Growing Fond of Dots

DGreenberg plattersI’m going to use this to both wrap up my jabbering about the Spring issue of The Polymer Arts and as a segue into talking about a design element that seems rarely discussed … the dot. Or spot. Or point on a surface. Whatever you want to refer to it, dots or spots are an unassuming but strong design element. In polymer, we can give them dimension and form until they take on another life entirely. In Donna Greenberg‘s work, those organic gatherings of points definitely look to be alive.

We were so lucky to have another wonderful article by Donna in the latest issue, The Polymer Arts Spring 2017 – Shape and Form issue. She discusses ways to use your past work to inspire new work. I think most of us have tried going back to something we did before but her suggestions are a bit different and her examples are beautiful. She does a lot of these dot/spot barnacle-like cups in her re-formed work and in her latest vessels too.

Although the form of the ‘spots’ seen here are similar, the way they are used and gathered are not. Look at the one on top. It had an organic feel but the little cups and the spots are placed in a very orderly fashion. The rougher but lacy edge builds a balanced but dynamic tension, pulling away from the inner order. But the platter below is a purely random application with the gathered dots of different sizes flowing in a natural path through and around the piece. It’s less restricted nature also warranted the use of a brighter color, making the piece quite lively and cheerful.

I found these pieces on Donna’s Facebook page but also take a look at her barnacled beauties in the latest issue of The Polymer Arts or hop over to Donna’s website to see more of her dots and spots.

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A Feast of Canes

ATRees mountain goatThe Spring issue is out and as usual, there is a bit of chatter on it out there in the social network world but there is an unusually high level of enthusiasm out there this issue. Is it that fabulously colorful cover? The wide variety of articles by or about amazing artists like Donna Greenberg, Christi Friesen, Wiwat Kalmpornjiwit, and Sylvie Peraud? So far the most talked about articles are the Lariat making, Donna’s inspiration from the past and Christi’s treatise on armatures which was pretty eye-opening since she picked the brains of some of the most amazing artists for which armatures are essential, namely Ellen Jewett (with that incredible opening piece!) and Adam Thomas Rees who I knew built his own animal shapes but had no idea how he did these huge things. But Christi revealed that for us.

The one thing we couldn’t do in Christi’s article was blow up some of the images so you could really see the detail of the work these artist’s do. Adam layers canes onto animal shapes in a manner reminiscent of Jon Anderson though they were developing their work around the same time so I don’t think Adam came to this idea from seeing Jon’s work although either of them may have influenced the other since. But other than canes on animal shapes, they have different approaches. Adam’s pieces are huge and his canes are large, broad patterns and often very bright. He sometimes mixes up other sculptural textures and additions to his creatures that create a feast of interesting details for the eye to roam over. The hanging matted hair like texture built up on this one creates a swath of white to give the eye a resting place below all that intense color and pattern above.

Just open Adam’s website and try not to be startled by the creature staring out at you. It’s beautiful but intense! Take some time out today and enjoy Adams colorful patterns in his galleries. And grab your copy of the Spring issue of The Polymer Arts on our website here.

 

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The Dumont Collection

CDumont work

I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to not only see, live and in person, the latest work by the meticulous Christine Dumont but to see so much of it in one place. You can tell she spends hours getting every element just right, and I can only imagine how many hours she puts into developing her process in which she can achieve such perfection. The pieces here are examples for classes or are show pieces for the Fimo exhibition at Eurosynergy and not for sale, but I did get to try on and model a few for the gang and I was just in love with how they both looked and felt on. They are some truly masterful pieces of art.

Christine has not only been diligently working away on her own pieces but has continued helping others increase their creativity and exploration of design through the classes offered on Viola.eu. Take a look at the new set of courses she and Donna Greenberg are working on as well as dropping by Christine’s artist website for an eye full of her beautiful collection of work.

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A Greenberg Arrangement

I am getting into the week of Eurosynergy and I have a completely full schedule, so while I am collecting photos of the event and the wonderful art around us, I will fill this week with images from the art shared in the week before. But I will share a ton with you next week!
DGreenberg sets

Since so many of you just loved seeing Melanie West’s table of amazing work, I took more photos of the collected works that were shared in Durfort. This lovely little arrangement, by Donna Greenberg, was taken on an old fallen wooden door which became a favorite spot for shooting images of the work we had. Donna’s organic and expressive pieces seem quite at home on the weathered background. Donna was actually telling us how she has been experimenting with photographing her work with more objects and context. That can be a tricky thing as busy backgrounds and additional objects can be distracting as the rusted hardware here is threatening to be. But if the work can hold up to it or the objects used match the piece in a subtle and supportive way, including a bit more in the images of your work can create some really eye-catching photos that will make your work stand out.

Speaking of stand out work, jump over to Donna’s website to take in the wonderful range and luscious texture of her pieces.

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Take photos of your work in different environments and with (or on) a variety of objects. Take a look at the photos and see if the change in surroundings works visually with your work. Does it give you any new ideas about how to photograph and show your work?

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A Glimmer of Hope. And Jewelry Furniture.

Donna GreenbergLast month was a very long month. So much was going on only now can I see the light at the end of the tunnel, a glimmer of hope, a spark of optimism that all of our special projects will be wrapping up. So in honor of those glimmers and lights, how about a few slightly blingy things this week?

We’ll start with some new Donna Greenberg earrings. Seeing a new piece of hers always brightens my day. And I do love those cool jewel tone shimmers. These are not overly complicated but I am very much for simplicity right now. The shiny side kind of hangs out there like a beacon of some kind.

