Heading Into the Forest

I am heading Into the Forest in November! The huge installation project put together by Laura Tabakman, Julie Eakes and Emily Squires Levine will be a monumental event for the polymer art community and I, for one, can’t imagine missing this. It is being installed into a gallery in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania with a gallery opening and party on November 10th followed by a Saturday forum on related topics. Coming down off the high I got being around so many amazing folks at Synergy in August, I am looking forward to a little creative recharge in November along with getting to see the work of 300+ polymer artists, all in one huge piece of global art.

So first … if you are interested in attending as well, you can jump over to the website and get all the details right here. I would love to see you and meet you there!

Alina deer floral 350x341 - Heading Into the Forest

The anticipation of this event has put me in the mood for forest-inspired work. Of course. So I rooted around the internet and found some amazing stuff to share with you this week. Here you see a very curious and delicately beautiful pendant inspired by both the flora and the fauna of the forest. The artist, Alina Sanina, started working in clay eight years ago as a curious teen but now, with a degree in art education behind her, she continues to sculpt and create a wide range of fantastical but rather realistic pieces.

I found this piece to be an eye-catcher at first glance because of its contrast between a skull, representing death, and the green and floral details of Spring foliage that top it off. But if you examine it for a minute, you’ll notice that the skull is not all a skull. The deer has live-looking eyes and fully fleshed-out ears. The contrast of life and death is within the deer head, not just the skull and vegetation here. It looks to me like a little representation of the cycle of life in a forest setting.

I have long been interested in societal views of life and death and how different cultures and even individuals work out how to handle the fact that these complete opposite states co-exist and are an understood, if not readily accepted, part of the cycle of life. I don’t know if that is what Alina had in mind when creating this but there are definitely metaphors on those subjects that one can discuss in regards to this little piece.

Whether you turn away or are intrigued by such difficult subject matter, I think you will want to see more of the beautiful work Alina creates. You can do so in her Etsy shop and on Instagram.

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Giving Floral a Little Teeth

teeth floral 346x1024 - Giving Floral a Little TeethAlong with hitting up a number of museums, I got to chat with a lot of artist friends, including my crazy circle in Colorado who seek out, as well as create, really wild and fantastical work. And whenever they find polymer related work, they bring it to me.

My old roommate and the instigator of my own polymer journey, Kyle Kelley, introduced me to this unusual artist, Anastasiya Khramina of NooboSlowpokoPanda. The polymer flowers you see here may have beautifully painted petals and lots of natural detail but take just a little closer look and you’ll see they also have teeth! And some crazy but realistically textured tongues. There is even one embellished with a cat’s snout, complete with bared teeth.

These beautifully creepy, ready-for-Halloween creations are made into brooches, pendants and hair clips, per the customer’s request. She actually makes other things besides flowers but they all have teeth and tongues. If you’re getting into the Halloween mood or are looking for some creepy inspiration, jump over to Anastasiya’s NooboSlowpokoPanda Facebook page for short videos on her pieces and process and her Etsy shop for a look at her present offerings.

And don’t forget … tomorrow is the last day to get half off all available print editions of The Polymer Arts and Polymer Journeys. Head to our Etsy shop to pick up any publications you don’t have yet!

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tpa 125x125 sept2017 - Giving Floral a Little Teeth    The Great Create Sept 15 blog   businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog

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A Translucent Memory

9328310460 c5231eb025 z 350x313 - A Translucent Memory

Easily the all-time favorite cover and one of the best-selling issues since 2012 was the Fall 2013 – Organics issue. I think this was, in large part, due to this fabulous cover art by Kathrin Neumaier. Kathrin was the most prolific and arguably most interesting artist working in translucent polymer clay. She created hollow forms in both the solid and the liquid forms of polymer with stunning results.

I remember getting this image from her and I knew it had to be the cover art for the issue. I didn’t even make any other covers or put it to a vote with the staff as I usually did. I laid this out while on “vacation” with my family on the Oregon coast and while they were off playing on the beach, I got to play with making this piece shine. I remember finishing it and just stepping across the room to look at it from a distance and it was just gorgeous, no matter how you looked at it.

I dug around to see what Kathrin has been up to but there haven’t been any postings since the end of 2016 so it’s not the most up-to-date news on her. I do hope she resurfaces, but in the meantime, enjoy the inspiring collection of work she has created and shared with us on Flickr.

If you don’t have a copy of this beautiful issue, I have only about a dozen copies left in print although they will always be available in digital. Grab your copy of this memorable issue on our website here.

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tpa 125x125 sept2017 - A Translucent Memory    The Great Create Sept 15 blog   businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog

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A Cover to Remember

Nocturnal ISO200Adj 350x295 - A Cover to RememberAs I wind up the final packing of the Colorado warehouse, I have been thinking about some of our more memorable covers and issues and had to stop and wonder what a few of our cover artists have been up to lately. So, I hope you will indulge me, if you are not curious yourself, as we look back at some of the best cover art on the magazine and catch up with some of those artists today.

