Does the Polymer World need another Blog?

This was something I went over and over with myself since the magazine was started. There are a lot of fantastic blogs out there. Do we need one more? The answer for me was, only if it can continue to do what The Polymer Arts magazine is trying to do–increase the polymer artist’s pool of ideas, introduce them to new sources of inspiration and grow their knowledge of artistic concepts that aren’t as commonly discussed or taught in craft periodicals and books. Can this be done in a blog? I think so!

I do want this to be fun and very community focused. We learn so much from each other. We are also very widely spread out so if we can centralize some of the more important and inspiring information and artistic ideas, it would really help the community keep growing. Cynthia Tinnapple’s Polymer Clay Daily is already doing this–posting different styles, approaches and aesthetics from within our community and presenting it in short, intriguing posts that keep our image of what polymer can be from being limited to the most popular and active artistic styles. (www.polymerclaydaily.com)

This blog will also be daily but we will not be covering the same kind of ground as Cynthia. Certainly we will be sharing a lot of art but with an aim to it being a learning opportunity, asking why it works as art and why it is considered accomplished, breaking down the reasons it draws our eye or engages up our imagination.

For example, to the lenext-after-this-Jasmyne Graybillft is a piece by Jasmyne Graybill made in 2001. It’s a pie tin with forms and strips of highly textured polymer made to look like an alien mold. Now, how many of us have looked at mold and thought, I want to emulate that?! We may not, for obvious reasons, be drawn to mold as a thing of beauty but altered to be representative of the organisms without the unpleasant colors (and odors, one would assume!) we can appreciate the texture and pattern that comes organically out of a natural process, even one as instinctively repulsive. The simple blue palette here takes nothing away from the intriguing surface that we feel drawn to examine closer. So, this piece works because it shakes us up our idea of beauty as well as making many of us polymer artists wonder … how did she get that texture!

In addition to educational and inspiring posts on art I also want to be able to get out timely information about new products and changes in the industry/community as well as have discussions related to the in-depth information in The Polymer Arts magazine with occasional news about the magazine and how you can help contribute and support it (which is in turn what will be supporting this endeavor.)

I would love to have comments, ideas and input on what you would like to see in a blog dedicated to educating and helping polymer artists grow their skills, their business and the joy they find in their art. I heartily invite offers for guest posts and information on new art, products, publications, techniques, tips, and news related to our industry. You can always write me at sbray@thepolymerarts.com.

Keeping Polymer Green

2012-P2_CoverMedWebIf you haven’t gotten your hands on the latest issue of The Polymer Arts magazine, you really should. Not just because we put it together but because the contributors and artists in this issue bring up a particularly relevant and little discussed topic … how do we as artists who work with a plastic material create and contribute to our world in a responsible green manner?

Here is an excerpt from the Editor’s page that sums up some of the sentiments relayed throughout the magazine.

“Some people will say that as artists, we have a social responsibility to enact change, to be role models and influence the people we reach  because we have that unique power to effect people personally. It is pretty amazing to think that what we do can be so influential. Even if you are not making a huge philosophical statement with your pretty earrings or charming sculptures, you are touching people. But does that mean we as artist have a greater responsibility than most people to be environmentally aware, to be guardians of our society and how we treat the earth?

“I would say no. We are responsible but not because we are artists. Yes, we can show people through our imagery and our reach how the world is, how it has been, how it could be, and how we think it should be. Some artists will choose to do this. That’s wonderful. But some of us just want to bring a smile to someone’s day or make them feel beautiful. Very grand and noble causes. So no, I don’t think we are burdened with a social cause because we choose to create. I think we are responsible because we are human. We are concious, sentinet beings who can literally change our world and we need to take responsibility as guardians, not of the earth (she can take care of herself) but of what we do while we are here. I think as people who want to add beauty to the world, we are generally more sensitive to seeing beauty destroyed. The thing is, these days it’s easier to make something beautiful than to save the beauty that already exists. But if we want to live in a beautiful world, we need to do both.”

You can get your copy of the most recent issue on our website at: http://www.thepolymerarts.com/Subscribe.html

And do let us know what you think of this issue by leaving comments below. Be heard! 🙂

When is it Polymer art?

painted2SmThere was a very interesting discussion on two related posts on Facebook back in February. It basically came down to whether a piece should be categorized as polymer art if the polymer has been painted or otherwise works as a ‘canvas’ rather than being the bulk and carrier of the design and artistic impact. This pendant by by Susan Waddington of Polydogz is polymer and paint( http://polydogz.com/Gallery1/Polymer-jewelry) There is no doubt she know how to work with polymer but the impact is from the color and design of the paint. So … is it polymer? There was quite a heated discussion about that and categorization of polymer in general on the Feb. 17 2012 Facebook post here.

That brought up a thought on my end … if you paint with polymer, is it a painting or a polymer piece? This owl is a painting, posted as a response to tPC painitngSmhis discussion on Facebook on Feb 21, 2012 where the paint is 100% polymer. Obviously a painting and more two-dimensional than polymer usually is but … how would you categorize it?

When it comes down to it, it really doesn’t matter to the casual viewer but in juried shows, galleries and periodicals, this categorization can be the difference between a piece of work getting in or not. So … as we start off on this blog, I thought I’d bring up this discussion again. What are your thoughts? (You can see where the discussion went by clicking the Facebook post links embedded in this post.)

 

First things first …

Before we get this blog going live, I will post some of the more popular posts from our Facebook page. These posts, along with all future posts, will be available in both this blog and on Facebook so you can access the same great finds, tips, tricks, and news on whichever site works best for you.

Happy claying!

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