Monday, October 7, 2019

Bonnie Bishoff - Another Great Class!

It seems I've been taking a lot of one and two-day classes over the past few months, and September was no exception. I am so pleased that the New England Polymer Artist Guild hosted Bonnie Bishoff a couple of weeks ago.  Bonnie shared with us her method of doing marquetry, also known as inlay. The designs and patterns she creates are lovely, and the way she shares colors amongst the pieces gives her finished necklaces a real harmony.  In addition, she has developed some incredible methods for linking polymer pieces together.  Her necklaces have form, grace, and movement.  All the participants just soaked up as much as we could, then worked at applying her many ideas and tips to a piece of our own.

The photos here show the pieces I developed, the necklace in "raw" form, and a close-up of a portion of the necklace.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Another Great Class with Helen!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, at Clayathon 2019 I had the opportunity to take a vessel making class from Helen Wyland-Malchow.  It was a really great class, and I learned to do something I've never tried before.  In that class, Helen wanted everyone to experience slab construction of shapes using polymer clay, and that's what I did.  However, she had some vessels she had made in a trapezoid shape with triangular bases. The shape just captivated me, and I really wanted to try it sometime.
When I found out that Helen was going to be offering the same workshop in Connecticut, I asked her if I could take the class again and do the trapezoid shape instead.  She agreed to let me do just that, and said she'd be glad to help me.  
I had a wonderful time.
The photos here are shots of the 2 sides of the vessel I made.  I'm really pleased with the decorated sheets I made, and with the way the shape turned out.  Even the top is fun!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Playing with More Stripes

I've been having fun making striped canes and stacks, and using them in various shapes.  I particularly like the round, hollow pin/pendants I've been working on.  Here are some of my latest pieces using stripes.

The piece on the left has a gold-plated flower with zircon center adding some sparkle and interest.  Since the edge on this one is ruffled, I did not bring the backing up to the edge.  Some of the striping shows around the edges on the back.

This next pin has very subtle stripes which I think contrast nicely with the textured parts of the piece. Some of the inspiration for this pin comes from my workshop with Fabiola Perez.
Here is another hollow round pin/pendant.  I really love the way the colors blended and how the black and white edging gives the piece an unusual look.  
For these last 2 pieces, I used the same striped stack as the round at the beginning of this post. The necklace is strung with 4mm carnelian rounds and has gold-filled disks between each bead.  The earrings are a "just for fun" pair.  I was playing with some slices and this is what evolved.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Fabulous Fabiola Perez Ajates

Fabiola Perez Ajates was another one of the wonderful instructors at Clay Back East 2019. I totally enjoyed Fabiola's class. Her manner was light and fun, and her love of creating and sharing her ideas was obvious.
Fabiola demonstrated several of her techniques for decorating polymer clay and creating interesting patterns and designs. She also generously shared with us many of the shape templates she uses to create her jewelry.   She explained that she bases her pieces on a 27 color palette she has developed. This is one reason why her work always seems so harmonious.  I loved the colors she had us all using:  an aqua green, a rosey red, white, and black.

 The photo here shows three pendants I created using her concepts.  I'm eager to develop a palette of my own to use in this way.  Her work is lovely!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Fun Summer Earrings

Here are some light, swingy earrings I made for summertime.

I used relatively thick strips of polymer, with swirls of color.   I had tried something like this about a year ago, but used clay that was too thin. I think the only clay you can really roll thin and still have it stand up to use is Kato.

These are all made from Premo!.  On the blue/green and pink pairs, the two shapes move separately.  The addition of Swarovski crystals mounted via head pins with small end balls added some bling.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

New Bracelet Cuffs

Perhaps you've had this happen to you, too.  You purchase some interesting findings, planning on using them sometime soon.  Then you get involved with a different project.  Suddenly, they pop up while you're looking for something else....

That's the story behind these matte white filigree bracelet cuffs.  I'd purchased the cuffs a while ago, but hadn't used them until just a couple of days ago.  They are perfect for summer flowers.

The metal is adjustable from about 6 to 7.5 inches and they stay in place nicely.
I made 4 different flower shapes and colors, and added leaves to 3 of the 4 designs.

This isn't a bracelet - it's a pin/pendant, in the same general design as the one I entered in the May Regional Show.  I really like the way this cane looks when it is fanned out.  So I had to make another one in a new color way.  Don't be surprised if you see more of these open circles in future posts.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

More from Clay Back East 2019

We learned some great techniques at Clay Back East.  As you saw in my last posting,  some of the things we learned had to do with structure and form, others with design and color.

