Summer Issue, “Color!” is Out! And a Lively Bird.

jsa back parrot 430x344 - Summer Issue, "Color!" is Out! And a Lively Bird.As many of you have seen, the Summer 2017 issue actually went out yesterday, a day early. Unforeseen circumstances forced me to be on the road today instead of late last week as planned so I couldn’t do the release today. Hope it was a welcome surprise for you digital subscribers (if you are due a copy and didn’t see it in your inbox, check your spam/junkmail folder and if it’s not there check your subscription account here or write my assistant at connect[at]thepolymerarts.com). Print issues are actually on the way as well–the US batch went to the post office Friday (although the holiday might slow it down initially) and get the copies for international shipments tomorrow to sort and get on its way so it will be all over the world soon enough.

As tradition dictates, this week we’ll share some pieces that didn’t make it into the new issue. There is just never enough room! This parrot by our profiled artist, Jon Stuart Anderson, was one of those pieces that we just loved but could not work into the article. It is one of Jon’s newest pieces and he was just so excited to share it with us so, of course, since it’s not in the magazine, I had to bring it to you here. There is such rich color on the front but just look at the back of the bird. It has such a lovely, lively pattern and such a perfect finish! Pure Jon Anderson magic.

Please enjoy more of Jon’s newest work on his Facebook page and his website while I mosey on down the road. And if you don’t have your Summer issue purchased or your subscription active, just hop on over to the website at www.thepolymerarts.com.

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The Summer Cover … Thank you Mr. Anderson

TPA 17P2 JSA bull cover border web72 430x562 - The Summer Cover ... Thank you Mr. Anderson

Today, I just want to share the newest cover of The Polymer Arts. We are so very lucky to have Jon Stuart Anderson gracing the cover with a wonderful close up of his Raging Bull sculpture. The article on Jon’s art and life is alone worth getting this issue for.

Jon had previously not talked much about his work and yet it is absolutely unforgettable. His process, his thoughts on creating, on color, and on living as an artist are from the heart and he minces no words. The interview conducted, and article written by, the equally amazing Ron Lehocky was a dream for us. Ron had so much material, there really could have been a book. Ron was just the person to pull from Jon the stories and details that allow us a rich and colorful glimpse of the man and his work like we’ve never seen it before. I am so thrilled about this issue. Can you tell?

 The whole Summer 2017- Color issue will be a great reference for color exploration now and in the future with the talent and knowledge of some of our best artists including Tracy Holmes, Christine Dumont, Lindly Haunani, Meg Newberg, and Anke Humpert, along with Ron and Jon.  Here’s some of the articles you can look forward to:

  • Color Theory – Simplified!
  • Creating Relatable Color Palettes
  • Fixing our Brains’ Flawed Color Perception
  • The Wild & Colorful World of Jon Anderson
  • Dramatic Color Blends for Canes
  • Painting with Polymer clay
  • Color Guided Necklace Designs
  • Re-Thinking Your Artistic Identity
  • Funding a Guild or Group
  • Color Spotlight on Christine Dumont
  • New Ways with the New Liquid Clays

… and much more!

​Don’t miss out on this essential issue. Be sure your subscription is up to date by going to your account page or start your new subscription. It’s easy … just click here!

If you are jonesing to see more of Jon’s work or want to purchase his work, you can find it on his website.

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Never Boxed In

Here is another artist that is pushing the boundaries of his usual forms. Not that Jon Stuart Anderson has ever keep strictly within a certain form although he is widely known for his intricately patterned animals. He has also put his cane work to guitars, shoes, vessels and sculptures but all have had some reflection of his flowing forms and repeated patterns.

jsanderson-lamps

These box lamps seems like a huge departure for Jon but one that definitely suits his love of pattern. They are copper boxes just shy of 7″ (18cm) square, with translucent patterned ‘lenses’ as he call them. One would assume the lenses are canes but I suspect there is a bit more going on. It’s just really hard to tell. Maybe a layering of canes or something related to some transferring techniques he had been working on. Not that it matters too much. They are just lovely.

But back to the main point … they are some rather simplified patterns for Jon–a matter of relativity being that they aren’t simple in and of themselves. The difference is that these forms have no lines of repeated canes working their way expertly around the form to create another pattern from their arrangement. Instead, one beautifully patterned convex circle shows off Jon’s sense of balance in both symmetry and color. Some have different patterns on the lenses of a box while other’s are the same on every side. You can sense the exploration as you examine one box after the other. See what I mean by looking through his first images of this series on his July 8th postings on Facebook.

Jon has never stopped exploring and pushing what he does, making exploration the one strong thread of consistency in his work. If you enjoy his creative meanderings, the best place to keep up with his adventures is on his Facebook page although his website is always worth a visit. He also has a great little video of his cane making which is pretty entrancing.

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Break out of your usual form. But instead of just trying a form you don’t usually work with, try to expand on forms you already work with. So if you create primarily flat jewelry elements, go more dimensional with half lentil forms or free form the shapes in waves. If you create round beads much of the time, try squares or twisted oblong shapes. If you like making round bowls, what about boat shapes or  cones? Where can you push your forms?

