Plants in Disguise

lish jellyfish 430x261 - Plants in DisguiseSo … did any of you come up with your own idea for air plant vessels? Did you think about turning them upside down? I know I didn’t but I have to agree that once you do that, they are going to look like live creatures. Perhaps that is how one crafty lady came up with the creative creatures you see here.

On her Etsy site, Jellyfish Kisses, Lish Jellyfish (I’m thinking that is not her real name … just a guess) integrates air plants with sculpted vessels off all kinds of creatures. Some are so well-integrated, you might now know it’s a plant tucked in there, at least not right away. It’s just fun stuff and I thought these images might push you aspiring air plant vessel makers to thinking beyond upright containers and into other realms. I mean, that is the advantage of air plants … they can be situated in any direction, as long as they have a spot to tuck their toes in and hold on.

For more creative ideas for vessels, just plug-in “air plant” and other key words like “vessel”, “clay”, or “holder” into Pinterest, Google Images, Instagram or other favorite visual site and just immerse yourself in all the possibilities!


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Something’s in the Air

CF airplants  - Something's in the AirThis week’s theme will start with one of our more notorious creative instigator, Christi Friesen. On my end it started when my better half came back from an orchid show not with any orchids but rather with a 4 foot tall branch covered in air plants and I thought, “That is far too many air plants for that stick. I should save some from their crowded existence and make planters for them! In polymer. Of course.” However, in my world, the time between the germination of an idea and gaining the free time to implement it can be pretty vast. A few days later, I saw this photo pop up on Facebook. Apparently thoughts of air plants are, well, in the air!

Being a simple rolled cone construction with a ton of possibilities for color, texture, and embellishment, these little wall sconces of Christi’s are sure to get creative sparks flying for those of you looking for something new, easy and fun to play around with. There is plenty of room in this kind of project for your style and voice to come through. Work up something of your own like forming bowls, boxes, or tubes instead of cones and design it with your own signature colors and treatments.

Easy and fun are the signature marks of Christi’s classes and books, not to mention her community site, Christi’s Creative Neighborhood where have access to all sorts of tutorials, videos and creative ideas along with a chance to share with other like-minded clayers. Check out Christi’s happenings there, on her website and on her Facebook page.


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Canes Gone Wild

olga-perova-flickr-2014While researching the translucent canes last week, I came across a lot of amazing cane pieces. Some were delicately beautiful, some extraordinarily skilled and some were just wild. This vase is a case in point.

To be honest, I am not sure what Olga Perova did to this but it completely sucked me in because the details are tremendous. I believe the work is a combination of extruder caning and extruder mokume with micro beads and maybe some post cure carving going on. Not absolutely sure but what a lot of work this must have been. A part of me wants to see the form itself more controlled–straighter upper edges and cleaner openings in the body–but then I am not sure that the feeling of complete abandon would be quite as strong and that could diminish it overall. Maybe my eyes and mind just need a place to rest that is simple and ordinary while looking at this. Of course, bedlam and a riot of color and texture may very well be Olga’s intention. In which case, she certainly did that.

To really appreciate the detail and intensity of this piece, you need to pop over to Olga’s Flickr photostream and see all the shots. Then look through the rest of what she has. You’ll see that most of her work is very well controlled but she doesn’t shy away from being experimental either.

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Create chaos. Work completely intuitively for at least 15 minutes. Let chaos rules the work that comes from your hands. If you are itching to put order to your chaos after 15 minutes, do so. Otherwise keep at it and see what comes of pure intuition.


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Alluring Luster

1_vase-sunset_dmj_38-08-webSo the question arose as I sat down to blog for you today … do I continue to do Outside Inspirations on Friday? That would limit us to two polymer pieces and one of something else each week. Well, I do know that I don’t want to stop expanding our window onto the world of art, but this is a polymer blog, and I do want to keep that focus, so what to do?

Right now, I think we’ll do an a piece from outside polymer once every other week unless something amazing and pertinent shows up and I just can’t help myself. Sound good?

This beautiful ceramic piece is kind of one of those ‘must post’ items. It was sent to me by Fran Abrams, and since this is part of a show in Washington that some of you might want to see if you’re headed out that way this summer, I thought a bit of lead time might be needed.

The work is by Daisy Makeig-Jones, who worked for the well-known Wedgwood pottery company from 1909 to 1931, but created ceramics of her own that employed a look and approach quite beyond the strict traditions of her employer. Daisy drew from her love of fairy tales to create what’s known as Fairyland Lustreware of which, of course, this is one such piece. Like all her Lusterware, this Imps on a Bridge vase has the most brilliant colors, especially considering it is almost 100 years old. You can see the color and patterning continue into the mouth of the vase, as well. It must be just stunning in person. Also, I thought it might give a few of you home decor creators some inspiration (or a challenge) for covering containers.

As I alluded to, you can actually see this in person if you happen to be near the National Museum of Women in Washington D.C between now and August 16th. Now, I just need an excuse to be out that way myself this summer! You can find more information on the exhibit and museum at You can also find a beautifully detailed write-up on the exhibit and Daisy’s work on the museum’s blog here.


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Density Vase

Intricacy in construction can be achieved in a variety of ways. The simple repetition of a single type of element can create rich texture but like everything we talked about this week, takes a bit of patience. Ukraine artist, Iryna Osinchuk-Chajka, created this intriguing vase in this manner, applying small petal shapes over and over,  for rows and rows, to complete the design. This piece is part of her home decor line. She take vases, office organizers, soda cans, and any other shape that interests her and then applies these repeated shapes to the surface, to create the enticing texture.


When you look at Iryna’s Flickr Photostream, her Etsy shop, and her live journal, you can see how much she is influenced by nature, particularly florals. Have you ever tried one of these layering techniques in your work? It is time consuming, but the results can be well worth the effort.


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