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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Try Your Hand at Hollow Translucents

trans lpc beads youtubeHow about creating and exploring your own translucent beads this weekend? These beads you see here are from a video tutorial by Sandrartes.

The translucent beads were created with liquid polymer and colored with markers. The video is pretty thorough, showing you how to create a form from a wrapped ball of cotton, covered in a simple air dry clay slip, all the way through making liquid polymer caps embedded with headpins to hang your beads. There’s no accompanying documentation or verbal instruction, just a few text screens to further instruct, so you need to pay careful attention to the visuals to catch everything she does.

Click here or on the image to see the video. These beads are actually quite different for her. Everything else she posts is of figurines and cutesy decor. But she is very generous with her tutorials, so if you are in the mood for something fun and light to play with this weekend, check out her YouTube channel.

 

 

 

 

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Translucent Tests

Francoise HecquetHere I found an artist testing the possibilities of translucents in what looks like some fairly classic applications, but with the added complexity of coloring for depth.

Françoise Hecquet, aka Bounette, creates a wide variety of beads, but I think her translucent pieces really stand out in her collections.  I’m not sure what she was attempting here, although I think they were successful unto themselves. All she has in the text that accompanies this post is “Je sais pas si les couleurs…” which translates as something like “not knowing about the colors”. But that’s all she says. So, we are left to wonder what she was trying but at least we can admire the crystalline-like effect of the way the translucent was mixed and colored.

If you feel a little let down that she hasn’t hinted at the mysteries behind these pretty test pieces, she does share a pretty cool technique with opaque dots and translucent clay, which has a really beautiful effect. You can find that tutorial post on her blog here.  

 

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Translucent Exploration

Anges Invasive 1The latest issue of The Polymer Arts is at the printers and I’m a bit of a zombie still. You know what I mean … after a big show or custom order is finally off and out, you usually just want to take a break from it all. Strangely, this time, all I’ve wanted to do is get in the studio. My studio also suffers from that deadline chaos so I first need the energy to clean it, but in the meantime, I have been researching translucents since many of the designs in my head will be focused on that kind of clay. I have to say, there isn’t a lot of crazy stuff being done with translucents still, but just as I was lamenting a lack of new translucent pieces to oogle, I came across this bit of fearless jewelry making.

I am pretty sure that Agnès (aka Primatoide on Flickr) used Cernit translucent and neon clay colors in creating this piece she calls Invasive I. She had made a comment in an earlier piece about wanting to explore the neons more and I think this must be one of her resulting explorations. Some of these beads look to be built on forms, others look to be hand-shaped, but all the forms are organic and aquatic. And bright! I can’t imagine it would not catch your eye on any wearer, especially if caught in the sunlight. I would love to see it back-lit, too, because light is what translucents are really about–allowing light to penetrate to reveal more depth.

Agnes explores translucents as well as the more disturbing and degenerative aspects of nature. Right up my alley. Take a look at the wide range of forms, colors and approaches she uses by visiting her Flickr photostream and her blog.

 

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