Tiny, Tiny Patterns

11prune cane 430x399 - Tiny, Tiny PatternsThe most common polymer veneer in the community has got to be canes. Although caning seems to exist in a category of its own, it is surface design and cane slices are veneers, albeit tiny, often of a singular image and usually repeated over and over on a piece.

Cécile Bos probably doesn’t identify as a polymer clay artist in a strict sense but she does some of the most amazing detailed canes for her small, delicate jewelry. Originally a biology researcher, she left the field to be a jewelry designer. Her focus is pattern and her primary inspiration is plants. As stated in her online biography, she creates intricate canes which are “then worked in the manner of a textile or thin layers of paper to shape [beads] or other original elements. After curing, these elements are mounted on silver 925 or bronze to form the final piece.” She also adds glass beads, ceramics, wood, metal, and cotton.

You will have to go to her website to see these small jewelry elements she creates from these tiny patterned canes. You can also follow her on Instagram.


Muted Veneer

haunani veneer brooch 430x440 - Muted VeneerIn perusing #the100dayproject on Instagram these past couple weeks, I’ve noticed that veneers are quite the thing to be experimenting with right now. Whether you call polymer sheets you work with surface design, surface treatments, or polymer veneers, it does feel like the clay surface is having a renaissance of exploration.

One of the first of these explorations that I’ve noticed in recent weeks was this piece by Lindly Haunani, which she posted on Facebook. Of course, the queen of color is going to have a showstopper based on her color choices alone, but the subtle texture and the composition of the layout of the veneers, for all the energy of the color and lines, has such a satisfying sense of calm and rightness. There is that obvious sense of intention and deftness of skill that brings refinement to such unquestionably masterful work, even in a piece the artist claims is exploration.

Explore more of Lindly’s work on her website and Facebook page.


Swirling Watercolor Clay

nevenka sabo bowl 430x405 - Swirling Watercolor ClayAlthough this is not part of #the100dayproject, Nevenka Sabo stopped to show us what she does with the sheets she has been creating on her challenge so far.

Nevenka has been working with the torn watercolor technique that Maggie Maggio created. In this small bowl, she uses these surface treatments to create vibrant color and variation within the swirling and crackled lines of the nautilus shell design. The movement and energy of this combination of line and color have made for quite the eye-catching piece as can be seen in the long list of comments about it in the post.

To keep an eye on Nevenka’s challenge and what she does with her watercolor polymer studies, follow her Instagram page. Also, don’t miss out on her tutorials found in her in her Etsy shop.

A Green Phase

planet isis greens beads 430x414 - A Green PhaseThe 100 Day Project challenge is in full swing and it is already trying the resolve of many of us. Maybe, as Cynthia Tinapple said, calling me out on my proposed challenge in her Studio Mojo newsletter this past weekend, I might be a bit ambitious, creating something in polymer and a poem every day to create a composite image for Instagram. But it’s a darn good excuse to make me create every day. Mind you, I’m usually doing it at midnight but that’s the only way I don’t find myself lost for hours at the studio table not getting magazine work done. A lot of people have been coming up with creative ways to make this challenge work for them and keep it manageable at the same time.

Planet Isis, a.k.a. Dayl Goulsbra-Jones, decided to break her challenge up by color. This first week her color was green. The bars of this Day Three collection of textured gradient green and canes are my favorite. The inner glow that this kind of gradient appears to have adds a nice bit of energy to the simple forms, while the calming effects of the green color give contrast to the busy black-and-white canes.

Dayl didn’t pick the green arbitrarily, either. She started this whole challenge by posting her “color generator” which is a bag of cute little colored beads that she dips into to pull out the color for the week. Follow her Instagram account to see her green week and her upcoming projects. You can also find more of her work on her website.

And remember, if you are doing #the100DayProject or any challenge or you just regularly post your creations, let me know. You can chime with a comment on any of our posts @thepolymerarts or on my personal page @the_sage_arts. I’d love to follow your creative journey.

100 Days of Clay

Ginger Davis Allman veneer day2 100dayproject 430x422 - 100 Days of Clay

Ginger Davis Allman of The Blue Bottle Tree is doing a veneer day. A post of hers on Facebook alerted me to the #the100dayproject challenge she is doing these for and I figured that if Ginger, as busy as she gets, is doing this, then I should be able to as well so we busy women are getting even busier!

