Graphically Different

Melanie Muir triangles 430x590 - Graphically Different

I can hear you already asking, if you read my introduction to the idea of soft or almost-triangle shapes on Monday, whether these beads by the elegant hand of Melanie Muir really qualify as versions of triangles. My answer is, that is up to how you want to see it.

To me, it is both triangular in that the space it takes up is about what a triangle would cover, and based on an oval since it is also an oval cut in half. But what this points out about triangles, or any shape really, is that they are just a step away from something quite different. Soften one angle on a triangle and you have the makings of an oval in hand. Basic shapes are just a couple of steps, simple lines arranged in simple ways. More complex shapes are usually a conglomeration of basic shapes.

As an artist, keeping this in mind means you are keeping your designs open to being pushed past the basics or as far and as complex as you see fit. Not that a basic square, triangle or circle are not valuable shapes. They certainly are! But the more options you see as you create, the more likely you are to come up with something that truly reflects your personal aesthetic and what you want to express.

Melanie, who is so well known for her organic shapes and thickly framed organic mokume veneers, has really been pushing her signature techniques, heading into more graphic waters and adding in a few more techniques. I am really enjoying the directions she’s been taking and look forward to seeing what else she has in store for us in the near future.

Keep up on Melanie’s work on her website and on her Facebook page.

_________________________________________

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

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

_________________________________________

Variation on Triangles

Laura Orihuela triangles collar 430x283 - Variation on TrianglesAs with most weeks, my themes present themselves from the collection of images I set aside just for this blog. I collect them without a specific idea in mind, just grabbing things that I feel have something we can learn from. Right now, I have a lot of almost-triangle pieces. Straight triangles are the shapes most representative of strength. It is the strongest basic structural shape in nature and in man-made construction since the three sides support each other in an immovable way. But the straight sides are also severe in their simplicity, so in craft art, we see a lot of softening of the basic triangle. We’ll explore the way it is used in craft this week.

This first piece makes use of the various ways the surface of a soft triangle can be treated. The blogger and artisan, Laura Orihuela of Spain’s SuperCrafty blog created this last year. Using African influences for the cane pattern you see here, she applied it with her own design ideas and touches so you end up with a contemporary piece where the influence is subtle and refreshing.

And lucky us, she filmed the creation of these five beads so you can see her process. Find the video on her Super Crafty site as well as on her YouTube channel where you can find a slew of video tutorials on polymer and other materials.

_________________________________________

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

Neverknead 052217 - Variation on Triangles    The Great Create Sept 15 blog  businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog

_________________________________________

Of Triangles and Fans

Maybe you’ve already saw this in our newsletter a couple weeks ago, but many of you probably did not. And it certainly fits the current theme,  for what are fans, but dimensional triangles? I know, I’ve been pushing the theme a bit hard this week, but it was fun, wasn’t it? Now it’s time for you to have more fun with the ideas we talked about this weekend. If you need a push, I would highly suggest grabbing a copy of Helen Breil’s new digital book, Fan Fold Designs. Just look at the cool designs you can learn to create just on the cover alone.

062314 helen fold book

 

As Helen explains, “This design-based book is the result of my exploration of the design possibilities of folding clay.  I was inspired by the paper folding and origami arts as well as the fabric arts of silk Shibori scarves and ribbons. The strong design element of the fold lines seem to naturally invoke a bold and dramatic look.” Agreed. I already have my copy, and as busy as I am, I just couldn’t help but stop in the middle of my day when I got it in order to try out a few things. These techniques are easy and fun and have so many possibilities.

And speaking of our newsletter, if you don’t already get it, you can get by signing up on our website on the left hand side of our main page. It comes out just twice a month, but includes news on classes, products, events, and conversations as well as reporting on what’s happening here for The Polymer Arts magazine. Every issue also includes useful tips and lists the most popular blog items seen the last couple weeks with additional insights and words from our readers. Just another way to get your polymer fix!

 

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

14-P2 CoverFnl-blog   Blog2 -2014-02Feb-5   Damask Ad

Outside Inspiration: Triangles Emerging

I am really pushing the idea of what a triangle is in today’s offering, but I had to think up some excuse and quick to share this incredible work with you. This piece you see below is all paper. Intricate, perfectly cut and layered sheets of paper. Check out the detail shot below it before I go on to explain what this has to do with triangles.

laser-cut-paper-art-eric-standley-9

 

laser-cut-paper-art-eric-standley-10

 

This paper art is laser cut and then meticulously assembled by Eric Standley. It relates to triangles because there are many triangular shapes and suggestions of triangles, but no actual triangles that I could find. All these triangles emerge from the overlapping of other shapes, primarily circles and squares. Since he creates these in primarily circular, mandala like designs, it’s no wonder triangles are emerging everywhere. What is a cut up circle but a bunch of pie slices, which are essentially triangles. Triangles are also natural in a circle when you have overlapping circles equidistant from the outside edge. Squares also create triangles in some of his pieces for a similar reason, although, triangles aren’t always the result when squares overlap. Sometimes you just get more squares.

