Ripples in the Works

Kim CavendarFirst of all, apologies for nothing showing up over the weekend. We had some glitch that wasn’t letting us post. It took all weekend to get it figured out so we had to just abandon our Saturday post. I’m aiming to make up for that with a Sunday post this week.

This week we’re going to look at rippling and related visuals. Inspired by Shibori and Shibori like items on Pinterest, my editorial assistant Paula Gilbert, sent me a number of links to Shirbori like pieces. Shibori, according to the entry on Wikipedia, is a Japanese tie-dying technique. There are an infinite number of ways one can bind, stitch, fold, twist, or compress cloth for Shibori, and each way results in very different patterns.”

In polymer, folding or fitting together sections of blended clay can readily emulate the look of shibori. This beautiful bracelet was created by Kim Cavender, and looks to be inspired by a common folded and stitched technique used with silks in Shibori. Her notes on Flickr do point to dyed silk ribbons as the inspiration.

If you want to see the wide variety of Shibori techniques out there, just punch the term into Google images, Pinterest or Flickr and you will find yourself just drowning in all the luscious textures and colors shibori artists’ offer. And for more Kim Cavender, take a look at her Flickr pages and her blog.

 

 

 

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Dots in a Field of Blue

So this pendant has been making the rounds on Pinterest lately. The style looks familiar but my attention is so split right now that I can’t think of who it might be and image searches on Google have not brought anything up. Do you know whose work this is?

I just love the combination of a cracked looking surface with the nicely formed and embedded clay dots. The dots give a bit of contrast with the predominant texture as well as adding contrasting color accents. This makes for a sophisticated yet fun little piece.

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As of writing this post up, we still haven’t found the artist for yesterday’s beads. If you didn’t see yesterday’s post, maybe you can jump over there and see if you recognize the artist then let us know. We’ll also take more ideas and thoughts on using Pinterest and sharing images.

 

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Mystery Week

I was going to do a themed week on embedded bits (not the best theme title but that is as far as I got with the idea!). But most of the pieces I wanted to use were unattributed finds on Pinterest. So I thought I’d take a moment to post some thoughts on pinning images with Pinterest as well as getting your help this week with these pieces.

I am actually in Los Angeles–a very sudden, last minute trip due to my father having some health issues. (All is looking very positive here so no real worries; he just needs some help getting into a new routine and keeping an eye on his condition.) On top of getting the latest issue out and things wrapped up for it, I’m a bit frazzled and distracted to say the least. So … would you all like to help me identify some artists and talk about these beautiful pieces this week? I would be so grateful!

This first image is a collection of rock like beads with these meandering textures and embedded bits of shaped clay that remind me somewhat of  Amy Eisenfeld Genser‘s paper wall pieces I wrote about in a post last year. There is a sense of serenity and peace in these understated, organic looking beads. I wonder why I’m so drawn to them right now. Hmmm …

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So, do you know who created these beads?

Ideas for better Pinning…

When you pin to Pinterest there are a few basic things you will want to pay attention to in order to ensure an artist is properly credited and that you, and any of us that find that pin through you, can find more information about that talented person:

  1. Put the artist’s name in the caption–it’s not likely to be removed when repinned so at the very least, people will know who created the piece they are admiring.
  2. Pin from the original blog post or article, not a blog’s or website’s changing home page. If you go to a person’s blog or blog based sites, you are usually on a homepage that will show you all the latest blogs or news but if you pin an image from this homepage, the link associated with that image will be the current home page which will not have that piece on it at a future date. Instead, click on the entry of the blog post or article title so you go to the post’s actual page then pin from there. That way, if someone clicks on the pinned image, it will go to the original post with all the information about the piece and artist as posted by the writer of the post/article.
  3. Avoid pinning “media-cache-…” images. These can be found when clicking on an image on a site and getting it to open in a browser on it’s own. It may also occur when using sites like Reddit where people are posting without links back to the source.  If you have a media-cache image, put as much info in the Pinterest caption as you can from the source you found it at.

Those are my pointers. Do any of you have any further thoughts about how to best use Pinterest and ensure people are getting credit? Please post any information about the mystery artist here or ideas for using Pinterest and similar image networks in the comments at the end of this original post. (If you get this by email, click on the blog’s title and it will take you to the page.)

 

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I Can’t Believe It’s Not Polymer

Going for something a bit different this week. I have a collection of items that I thought originally were made from polymer, that were often listed on Pinterest boards or other sites as polymer, that were not. But they are  beautiful pieces that could definitely be done in polymer. So let’s look at these and determine how we would create it in polymer.

Pictured here is a piece of Plumevine’s Faery Jewellery by Lorianne Jantti. These whimsical pieces are made from hand painted resin clay and embellished with chains, hooks, ribbon, and the like. They could easily be crafted in polymer and similarly embellished with crystals and Pearl Ex powders. If you’re into PMC or Art Clay, you could make part of the piece with metal clay and embellish with polymer accoutrements.

