A Cover to Remember

Nocturnal ISO200Adj 350x295 - A Cover to RememberAs I wind up the final packing of the Colorado warehouse, I have been thinking about some of our more memorable covers and issues and had to stop and wonder what a few of our cover artists have been up to lately. So, I hope you will indulge me, if you are not curious yourself, as we look back at some of the best cover art on the magazine and catch up with some of those artists today.

To this day, one of the most popular covers we ever had was just the third issue of The Polymer Arts back in February of 2012. This is the cover art piece, without the layout. Raku Inuoe just blew everyone’s minds with his fantastical sculptural winged moths and butterflies. The intensity of the color and the boldness of the forms and lines were certainly attention-grabbing. We got tons of comments and emails about this cover and it was shared all over. It was immensely gratifying for a fairly new magazine to get that kind of attention.

If you read that issue, you would have learned that Raku does not swear allegiance to any one medium but swims from one to another, depending on his curiosity and need for expression at the time. Although it doesn’t look like he’s steered completely clear of polymer, he has certainly made another mark on the visual art world with his floral built creatures, recently featured in Colossal. Take a look at his Instagram page for a ride through his wild imagination.

If you are interested in getting a copy of the Spring 2012 – Creative Spaces issues, you will have to be content with a digital copy as the print copies sold out within a year of its publication. It was an amazing issue with a peek into the studios of Raku, Christi Friesen, Bettina Welker and Swirly Designs, as well as other great articles focused on your creative space. Get your copy here.



Like this blog? Lend your support with a purchase of The Polymer Arts magazine and visit our partners.

tpa 125x125 sept2017 - A Cover to Remember    The Great Create Sept 15 blog   businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog


Cross-Disciplined Fantasy on Overload

arianna raffa BOBSSo, since we’ve been heading down a whimsical path combined with cross discipline work, and I have been holding onto this image sent to me by Jenny McKitrick for a few months already (thanks Jenny!), it seemed it was time to pull this little ray of sunshine out. Or, maybe we should say, nuclear level of sunshine!

The piece was an entry by Arianna Raffa in the Battle of the Beadsmith 2015 competition. When Jenny first sent it to me, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. Busy work is not my thing, but it doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it, and the one thing this piece does that we all hope to have happen when something we made is viewed, is force you to keep looking at it in order to take in all the detail. Aside from that, I just am blown away by how much work had to go into this! Soutache, a variety of beading techniques and those huge polymer cane butterfly wings make it not only full of beads and color, but full of construction style jewelry disciplines. You can’t say Arianna isn’t talented, and you can’t say she doesn’t have some patience!

Most of this Italian designer’s work is a bit more subdued, but still glitzy and colorful. If this burst of color on your screen brightened your day, you can continue down that path with a bit of time on her website. It is in Italian and does not translate in Google, but just go to ‘Creaciones‘ and click on any of the items under the drop down menu there for a page full of color and shine.

Like this blog? Lend your support with a purchase of The Polymer Arts magazine and visit our partners:

Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog - Cross-Disciplined Fantasy on Overload  The Great Create Sept 15 blog - Cross-Disciplined Fantasy on Overload  never knead july 2015c 125 - Cross-Disciplined Fantasy on Overload 

 TPA McGuire blog ad - Cross-Disciplined Fantasy on Overload  PCW kaleidoscope Oct 20151 - Cross-Disciplined Fantasy on Overload  Print

Big Friendship

SonaGrig ArmenianAustralian friendship necklace

Now off to the world of big and bold and even a bit of wild; although, this piece is not that wild when it come to the work of polymer artist Sona Grigoryan.

Everything Sona does is big and unabashedly bold. She shares what seems to be a kind of expressive abandon with our Monday artist, Christine Damm, in regards to her approach to form, texture and a loose organic style. Just maybe, that is at the heart of the big and bold, at least with polymer. Being able to be so expressive, to not feel confined by any standards of size or shape, and although I am sure there is a lot more planning than is readily apparent, the forms feel open and free.

sona WendyIt was just really tough to pick just one of Sona’s many bold pieces, but I do like the complexity and arrangement of the elements in this necklace and found the overall form quite intriguing. Plus, you have to like the connection it has to others in our polymer world. This piece was a gift from Sona to Wendy Moore, so she called it an Armenian-Australian Friendship Necklace. I added an image of Wendy wearing it while standing next to Sona, so you can get a better idea of its size. It looks great on Wendy, doesn’t it? Some people can really carry the big and bold jewelry well. They just need a personality, and maybe the stature, to match.

If you like this, then be prepared to see bigger and bolder on Sona’s Flickr page and on her website where you should spend a bit of your day pouring over her unique work.


