The Summer Cover … Thank you Mr. Anderson

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Today, I just want to share the newest cover of The Polymer Arts. We are so very lucky to have Jon Stuart Anderson gracing the cover with a wonderful close up of his Raging Bull sculpture. The article on Jon’s art and life is alone worth getting this issue for.

Jon had previously not talked much about his work and yet it is absolutely unforgettable. His process, his thoughts on creating, on color, and on living as an artist are from the heart and he minces no words. The interview conducted, and article written by, the equally amazing Ron Lehocky was a dream for us. Ron had so much material, there really could have been a book. Ron was just the person to pull from Jon the stories and details that allow us a rich and colorful glimpse of the man and his work like we’ve never seen it before. I am so thrilled about this issue. Can you tell?

 The whole Summer 2017- Color issue will be a great reference for color exploration now and in the future with the talent and knowledge of some of our best artists including Tracy Holmes, Christine Dumont, Lindly Haunani, Meg Newberg, and Anke Humpert, along with Ron and Jon.  Here’s some of the articles you can look forward to:

  • Color Theory – Simplified!
  • Creating Relatable Color Palettes
  • Fixing our Brains’ Flawed Color Perception
  • The Wild & Colorful World of Jon Anderson
  • Dramatic Color Blends for Canes
  • Painting with Polymer clay
  • Color Guided Necklace Designs
  • Re-Thinking Your Artistic Identity
  • Funding a Guild or Group
  • Color Spotlight on Christine Dumont
  • New Ways with the New Liquid Clays

… and much more!

​Don’t miss out on this essential issue. Be sure your subscription is up to date by going to your account page or start your new subscription. It’s easy … just click here!

If you are jonesing to see more of Jon’s work or want to purchase his work, you can find it on his website.


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Outside Inspiration: Burning Up and Looking Through

paper-cutout-art-fashion-dresses-edgar-artis-47__700These little unexpected beauties are brought to us by Debbie Crothers who just dropped them onto my Facebook page last week. These were created by Armenian fashion illustrator Edgar Artis who uses common objects and scenes to take some basic fashion concepts beyond the ordinary. The matches dress illustration is so simple, but between the heavily directional lines and the ‘hot’ implication of the material, it is a rather arresting image. The cut-outs, however, are simply a fantastic way to test out color and texture. Edgar was not the first to do this, so to give credit where credit is due, you’d want to also check out Shamekh Bluwi, an architect and fashion illustrator living in Jordan, who shows off the potential for women’s dresses with his very intricate cut-outs.

But besides these just being a fun bit of illustration to admire, I was thinking the cut-out-and-view-through process could be an excellent springboard or tool set to help you work out your own polymer designs. You can take sketches you have (or make copies of them) and cut out the essential mass of the design, then hold it up to various colors and textures.  I just got my pack of Tracy Holmes’ Colour Cards today and placing a cut-out over selected solid-colored cards would be so much more telling than just holding them up to a sketch. Don’t you think?

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Trace a favorite form or shape, cut it out so you have a stencil, then take it on a walk with a camera of some kind. Hold it up to various colors, textures, patterns, etc. as you go. Take photos of what you find. Go home and put those photos up on a bigger screen and save or print out the ones you really like. Now … can you create artwork from what you found in that empty space in the stencil?


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Colour Breakthrough – Throwing Out the Wheel

colour dipticOne of our most unusual articles in the summer issue, the one we definitely spent the most time on getting just right for you all, is Tracy Holmes’ “Color Connections”. This is a color lesson and color mixing tutorial that throws out the color wheel and works with mixing and matching in three dimensions. The exercises are easy and fun, and you end up with a reusable and expandable color mixing cube. It will teach you the basics that will allow you to eventually move onto using Tracy’s soon-to-be-available color cards that will expand your potential palette to hundreds of easily mixed and matched colors.

The thing we didn’t have a lot of room for in the article was expanding on how to use it to choose colors, not just mix them. So here is a quick visual tutorial on how using this system works for creating color palettes.

Tracy’s partner, Dan Cormier, had made a ‘blurred lines’ blended veneer. He wanted to find an accent color, so he looked through Tracy’s cards, first to find colors that were in the blend, and then to find a complement color for one of those colors. He used the codes to find the yellow that was the exact opposite of the purple. Then he mixed clay to match that color and made a sheet to dieform through the hole in the baked blend veneer. The purple become another accent within the accent at the center of the bead.

Sounds easy, right? Well, it sounds like it could be easy if you understand the system. That’s what the article helps you understand—how colors are connected, not just by mapping them on a two-dimensional wheel, but through other colors as well, which is why understanding how color are truly related takes a three-dimensional model. Go ahead and go through the steps in the article for an easy first look at this idea, as well as getting a primer on a new way to look at color that can encompass our digital, printing and artistic color mixing worlds.

Tracy is not the only one out there promoting these new base color ideas, and you are likely to see this kind of color approach coming to you from a number of arenas. Right now Tracy’s Colour Cards are the only method I know of that will allow an artist to work with this newer approach to color mixing and matching in an easy and accessible way. To be one of the first to get the new cards when they arrive, sign up for Tracy’s newsletter, so you can get on the Kickstarter program, which will be your first and best chance to pre-order your own BreakThroughColour Colour Cards and Cubes. It’s not just exclusive to Kickstarter, but there are special ‘Project Backer’ prices for supporters.