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Take a look at some of Lorianne’s work on her Etsy site and deconstruct it to see how you could make similar objects in polymer with other mixed media.

 

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A Bowl of Spring Beads

I kept thinking that the Pantone Spring palette seemed somewhat familiar. Then it occurred to me that Rebecca Watkins often works in similar color combinations and I went back and found this lovely bowl of beads on one of our Pinterest boards. The colors are subdued with low saturation but plenty of contrast to make them festive without being loud or garish.

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If you enjoy these types of color palettes’ and the fun approach Rebecca takes with her work, be sure to jump on over to her Blogspot site and her Flickr pages for more wonderful inspiration for Spring and beyond.

 

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Influencing a Master

This tribal neck piece is made from textured colored polymer, oxidized sterling silver, horse hair, and antique coral. This collection of tribal work is based on Kathleen Dustin’s familiarity with ethnic jewelry from her nine years of living overseas and her extensive travels around the world. Hand-worked texture is the overriding technique in this piece. Take a look at Kathleen’s Pinterest board to see her abstract series that uses translucent layering techniques that resemble enamel on metal. She is creating pieces that reflect how all the fragments of our lives – prosperity, pain, crises, good times – come together to make something beautiful as a whole. Her work is influenced by the work of many abstract artists as well.

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Again “there’s nothing new under the sun;” this style of jewelry dates back thousands of years. The commonality in motifs of primitive indigenous cultures is apparent. Compare Vicki Grant’s work on this Pinterest board with the African Protective Amulet Man’s Necklace made with leather, silk, and pigments. If you are in need of some serious style inspiration, take a look at these tribal designs for a fresh new look at graphic influences that have stood the test of time.

 

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A Stylized Organic Scene

Some pieces can deftly combine both geometric imagery and organic texture but sometimes, it is one representing the other as it is in this touching piece by Tammy Durham. Both the plant growth and the connection to new life are conveyed by many small circles and a stylized but active and flowing composition.

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I love Tammy’s  bold use of color and texture found in most of her work which she admits is heavily inspired by Gustav Klimt.  Tammy, a polymer clay illustrator from Colorado, has no fear of color as can be seen on her Flickr and Pinterest pages. Take a break from shopping and work and enjoy her joyful imagery for a bit.

 

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Organic texture, Graphic Form

Black and white is rather a standard when it comes to creating a graphic look. One can assume that was the basic idea behind Debbie Carlton’s little pieces here. I assume they are earrings–created using mokume in black and white, and what looks to be a little red underneath but then this crackling of gold and the imprecision of the square shapes bring a more organic feel to the pieces. The contrasting textures within the colors and the negative space and scale add energy to the small surface area she has to work with here.

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Debbie enjoys combining precious metal clay with colorful polymer in her pieces. She has been exploring the compatibility of these two mediums as seen in her work on her Craft Central and Flickr pages.

 

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Jewelry Relationships

I am on the road this week and have been for several days previous, so my researching time is limited for this week’s theme. Instead of a more direct theme, I thought I would share my thoughts on things from my Pinterest boards, those poor but extraordinary pieces that I have not yet found a theme for. They must get out, I say!

So for our first pull from the polymer board, let’s look at this piece from Tory Hughes. I adore the work Tory does, in part because she makes me feel better about my constant experimentation in my own work. I like to explore and Tory’s body of work, from the very beginning, has been so obviously focused on discovery and asking the “what if” question. This piece is one of my absolute favorites. I can’t find it on her gallery, but my pin says I got it there. Either way, here we have it.

Now why do I like this so much, with all the rich, intricate texture and designs she has created through her decades of work? Well, let me ask you … are you drawn to it? Are you finding yourself spending a lot of time looking over it’s many pieces? If so, why do you think that is?

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I see this piece being about relationships. We have the same shape treated in multiple ways. Even some interior shapes within the shapes reflect the basic tile form or work with it. The symbol of the state of New Mexico (where Tory resides and where I also once lived) and the “+” sign are both the same essential shape of the tiles if you reduce it to a shape with an extension on all four sides. Having lived in New Mexico, I can see the obvious relationship to the materials, textures, and colors so prevalent in what is deemed native art work in the area. The black one with the white graphic markings ended up drawing me in the most, not just because it’s so different, but because it feels personal. It makes me wonder what her relationship is to this particular tile. I have no real guesses, but I do feel like I might be glimpsing a bit of her in that one bead.

Tory Hughes is easily one of our community’s most important artists due not only to the quality of her work, but to her innovations both in the early days and now, the philosophies behind them, and the generous sharing of her techniques and ideas. If you’ve never done so, do spend some time on her website as well as in her galleries to get a better glimpse of this masterful artist and what she does.

 

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