If you like this blog, support The Polymer Arts projects with a subscription or an issue of The Polymer Arts magazine, as well as by supporting our advertising partners.

Never Knead 125x125 april2015 - Big Friendship   butterfly ad 480x480 - Big Friendship  TPA_McGuire_blog ad  TPA Blog Newsletter Ad ShadesofClay 1014 v2 - Big Friendship  sfxpaad-diffuse



Connection–Summer 2015, Now Available … and Going Bold

Vortex Christine DammFirst of all, the latest issue of The Polymer Arts is out! Print issues made it to the post office on Friday, so those are on their way, and the digital issue was released yesterday. If you were expecting a digital issue and you don’t see it in your inbox, check those pesky spam folders to see if it got filtered there. Otherwise, my ever-efficient assistant, Kat, can check on your subscription or order when you write her at connect@thepolymerarts.com (if you get this by email, just respond to this post, and it will go straight to her as well.) Connections is the theme for Summer 2015, and this issue is quite full to the rafters of ideas, tutorials, tips and inspiration for making connections of all kinds. Check out the line-up on the list on our home page: www.thepolymerarts.com.

In the meantime, how about a bold jewelry week while I get things back in order over at TPA headquarters?

I have long been fond of the colors and textures, as well as the kind of abandon that Christine Damm creates with her work. This piece really jumped off the screen when I first saw this a year or so ago. Christine’s magic is in the consistency of her choices. Her work is rough and imperfect, organic and unafraid. These adjectives can be applied to her chosen forms, application, texture and composition. So a huge form like the piece that takes over the focus of this necklace can have an intense sense of presence because as rough and imperfect as it is, there is such obvious intention in it being this way.

Christine’s work is really very fascinating. I have no idea where her forms might come from–they are quite original–and her colors and immediacy of the look make it hard to look away. For more of Christines’ work, go to her Flickr pages and her website.


If you like this blog, support The Polymer Arts projects with a subscription or an issue of The Polymer Arts magazine, as well as by supporting our advertising partners.

Never Knead 125x125 april2015 - Connection--Summer 2015, Now Available ... and Going Bold   butterfly ad 480x480 - Connection--Summer 2015, Now Available ... and Going Bold  TPA_McGuire_blog ad  TPA Blog Newsletter Ad ShadesofClay 1014 v2 - Connection--Summer 2015, Now Available ... and Going Bold  sfxpaad-diffuse

Now for Something Completely Different

RebeccaThickbroom“Something completely different” is the theme this week, or so that’s what I am aiming at. Maybe I look at way too much polymer work on a daily basis, but certain forms and applications are so well used as to be beyond common. I won’t name names, but a rather influential person in our industry turned to me in a recent conversation and said “If I see one more of those domed pendants with the hole cut out, I’m just gonna …” with the unspoken threat left hanging in its possibilities. I kind of like those domed peek-a-boo pendants, but I do have to say they are a form that has been well-represented in the community.

RThickbroomThat and a funny conversation online about whether Hollywood can come up with anything original anymore had me thinking about whether our constant and global exposure has somehow diluted originality. We see so much of certain things that we start to automatically create similar items. So, I thought I’d make it a goal this week to find things that just look nothing like anything else I’ve seen in recent years.

This amazing piece is by England’s Rebecca Thickbroom. I’m not sure why pieces like this aren’t making the wide rounds on Pinterest and Facebook. I think it’s quite stunning, and I didn’t find this online, not initially. I actually had the pleasure of seeing this in person last year in Malta where I got to meet Rebecca and take a few of my own photos of it. The insufficient and yellow light of the reception room where I snapped the shot you see on the bottom didn’t do this justice at all, hence the nice photo I acquired from Rebecca’s Facebook page.

The size of the piece is quite bold, but it’s the textures and numerous interesting objects in the piece that grab you. There appears to be some mysterious symbolism in the collection of objects framed here, and, of course, it looks like it could be a museum piece from some long-lost tribal culture. I find it very intriguing, and I can’t say I’ve seen anything like it in recent years besides other pieces from Rebecca’s portfolio. She’s quite original.

Rebecca’s work can be found in greater quantity on her Facebook page, Clectic Designs, where you can find more unusual and curious pieces to tickle your imagination.


If you like this blog, support The Polymer Arts projects with a subscription or an issue of The Polymer Arts magazine, as well as by supporting our advertising partners.

Never Knead 125x125 april2015 - Now for Something Completely Different   Polymer Clay Workshops Mandala May Blog - Now for Something Completely Different  TPA_McGuire_blog ad  TPA Blog Newsletter Ad ShadesofClay 1014 v2 - Now for Something Completely Different  sfxpaad-diffuse

%d bloggers like this: