Squared Color

CDumont squares 430x395 - Squared ColorFirst of all, thank you for the huge response and kind words about the new Summer, color focused issue of The Polymer Arts magazine. Honestly, I don’t think we’ve ever had this level of a response on social media–the enthusiasm is tremendous. I’m so glad we are putting the kind of information you want out there. Keep the comments coming, good and bad, so we can stay on track!

I can’t say that there has been just one or two favorite articles in this issue, there are at least half-dozen that people are out there saying polymer enthusiasts need to get this issue for. Even our regular section “Color Spotlight,” where Lindly Haunani interviews a respected artist about their use of color in polymer, is getting a ton of attention. Why? Probably because of the very honest and revealing comments that Christine Dumont, the Spotlight artist, has to offer. Her approach to color and her exploration with polymer is fresh and really gets you thinking about your own approach to color.

I won’t spoil it for those waiting on their article by saying more but since we focused on a handful of specific pieces, I thought it would be nice for you to see another piece that specifically follows a line of exploration she discusses in the article. The pieces that are examined for the article’s color exploration exercises embrace techniques that you can see here in a rare squared off Dumont composition. Contrast in hue, value and texture works seamlessly to create a reservedly energized painting like piece. A lot is going on in that small space.

This is one of her latest works as can be found on her website. Also, check out Voila!, Christine’s design centric educational and inspiration infused site offering classes and tutorials to help raise your own work and design sense to the next level.


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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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Signs of Spring … the cover of the Spring Issue, “Shape & Form”

17P1 Cover 72You may have seen this in the newsletter that went out a day or so ago but I didn’t want anyone to miss out on the beautiful art work we were so lucky to get for the cover of the upcoming Spring issue, “Shape & Form”. Due to popular demand, we decided to do a kind of “back to basics” set of themes for 2017 although I was a little worried about how that would work for people interested in contributing but as it turns out, the design categories have really got people excited and we’ve ended up with some really unique technique tutorials, interviews, and overview articles along with all the usual eye candy and tips and tricks articles you love to find in The Polymer Arts.

This lovely collection of platters you see here are the work of Angie Wiggins whom Lindly Haunani interviewed for our “Color Spotlight” section. Angie has a unique way of choosing and setting up her color palettes for the year, a process she shares in the article and the success of which we can see in the work.

The Spring issue and this intriguing interview will be out at the end of February. Print renewal notices were sent out by email this past Wednesday and we’ll be sending out digital renewal notices this coming week but if you aren’t sure about your subscription status, you can take a peek at your account here. If you don’t have an account or that page can’t answer your questions, you can find more information and the correct person to contact here.



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Close Color Calls

lindly13Our Color Spotlight section of the Winter 2016 issue of The Polymer Arts was graced by Donna Kato, interview by Lindly Haunani. How amazing is that combination?! Donna let us in on her colored pencil experiments and her reasoning behind her approach. Although colored pencil on polymer is not new, it is always fascinating to see into the workings of an artistic mind and since this section focuses on color choices and inspiration, we got a peek at how this master choose colors for her explorations.

One piece that I was sent to consider including was this beautiful necklace you see here. We ended up focusing so much on the pencil work that there really wasn’t a place for this in the article but it certainly deserves a bit of attention. Each section of the necklace deals with one basic hue in two different values. The disparate placement offsets the regularity of each hue showcased in the same shape and the relative dark to light hue being basically the same within each color set. The delicious saturated colors don’t hurt it at all either.

The most active page to see what Donna has been up to in her own art looks to be her Facebook page although you can see some of her more honed work and learn from her wisdom by going over to check out her classes on CraftArtEdu.


Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Let’s play with color hue. Pick 2-3 colors–they can contrast, be analogous (next to each other on the color wheel) or simply be your favorites.  Choose two variations of each color–different saturation (how pure a hue it is), values (dark or light), or tints/shades (additions of white/black.) Now use just these to create a new piece.