To this day, one of the most popular covers we ever had was just the third issue of The Polymer Arts back in February of 2012. This is the cover art piece, without the layout. Raku Inuoe just blew everyone’s minds with his fantastical sculptural winged moths and butterflies. The intensity of the color and the boldness of the forms and lines were certainly attention-grabbing. We got tons of comments and emails about this cover and it was shared all over. It was immensely gratifying for a fairly new magazine to get that kind of attention.

If you read that issue, you would have learned that Raku does not swear allegiance to any one medium but swims from one to another, depending on his curiosity and need for expression at the time. Although it doesn’t look like he’s steered completely clear of polymer, he has certainly made another mark on the visual art world with his floral built creatures, recently featured in Colossal. Take a look at his Instagram page for a ride through his wild imagination.

If you are interested in getting a copy of the Spring 2012 – Creative Spaces issues, you will have to be content with a digital copy as the print copies sold out within a year of its publication. It was an amazing issue with a peek into the studios of Raku, Christi Friesen, Bettina Welker and Swirly Designs, as well as other great articles focused on your creative space. Get your copy here.

 

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tpa 125x125 sept2017 - A Cover to Remember    The Great Create Sept 15 blog   businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog

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Alluring Interpretation

joyce jrb piece 350x330 - Alluring InterpretationGoing sculptural in a jewelry direction, this piece really caught my eye back when and I never forgot it. There is something very alluring and even a bit Georgia O’Keefe about this piece. Here is the original post in which I was promoting the popular Summer 2012 – Recycle and Reuse issue:

With our focus on finishing the next issue (Recycle & Reuse theme with TONS of ideas for using scrap clay, canes, old pieces & parts, etc.) I’ve been attracted to work with this theme. This piece from the mysterious Joyce (JVL on Flickr) uses scrap from a prior class and a broken glass bead. It feels so alive, like a strange new anemone. Some things just come together, even better for not being planned.

As is turned out, the mysterious Joyce was Joyce Ramdan who created this piece during a class with Jana Roberts Benzon back then. Joyce seems to have wandered off into other crafts since then but has several examples of her reinterpretation of the technique, all of them quite beautiful, as you can see here on her Flickr. photostream.

 

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A Talented Hobbyist

macabrea split 350x384 - A Talented Hobbyist

I’m so glad that this artist became easier to find and to read up on since the day I originally posted this. Cecilia Button does amazing work but still, she doesn’t sell it. Rather this is a hobby for her that she does in the very early hours of the day before running off to attend to her busy textile career.

Here is the post from January 31st, 2012:

“The ‘Pretty of the Day’ … off another non-English blog (Google so needs to pay me for sending people to their translator all the time!) She’s French, lives in Asia, only lists ‘Cecilia’ for her name and doesn’t sell her work, just gifts it. Lucky friends she has! http://mabcrea.space-blogs.com/

These days you can find more of her work on her her Flickr pages as her blog site has not been active since 2013, but is still rather revealing.

 

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Neverknead 052217 - A Talented Hobbyist    The Great Create Sept 15 blog   businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog

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Emerging Explorer

DebCrothers flowers 350x279 - Emerging ExplorerAh, some things never change. Debbie never does something just once. Instead, she does it over and over until she has extracted all the secrets and possibilities of a technique. Here is a post from March 3rd, 2012:

“My Aussie friend Debbie Crothers has been going flower crazy for the past month. This pic in particular is mesmerizing–blow it up so you can see the detail. And check out her Flickr page of pretties: http://www.flickr.com/…/…/72157629312332777/with/6874124869/”

Today Deb has technique after technique she has thoroughly explored and lucky us, she shares all over and most generously. She will be teaching in the US in October so if you can make the Clay Carnival in Las Vegas or will be in Denver in mid-October, you can enjoy her enthusiasm and joy in what she does in person. Her website will give you all the details as well as being the place to follow her and all her many adventures and experiments!

 

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Neverknead 052217 - Emerging Explorer    The Great Create Sept 15 blog   businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog

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Back When We Were Young

angela garrod 350x257 - Back When We Were YoungOkay, maybe we weren’t so very young still just five years ago but man, it sure feels like a very long time ago. What Angela has done between then, as wonderful as the work is, and now, is really incredible. Here is the post from May 15th, 2012:

Angela Garrod is an emerging artist from the UK. She’s featured in our galleries in the next issue (order yours at  http://thepolymerarts.com/Subscribe.html). Her newest piece here is not in the issue but it’s just fantastic–cool, light, springtime polymer. Her new website just went up, too: http://clayninepolymerdesigns.co.uk/

You can, of course, jump over to Angela’s website as above to compare old and new but I like doing so on her Flickr photostream where a clear timeline is shown as you move through the pages.

 

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Neverknead 052217 - Back When We Were Young    The Great Create Sept 15 blog   businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog

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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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Like this blog? Lend your support with a purchase of The Polymer Arts magazine and visit our partners.

Neverknead 052217 - A Past Controversy    The Great Create Sept 15 blog   businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog

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