Covering Time

mira pinki krispil clock 430x412 - Covering Time

Well, it’s that season again. While everyone else is shopping, crafters and artisans like yourself are working madly away on the stock that your audience demands to make their gift giving season the best one to date. For some of us, that audience is a retail account but for many more of us, it’s the far more intimidating circle of friends and family that we fret over. What do we do this year for gifts and surprises that we haven’t already done? Asking myself this question, I came up with a couple of ideas and in researching, clocks really hit a note for me. Any clayer of any level and any specialized set of techniques can create a clock that is both personal and expressive and everyone of every age can appreciate a lovingly created handmade clock.

Cane-covered clock faces are an easy project for clayers of any skill level. You can buy old clocks at the thrift store, or inexpensive ones at the big box store, or just a clock kit from a craft or hobby store that you put into your cane-covered clay sheets. Here is a fun and colorful, slightly off from the norm, cane-covered clock face for some initial inspiration. Mira Pinki Krispil is quite fond of cane covered decor but she always takes it one step beyond.

I like this piece because of the slight off-centeredness and the imagery in the center. It is more than decorated. The image in its center is intriguing with energetic lines bouncing back and forth through intertwined imagery. It’s just a great visual piece to start with. The fact that it’s a functional clock is a bonus.

Mira creates her colorful piece in south Israel and sells her work on Etsy. You can also see more of her designs by checking in on her Flickr photostream.

The Popularity of Play

The Crush Tammy Durham 347x450 - The Popularity of PlayAnother cover that really seemed to knock people’s socks off was the Tammy Durham cover for the Fall 2014- Play issue. I’m sure it was the color and the detail but perhaps it was simply because it was about a subject very near and dear to most of our hearts: playing.

And that is something Tammy seems to be doing a lot of lately, although not so much with her polymer clay illustrations. She is very much focused on color but has been working with abstract oil paintings in the Mondrian mode of color study, or so it appears to me. You can see her present work and her past polymer illustrations on her website here.

If you would like a copy of this issue, we still have a fair amount of stock that I expect to last for a few months longer at least but we are quickly selling out of our earlier issues, especially those we have left for 2012 and 2013. So if you are wanting to update your library of print issues of The Polymer Arts, hop on over to our website and take advantage of our package deals.

 

 

 

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A Past Controversy

polydogz 021712 350x273 - A Past ControversyHere is a post with some food for thought as you go through your weekend. This post was one of my most active. The discussion in the comments revolved around whether to consider this polymer art because although it is mostly polymer, the focus and all the color is painted on. I found it very interesting to hear people’s thoughts on defining polymer art and the idea of polymer purity. You can return to the original post here. There was also a follow-up post a little later that revived the conversation a bit, which you can read here.

If you want to put in your two cents, just comment at the bottom of this post at the post’s page (click the header above to be sure you are on the page) or look for the most recent post on our Facebook page.

The original post was from February 17, 2012:

I fell for the colors when I saw this brooch, then I looked at the bezel. Then at her gallery and all her really creative bezels … and the pretty colors. Artist is Susan Waddington of Polydogz.

You can find more of her work on Flickr and Etsy.

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

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Textured Color

Ruth Issett textile - Textured ColorTo wrap up this period of bold color, I just had to draw upon my next favorite medium, fiber. Oh, the things people are doing with quilts and mixed media textiles these days are mind-blowing! The textures, colors, and energy in modern textile art rival the best paintings of our time.

This intensely colorful and richly textured piece is by one of the true masters of the medium, Ruth Issett. Ruth’s work, although it can be elegantly simple, is always vibrant and emotional. It is, however, her intensely intricate pieces that are likely to stop any admirer of the arts in their tracks. I can only imagine the time I would lose standing in front of one of her pieces like you see here.

Not only is Ruth an accomplished artist in her field, she is a well-known and prolific writer and teacher.  I know of a half-dozen books she’s published on textiles and color over the last couple decades and they are so beautiful, you don’t even need to be interested in the techniques she teaches to enjoy them, but as polymer artists, I think there is quite a bit of inspiration in those pages.

I could not find an actual website for Ruth but she’s all over the web. Here is one link with an interview, lots of images and a list of her books so you can investigate further.

 

Weekly Inspiration Challenge: Go bold with color! That will mean different things for each of you. Perhaps you stick with the same half dozen colors … work with colors quite opposite of those. Perhaps you work in mostly neutrals or earth tones … try something bright and heavily saturated. Just push yourself with color when you get into the studio and see where it takes you.

 

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

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Waterfalls of Color

2goodclaymates CaBezel pendants 430x430 - Waterfalls of ColorAlthough there isn’t a full rainbow of color in each individual piece here, I just had to share the work of Carolyn and Dave Good who recently posted these lovely mokume components for their fall (as in draped or like a waterfall) necklaces. These pieces use a similarly high saturation of color among them all and a lot of contrast within each piece. It makes for a great looking collection that I’d be happy to have just hanging on the wall together. Well, I might be inclined to wear them too, I’ll have to admit.

These pieces were made with some new CaBezel molds by Wendy Orlowski of our long time supporter, Shades of Clay. This series is actually called Holy CaBezels, due to the hole, of course. But maybe they can also be a bit of divine inspiration for the right person. It would be hard to say unless you bought a set and tried it out. Just saying.