Full details about limited edition packages and early bird deals will go out first to the new BreakThroughColour mailing list, so hop on over and take a second to sign up for the BreakThroughColour mailing list. And to get your Summer 2015 issue of The Polymer Arts, go to our website at


If you like this blog, support The Polymer Arts projects with a subscription or an issue of The Polymer Arts magazine, as well as by supporting our advertising partners.

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Summer is Coming! Peek at the Cover of the Upcoming Issue.

15P2 Cover v2.1 padding 480x603 - Summer is Coming! Peek at the Cover of the Upcoming Issue.So, we start out the month of May with a sneak peek at the cover of the upcoming issue of The Polymer Arts, the Summer 2015 – Connections issue. On the cover, we have a fabulous variation of Izabela Nowak‘s Polymer Origami technique–and yes, she generously shares her polymer origami techniques and tips with us in this issue!

As has been the recent trend, this issue is filled to the brim with new ideas, techniques, lessons and tips along with lots and lots of eye candy by some really huge and inspiring artists. You can look forward to articles such as:

–Create Polymer Origami Beads by Izabela Nowak

–Moving Magnetic Focals by Helen Breil

–Connected Color: Throwing out the Wheel by Tracy Holmes

–Connecting to Inspiration Beyond Polymer by Donna Greenberg

–Visual Unity: Designing the Big Picture

–Polymer Jeweler’s Workbench: Cold Connections

–Rivets: Attachments & Accents for Polymer

–Simple Cold Water Transfers

–Mind Mapping: Creative Visual Brainstorming

–Of Drawing, Doodles & Design: The Role of Sketching

… and much more.

The issue is due out at the end of the month. We don’t have pre-orders for individual issues up just yet, but we’ll let you know when the website is updated for that. You can, however, subscribe to be certain you’ll be getting every great new issue when it comes out.

As mentioned in the blog post yesterday, we’ll be trimming down the number of posts for the month of May, and I’ll start that by taking tomorrow off from the blog to work on other needed items to get this great issue out ASAP! We will see you here on Monday, though. Have a beautiful weekend!


If you like this blog, support The Polymer Arts projects with a subscription or an issue of The Polymer Arts magazine, as well as by supporting our advertising partners.

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Guest Post: Radiate!

My dear and darling friends Tracy Holmes and Dan Cormier are helping out a tired and worn out publisher this week by guest posting for me today. I wanted to write up something about their color projects for our color theme this week but Tracy graciously took the writing upon herself and Dan put together the fun image of the cubed color project they conducted for Synergy 3 (they are such incredible idea people!) So go ahead  and ‘radiate’ with them …

When I invited artists to participate in a project that combined the diversity of polymer clay with the almost uncountable possible configurations of a Rubik’s Cube, I gave them a few guidelines. While each artist was welcome and encouraged to showcase their own skillset and sing in their own creative voice, this was, primarily, a project about colour. “Please,” I suggested, “Keep each of your six sides within a clearly identifiable Pentaradial Palette.”


Through this project, and through my workshop and seminars at the recent Synergy3 Conference in Atlanta in March, I introduced a new approach to colour that I’ve being playing around with; a new way to explore and understand it, in theory and practice. In my world, a ‘Pentaradial Palette’ is a group of colours that radiate from a single, central place to create a cohesive collection of related hues. Basically, it’s taking a standard ‘Colour Wheel’ colour and, rather than chasing it around in circles as one of six, moving it into the middle to become a single ‘Hub’ for the other five. Whether you start with RYB or CMY (that’s another discussion), for this discussion, can we all agree that Green is a Secondary colour? Good. So, here’s what my PC3 artists got as their ‘Pentaradial Palette’ grid guide for the Green side:

Pentaradial Palette

With the right recipe (concept + clay + courage), mixing custom colours is easier than you think. But having said that, if you’re not quite ready to go DIY with the CMY, there are plenty of prêt à porter spokes already on the pre-packaged polymer clay colour wheel. Starting as recommended, with the purest and simplest of Hubs, here’s what nine of my PC3 artists did with their Greens:


As a polymer clay artist and teacher, I think it’s best to work towards work that features a personal palette, rather than one that relies on colors that are right out of the package. And, as my color-courageous Cubists discovered, it’s amazing how quickly adding just a little of ‘this’ to a package of ‘that’ will shift the starting hue away from something everyone recognizes, to something that is so much more ‘palettably personal.’

So, whether you’re going Green, mellowing Yellow, seeing Red, feeling Blue, shifting Cyan or mixin’ it up with Magenta, stop spinning your wheels. Grab a color, start there … and radiate!

Follow Tracy & Dan’s color adventure on their Facebook page at:


The Journey of The Broken Telephone

For those of you who followed the blogging I did from Synergy, you may remember Dan Cormier’s Broken Telephone Project. We couldn’t reveal much then because Dan and partner Tracy were going to roll out the series on The Cutting Edge Facebook page and who was I to spoil the surprise.

Well Dan has now revealed all the beautiful brooches, their creators and his thoughts on the project and related subjects. The conversation he’s started on his wrap-up post (posted on both Facebook and Flickr) is very important and I would encourage you all to take a minute to read it.

While there, take a look at all the gorgeous pieces that came out of the project.


I was lucky enough to get a close-up look of each of these brooches as I helped pin them on Tracy who became a walking exhibition on the last night of Synergy 3. I’ve held back photos of this unique exhibit until the roll-out was complete. Tracy was easily the best adorned lady of the evening!



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