of amazing work, I took more photos of the collected works that were shared in Durfort. This lovely little arrangement, by Donna Greenberg, was taken on an old fallen wooden door which became a favorite spot for shooting images of the work we had. Donna’s organic and expressive pieces seem quite at home on the weathered background. Donna was actually telling us how she has been experimenting with photographing her work with more objects and context. That can be a tricky thing as busy backgrounds and additional objects can be distracting as the rusted hardware here is threatening to be. But if the work can hold up to it or the objects used match the piece in a subtle and supportive way, including a bit more in the images of your work can create some really eye-catching photos that will make your work stand out.

Speaking of stand out work, jump over to Donna’s website to take in the wonderful range and luscious texture of her pieces.

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Take photos of your work in different environments and with (or on) a variety of objects. Take a look at the photos and see if the change in surroundings works visually with your work. Does it give you any new ideas about how to photograph and show your work?

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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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