The Goods always have something yummy to share on their blog so if you like having great eye candy dropped in your inbox, sign up for the 2GoodClaymates blog. And to get your set of molds, go to Shades of Clay.

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

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

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Sudden Color

4ddf3ca2204958b57dcbb7c1c1d4ae78Isn’t one of the most breathtaking things in spring really just the blossoming of color after long months of a barely-there tint to the world? It’s a simple and even expected occurrence, the return of brilliant color, but when starved of something for a while, we become so much more appreciative and even excited by it, as if it was our first glimpse all over again.

Simple, but perfectly bright and cheery, is what I thought of this hair slide by Kathy of Flowertown Originals on Etsy. It’s really those jelly roll canes, going from light in the middle to bright color on the outside that makes the composition seem to glow. (See our Summer 2014 article in The Polymer Arts on creating the illusion of light for more on these techniques.) Between the blossoming flowers, the greening of the grasses and the lengthening days, this is just the kind of work that will be very well appreciated this time of year!

 

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.

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Simple Color Mystery

mystery artist fimo earrings

Okay … here is a piece that I have hung onto for a while as I tried to find the person who created it. I have not, yet. It’s not a particularly complex piece, and although, I like the silver as an accent, I so rather wish the feather-like pieces were handmade or more organic or smooth and simple. The flow of color in the clay just calls for either something that matches that organic movement or has a calm stillness in contrast to it. But, nonetheless, the colors in these simple earrings are arresting.

So, this is the challenge I throw out to you all. Who knows whose creations these are? Help me find the artist and give them credit, and then back to your last-minute shopping and holiday parties!

 

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

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Dreaming of Summer Colors (& New EU Taxes you should know about!)

Shall we get the not-so-nice stuff out of the way first?

The New Not-Well-Thought-Out EU Digital Tax Laws hit Worldwide on the First of the Year

If you haven’t already heard, the European Union has new laws regarding selling digital products and services to European buyers, and it goes into effect January 1st. Unlike past VAT taxes that rarely, if ever, affected micro businesses and solo sellers, this one affects everyone who sells any digital goods or services TO Europe because this new law is based on where the buyer resides, not where the seller works. Yes, even you, you seller of $3 PDF tutorials! It’s a tad insane, and most of us small, struggling businesses and artists just found out in the last couple weeks that we need to register with the EU, implement new bookkeeping & documentation storage for at least 10 years, update shopping gateways and our websites, and possibly change who/what we sell through, and we need to have it all ready before the year ends in order to offer digital goods and services to Europe in 2015 and forward. Or, we can change to whom or how we sell digital stuff. Ugh!

I wanted to inform you all of this, so you have a chance to find out if this affects you as a seller of PDF tutorials, eBooks, patterns, subscription or member services, online advertising, or automated online services of any kind and allow you time to figure out what to do. AND, to be heard if you agree that this tax is detrimental to micro and solo businesses.

Please Help. Take Action to Fix this.

Get informed, and sign the petition to have a threshold set, so small, unique sellers don’t have to pull out of Europe or go out of business because they can’t afford to comply. You can find out more about the issues with the new laws on EUVATACtion.org and get the official summary of them on www.gov.uk.

The only possible salvation for many of us will be a service who can take care of  the nightmare of documenting,  setting up calculations, collecting and remitting the tax for you for all of the 28 European countries involved. There is only one viable service I have found so far, and they even offer it for free (up to 20 EU transactions a month), if they can integrate through your Paypal or similar payment service. If you think you’ll need this, write them at www.taxamo.com to find out if they can work for you.

Prices will Go Up; Buy or Renew Now  

This sudden news does not give us here at The Polymer Arts enough time to make the changes needed to collect VAT on our digital magazine sales, so we will be using an exception in the law and will have to individually email digital issues of The Polymer Arts to European readers as of next month.  This will be costly labor-wise, so we’ll have no choice but to increase prices for these manually sent issues. But, this will cost the European buyer far less than paying VAT. So, if you’re in Europe and you haven’t renewed or bought those back issues in digital that you were thinking of getting, now would be the time to do that. Just go to our website,  www.thepolymerarts.com/Subscribe.html, before the end of the year when prices for European digital purchases will go up.

10629427_755333247879748_993078646697291942_oBack to Color … 

How about today we have a moment of color indulgence with color maven and polymer pioneer, Lindly Haunani. Aren’t these colors just yummy. I know that’s not the most technical artistic term, but that about sums it up!

This image is a preview of what she’ll be teaching at Maureen Carlsons Center for Creative Arts. The workshop is entitled “Joy Garden: Translucent Polymer Innovations”, and it’ll be held Sunday, August 9th – Friday, August 14th, 2015. Yep, it’s about time to start planning for summer fun, don’t you think? Okay, maybe it’s a ways off, but you probably want to grab a spot in this workshop sooner rather than later and for those of us seeing snow out our windows, it’s kind of fun to dream about summer isn’t it?

Lindly’s blog and website, as well as her book and DVD set, are a wealth of information on color. Just jump over to her website to get links to all her wonderful stuff.

 

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

 

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