Tuesday, July 8, 2014


I love shapes-- ones from nature, from pottery, from architecture, from sea life, from archaeology-- there are so many forms out there that can be starting points for polymer work.

One of the exercises I suggest to my workshop students is to do a very short (3 minutes or so) series of drawings focusing on a common shape-- circle, square, triangle, etc. I do this myself once a year when I make Valentine's Day hearts. I want to work with a heart shape that is fresh and uniquely mine so I get a plain piece of paper or a page from my journal and start to sketch hearts, as quickly as I can and try not to edit myself or attempt to make them perfect. These line drawings come straight out of my right brain and after I fill a page or so with them, I can then choose the ones that most appeal and tweak the shapes a bit if necessary.

Lately I did a page of rectangles and triangles, both of them finished in under three minutes. Each of these little sketches could spawn a whole series by themselves.
 Triangle-morphing page
Rectangle-morphing or "20 Rectangles in 3 Minutes or Less"
With the aid of my trusty Canon copier, I can size the shapes up or down to create elements that fit the scale of pieces that I want to create. And they are similar enough that a few could be grouped together as elements to form a necklace or hang from a lariat.Of course they transform even more when I add texture and color.
Landscape Earrings in process - truncated triangles
Morphed faux Bakelite rectangle earrings with
distortions and voids
Triangle morphed into a clamshell shape with organic extension added
One of my favorite, signature shapes comes from a primitive clothespin that my friend Renate found at a flea market in Germany. I've gotten so much mileage out of that simple outline.

Machu Picchu Earrings- polymer and copper metal clay
Cave of Dreams Earrings - Polymer and Copper Metal Clay

Sage Bray, editor of Polymer ArtsMagazine, is doing a series on morphed forms this week. She calls this post "Pushing the Triangle". http://www.thepolymerarts.com/blog/pushing-the-triangle/ Seems summer brings us out of our caves and into the light where Nature is dazzling us with a vast display of shape and color. Play around a bit this week while you're watching the kids at the playground or having lunch al fresco. I promise your work will take on new energy and what you come up with will be all your own.