But I also wanted to share this because look … she made her own stand, or jewelry show furniture, as she calls it. How fun and fabulous is that?

See what else Donna has been up to on her Facebook page, where I found these, and her website.

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Create your own style of displays for your work, something completely different from what Donna made. Displays can be artistic, but be careful with heavy patterns and colors brighter than your work. You want your work to stand out, not your stands. Search online for DIY display ideas to help you out. These kinds of projects are prefect for dipping into your scrap bin. You can paint or powder mud colored clay displays to bring them back to life.

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Summer is Coming! Peek at the Cover of the Upcoming Issue.

15P2 Cover v2.1 padding 480x603 - Summer is Coming! Peek at the Cover of the Upcoming Issue.So, we start out the month of May with a sneak peek at the cover of the upcoming issue of The Polymer Arts, the Summer 2015 – Connections issue. On the cover, we have a fabulous variation of Izabela Nowak‘s Polymer Origami technique–and yes, she generously shares her polymer origami techniques and tips with us in this issue!

As has been the recent trend, this issue is filled to the brim with new ideas, techniques, lessons and tips along with lots and lots of eye candy by some really huge and inspiring artists. You can look forward to articles such as:

–Create Polymer Origami Beads by Izabela Nowak

–Moving Magnetic Focals by Helen Breil

–Connected Color: Throwing out the Wheel by Tracy Holmes

–Connecting to Inspiration Beyond Polymer by Donna Greenberg

–Visual Unity: Designing the Big Picture

–Polymer Jeweler’s Workbench: Cold Connections

–Rivets: Attachments & Accents for Polymer

–Simple Cold Water Transfers

–Mind Mapping: Creative Visual Brainstorming

–Of Drawing, Doodles & Design: The Role of Sketching

… and much more.

The issue is due out at the end of the month. We don’t have pre-orders for individual issues up just yet, but we’ll let you know when the website is updated for that. You can, however, subscribe to be certain you’ll be getting every great new issue when it comes out. www.thepolymerarts.com/Subscribe.html

As mentioned in the blog post yesterday, we’ll be trimming down the number of posts for the month of May, and I’ll start that by taking tomorrow off from the blog to work on other needed items to get this great issue out ASAP! We will see you here on Monday, though. Have a beautiful weekend!

 

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Try a New Form

donna greenbergWe definitely have a penchant for making jewelry in this community, but have you tried other forms to see if you have an affinity for other forms? Non-jewelry forms can be very freeing as engineering them is often less complicated. There are a lot of people trying their hand at home decor objects, decorating furniture, covering sculptural shapes and applying polymer to clothing.

One of the most interesting explorations in this area this last year, at least from what I’ve seen, are the vessels Donna Greenberg has been busily creating. I don’t even know how to explain her journey, but she has really been pushing her form and application of her clay treatment in some really intriguing ways. I’m going to leave it at that and give you this beautiful close-up of one of her newest creations to get your interest piqued. Then go on over to the Donna Greenberg Arts page on Facebook to see the many pieces she’s made and her journey itself.

Then I might suggest you spend a little time on Pinterest or Flickr seeing what else people are up to these days. Perhaps you will find a form that you just must try this new year.

 

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Dialing in From Frankfurt with French Polymer

I have been traveling for 16 hours as I sit down to write this and I have another 7 hours to go before I reach the hotel in Malta. Every change of scenery, the many different people, the  variation in languages is enervating–I’ve been trying to guess people’s country of origin based on jewelry and clothing but you know what … people are more or less the same everywhere. It’s still been a fun game. I just wish I was more awake to really take it all in here. Many polymer people are already in Malta. See if you can sneak a peek on Donna Greenberg’s Facebook page–she’s taken some amazing pictures of the places in Malta she and other polymer peeps got out early to see.  I just can’t wait to get there.

My opportunities for photos as well as a decent Internet connection while traveling have been slim so instead of sending the overcast images of Reykjavik and Frankfurt this will be simple and brief and get in some info I couldn’t squeeze in last week about polymer in print.

If you don’t know about Polymere & Co., it’s the newest magazine on the scene and the first one of its kind not in English. The French language magazine focuses on project tutorials and jewelry and is available in both print and digital editions. Even if French isn’t your language, don’t let that stop you from getting a copy. Get the digital and plug the articles into an online translator. In this day and age there is not any reason to stay away from publications simply because they aren’t in your language. What a wonderful time we live in!

polymere-co-n05-1

Editor Beatrice PICQ will be joining us at EuroSynergy to talk about why she started  this magazine. I’m so excited to talk to her and hear about her vision. Because at this point, there is definitely still room for more quality polymer instruction and inspiration.

Okay … I’m off to get myself set for my final leg to Malta!

 

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Build a Basic Ring

Now that we’ve been looking at rings all week, are you not excited to try your hand at this form or expand on what you’ve done in the past with rings? There are a number of online sources including classes at Craft Art Edu or the expansive article on creating rings in the Winter 2012 issue of The Polymer Arts as well as a number of online tutorials. The article in our 2012 issue has easy instructions by Donna Greenberg on how to make a polymer band for a ring base but if you’d prefer a metal wire band, check out this straight forward tutorial by Elena Samsonova, a Russian born artist living in Connecticut in the US.

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To get the first half of this tutorial showing you how to build the wire wrapped ring base, go to Elena’s Flickr page and then peruse other lovely work and ideas of hers while there.  For more of her tutorials as well as more of her work, visit Elena’s website as well.

 

 

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