A really fascinating technique was taught by Sylvie Peraud.  She has developed a method for making multiple sided, hollow polymer shapes that really helps the shape form precisely, while keep finger prints totally out of the picture.  It was amazing!  We made 2 shapes in the same way, then used a special formula she has developed for applying paint and a bit of texture.  I ran out of time to finish my paint job and didn't convert these to a pair of earrings, but I thought you'd be intrigued by the concept she has evolved.  Being hollow, and made from Kato clay, these pieces were incredible light and would be soooo easy to wear!

Donna Kato taught another really interesting class.  In addition to showing us how to make her wave or ribbon stack, she helped us learn to make these pieces.  Because my ribbons were more angular than some others, I felt these pieces almost took on an aboriginal look.  The gold pieces are super thin foils.  Since these pieces were made with Kato clay, they are incredibly thin and light weight. You'd never know you were wearing the earrings!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Brilliant Bettina Welker!

A few weeks after Clayathon, I returned to southern New Jersey to attend Clay Back East, 2019. This polymer conference was sponsored by Donna Kato and her conference crew.  It was really marvelous!  The format was based on workshops from top-flight polymer artists.  We had 3 full-day and 2 half-day classes, with instructors moving from room to room.  This meant we all attended every workshop in reasonably sized groups.  Great plan!
Today I'd like to share the closing bracelet cuff that Bettina Welker developed.  The clasp is unique, hides itself within the overall design, and is comfortable to wear.  If you get a chance to take her workshop on this design, do so.  I can't go into detail, since it is her invention.  Just know that she really has come up with a clever and strong method of securing the cuff so you can wear it without worrying about it possibly slipping off.

That is the clasp between the pink and purple rectangles.  Pretty cool!

We also had fun decorating the various rectangular shapes and placing them on the cuff.  I used a ribbon cane that Donna Kato introduced to us to make the wavy stripes.  I like the different look.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Polymer Abstract Hollow Form

At Clayathon 2019, I had the opportunity to take a 2-day workshop with Helen Wyland-Malchow.  It was a fantastic class!  Helen's instruction was clean, clear, and precise, with lots of smiles tossed in. We made these outstanding free-form hollow "boxes" -- no two were alike.  I loved the slab construction Helen taught.  She has been a high school art teacher, and she brought her skills in teaching and in art and creativity to construction in polymer.  If you get a chance to take a class from Helen, do so!  It was really fun and I learned techniques I'd never seen before.

Since it took us 2 days, there is just too much to explain.  However, I think a couple of photos will give you an idea of what we did. The veneer designs were our own. I decided to make an Ikat stack that I feathered on one side.  We also made little "lids" for our forms.  Mine was really quite small compared to the hollow form.  In the first photo, the lid is in place.  In the second photo, it's lying in front of the form.  We all had lots of fun coming up with designs, shapes, and making the whole thing work!

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Faux Polymer Geodes!

I've been playing around with geode canes and decided to experiment with methods of making the centers look like actual geodes and geode slices. Here are some examples of pieces I made that have actually fooled people who thought they were real.  The brown and copper pieces are slices, and the center is transparent.  I used a mixture of translucent liquid polymer and Diamond Dust particles to achieve the shine and sparkle of a true geode slice.

The other pieces in browns and blues are formed like geodes from the end of a round rock.  The front is flat as though sliced by a saw or sharp blade, and the back is rounded and textured, like the outside of a rock.  The centers are not transparent, but are filled with Diamond Dust particles and liquid polymer and small bits of gold or silver mica so they shimmer and sparkle when a light hits them.  Super pretty in the sun!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Single Pendants

I tried something a bit different in the way of "marketing" this month at the Westerly gallery.  I usually hang my pendants on silver or gold-filled chains.  This adds, of course, to the cost for me and the potential client.  So I decided to try just putting sterling silver or gold-filled bails on some pendants, and letting people add their own chains.  I'll be interested in seeing if this appeals to anyone. I'll know more at the end of the month.

In the meantime, here are some photos of a few of the pendants.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Oodles of Earrings

I  belong to the "you can never have too many pairs of earrings" club.  I also love making them! For the June show, I created a lot of different surface sheets and canes, and created earrings from those creations.

Here are several pairs in different colors, shapes and finishes.  I have my favorites - do you?