That is all to say that you can create multiple shapes in a piece by overlapping larger shapes. Its nothing fancy, but the resulting intricacies you create can make a piece look far more involved than it might be. In the case of these paper sculptures, they are already very intricate to start with but more so for this approach.

I found Eric’s work on a site called Web Odysseyum. The images on this page of the site will give you a much closer look at his work than his website, but visit them both if you are as amazed at this as I am.

 

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

14-P2 CoverFnl-blog   Blog2 -2014-02Feb-5   Damask Ad

Triangle Treatments

Triangles, like any other flat form, can be treated like a simple canvas to be filled with all sorts of potential colors, textures, accents, lines and shapes. The thing about triangles though is that you are working with what is visually an arrow so you have this added dynamic characteristic to play with that is not seen in any other shape.

Here, Jana Lehmann demonstrates a variety of treatments on her triangles with no seeming rhyme or reason. However, it works and beautifully so. For all the variety in the color and treatment, all the triangles are the same shape and point in the same downward direction. Plus, they are all working in harmony with the contrast of floating circles against the rigid sides of their triangular boundaries. The disparity in application along with the pointing triangles and floating circles,  especially the one that got out and is now dangling off the point of a triangle, make it a really dynamic piece. And we can’t ignore the consistently perfect application and clean finish of every element that is the hallmark of Jana’s work and a source of awe for so many of us. That kind of craftsmanship brings out the intense beauty of what could have been an overly chaotic design without it.

 

6290993253_b235628533_o

 

Jana may be the most exploratory polymer artist when it comes to shapes. Just take a quick look at her Flickr page to see just how she pushes and bends the idea of a triangle as well as squares, circles, and every other shape it would seem.

 

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

14-P2 CoverFnl-blog   Blog2 -2014-02Feb-5   Damask Ad

Triangulating Books

Here is a neat use of the triangle form in an unexpected place–a three-dimensional book! Triangles as 3-D forms are, yes, usually called pyramids but since we are jumping off from the most basic form, this counts, right? Besides it’s too cool not to share as soon as possible.

I found this on the Creative Journey Studios site as a sample of pieces that Dayle Doroshow will be teaching there in November. Here’s the description for the The Unfolding Pyramid class “Personal imagery, found objects and other mixed media will be combined with polymer clay to create a pyramid structure that unfolds to reveal a hidden surprise. Polymer clay techniques will include transferring photocopy imagery, carving and antiquing, making and using three dimensional clay pieces, and weathered surface treatments.” Okay, who isn’t dying to go take this class?

Aside from that wonderful opportunity, this structure is a fantastic example of taking the common form for an object–in this case a rectangle is standard for a book–and replacing it with another form to either make a statement or to push yourself creatively. Not only is the triangle form for a book uncommon but it is really a melding of a box and a book. And with Dayle’s trademark antiquing and use of ancient imagery, this unusual piece is just steeped in a sense of mysticism and mystery.

Pyramid web

For this and other Creative Journey Studios Classes, see the Creative Journey website. To see where else you can take classes with Dayle and for more of her work or to purchase her books or DVDs, visit her website and poke around for a bit!

 

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

14-P2 CoverFnl-blog   Blog2 -2014-02Feb-5   Damask Ad

Pushing the Triangle

This week I thought we’d look at pushing basic forms, triangles in particular. Triangles are the strongest form in nature. The three straight sides meet and push against each other so that the structure doesn’t move. It is also a form based on the number three which represents balance or completeness in many cultures and religions. But a triangle can be much more than three straight sides. How can you move beyond the basic shape and push it to be something more than the static, yet stable form we traditionally think of.

For instance, in this pin by Carol Beal, the usual static feel of a triangle is given a dynamic perk by taking a corner and sweeping it in a gentle curve. The interior shapes also echo this sweep, increasing the sense of movement up and off to the side.

7423436286_554c85b691_o

Carol looks to be still exploring polymer and all its possibilities. She has work on her Flickr page and her Etsy shop.

 

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

14-P2 CoverFnl-blog   Blog2 -2014-02Feb-5   Damask Ad

%d bloggers like this: