Back When We Were Young

angela garrod 350x257 - Back When We Were YoungOkay, maybe we weren’t so very young still just five years ago but man, it sure feels like a very long time ago. What Angela has done between then, as wonderful as the work is, and now, is really incredible. Here is the post from May 15th, 2012:

Angela Garrod is an emerging artist from the UK. She’s featured in our galleries in the next issue (order yours at Her newest piece here is not in the issue but it’s just fantastic–cool, light, springtime polymer. Her new website just went up, too:

You can, of course, jump over to Angela’s website as above to compare old and new but I like doing so on her Flickr photostream where a clear timeline is shown as you move through the pages.



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Creatures Redesigned

AGarrod animalsI think we’ll stick with inspiring creatures this week. And what creatures are more inspiring to us than those we share our life with? Dogs, cats, birds, fish …we find something in them that we connect with so it’s not surprising that they make their way into our art.

Recently Angela Garrod posted these kindred creatures of hers on Facebook. With a beautifully stylized approach, she captures the look, and even a few good expressions of some of people’s favorite animals, and this while playing with geometric designs. The hand scratched texture keeps the geometric shapes from feeling too stiff and sterile and adds quite a bit to what would otherwise be just simple shapes and lines through which we, somehow, recognize the variety of animals. I don’t know how our brains see that but more so, it is always a wonder how cartoonists and other artists create images with just a few simple lines and shapes and know we’ll see it. The brain is just pretty darn nifty.

Angela has been up to all kinds of cool and curious geometric designs of late. You can see her explorations through her shared photos on Flickr, her Facebook page, and the gallery on her website.


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A Patterned Rainbow

aGarrod Rainbow neckringConsistent forms or motifs in a pattern can get a bit stale, but they can also be raised to sublime heights with the judicious use of color. In this case here, Angela Garrod uses a gradient wash of color across a series of alternating lines consisting of triangles, more like arrows, to bring in variation and change the atmosphere of the piece.

The arrows create energy that pushes the eye back and forth across the width of this ‘neckring’ as she calls these forms, but the soft colors bring in a calming element. The gradient of color in the rest of the circle is deep and rich, and it borders on almost being too much of a contrast to the soft color of the center texture. But that tension may be just what Angela is after, and only the viewer or–maybe more importantly–a buyer can say whether it really works or not.

Angela has been playing quite a bit with patterns of late, as well as this interesting form of neck adornment. To see just what she has been up to, flip through her shared photos on Flickr and the gallery on her website.


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Extruding Beyond the Expected

12997373894_7a334e5ea0_oAnother multi-artist article in the new Fall 2014 issue tracks the growth and experience of six artists that went through the Voila! creativity classes. We were given the opportunity to see what six emerging or accomplished artists developed as they went through an intensive, nearly year-long course that focused solely on developing creativity and personal voice rather than learning techniques and particular skills. The outcomes were quite remarkable. The growth those artists have continued to have is just as, or maybe even more so, remarkable.

Angela Garrod has been making leaps and bounds in her work the last couple years, but until the article came to me, I had not realized where much of this inspiration and push came from. Many of her designs have explored what can be done with extruding, but I have to say some of the pieces she experimented with earlier this year is pushing extruding far beyond what we’ve seen from the rest of the community. I would not have thought the patterning on this neck piece had anything to do with extruding, but now my mind is working furiously to try to surmise how it might have been accomplished. Angela’s creative exploration of technique, as well as design, seems to have been buoyed by her natural instinct to experiment. All with wonderful results.

Take a look at the other recent pieces Angela has been working on her Flickr page where you can see the chronological journey of her work. Be sure to read the article as well and follow the links to each of the artists to see what else they have been up to since their classes. It’s a fascinating story told through the artwork itself.


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And the Winners Are

At each conference, there are Polymer Clay Awards. At EuroSynergy 800 entries were juried to find the most significant 40 works for the IPCA Awards Exhibition. Georg Dinkel took Best of Show with his I-reliquaries and shrines, dedicated to Apple products like iPad and iPod. Best in 2D Art went to Fran Abrams for her “Warmth of Fire” and Laurie Mika for her “Circle of Life”. Best of Jewelry was shared by Angela Garrod for her “The Final Frontier”, Cornelia Brockstedt for her “City Skies”, and Annie Pennington for two of her pieces “Phagocytosis Brooch” and “Tucson Squiggle Brooch”. Best in Sculpture was awarded to Penne Mobley for “Pensive Prince”, Claire Fairweather for “Spring Trio”, and Joyce Cloutman for “Woodland Elf”. And pictured here, one of the Best in Functional Containers was this bowl by Emily Squires Levine.


Emily, a 2014 Niche Award Finalist, designs and creates one-of-a-kind accent tiles, bowls, and eggs. Using sophisticated color palettes, she fashions unique canes to form her exciting polymer clay art. Take a look at her use of pattern, shape, and color. How can you incorporate some of her distinctive juxtapositions into your own work? You can see more of her work on her website or Facebook page.


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Opportunity to Grow

If you have been enjoying the conversation about expanding your artistic voice, you may want to hop on over to Voila! this weekend. As of this Sunday, there is a new class you can join–Ways To Wow … and all you have to do is show up on the site Sunday!

Here’s the deal: Voila! is creating an opportunity for you to spend the next 6 months planning, designing and making a piece to achieve significant creative growth. At the end of the course, you will have a landmark piece in your body of work that exemplifies your creativity. You will also have learned a method that you can use for your future big projects.

Christine Dumont is a force for artistic growth in our community and regularly has classes like this running on Voila!. Look at what Angela Garrod did during the last class, How to Become a Better Artist.


Angela has thoroughly explored this hollow pendant form with a variety of applications. Intense exploration into a technique, form or approach is a great way to explore your artistic voice. You find yourself drawn back to certain aspects of your experiments which gives you a direction to push yourself. This kind of in-depth exploration is what you can expect if you join in on one of Christine’s Voila! classes.

Here are highlights from the class description:

The course will require at least two hours of your time per week. The studio sessions will of course require as much time as it takes to complete the piece. This course is free and available to all but only Voila! members will have access to the forums to discuss the course material and post images in the gallery.

New course material will be posted on the Homepage every Sunday starting May 5th. You don’t have anything to do except wait for May 5th when Christine will be posting course material for the week.

Cool, huh? Head on over to Voila! if you aren’t familiar with the site and then we’ll see you back there on Sunday!


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