Last October and November I spent a lot of time working on new brooches, which could also convert to pendants.
The first two shown below began with skinner blends. Then I had a great time going through scraps and canes I had, using them to create little collages on the center strip. Using gold and silver leaf scraps added great accents. Some have said they look like shimmering silk! These pendants were inspired by the work of Lindly Haunani.
Continuing on brooch/pendants influenced by textile traditions, I got into weaving polymer with variegated, extruded strips!
In April, wanting to return to my textile roots, I thought it would be fun to make “ikat” cuff bracelets. Then I realized that some of the canes I had already been using could be translated into ikat. I pulled out the canes I had made late last fall using Melanie West’s tutorial for striped Skinner Blend canes. I had made or adapted four different canes from this tutorial and they had been wonderful to use in making brooches and other bracelets. Now they would be pressed into service as ikat “cloth”! But then, a funny thing happened when I used an extruder to make little ropes to edge the bracelets with. I had extruded stacks of color so that I could reveal dots of color to add to the ethnic feel of these bracelets then . . . It occurred to me that by making extrusions this way, but a little larger in diameter, I could make hoop earrings. And so, my “Circus Hoops” were born, some with polkadots, some without, but all with contrasting colors revealed at the ends! And the stacks of color in the extruder had also given me variegated earrings.
In late February I returned from an inspiring week of polymer clay workshops on the East Coast. I was chomping at the bit to get to work in my newly remodeled, enlarged studio at Art Works Downtown, where I had been in a smaller studio for seventeen years.
As I began my this new phase of my polymer adventure, my greatest surprise was the direction my work took as it didn’t seem to have any direct connection to my week studying with some outstanding polymer artists. It turns out that what the week had given me was the confidence to take risks and be open to new ideas my muse might bring. I suddenly found my self using gold and silver leaf with my polymer. Glitz and glitter! That is something I hadn’t been into before. It almost seemed to be a new reality, a new way to look at the world!
Ideas for new bracelet/cuffs began emerging. I started with a Skinner blend and then ran it through my pasta machine with gold leaf a few times. The final touch was the royal purple extruder-produced edges. This was the first time I had found a use for extruded clay. And it turned out to be only the beginning!