Ripple Away

ripple collage 201x450 - Ripple AwayFor an easy but classic set of techniques that you might want to explore, just pick up your ripple blade. Most all of us have one. They come in those beginner pack of polymer blades so they are easy to acquire if you don’t have one. The effects you can create with them go from controlled pattern to random to sculptural texture.

I just pulled out a few that caught my eye today. The top one was posted by Libby Mills back in 2012. She used stacks and played around with manipulation and how to slice them, following instruction she got from Jody Bishel both at a retreat and through a project in the book Polymer Clay: Exploring New Techniques and New Materials. She really had too much fun as you can see on Libby’s blog post from back then.

I could not find attribution for the center image but I didn’t want to skip over the sculptural aspect of this handy blade. Cutting beads and stacked edges with this blade gives us quick and interesting textures. The ripple tends to lend a fun quality as well as the instant tactile quality so it’s not for all pieces but whimsical and graphic pieces might be something to try this on.

This last one was created by Nevenka Sabo some years back. I don’t have a date as the links are broken but you can see well enough what she did. Create a bulls-eye cane with a Skinner blend laid on a white sheet of clay and roll. Cut sideways and you have some wonderful veneers with an interesting patterned center swatch. Click here to get a more detailed view.

There are tons of tutorials online for using the ripple blade so if these tickle your fancy, do try a Google search or spend some time on the many Pinterest boards featuring techniques with this tool and then head off to the studio table with a new infusion of ideas.

Arieta’s Colorful World

Arieta vessel 430x396 - Arieta's Colorful WorldFirst of all, my sincere apologies for the wonky email situation with posts going out last week. Took a while to resolve as it turned out to be the collision of two different services throwing our smooth-running world into chaos. (Just kidding … our world is often not running as smoothly as we’d like!) We are still trying to work out how to prevent it from happening again so if it gets silly again on any level this week, chalk it up to repairs, but I am told it really should all be fine.

Since so many of you weren’t seeing the rainbow-focused posts last week, I do urge you to jump over to the blog and read up on work by Christine Damm, Cecilia Leonini, and Heather Moore. In the meantime, I’m just going to keep at it this week with wonderful work that just isn’t afraid to use all, or nearly all, the colors in the rainbow.

This vessel is by Arieta Stavridou who a lot of people first got to know in the pages of The Polymer Arts last summer. The difference between her work then, which was absolutely stunning and dominated by intricately patterned plates created with cane slices, is amazing. She seems to be getting more and more bold with her colors and, apparently, no decor item or vessel is bound to be safe from being adorned by her hand if in reach. This image is actually from a brief video that shows it from a few different angles. It still can’t possibly do it justice and must be awe-inspiring in person.

Just take a look at what she’s been up to since she was last in our pages and on our blog by visiting Arieta on her Facebook page.

And a little aside … come join me and my fellow trouble makers for a some crazy fun, September 2nd in Los Angeles–The Triple Trouble Creative Play Day. If you are in the area for Labor Day Weekend, join Christi Friesen, Anke Humpert and myself (a very rare appearance for Sage this year! ) for 6 hours of non-stop creativity. We’ll each be teaching several of our signature techniques as well as divulging many a tip and trick. And, yes, there will be chocolate. (Sign up by August 9th and get a free Christi Friesen book and a signed copy of Polymer Journeys!)

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Neverknead 052217 - Arieta's Colorful World    The Great Create Sept 15 blog   businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog

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Exploring Mandalas

Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning “circle.” These visually engaging patterns have spiritual and ritual significance for some eastern religions and western communities and have been growing in popularity as an art form.

Susan Buhrman is one of the most prolific mandala artists that I know of in our community. She uses cane slices, cut sheets of clay, beads and other objects to create the patterns for these wall pieces.

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Mandalas aren’t just a beautiful art form; the creation of them can be quite a therapeutic activity. Take a number of scrap canes, sheet clay or what not and simply start placing them in a balanced and repetitive pattern on a board or other stiff, movable surface. Don’t think too much about it. Let your inner artist just play. This should get you into a very relaxing zone, and at the end of your time creating this, you may find yourself surprised by what you end up with. Just something fun and relaxing to try when you need it.

 

 

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