#the100dayproject is a general artistic challenge on Instagram to create one something each day for 100 days. The participant determines what they will do and with what medium, if they are even that specific. Some people are doing nothing but doodles while other people are creating completed pieces.

For instance, while Ginger is doing veneers in polymer, I am creating textural pieces and writing poetry to go with it (I’m posting these to my personal Instagram page, The Sage Arts.) The image here is Ginger’s Day 2 project. Her beautiful crackle is overlaid with silkscreen. It looks even cooler when you see it move as Ginger shows us in this little video.

There is nothing like being accountable to 2 million other people to get you back on track! If you want to learn more about the challenge, here is the Instagram page and the website. It did start on April 4, but that does not mean you can’t jump in and start a daily challenge too.

I am going to post highlights from those in the polymer community doing the challenge on our Instagram account for The Polymer Arts, so follow us there for an easy way to stay in the loop. And if you are taking the challenge, comment on this Instagram post and I will be sure we are following you back as I track the community’s involvement.

Shiny and Striking

carolinerivierejoaillerie 430x431 - Shiny and StrikingWe are going to move away from polymer for the last piece of this week because this was just too amazing to not share right away. Caroline Rivière was originally a marine biologist; however, with the birth of her children she questioned her career choice and ended up exploring jewelry making. Self-taught, she really found her passion and a unique voice in metal and stonework.

The open airiness of her work is reminiscent of some of the polymer work we have seen in recent years from the likes of Sona Grigoryan and Donna Greenberg. I thought this would also be particularly inspiring to those working with a more delicate polymer construction.

For more inspiration, visit her website and check out the Instagram page “The Eclectic Artisans” where I first found this piece.

Newly Striking

mDuchowicz Phoenix 430x293 - Newly StrikingThis new work by Monika Duchowicz is not so much shiny, like Monday’s post, but it is certainly striking.

You may have had your first in-depth introduction to Monika’s work in our Summer 2017 ‘Color’ issue. Her tutorial on painting with polymer for journal covers is truly amazing. She is still painting polymer covers but this piece moves out in a somewhat new direction being that this is more constructed than painted.

She also found a beautiful journal to put it on. It is a very Gothic and dreamlike combination of her composition and the journal cover’s spine and back. She describes the bird as a Phoenix although she notes that this is not a typical Phoenix with the all-white plumage and only fiery colors inserted into the background. And why not? We can make our own versions of any myth.

She posted several different views of this journal which you can see on her Instagram page. Also take a look at her work in her Etsy shop.



New and Shiny

BBaker bluing 1 430x415 - New and ShinyThank you to all you readers who cleared out our damaged stock this past week. We sold out of nearly everything in the first 24 hours but there are a few books left for $10 each and the regular back issue sale of 35% off the cover price is still going on in my Etsy shop through tomorrow, April 3rd. Jump on over to get a great deal on our print edition back issues and book.

In looking around at what people have been creating recently, I’ve noticed a lot of shiny, new work. This piece by Betsy Baker, although recognizable in her grungy but still elegant surface texture, has some added bling not commonly seen in her work.

The luscious variegated green texture is in heavy contrast to the shiny green gems but the consistency of the green color palette inevitably brings it all together. The simple circular form and symmetrical layout of the gems do much to bring calm and serenity to the highly textured composition.

If you’re not familiar with Betsy’s work, you can see many of her lovely pieces on her website and on her Instagram page.


A Spring Shift

svetlana Parenkova 430x416 - A Spring ShiftThe colors of spring bring a refreshing dash of brightness to the end of winter with its leafless trees and stark landscapes. Svetlana Parenkova embedded the new season’s brilliant palette into her clay with mica shift and an enamel-like technique that looks to be mokume to create these eye-catching elements.

Note how the black outline around the metallic clay makes the bright background colors just pop around it.  The black adds a more severe contrast between the colors so they appear brighter than they would if the metallic and the colored background met without that dark buffer.

Svetlana works primarily in textures and metallics with a sophisticated, classic and old world style.  Find more of her work on Instagram, Facebook and in her LiveMaster shop.


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