Put a Little Heart Into It

Here is what caught my eye today.Anna Kokareva uneven heart earrings I decided to peruse Flickr this time and came upon the pages of Anna Kokareva (aka Annie Bimur) and although there were a lot of pieces to grab my attention, it was this pair of not quite matching earrings with the heart just hanging out among all the crackle that really grabbed me.

I was a little thrown by that initially since I’m not much of a heart girl but the contrast of the simple sweet heart in all that texture really spoke to me. The uncomplicated things in life, like pure love and joy, set against a back drop of chaos … this is often what life is like, isn’t it? We just have to stop and appreciate the beauty within the bedlam. And in this case, we can appreciate the differences between the two earrings and probably find a smile on our faces when the little heart catches us by surprise.

The one thing I would improve is actually the background of the image. It is usually better to use a contrasting background, especially where texture (and color) is concerned or your work can blend too much with it, as it tends to here.

More little surprises as well as a riot of color and texture can be found on Anna’s Flickr photostream.


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All Out Pattern

LFCozzi belt necklaceOkay … so you know how I’ve been saying all week that you can’t lean on pattern alone. Well, I meant it but there is one kind of exception to that rule and that is, if you are going to do a lot of pattern, go all out with a lot of variation and then be reserved in other design elements so it doesn’t look messy. And this is what I mean by that.

Louise Fischer Cozzi focuses on pattern a lot. She will silkscreen, image transfer, etch, stamp or whatever suits to get the pattern down. I know this would have been made after she got more heavily into silkscreening but I can’t actually say whether any of it is. But that is fairly irrelevant because the idea is that you can see what using a lot of pattern, and successfully, looks like here.

There are more patterns here than I have been able to count but for all that chaos of pattern, there is this very clean collection of circles carrying it all along. Some variation in size and solid versus donut type circles mix it up some, but they are placed at regular intervals to keep everything orderly. A little order in the chaos allows the viewer to enjoy the variety without feeling lost in it. Plus this works as both a necklace and a belt so for those of us that like versatility, this piece has quite a bit going for it.

Louise does a lot of wholesale and a lot of shows so you don’t see her stuff bouncing around the internet too much. To see her latest work, just pop over to her website or check out what she is selling to us mere mortals in her shop.

Weekly Inspiration Challenge: Focus on pattern this weekend–bit it silkscreen, stamps, image transfers or even hand made marks. You could pick one pattern and see how many ways you can use it. It could be an accent on a bead or the background on a vase upon which you lay other elements. How does the use change how you see the pattern? Or go for an all out piece like the one here, using as many patterns as you can while keeping the design in check.


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Pieces on Fire

Rashi PCC layered redBringing disparate pieces together to make something interesting and alluring is not an easy thing, even for the experienced. Although I talk about design in very specific terms and point out “what an artist did here”, the truth is, very few of us are consciously aware of all the particular design decisions we’ve made. It is, most of the time, quite an intuitive process which lends itself well to creating from many different elements but it makes it hard to define what is working and what isn’t if you don’t have that design language in your head.

The piece here, a necklace by India’s Rashi Verman is an example of using a lot of disparate parts but bringing them together so they look related. The color scheme of black and red help build that relationship as does the regular, almost-a-rectangle type shapes. But the really uniting elements is the level of exploration that is evident. I didn’t think each piece of the necklace was planned nor was the variety of techniques. This had to be a very intuitive piece. It teeters on chaos but Rashi pulls back just before going over that edge.

For more of her explorations, see her Facebook page or Flickr photostream.

Right now I must get back to putting all the pieces of my studio together. I had all the boxes in the huge side room which left the studio office feeling airy and clean but now that I must get down to vetting our articles for the next issue and finish the ones I’m writing, I have half unpacked boxes everywhere but like the necklace here, I will find a way to make it all work together. So forgive me if I am slow to answer emails and such–unpacking and getting a new issue ready makes for quite a chaotic time!


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If It Scares You …

Scattered composition requires that you accept randomness, potential chaos, and even taking a chance that it will work. Sometimes these kinds of things scare us or at least make us feel that we are giving up control of the outcome, which we may find hard to do. But if you have full control of the outcome of everything–your art work, your day, your life in general–then you are not taking chances. Predictability breeds stagnancy. Do something that you’re not comfortable with this week. Something that scares you and exictes you at the same time. It can be surprising and even downright amazing what you find out, mostly about yourself.


And don’t forget … today is the last day to get in on the Cyber Week Special! $2 off each single Print Issues of The Polymer Arts magazine when you buy 2 or more. Catch up on anything you’ve missed or only have in digital. Or buy copies for gifts! You can purchase them here:


Code: CMUSP2  Sale ends midnight, Sunday Dec. 8th

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