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.

_________________________________________

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

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

_________________________________________

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.

 

_________________________________________

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

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

_________________________________________

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.

 

_________________________________________

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

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

_________________________________________

Enticing and Entertaining

Bonnie Bishoff necklace 350x327 - Enticing and EntertainingIMG 0237 430x280 - Enticing and EntertainingThe art jewelry at these events is also a big draw. There is nothing quite like seeing masterful polymer work in person.

Here is a gorgeous piece by Bonnie Bishoff. She wore it to the final gala event and I just could not stop looking at the delicate forms and sunset-like colors. The picture (and the poor lighting in these places) doesn’t quite do it justice.

Another bonus to coming to these events is the local color. In this case, Sherman Oberson, a board member of the IPCA and a local Pennsylvania resident, treated a small handful of us to a tour of his insanely packed and ever-entertaining collection of flea market and thrift store finds. We did this, in part, to honor Nan Roche whose birthday it was. A huge collector of the curious and visually enticing herself, it was a perfect birthday outing for her and an immensely entertaining evening for those of us who got to tag along.

Poke around on Instagram and Facebook for more on Sherman’s place and other Synergy events.

_________________________________________

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

Neverknead 052217 - Enticing and Entertaining    The Great Create Sept 15 blog   businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog

_________________________________________

Synergy Recap in Pictures

IMG 0231 430x221 - Synergy Recap in Pictures

Marie Segal necklace and pin Synergy 4 081617 338x450 - Synergy Recap in Pictures

First of all … the new Fall issue came out over the weekend! Get your texture fix with this issue, in a big way. If you have a digital subscription and have not seen your access email, check your junk mail folder. You should also be able to access it through your account here. If you have a print subscription, those went to the post office in Idaho on Friday so they are on the way too. If you do not have an active subscription or need to get your single issue copy, go to our website at www.thepolymerarts.com.

So this week we are going to have a parade of photos from Synergy 4 to include some beautiful art and some show shots for those who didn’t go but are trying to live vicariously through the community’s representatives that did.

The absolute best thing about going to these events is the people you get to meet and chat it up with. I think I may have said that last week but it’s true! The first picture here is just a sampling of the talent that was sitting behind me at breakfast one morning. How thrilled would you be to have the opportunity to sit down with Jeff Dever and Rachel Carren and listen in on their, no doubt, very insightful conversation? Or pull up a chair and say hello to Nan Roche and Melanie West? Or hang out at the same table with Christi Friesen, Bettina Welker, and Martina Weller? And you can at these things. People here, no matter what the skill level or how long they have been involved, are happy to talk to all the attendees. It is always illuminating what one can learn from others with the same passion.

I was grateful to get to talk to so many people but I was particularly happy to have a little time to sit down with our longtime polymer master, Marie Segal. She gave a talk about the new Cernit formulation–there has been improved strength, flexibility, and clarity that looks to rival the other better-known brands which got me quite excited to try it. If you like sampling clays to see what works best in what application, jump over to her shop and get yourself some new goodies at The Clay Factory.

 

_________________________________________

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

Neverknead 052217 - Synergy Recap in Pictures    The Great Create Sept 15 blog   businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog

_________________________________________

Collecting Varied Influences

ivana-brozova-pod-pendantsAlthough we regularly look at artwork once piece at a time, there is much to learn from looking over a collection of work, especially when the work has a lot of great variation.

We have not seen any work from Ivana Brozova recently as she was on a 10 month hiatus, traveling all over southeast Asia. I was curious to see what inspiration would come from that and although I don’t know how directly these pieces were influenced by her travels, these forms and colors certainly feel like they could come from the lush forests of Asia. They are also obviously based on things she’s done before but there is maturity in the details, especially looking at them as a group. Her material for hanging these necklaces is vastly different from one piece to the next. The treatment of the walls of the focal pod also varies as does the coloring and application of the color. The result is a series with each piece feeling quite different from the next although they are so much the same in form and construction. It gives you a good idea of some of the areas you can play with as you explore variation in your own work.

You can see how Ivana has developed variation in her past work as well as bookmark her pages to check in for future pretties on her Flickr photostream.

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Play with the functional aspects of your work. If you do jewelry, try out vastly different types of findings, chains, and cords. If you do decor, try a different type of material to apply the polymer too or a completely different kind of vessel or form. If you do wall art, research unique ways to hang it that can be incorporated into it’s composition and design.