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Not Quite White

kchapman-pendant-tasselsIf you’ve had a chance to read through your latest Fall issue of The Polymer Arts, you may have enjoyed the Color Spotlight article on Sonya Girodon whose work also graces the cover. In the article, our writer, Lindly Haunani, brought up an interesting point about working with white. She noted that Sonya’s work is rarely pure white but is rather just a touch off from white, being mildly cool or warm in color. To illustrate this, she included an image created with pastels over a variety of lightly colored washed paper, showing how pastel colors shift depending on what off-white paper they are placed on. It brings home the idea that moving beyond pure white can add richness and change the look or mood of the colors around it and the work itself simply by choosing to go a little cool or a little warm with the white.

Here is an example of going warm. Warm means the color exists on or leans into the warm color side of the spectrum. Warm colors include red, orange and yellow (think of the colors of fire and the sun) which in an off-white include things like ecru, beige, pale pink and other whites heading towards browns. This is the palette that Australia’s Kelly Chapman chose for this particular tasseled pendant of hers. The near whites give way to a couple of variations of beige in the polymer and eventually a series of browns in the tassels. The warm whites all blend together to give the pendant a rich but serene cohesiveness.

Kelly tends to work in quieter palettes although the occasional brilliant lime green or cobalt blue shows itself but never in a loud way. I can almost imagine that she starts with the idea of white and lets the colors grow from that. I think you’ll see what I mean if you spend some time with her work in her Etsy shop.


Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Start with two small balls of pure white and add just a small amount of  a warm color to one and a cool color (blue, green, violet, etc) to the other.  Now sheet or roll snakes from each and make them the background or frame for a finished cabochon, cane, or other element you have on hand. Can you see how the slight variation changes the way the colored element works? Now try using an off-white next time you want white in a piece to see how it supports or enriches your design.


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Serenity and Simplicity … the new Fall Cover!

Cover 16P3 med paddingI’ve had this waiting for its final tweaks for nearly a week but, like half the Eurosynergy convention goers, I have been trying to rise up from the flu that knocked so many of us out. But I am now down to maybe 4 naps a day instead of 12 and got this done over the weekend. The flu and the loss of one of my main staff has got me behind so its nose to the grindstone for me now!

Don’t you just love the simple beauty of this neck-piece by Sonya Girodon? She is the featured artist interviewed by polymer pioneer Lindly Haunani for the Color Spotlight section of the Fall issue of The Polymer Arts. As you might know, Maggie Maggio has been the interviewer and conductor of that section of The Polymer Arts for nearly three years but now that her focus is shifting to expanding color education in grade schools, she has passed the torch onto the gracious Lindly. Lindly has taken it up with much gusto and has for you an absolutely entrancing article, highlighting Sonya’s color choices and philosophy.

Of course that is but one reason to be sure you have your copy of the next issue when it comes out at the end of August. Dan Cormier has written an absolute treasure of an article highlighting all the ways you can use scrap for easier, distortion free canes, mokume and other sliced veneer techniques along with other priceless tips and tricks from this master. Tory Hughes will help you access your creativity, Anke Humpert will show you how to make a variety of mandalas for a truly zen art experience, Julie Cleveland has all the basics on bangles for you, and I will reveal the secrets to creating great simplicity in design with exercises included to hone your skills. There is much more but we’ll chat about that later. Enjoy the sneak peek of the cover!


Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Challenge your use of color. Find an artist whose work you admire but whose color palette is quite different from what you usually use. Borrow one of their color palettes and integrate it into a piece with your more commonly used techniques and forms. How does the color change the way your work appears? Does working with different colors cause you to create differently as well?


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Creatures from the Deep

AHumpert deep-sea-creatures-10As artists, we think of our imagination as a major muscle, if not the primary one used when we’re creating. But how much do you stretch that muscle?

In craft art, because we also have to create steps, a process, and consider function and durability, our minds spend a lot of time in the purely logical, problems solving sections of our brain. Not that the imagination and problem solving are not connected; they absolutely are. But pure imagination is something we don’t always practice. So, here is a little something to push you to do so.

These fun bracelets are the work of the ever creative Anke Humpert. Using translucent clay in a unique design and decorating it with sea creatures she made up is just the start here.

