Loveless Animals

loveless cane wall seahorse 430x989 - Loveless AnimalsLet us allow Jon Stuart Anderson’s cover piece dictate the theme this week … animals full of color and pattern. Although, unlike Jon’s bull on the cover of the upcoming Summer 2017 issue (due out end of May) is a three-dimensional sculpture, this piece is a wall mosaic by Mary Anne Loveless who just so happens to be gracing our pages as well in the gallery section of that same issue.

Even though this is a two-dimensional approach to using canes to create the shape and flow of an animal’s likeness, the mind-set is probably not dissimilar when the artists sit down to work out where the canes will go. What canes and where would they best serve the image of this animal they want to convey? Mary Anne is using mosaic and pointillism to create the form of the seahorse here while Jon uses a three-dimensional form. Does seem pretty different from that aspect but the patterns are what form the details of these animals in both cases.

I really enjoy picking out the individual canes in both cases. I am enthralled by Mary Anne’s choice of color juxtaposition in this. The aqua next to the reds and the beige and peach being the color the blues fade off to like in the chest area. It’s just beautiful.

Mary Anne really likes seahorses, as you will find upon opening her Flickr page which as of this post, is pretty much all seahorses. But she also likes fish and flowers and faeries!  But mostly she loves, and is very good at, pattern and color which you can see in full evidence on her Flickr pages and her Etsy shop.


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Color and Joy

il_fullxfull.805801500_4a8gI’m just going to share some fun and amazing pieces this week. Polymer can certainly create some gorgeous images and stunning effects, but it can also amuse and impart a bit of joy into our lives as viewers, buyers, and creators.

As I sit here trying to work thought some back pain from an as-yet-unknown cause, I find I am certainly drawn to happy, cheerful imagery. These seahorses from the always cheerful, colorful, and joyful work of Mary Anne Loveless just makes me smile.

In a group or by themselves, these magnets/pins would bring a splash of color and a sense of playfulness to the adorned person or major appliance. I’ve decided I want one in my car. My long road trips could do with a bit of fun color! And my poor family … I don’t have a thing on my Christmas list (because no one is stocking ‘more hours in a day’) so this should help.

Mary Anne has a variety of seahorses in her Etsy shop right now. As of this post, all she had were seahorses, but she makes all kinds of wonderfully colorful pieces as you can see on  her Flickr photostream and her blog.


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On the Edge of a Tin Box

Okay … raise your hand if you’ve never covered a tin box.

Oh, I wish I could actually see the response to that. My guess is most of us have tried to, or still do cover tin boxes with polymer. And why not? They are inexpensive but wonderful little boxes whose curled and folded edges are perfect for holding onto that clay. They go into the oven without warping or deforming, come in many shapes and sizes, and are durable, long lasting forms for your clay art.

But just because tins are simple doesn’t mean they should be treated simply. Boxes as a form for polymer are nothing but a six sided canvas. You can just cover it with cane slices or sheets of treated clay, but why stop there? I’m not saying you need to go wild–although you certainly can if you are so inspired–but just push it a little. Layer on elements, break elements over the edge, use texture, form, pattern, repetition, focal points, movement, and color schemes just as you would with a pendant or bracelet. The form you apply your clay to does not change the standards of good design you should be considering, although it might force you to think of the piece in three dimensions the way a pendant, usually approached in a more two-dimensional manner, does not.

Here are a few examples of tins that don’t go overboard but have plenty of color and texture contrast, tension at the edges where the elements break off incomplete, and active repetition to hold your attention and admiration. Don’t they?



This is actually only a small sampling of what Mary Anne Loveless does with tins. She’s quite the tin box artist actually. Go take a look at her Flickr site for more tin box inspiration, among other things!



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