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Patterned Perfection

JSAnderson fish heads

I saw a piece of Jon Stuart Anderson’s, before I even knew what polymer clay was, in a gift shop in the Denver airport. It was a frog so beautifully patterned in a material I didn’t know and since it was nothing I could afford that was as far as my admiration was able to go. It wasn’t until several years later when I was starting the magazine that I found Jon’s work again. We were compiling our resource list of artists and my assistant found his work and couldn’t stop gushing over it. Then he saw Jon’s work in that same gift shop and called me quite excited about seeing it in person and it clicked into place that I had seen this work in person myself.

I got to interview Jon, the first person he ever agreed to do that for, a year later. In a phone call from Bali, I got to know Jon a bit and was even more impressed by his kindness and joyful nature not to mention his complete immersion and dedication to his craft. He is certainly one of brightest gems and it’s no surprise that the board found him to have some of the best work of the last couple years.  

Although Jon creates a lot more than animals, those are his best known pieces. I was going to pull out one of his sculptures or laminated guitars for you but these fish heads were too beautiful and fun and I don’t think they’ve really gotten around the web like his other creatures. The canes on top along with the varied texture of their underbellies show his wide range of fine caning skills and his brilliant use of color. 

Images are really not enough to convey the vibrant colors and the flawless finish of Jon’s work. His work is in galleries and gift shops all over the world so keep your eye out for his work or see if you can nab some gorgeous piece from his retailer directly. In the meantime, you can discover more of his pieces on his website and for your tea or coffee break, I suggest sitting down to watch his videos on how he makes his canes. It’s a treat to watch a master at work!

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Make the theme of your next piece ‘pattern’. Create small patterns, textural or visual, that are repeated over and over lining up to emphasize form or create the feel of movement.  You could create with canes but you can also use handmade stamps, hand-tooled marks, or tiny tiles or shapes punched out of textured sheets of clay.  

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Recognizing Inspiration

DesertWalkingGownfull120I have a little something different for you this morning and I will get to this amazing piece you see here at the end. This announcement will go out on a few channels between yesterday and today so I hope not too many of you get hit over the head with this but … with the Polymer Journeys book coming out next week, we wanted to publicly announce our board’s picks for artists whose work and contribution to polymer art during the years 2014-2015 were particularly significant and inspirational and so were highlighted in the featured sections of the book.

We are certainly not saying our opinions are the end-all and be-all on this subject, but our consideration came from our own vast experience and education as well as gauging the impact and response we have seen in the polymer and craft communities. Although the creation of this book was in no way a contest, we did feel that making specific note of these artists and their work will further help us understand the direction and history of the medium in years to come. Here are our two featured categories:

Best Polymer Art of 2014-2015–these are artists and art that pushed the boundaries of what can be created with polymer. All these artists have been recognized for their masterful skills as well as the messages and vision found in their work.

Recognizing Generosity–We also wanted to recognize the generosity of the artists and the resulting programs that have become such a big part of the community. To that end, we included these amazing people as well as stories on how they have helped others.

So what is this unusual piece I have to show you here? It is a special and rather personal project created by the amazing Wendy Moore, who you see was recognized in the book under the section highlighting our charitable artists. Wendy is a primary force in the success of the Samunnat Nepal project. Bringing polymer clay to the women there gave them a joyful and colorful way to create financial independence when they so desperately needed it. She continues to return to teach and helped the project grow.

Wendy feels like Nepal is as much home to her as her native Australia. This robe of Wendy’s was actually part of processing a farewell to a part of Australia that she had to move away from. I won’t say much more on that, though, so those of you who are waiting on the book can read her short but poignant story.

If you have not pre-ordered your book but would like to, we have extended the 20% off sale until the 20th due to the delay with our printing that put the release of the book off until April 21st. Jump over to the Polymer Journeys website to take advantage of the early discount.

 

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New Book Cover and Very Special Pre-Sale Offer for You!

PJ2016 Cover frontWe set aside our usual art discussions today to announce the first big book project for TPA and the associated book publishing arm, Tenth Muse Publications–Polymer Journeys 2016 is just about ready for you! The release is set for April 14th.

This retrospective and peek-behind-the-scenes book is in its last phase of preparation for printing! Now that we have a publication date, we are offering you very anxious and enthusiastic folks a steep discount and a bonus to thank you for your patience and to give you the opportunity to get your copy straight off the press and into the mail!

We have an exclusive pre-sale price for just this one week. If you purchase the book on our website by March 30th,  you get 30% off the cover price of $22.95! That’s all of $15.95 plus shipping.

It is also available in a digital format, which will be $12.95, but this week you can reserve your copy for just $9.95.

But wait … there’s more! (I’ve always wanted to say that!)  I also worked out a way to reward our most enthusiastic supporters … be one of the first 250  people to pre-order a print copy and get a companion digital copy for FREE! Just put both a print and digital copy into your cart, then use this code to discount the digital copy: 1st250. (You’ll know others beat you to it if you get a note saying the discount is no longer valid.)

Want more info on what this book is? Go to the website here. In the meantime, enjoy the gorgeous cover art by Kathleen Dustin (top) and Jon Stuart Anderson (bottom).

We’ll be here if you have any questions for us. Otherwise, have a beautiful Spring and Easter weekend!

 

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