Variation on the Dot

JZharova dotsOh, the dot. A dot is not really a shape and it doesn’t define anything for us in the way its closest relation, the singularly dimensional line, does. It is just a point in space or on a surface but it will always grab our attention. It marks a point that we feel drawn to investigate. However, when it’s gathered to create a texture or pattern, that draw it has doesn’t expand but acts more like beats in a song. So when you have lots of dots, make a song of it.

I think that is what Julia Zharova is doing here. It’s a song she likes too, so she’s created variations on it. In the top one she lets the dots be simple and smooth but backs them with a lot of organic texture. In the one below, the dots are concave and colored but the background texture is more subdued so that the dots can dance without distraction. It’s a couple of examples of variation on a similar design.

Julia seems rather fond of the dot, which is scattered throughout her beautifully composed and well finished work. Enjoy a break with Julia today with a perusal through her Livemaster shop.


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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.


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The Off-White Canvas


Let’s look at a little more off-white today. In general, off-whites on the warm side tend to look older or antiqued. This would be due to most whites aging warm, not cool. Hence the term ‘yellowing’ for aged white materials, because they take on a yellow cast which is a warm color.

This is something to keep in mind if you choose to create something in a warm off-white. There is a very good chance it will look aged which, if you are going for the look of faux bone, antique ivory or are pulling inspiration from an ancient society, is precisely what you want. This piece here is an example of using that warm off-white to give a piece an ancient look. In the piece seen here, Marina of Clay Carousel looks to be drawing on inspiration from the Mayan culture, with the art work titled “Mayan Princess”. She created a perfectly symmetrical but still energetic necklace with an off white canvas for all her accents and details. The dangles are what really make the design work with their strong directional downward lines and, of course, their actual swaying movement while on the wearer. Choosing the off-white background allows the lines and accents to take center stage as well as automatically giving us the impression of age even when we aren’t aware of what it has been titled.

The link on the image here goes to her second version of this necklace since the first, not surprisingly sold already in her LiveMaster shop but take a look at how she changed up the design. I think the way an artist alters a design can be so interesting and so telling of what they were after.


Inspirational Challenge of the Day: If you don’t still have that cool and warm white clay from the last post’s challenge, create a couple more balls, one warm off-white and one cool. Then create the exact same design, one with the warm clay and one with the cool clay. Can you see how the color temperature changes the look of the piece? Cool whites look cleaner and brighter. Where would you want to use a cool off-white?


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Variation by Chance

I was thinking about the many ways that we use to establish our variations when I came across this interesting selection of wall hangings created by melting crayons. That’s when I realized that one of most obvious ways in which we achieve variation is by letting randomness and chance have a say. We’ve all had that moment (or 20) when we were messing around with the scraps on our table and a whole new idea arose. Well, you could do that intentionally with the components you have for certain pieces that you have in mind by letting your mind and fingers wander until something wonderful emerges.


Here, the various ways the crayons melt, as well as the colors, look to be the inspiration for each of the silhouetted subjects. That same approach can be used to renew, revive or reinvent a line you’ve been working with for a while. Be spontaneous and play to see what that clay suggests.

I couldn’t find the creator of these pieces, but I did find out this is ‘thing’ in the home craft world. Much of this melted crayon art is not very well done, but these three are great examples of what can happen when it is done artistically. If anyone, by some strange chance, knows who made these, I would love to give them credit. They are another victim of unattributed Pinterest pinning that ended up on a blog with the online storage URL being the only information that came with it.

Even if you just pin for yourself, at the very least, please do the creators the well-deserved favor by putting their name in the comment section. Or pin to a private board. Otherwise, these things get picked up by random people, spread around and the origination of it becomes lost. That just seems terribly sad.

Be sure to check in tomorrow for a contest we’re now running in which you can help shape upcoming issues of The Polymer Arts as well as win a little something for yourself!


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