Victoria Hughes at The Artway in May

Visionary polymer clay artist Victoria Hughes is coming to the Artway at Polymer Clay Express in May to teach classes. She was slated to to teach a class on May 25 and 26 Hinged Mixed Media Pendants, but now she is letting her students decide from among several course offerings. She is teaching a class in Pietra Dura on May 23 and 24.

Victoria’s book, Polymer the Chameleon Clay is one of my all time favorites.

There’s lots more happening at Polymer Clay Express. Their Blog is an excellent way to keep up to date on classes and new products.

If you’ve never visited the store in Damascus, Maryland, it’s worth a detour. To see some pictures from the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild’s visits, press here.

Polydelphia 2008 May 3 & 4

     Can it be that this will be the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild’s 6th retreat?  It seems like only yesterday that my guild co-chair Ellen Marshall suggested to me, “Let’s put on a show,” and I said, “OK” without thinking.  Now the reins of Polydelphia are in the capable hands of others. including (but by no means limited to)  Sue Springer and Sarah Fisher.  The good news is that you can can still go.  But you’d better hurry. For information, go the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild’s Website

In the meantime, enjoy this slide show of pictures from retreats gone by.

 

African Beads

To me, the words Africa and beads go together like Romulus and Remus, Baskin and Robbins or Damon and Runyon. In fact, I started working in polymer clay because I wanted to replicate millefiore African trading beads.

So last year, when I was lucky enough to travel in South Africa
I bought beads and bead work in dinky little stores, outdoor markets and anywhere else I could.

I found the beads you see above at a wonderful store in Capetown called Bead Merchants of Africa.  The beads are are brass Abijas, blue glass, amber/copal, and millefiore trading beads. Most of these beads are not native to South Africa, but Bead Merchants carries everything!

I have designed a necklace with them and just need to put it together. Alas, it sits unfinished in my workshop! When it is finished, you’ll be the first to see it.

O Canada!

     The wait is over.  Canadian artists Dan Cormier and Tracy Holmes (pictured above with their son Griffin)  finally have their beautifully designed website  up and running.  Dan’s work can be whimsical or serious,  colorful or monochromatic; it is always sophisticated and masterful.  Press here  to see polymer clay like you’ve never seen it before.   I am hoping to see some work from Tracy soon.   We might have to wait a few years for Griffin.  Don’t forget to  check out the blog and sign the guest book!

My Lust For Rust

I came upon Altered Curiosities by accident. It’s not the kind of book I would usually buy. But boy, I am so glad this book made it to my door. Don’t pass it by like I almost did. It’s packed with information on all kinds of crafts that seemingly bear no relation to one another. Yet author Jane Ann Wynn pulls them all together, with unconventional materials, and makes art. I didn’t try any of her projects, but I read through the book more than once and am taking inspiration from it for my own work.

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For example, I love the look of rust (but not on my appliances, please! ) and patinas. I picked up a rusty washer on the street the other day and struck up a conversation with it. When I was finished, I had this pendant. I added a silver plated spoon hammered flat, gold filled wire, turquoise and copper. I think that Altered Curiosities got me thinking in a new way.

While running errands today, I found all these cool rusty bits on the sidewalk. These are going to end up in something. I’ll wait for them to talk to me first, like the washer did.

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If any of this appeals to you, check out the art of Annette Tacconelli’s Urban Artifacts. If little washers talk to me, bridges and pieces of buildings talk to her. Not only is her art beautiful and hard to forget; it will stoke your creative juices even more.

 

 

 

Repurposing Revisited

 

      This necklace is made from part of another one of my Grandmother’s silverplated spoons. After I made the bracelet I showed in an earlier post, I decided to try something new. The cabochon is polymer. The spoon is dapped, pierced, and patinated.  The cab is held in place with gold filled wire.  The pendant is strung on rubber cord and finished with Balinese style vermeil spacers and a vermeil clasp.  I am exploring more ways to make jewelry from spoons and found objects. I will post the more interesting results.

Final Pictures from Synergy

 The View from My Hotel Room

 

  Some of the other things I enjoyed at Synergy were Jana Roberts Benzon’s Dimensions in Polymer Clay workshop, Tim McCreight’s Design Decisions, Good, Better, Best presentation, Blogging workshop with Cynthia TinappleSusan Lomuto, and Alison LeeCraft in America lecture with Art Historian Jo Lauria.    I hear they are already thinking about Synergy 2010. Enjoy the slide show!

 

Mann Beside Himself at Synergy

   

  Ok, so that’s a bad joke.  But there were a lot of new and interesting products at the Synergy Vendor Fair.  Jeweler Thomas Mann was there with his Studio Flux products. Eberhard Faber brought  Efaplast, a microwavable modeling clay that looks very intriguing. I got to examine some of the cured stuff. It seems buoyant, almost cork-like and they say you can carve it and paint it. They recommend you use a dedicated microwave for this product.

  Polymer Clay Express was there with their new Bracelet Angle Jig Kits. Wilma demonstrated making bracelets for six hours!  Ann and Karen Mitchell were there displaying products for Amaco and had a new pendant roller that I’m definately going to get.

 Dan Cormier was there with Cutting Edge Peelers and new tools he developed to expand  your Skinner Blend repertoire.  Kato PolyClay was there with new liquid clay colors I don’t see on the website yet. Robert Dancik sold Faux Bone and a neat beveling tool to cut it with. I bought one and am going to try it on cured polymer clay. 

Here are a few pictures from the fair.

Who’s that Gal with Betsy Baker?

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 Why, it ‘s Melanie West who is on a bracelet making rampage. Just when you think they can’t get any more  intriguing,  she tops herself.  You can see her latest creations on her blog,   Raven’s Caw.   Betsy’s no slouch either.  Go to Stonehouse Studio to see her mouth watering work.

More Synergy pictues to come.

More Pictures from Synergy

The only problem with claiming that you took more than 300 pictures is that not all of them turn out.   But never mind.  There are some more pictures of old friends and new acquaintances all having a good time at Synergy.   And I still have more to come. But someone is going to have to tell me who that is sitting with Melanie West.  It’s a great picture of Melanie and I forgot who the other gal is!