As she explained to me, “The bracelets have a design that glows in black light! That is why they are called deep-sea creature bracelets. You would not normally notice the night side of them, only if you go to a night club or something similar. They also have a special hinge. Most of it is made with polymer only very little metal involved.”

These bracelets, as it turns out, are the centerpiece for one of the three classes she will be teaching at the Cabin Fever Clay Arts Fest next month. In describing the class for prospective students, she says, “Since we do not know much about the deep seas, we will have fun and let our imagination run wild creating plants (or even animals?) as we imagine them.” And that freedom and use of the imagination is what inspired me to share this today and create a bit of a different challenge for those following along.

By the way, I do have a Flickr page for sharing the results of the challenges I’ve been posting, only I haven’t had time to snap pics of what I’ve done, so there’s nothing on it yet really. But if any of you want to get on while I catch up over here, I would love to see what you’ve been up to. Go here to join in!

Does Anke’s class intrigue you? She is also teaching her Big Beads and fun hand tool texturing techniques. She’s joined by a slew of amazing talent including Lisa Pavelka, Maureen Carlson, Dayle Doroshow, Lindly Haunani, Doreen Kassel, Jana Lehmann, Ann and Karen Mitchell, Nan Roche, Lynne Anne Schwarzenberg, and more. There is still room in almost every class, so, if you are interested, jump in while you have your pick of classes still. You can find the classes on this PDF and registration on their webpage.


Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Let your imagination run wild and recreate an image, motif, shape, or a faux effect you might otherwise recreate as it is seen in nature or as we expect it to be, making your own version. A rose with black petals, a plaid cat, turquoise in pink, purple leather, a square pendant with a chunk missing in the corner, or a peace symbol with Mickey Mouse ears. Just change it up and make it your own.


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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.


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Polymer Pioneers

One of the truly exciting things about going to an event like Synergy is getting the chance to meet the people who you admire and aspire to be. Although you may have the opportunity to meet a great polymer artist by taking a class, there is nothing like a lengthy event like this, a retreat, or a workshop to give you the opportunity to chat and hear their stories.

At Synergy, we had the opportunity to not only talk to a large number of highly talented and innovative artists, but we were also treated to their presentations and panels. One of my personal highlights was the closing banquet’s presentation with three of the most influential polymer pioneers – Nan Roche, Kathleen Dustin and Lindly Haunani. They told stories of the good old days, how they started in polymer, and how they started organizing polymer artists and the hurdles they encountered in the early days. A lot of funny personal notes and anecdotes were included as well. It was just great fun to hear of our polymer beginnings from these very important artists who were there.


I have my own personal anecdote about Nan Roche from this past week. For those of you who might not know, Nan wrote the first book on polymer clay, The New Claypublished back in 1992. That book precipitated the advent of polymer being considered a true art medium, and really pushed the public awareness of it. And today, it is still considered one of the best books on polymer for beginners. So this genius of woman comes up to me the first day of Synergy, all bubbly and kind of bouncing and says, “Oh, I just love your magazine!” I was floored and started babbling back about how much I admire her and what she has done for the polymer communtiy. I knew she subscribed (she gets both the print and digital versions of The Polymer Arts) but I thought it was just a matter of keeping track of the industry. As it turns out, Nan had to back away from doing polymer for a number of years, so she actually considers herself far less talented than many of the folks she is often grouped with, and finds The Polymer Arts inspiring. Whoa. I get some really touching compliments but a comment from someone like her … its hard to explain how much that meant to me.

As you take a closer look at the picture here, note all the pretties down in front of the presenter’s table. Those are the pieces that were auctioned off at the banquet–they include vintage pieces by Marie Segal, Jeffery Lloyd Dever and Lindly Haunani. Most of the larger events run by guilds have such auctions, giving the attendees a chance to buy some really wonderful work while supporting the organization – just another reason to make it to a retreat or other big polymer event. Check your local guild to see what they have going on and keep track of others through the IPCA newsletter, or by checking The Polymer Arts Resource list.


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