Thursday, June 17, 2010


June is the month for - many things (berry-picking and the end-of-year school rush jump to mind) - but now it seems to be my month to be a polymerista on the (relatively) new site of Voila!  This site is really focused on bringing forward what's happening in Europe and I have to say that there is a lot of amazing work to look at.  I'm thrilled and honoured to be selected as one of the 'polymeristas' for the month of June.  Christine Dumont, the creator of Viola, invites guest curators to look at submissions to the site.  For June, her companion was Ronna Sarvas Weltman, so this is all very exciting.  Please add this site to your list to follow and do join if you love to work in polymer!  Next month will see Loretta Lam  taking on the role of guest curator!

I'll leave you with a photo of many earring sets in progress, as I have finally come up with a few methods and designs that work more sucessfully.  My problem lately (oh don't lie, it's not lately...) is that I never want to make more than one or two of anything.  Endless variations on a theme, that's my life. The next idea is always beckoning seductively and I 'm constantly gritting my teeth in disappointment that there is not more time in the day... My theory is that it is the route to artistic happiness, but definitely not the road to riches...but you know, that's OK.  There is a balance to be found here and I will find it!

 Some little post earrings in progress...

A variety of hanging earrings in progress with detail... soon to be in my shop!

Friday, June 11, 2010

A most happy thank you

I've started this post a million times, but find it difficult to explain - but here goes!  I want to try and chronicle the way an idea develops, in this case sparked by something I had seen.  This idea has been patiently germinating until the ideas in my head found a match for it.  That is to say, a way to incorporate the idea into my way of making things.  This is not always easy since I seem to always come at everything sideways!

I have great admiration for the artists jibby and juna and unaodd, and it's been quite some time since they have (independently) been using carving in their polymer work to wonderful effect!  And both so different!

Here is a lovely bracelet from jibby and juna:
And some wonderful rings -
Here is one of my favorite necklaces from unaodd -
 At first, I enjoyed their pieces and thought I would never be interested in using the technique myself.  But when I developed a new bead based on two triangles sort of twisted together, there were surfaces that I just found myself wanting to remove - hence, the knife in hand.  Then, I realized I could color areas and then go back to the white surface by carving back, thus offering the possibility of using a different color not blended with the first one.  What fun...And finally, I started adding elements on to the beads so that they could be partially carved off, revealing a small flat surface to decorate as a focus.  Also fun....
The pink bead with turquoise (and the ochre/brown one) is an example of adding elements to carve off - I think this is where I am heading with this as it can transform a flat surface dramatically.  I want to try this with my new hollow bangles and see...
Then I started thinking about carving up cooked canes - this sparked from Genevieve's comment that she thriftily saved all her carved off bits for another purpose.  Mine appear to be all over my studio, but I did start to construct canes to slice up after curing to embed in earring sets.  Helps with the ever-present problem of matching sets for earrings, too!  I'll be listing a couple of these new sets of earrings in my shop this afternoon, and I am excited about where this could go.  I love the idea of making small elements and composing (embedding) them into a polymer frame as it is not so static as making a cane and trying to use it as is.  I have a lot of admiration for artists who work this way as one wrong color choice is enough to wreck your whole vision.  But I do have ideas for making slightly more elaborate canes than these so it will be easier to do a line of earrings...
I like the crispness that is possible if you build the cane up in layers - no more distortion of soft clay.
Tip of the day - cut the canes while still hot - easy!  Learned that at the end of yesterday due to my impatience...

That's my blurb of the day and with it goes a big thank you to the two artists mentioned above for their unwitting inspiration.  The internet and the blogging contacts I've made are my school and I enjoy it every day.  It is fascinating to see how each person takes an idea and filters through their personal aesthetic so it can be enjoyed anew.  That's the ideal, anyway...

PS  Made forms out of polymer  (jigs) to construct earwires - bliss, should have done it months ago!  I can be very slow sometimes...comes of trying to learn everything at once.