It seems like a timely post if you are a follower of Polymer Clay Daily, as Cynthia Tinapple is showing the new work of Ford and Forlano. Based on using hollow tubes with multiple layers of colours (shown by slicing) which are then sliced into beads and assembled, this new work is exciting to me personally because working hollow is my preferred way to use polymer! There are so many ways to use it, although, like every technique in polymer, it is not without its difficulties. I just can't seem to do solid stuff and this must be a result of working with inflated forms in glass for 18 years..(I couldn't work sculpting solid glass either but if you're interested look here at the work of Pino Signoretto!)
I also want to thank Maggie Maggio for most generously sharing her 'split ring' tutorial with the polymer community. It planted a seed in my mind about how to make hollow bracelets smaller, by enabling them to stretch over even my ham hands (18 years of working glass has some fallout - oh the scars!) without breaking! Being smaller, they look better on and don't clunk annoyingly round on your wrist. Being hollow, they have a lot more flex than solid polymer, although there is a limit and you have to choose your polymer carefully. I wonder what clay Ford and Forlano use?
My interest with these bracelets is to make this natural, tendrilly form present a canvas for decoration - colour and more particularly - texture. It is easy enough to make a stretched smooth hollow form, because as you stretch and elongate polymer, the textures blur, so I've found the initial lump that forms the bracelet is quite (hideously) different to the final piece. It is not like reducing a cane, where, if you are good at it, you confidently expect everything to be the same but in miniature! The thought process is more, 'How will this 4 inch piece of polymer look when it is elongated to 1 and a half feet?' You have to be prepared to go with the flow on this....Of course, you can then fire the piece and add things to it, but those marks and additions can be really out of sync with the form unless you are careful. I'm getting better at adding things that don't jar the final feeling.
I think of this one as driftwood for your arm, I like the minimal colour (a little odd for me).
I'm still testing the durability of these - I'll be wearing some white blanks that I've made over the holidays and taking them on and off a lot so, we'll see. Meanwhile, think hollow! I've got a lot of new ideas for thinning out the wall thickness as well.
I suspect I won't be back to blog until the new year, so I'm sending out a very big thank you to all of the people who've taken the time to read my blog and follow it. I have over 100 followers now (105 to be pedantically precise..) and I enjoy reading your comments and suggestions so much! Ah, idea! I'm going to have a giveaway in January for one these bracelets and one of you lovelies can road test it for me. ( Let's hope it doesn't end up as roadkill...) And on that note - happy holidays and a huge rest to all of you - particularly jibby and juna, whose fingers are sore!