A Past Controversy

polydogz 021712 350x273 - A Past ControversyHere is a post with some food for thought as you go through your weekend. This post was one of my most active. The discussion in the comments revolved around whether to consider this polymer art because although it is mostly polymer, the focus and all the color is painted on. I found it very interesting to hear people’s thoughts on defining polymer art and the idea of polymer purity. You can return to the original post here. There was also a follow-up post a little later that revived the conversation a bit, which you can read here.

If you want to put in your two cents, just comment at the bottom of this post at the post’s page (click the header above to be sure you are on the page) or look for the most recent post on our Facebook page.

The original post was from February 17, 2012:

I fell for the colors when I saw this brooch, then I looked at the bezel. Then at her gallery and all her really creative bezels … and the pretty colors. Artist is Susan Waddington of Polydogz.

You can find more of her work on Flickr and Etsy.

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Fall Glass

sabine-spiesser-glass-shardsHere is a little more autumn color for the week. I think this is a brooch although it doesn’t say. I did have something else in mind from the ever-exploring Sabine Spiesser but then I alighted upon this little experiment while enjoying her Flickr photos and a couple of things about it caught my eye.

I find this interesting not only because it’s a faux textured glass technique and yummy colors but also because of a comment Sabine made in regards to it:

“Unfortunately I noticed that alcohol inks fade in bright light in Pardo clay. I left an old piece in a bright spot where it gets some sunshine and after about 4 months all colours except for red were gone. That was quite a shock. I have to rethink what I am doing.”

It makes me wonder if this is just a problem with Pardo, or all translucents or alcohol inks in general. I’m going to do some research and then my own tests. I’ll post my results in our newsletter, where all such tips usually land in my world. If you aren’t on our twice monthly newsletter list, you’re missing out on tips, community news, first sales announcements, and some of our magazine news. You can sign up on the left hand side of our website’s home page. In the meantime, enjoy a view of Sabine’s work on her Flickr pages and website.

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Try something different with a faux technique you like to do. If it’s faux stone, create forms you don’t usually see them in or texture them in a way that would be near impossible in a real stone. If it’s metal, create something organic-looking, like a silver flower or a copper pod. Just because we can mimic nature’s material doesn’t mean we need to recreate it only in the forms that nature presents it. Let go and try something different.

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Complexity in Simple Shapes

bettina welker shape pinsYou do not need a wide variety of elements, shapes, textures, or other complexities to create an intriguing piece. As I mention quite a bit, keeping it simple is often the most impressive and eye-catching approach. The trick is in developing or arranging the design in an unusual or energetic fashion.

With these beautiful brooches by Bettina Welker, there is not an abundance of variation besides size and that one shift in color at the apex of these little stacks. But the variation in position and size creates a swirl that draws you in. Simple but precise shapes, beautifully crafted and finished is all these brooches need, in addition to that visual energy, to go from fairly simple to fascinatingly sophisticated.

Bettina, also a graphic designer, creates a beautiful website as well as wearable art. Go enjoy her pieces and her presenation on her BeadWorx website, or if you want a condensed view of her brooches, check out her albums in Ipernity.

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Take a simple shape and repeat it. You can give it as much variation as you like, but it must be the same shape. It can change in size, color, texture, imagery on it, treatment, arrangement, or finish. It can be separate shapes stacked upon one another or constructed into one object, like a necklace or a sculpture. Or work in two-dimension and treat or form your surface with the shape repeated on it in whatever fashion you would like. What can you get a simple shape to do for you?

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Spring is Almost Here …

16P1 Cover v2… not that you can tell by the weather! But we are doing our best to get you a bit of Spring by the end of February. Here is your first peek at the next issue of The Polymer Arts, Spring 2016 – Convergence. The issue is set to come out around March 1st.

Gracing our cover is the fabulous Fabiola Periz Ajates, otherwise known as Fabi. And what a fitting name. These brooches give you an idea of some of the articles and eye candy you’ll see in this mixed media, yet polymer-centric, issue. We’ve been trying for a while to do mixed media again, but we had to wait until we had the best ideas and great artists to share them and we really think we do.

Articles you can look forward to include:

  • Focal Convergence: Composing with Focal Points
  • Converging Clays: Create Metal Clay & Polymer
  • Found Fusion: Working with Found Objects
  • Fold, Cut, Shred, and Clay: Exploring Paper & Polymer
  • All Knotted Up: Polymer & Micro Macrame Designs
  • When is a Technique Ready to Share?
  • The Best Camera for You and Your Art
  • The Perfect Cure: The Final Word on Time & Temperature
  • Training Your Artistic Eye
  • Convergence at Ravensdale, 20 Years Later
  • … and so much more!

I am off today for a family gathering so we are going to get a breather from the challenges today, but I will be back with one on Wed!

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Mixing it Up

1542bac55c377606f182b190a8de2696One of my more highly recommended ideas for new inspiration to try this year is to use a variety of other mediums with polymer. The versatility of polymer leaves open a vast number of compatible mediums to combine with, to accent with or to be accented with. Even if you are using other mediums with polymer now, why not try something new to you? It could open doors to entirely new ideas.

Annie Pennington, Associate Editor over at Art Jewelry magazine, mixes all kinds of mediums together. Polymer, fiber and metals have been her staple materials for a while but with them she also uses other things such as colored pencils, acrylics, and paper. None of her pieces are really well-seated within any one material category, but then why should they be restricted to that kind of categorization? This brooch does not jump out at you and say, “I am polymer!” and I think it is better for that even. We see the brooch, its form, color and textures, before we start to consider the materials. Granted, discerning the materials used in a piece is primarily done by other artists, but knowing the piece transcends such distilled defining gives us as fellow crafters a greater appreciation for the work. Don’t you think?

A little time on Annie’s website will show you many more examples of not having any one medium restrict or define the work. You might also take a look at our Summer 2013 issue of The Polymer Arts, Mix it Up, for more mixed media inspiration. You’ll also want to ensure your subscription is up to date so you’ll get our Spring 2015 issue, with the theme of Diversity, where we will offer tons of new ideas for trying different mediums and processes in polymer to get your year off to a very inspiring start.

 

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