Synergy Recap in Pictures

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First of all … the new Fall issue came out over the weekend! Get your texture fix with this issue, in a big way. If you have a digital subscription and have not seen your access email, check your junk mail folder. You should also be able to access it through your account here. If you have a print subscription, those went to the post office in Idaho on Friday so they are on the way too. If you do not have an active subscription or need to get your single issue copy, go to our website at www.thepolymerarts.com.

So this week we are going to have a parade of photos from Synergy 4 to include some beautiful art and some show shots for those who didn’t go but are trying to live vicariously through the community’s representatives that did.

The absolute best thing about going to these events is the people you get to meet and chat it up with. I think I may have said that last week but it’s true! The first picture here is just a sampling of the talent that was sitting behind me at breakfast one morning. How thrilled would you be to have the opportunity to sit down with Jeff Dever and Rachel Carren and listen in on their, no doubt, very insightful conversation? Or pull up a chair and say hello to Nan Roche and Melanie West? Or hang out at the same table with Christi Friesen, Bettina Welker, and Martina Weller? And you can at these things. People here, no matter what the skill level or how long they have been involved, are happy to talk to all the attendees. It is always illuminating what one can learn from others with the same passion.

I was grateful to get to talk to so many people but I was particularly happy to have a little time to sit down with our longtime polymer master, Marie Segal. She gave a talk about the new Cernit formulation–there has been improved strength, flexibility, and clarity that looks to rival the other better-known brands which got me quite excited to try it. If you like sampling clays to see what works best in what application, jump over to her shop and get yourself some new goodies at The Clay Factory.

 

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A Ring to Start With

ring tutorialHave you ever made a polymer ring? It’s not one of the more common polymer jewelry forms but it sure is fun and they are becoming more and more popular. They can be a bit intimidating since they need to be durable and they need to be sized. When creating ones to sell, you have to either make a wide range of sizes or you have to stick with just a selection of the most popular and then maybe offer custom-made ones. In any case, rings can be a touch tricky but I think once you’ve made one, they are kind of addictive.

So to start your addiction, you might want to try out this simple but elegantly styled ring using the online tutorial on the Craftliners blog. These simple but pretty little rings get their style from the special effects clay in the Glamour and Nature line of clays from Cernit. You can get granite and other faux effects by mixing your own clay with inclusions or just start with solid colors.

The Craftliner blog is posted in support of the online wholesale hobby and craft suppliers Craftlines. Although the shop is wholesale, the blog is for everyone and has a lot of great little gems in a variety of mediums. You can check out what they have to offer from the blog home page.

For more specific polymer ring ideas and how to make them, take a look at your copy of the Winter 2012 of The Polymer Arts or get your copy here.

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Make a simple wrapped ring. Give yourself all of 30 minutes to condition, roll, cut, and form the ring. The time limit will keep you from over thinking it. Just make one and don’t worry about the outcome, just enjoy the experience. Then once you have that one under your belt, let your imagination run wild and make more!

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Translucent Exploration

Anges Invasive 1The latest issue of The Polymer Arts is at the printers and I’m a bit of a zombie still. You know what I mean … after a big show or custom order is finally off and out, you usually just want to take a break from it all. Strangely, this time, all I’ve wanted to do is get in the studio. My studio also suffers from that deadline chaos so I first need the energy to clean it, but in the meantime, I have been researching translucents since many of the designs in my head will be focused on that kind of clay. I have to say, there isn’t a lot of crazy stuff being done with translucents still, but just as I was lamenting a lack of new translucent pieces to oogle, I came across this bit of fearless jewelry making.

I am pretty sure that Agnès (aka Primatoide on Flickr) used Cernit translucent and neon clay colors in creating this piece she calls Invasive I. She had made a comment in an earlier piece about wanting to explore the neons more and I think this must be one of her resulting explorations. Some of these beads look to be built on forms, others look to be hand-shaped, but all the forms are organic and aquatic. And bright! I can’t imagine it would not catch your eye on any wearer, especially if caught in the sunlight. I would love to see it back-lit, too, because light is what translucents are really about–allowing light to penetrate to reveal more depth.

Agnes explores translucents as well as the more disturbing and degenerative aspects of nature. Right up my alley. Take a look at the wide range of forms, colors and approaches she uses by visiting her Flickr photostream and her blog.

 

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New Clays and New Toys

Down in the vendor’s hall here at EuroSynergy, there are artists selling their beautiful work so we are getting the rare chance to see the craftsmanship and beauty of dozens of very skilled artists up close and personal. That in itself is very exciting but there is also the huge variety of new clays and new tools coming out from big manufacturers and small. It’s like Christmas comes early for polymer people!

You may have heard that there are some new clays coming out but did you know that there are new varieties by three big manufacturers? I am lucky enough to have a sneak peek back at the TPA office but to see all of the new products in one room is kind of overwhelming.

Both Polyform and Staedtler have brand new lines of clay as well as tools. Premo Souffle and a batch of truly new products are just streaming out of the creative centers at Polyform. Iris Weiss and Syndee Holt were demonstrating the new tools and sampling the new soft colors of Souffle at their very busy little corner of the room.

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Staedtler’s new professional color wheel based system with a thoroughly tested color mixing system  along with some really high quality new tools and supplies were drawing people in just as much.

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I was personally most thrilled to meet George Desmare and his lovely wife from The Clay and Paint Factory who brought the lines of Cernit to the show. I know they have been working on getting these new lines out to more retailers which I find thrilling. The colors and lines of clay are very obviously different when you just look at the color palettes.

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I can’t tell you more now as we are in the process of gathering all the details about the new products for out “Clay Report” that you’ll find in the next issue. So you have your peek here and then be sure you have an up to date subscription so you’ll get the Summer issue of The Polymer Arts due out at the end of the month.

 

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