Paper Cranes for Days

paper cranes 430x442 - Paper Cranes for DaysThere is nothing quite like a challenge to really push one to try out really different things in a design, especially if you are doing one a week for a year or some such challenge.

Cristian Marianciuc, however, went nuts and created one artistic paper crane every day for, not one year, not two years, but for nearly three years! 1000 days to be exact.  That’s 1000 variations on the origami paper crane and most of the variation did not come from the paper but from the additions he brought to his little creations. And his efforts were well rewarded, not only because he now has this wonderful collection but because it caught the eye of the editors of the Colossal blog and got him this little article here.

Just take a look at the article to see a small sampling of all the ways he added to the cranes. And if you really want to go down that wonderful rabbit hole, start with his Instagram page. No material or curl of paper seems to be safe from his mad craning. But how wonderful it is.

Many Helping Hands

samunnat angels 430x380 - Many Helping HandsYou may have already read about this in Cynthia’s blog a couple weeks ago but a new, enticing picture is fitting into our theme of variation this week, and I couldn’t help but share.

The Samunnat Nepal project is sending three of their ladies to the States for training, and the sale of these beautiful angels is part of the fundraising. The variation on these is aided by the help of the many busy hands at the Samunnat house along with a lot of scrap sari. The variations are not huge—a change of color in the top, a different hairstyle and slight changes to the face—but it makes each unique and something to be treasured.

The angels are $50 including free shipping within the continental United States. Ron Lehocky will be taking care of the orders so you can write him at and send checks to him, made out to Ron Lehocky and mailed to 1763 Casselberry Rd, Louisville, KY 40205. If you’d like to support Samunnat with direct monetary support, you can do so on Paypal by donating here.

If you are working on variations, take a cue from these ladies and work with other artists to see what you can come up with. They do this all the time as you can see on their Instagram page

Colors of the Subtropics

gen williamson subtropical 430x542 - Colors of the Subtropics

Creating variations on a theme is one very good way to really understand and perfect a design, plus you often end up with a lot of work to sell!

This set was one I was actually going to talk about the week before last, as another example of how to work paint into polymer in a way that polymer alone can’t accomplish. Yes, Genevieve Williamson uses an antiquing process but instead of just trying to give the work an antique look, the technique really feels like it is more about softening the colors and bringing out the scratched up surfaces that are her signature texture.

The look is a bit grungy but definitely sophisticated. The effect transcends the materials used so that the look is all about the color and style and what they are made of is of no consequence. The quiet affinity Genevieve shows for the organic is rather remarkable in that all that her shapes are primarily geometric, however loosely cut and carved. Her colors are usually more subdued as well but these subtropical colors are a pleasant departure, still keeping all her signature marks and shapes but giving the work a sunny and fun look and creating variation within her own style as well as this line of subtropic earrings.

Genevieve’s style is unique as is how much she shares about her life and process online. If you read her blog, you do really feel like you know and understand where her work is coming from. It’s a pleasure to read her posts, however few and far between they are. You can find those posts and a gallery of her work on her website as well as work for sale in her Etsy shop.

Creative Embroidery

magadelna africa 430x356 - Creative EmbroideryOne primary subject I wanted to hit in the Spring issue was fine detailed work done with little bits of clay. I was so excited to get a closer look at what is often referred to as polymer embroidery. I spent time off and on for a couple of weeks experimenting with the different forms and approaches I saw and soon realized we were not going to be able to do justice to this technique. But I did get in an article showing all the little approaches I discovered and have a gallery full of one such artist that gratefully shared her unusual version of it with us.

But there are so, so many talented artists out there doing this kind of work, and with more than just flowers, which is the most common type of imagery found in this type of art, it seems. One of my favorite pieces I discovered in my research is by Magdalena Pavlovic. Not only is this not particularly floral but it is perfectly patterned in an African-inspired color palette and form. The gradation of color from the top makes it look like flames are creeping in over densely filled-in focal sections. It is smartly laid over filigree in a similar form, giving it such cohesiveness that you really don’t think about the fact that these are two very different materials.

See more of Magdalena’s work, both traditional and unusual, on her Flickr photostream. And if you haven’t purchased your copy of the Spring issue or have an active subscription, you can get it on our website.

Creative Composition

bellou denim 430x504 - Creative CompositionAnother great contribution to the Spring issue was in our artists’ gallery. All of our artists are unique in their approach but it is Isabelle, known online as Bellou, whose designs are really standing out.

Isabelle creates bold, contemporary adornments that are polished to a glass-like shine. Her work often has a centered focal point but the balance of the components are set in asymmetric arrangements or are all shaped differently with different treatments. However, in all the disparity there is a common element that brings it together.

This is one of the pieces she sent us that we couldn’t work into the gallery pages. On the one side, there are wide, solid pieces, dense with texture, but on the other side, the space is opened with a series of cut-out shapes that have the same mica shift texture as the other side. The rest of the center piece brings in a grounding energy to the movement of lines and shapes that play across the necklace.

To see more of Bellou’s work, take a look at her shop pages here.

Reality in Miniature

SKilgast ican 430x545 - Reality in MiniatureIt’s been a week since the new Spring issue was released. Reports of print editions showing up in the mailboxes of subscribers in the western state are coming in as well as your comments. So it’s about time we squeeze in the last few bits of content that didn’t make it into our always filled-to-the-brim pages.

For instance, in the article on miniature hyper-realistic sculpting, we didn’t have room for Stephanie Kilgast to explain where her journey in tiny sculptures has taken her. If you have a copy of Polymer Journeys, you probably read a little about what she is doing with her honed skills as a miniaturist sculptor, presenting ideas about our food choices in her daily miniature veggie and fruit challenge, ending in 233 different kinds of miniature plant-based food sources. Seeing how she could present her ideas with her skills she has moved on to explore, in her words, ” celebrating the beauty of nature in a dialogue with humanity, questioning the lost balance between human activities and nature.

I love how her work shows that skills in one area can be used and transformed into something else, something more than one might expect. Her keen, observant eye and understanding of how to recreate natural textures is what has allowed her to express these abstract concepts and no-so abstract views of our world.

This has been the most commented-on article so far. Readers seem to be really diving into the exploration of the miniature and, hopefully, considering how to adapt it to their own unique work. To see more of what Stephanie does, go to her website and check out her online classes and YouTube videos.


Circling Back Around

judamani 430x555 - Circling Back AroundWith its prevalence in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism and decorative elements, the circle and symmetrical designs like mandalas are probably a natural thing to gravitate to when you live in India.  of JudaMani, is a Delhi-based artist creating contemporary east Indian jewelry with metal, stones, and polymer clay.

I’ve been watching her Instagram posts with interest as the designs feel both familiar and refreshing. There is an abundance of pattern and lively color in her work, as demonstrated by the earrings here. The busy surface design and contrast in color and shapes makes the symmetry of its circular design dynamic.

For more on Jaishree’s work, check out her website, Instagram or Facebook pages.



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