_________________________________________

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

Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog  never knead -july-2015c-125   2Wards Blog Sept 2016

The Great Create Sept 15 blog   businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front

_________________________________________

Shining off Canes

Jana Roberts Benzon shine pendantI am still in the midst of traveling, although I am feeling a little giddy on the overdose of art I took in the last day and a half as a we wandered about Paris waiting to take our bus down to Toulouse last night. I’m going to share one more beautifully polished piece, then next week I will be settled in the south of France and we’ll see what I find among the polymer pals and the little villages we’ll be exploring.

In the meantime, enjoy a simple but perfectly polished pendant by the amazing Jana Roberts Benzon. I picked this one for two reasons … one, it really displays how well cane shows when the surface is so well finished. Also, this image comes from a page with a tutorial for making this impressive little piece. So there’s a little project for you to do this weekend to practice that challenge I posed Monday to work on perfecting the finish in your work. The beauty and impact of a beautiful finish will make the effort well worthwhile!

If you’re wondering what Jana has been up to lately, take a look at her website and her Flickr photostream as well as checking out her classes on CraftEdu, her own DVDs, and her workshop schedule. She is definitely a great person to learn from.

Passez un bon week-end!

 

_________________________________________

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

Shades of Clay  Polymer Clay TV  NEVERknead.com

2Wards Polymer Clay  The Great Create  The Polymer Arts Subscription

_________________________________________

Polished Consideration

Noelia Contreras C063Who doesn’t enjoy a flawless finish? A smooth and highly polished finish in polymer is particularly attractive and those of us who have tried to reach this pinnacle of skill are awed by it. I’ve seen quite a bit of nicely polished finishes lately including this beautiful set by Noelia Contreras.

This is a simple, fun, and colorful design that could hold its own without the finish, but the high polish takes it up a level, making it particularly eye catching.  The blacks look blacker and the colors appear brighter because of the clean reflection of light. This kind of finish takes a little longer than a basic sand-and-buff and is sleeker and classier than a varnish short cut, but the results are so worth it.

These polished finishes are common in Noelia’s work, as is her very particular attention to all the details of a piece. Take a few minutes to admire her skill on her Flickr pages and in her shop.

 

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: In your next piece, or with a piece you have already created but could benefit from a bit more attention, practice your flawless finishes. This will mean different things for different people as not every piece should be polished or flawless. The idea is that your piece is carefully and skillfully finished off in a fashion that matches the type of work it is. If you are going for smooth, take the time to polish it to the best of your ability. If it is rough or layered, be particular about the cuts you make, the backs, and the edges.

_________________________________________

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

never knead -july-2015c-125  2Wards Blog May 2016  PCTV March 2016 Blog

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

_________________________________________

Subtle Contrast

Tatiana Lipatova

I’m sorry this blog is getting out a day late. Did you miss it? I really try not to do that, but it’s been a challenging week hence my being drawn to things that are a little off from what one might expect. I would use the word blemished except that I find this kind of work so lovely. This piece looks a lot like things I have been working on this past year, however, its creator Tatiana Lipatova, is in Russia. So, I know we haven’t exchanged notes, but then other people have been working with this kind of creeping texture on their pieces.

This necklace uses a subtle contrast with a shiny set of hollow beads–donut beads, of sorts, although off center and squared off–and unusual leather wrappings as well as this calcification-like texture. It looks like the texture was added from a treated sheet, one that was hand tooled, unless she has a stamp like this and she did a Sutton slice kind of thing. Regardless, the texture ties in the cleanness of the smooth bead with the roughness of the leather and other textured beads here. It doesn’t hurt that this is a color palette I am often drawn to use myself. Warm metals have such a sense of life to them, don’t they.

It was a challenge to find Tatiana, very much buried in her world in St. Petersburg, I think. But she has some really lovely pieces, most not going the way of faux decay either. Although it’s the European version of Facebook, no matter where you are in the world, you should still be able to browse her photos here. Do take the time to scroll down a ways as you browse. Her style keeps changing and beautiful little treasures keep popping up for you to admire.

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Take two very different styles, textures, materials, or colors and create a third element that you feel can tie them together. Design or create a new piece from this triad of subtle contrast.

_________________________________________

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

never knead -july-2015c-125  2Wards Blog May 2016  PCTV March 2016 Blog

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

_________________________________________

%d bloggers like this: