Looking at the Big Picture

LMika Peace be with youThis week, I will be needing to step back as much as possible as my family is gathering to celebrate my father’s life.  But I am not going to leave you without some pretties and something to ponder so I am dashing off and scheduling posts for you to enjoy through the start of next week but they will be a bit light on the chatter.

I will leave you with some key words and questions and your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to fill in the blanks, so to speak. Try to answer the questions I pose or verbalize what works in this piece for you and/or what I might be getting at with the keywords and questions I leave. Thinking through what works in a design is a great exercise for helping hone one’s innate design sense.

It would be wonderful and rather enlightening for you and other readers if you add your thoughts in the comment section at the bottom of this post so we can all read what other people see in  the work. If you get this by email, click the title of the post in the email to be taken to the website then scroll down for the comment section.

Okay, let’s start with a little message from Laurie Mika. This message might be helpful for many of us, especially considering the many sad and scary news stories lately. What message–not just the words–do you get out of this piece when you consider the colors and patterns alongside the words? How do you feel about the preponderance of red? Do you think the long vertical shape adds, deletes or plays a neutral part in the work? What do you like most and least about the piece?

Go ahead and take a peek at more of Laurie’s soulful work.


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And the Winners Are

At each conference, there are Polymer Clay Awards. At EuroSynergy 800 entries were juried to find the most significant 40 works for the IPCA Awards Exhibition. Georg Dinkel took Best of Show with his I-reliquaries and shrines, dedicated to Apple products like iPad and iPod. Best in 2D Art went to Fran Abrams for her “Warmth of Fire” and Laurie Mika for her “Circle of Life”. Best of Jewelry was shared by Angela Garrod for her “The Final Frontier”, Cornelia Brockstedt for her “City Skies”, and Annie Pennington for two of her pieces “Phagocytosis Brooch” and “Tucson Squiggle Brooch”. Best in Sculpture was awarded to Penne Mobley for “Pensive Prince”, Claire Fairweather for “Spring Trio”, and Joyce Cloutman for “Woodland Elf”. And pictured here, one of the Best in Functional Containers was this bowl by Emily Squires Levine.


Emily, a 2014 Niche Award Finalist, designs and creates one-of-a-kind accent tiles, bowls, and eggs. Using sophisticated color palettes, she fashions unique canes to form her exciting polymer clay art. Take a look at her use of pattern, shape, and color. How can you incorporate some of her distinctive juxtapositions into your own work? You can see more of her work on her website or Facebook page.


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Building Off the Center Line

The work of Laurie Mika is rather  mesmerizing. You can sit and stare and find new things for many long minutes as well as every time you return to a piece. And most everything she creates is built off a centered composition with balanced shapes if not textures and motifs on either side. This is in large part due to the shrine format that is the basis for much of her work.


Laurie is a mixed-media artist with a passion for combining and overlapping a variety of mediums to create her easily recognized style. If you would like to learn this technique, she teaches at ArtFest, Art Unraveled, Art and Soul, Raevn’s Nest and Hacienda Mosaico in Mexico. You can also check out her book, “Mixed-Media Mosaics: Techniques and Projects Using Polymer Clay Tiles, Beads, and Other Embellishments,” or her YouTube video. Or just wander through the couple dozen pages of her art on her website.


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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Things Missed

One of the more difficult parts of editing a magazine is deciding not what will go in, but what won’t. For every article you see and every artist featured, there are many more ideas and pieces that are worthy of attention and examination. This week, I thought I’d present some art, artists, ideas, and references that were in my notes or folders but which didn’t make it into this issue (not that they won’t in a future issue!) or that I wish I could have explored further.

The Fall 2013 issue of The Polymer Arts prints the last of the three article series on Wall Art put together by Alice Stroppel and Suzanne Ivester. I’ll miss their in-depth investigation into this form of polymer art, but hope to get back to the subject through other avenues of discussion. I have a whole page of ideas and artists that work in wall art that we haven’t gotten to yet. Here is one such polymer wall artist that works with tiles pieces and multiple treatments. Gail Woods began exploring the possibilities of polymer clay tiles after taking a class with the very talented Laurie Mika (who is the featured artist interviewed in our Color Spotlight in this upcoming issue, by the way.)



Her wall pieces go from mosaic to bargello to puzzle style compositions like the one here. Her wall art allows her to directly explore favorite subjects such as the ocean, being out in nature, and just the favorite things in her everyday life. Enjoy looking through her eyes in her gallery here.


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Hot Stuff: The Polymer Arts 2013 “Organics” Cover

Today’s usual Outside Inspiration is being displaced by a truly hot polymer item  … the latest cover for The Polymer Arts, featuring the amazing work of Kathrin Neumaier … her Pepper Necklace! Now that is hot stuff! This issue is due out August 19th and is quickly turning into my favorite issue to date!

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Kathrin Neumaier has been on my personal favorites list since I first saw her faux glass work a few years back so I was thrilled at the opportunity to highlight her work on the cover of the Fall 2013 “Organics” issue due out August 19th. Isn’t this necklace just gorgeous!! SHARE it if you like it!

So what will be inside? We have beautiful organic and nature inspired artwork as well as some truly inspiring ideas for creating outdoors and translating the work that inspires you through your own artistic voice. You may find yourself seriously motivated by the ideas we have for you for creating a polymer exhibition or art show and running your own first class workshops. There are also reviews on the latest books, color tips from Laurie Mika, the lowdown on the best stringing materials in the new Polymer Jeweler’s Workbench section and the inside scoop on a great artist’s online photo course.

Subscibe or Renew to be sure your print issue goes out with the first batch off the press! (Single issue pre-orders will be available no later than Aug. 1st.) www.thepolymerarts.com/Subscription_ordering.html

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