New websitehttp://www.laurelswetnam.comhttp://www.laurelswetnam.comhttp://www.laurelswetnam.com

After a couple of years of dithering, I have a new website which will incorporate a gallery and a blog.  Check it out.  www.laurelswetnam.com  I’ll use that site in the future, and may get around to closing this one some time!

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No elephants or sea creatures harmed : Imitative coral and ivory with polymer clay

Imitative coral

Lightweight and convincing!

On June 15, I’ll be teaching a class at VIA on making and using faux coral and ivory.  Polymer clay is such a great mimic that a coral vendor actually asked me where I bought the materials for this 100% polymer necklace.  I was thrilled!  Polymer coral involves using surface textures and paints applied to the clay body to imitate the pits and variations of the real deal.

These two pieces are made of faux ivory adorned with simple stripes and canes.

Zanzibar beads

Zanzibar beads

In this class, we’ll make the ivory and coral clay bodies and use texture tools to create design elements to make beads; we’ll also create a couple of simple canes to use.

We’ll use moulds to make an ivory pendant, which could be used by itself or combined with other beads.

To sign up for Ethical Amulets, go to  http://viaartisticapdx.com/

Pendant moulded from Chinese panel

Pendant moulded from Chinese panel

 

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Wonderful Synergy

Synergy 3 was a three day international conference for polymer artists in Atlanta in mid- March.  I met interesting and talented people from all over the world, thought about design, teaching and ethics, and saw inspiring pieces in the gallery.  At the end of the conference I took a workshop with Dan and Tracy Cormier, where I marveled at Dan’s craftsmanship and learned several excellent techniques.  Below is the piece I made, which will continue to teach me more lessons in the future as I consider the details.

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I must have been dreaming about spring with those pastel colors, which certainly aren’t my usual palette!


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Inspiration from Tanzania

Oh the colors of kanga cloth and the beasts of the Serengeti.  Tanzania is a vibrant, magical country both for the incredible natural areas and for the vibrant cultures in the highland and on the coast.  This cheetah was watching the beginning of the wildebeest calving with anticipation.

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I  feel inspired by the patterns. Here is a piece that reminds me of Zanzibar’s women who wear black abaya with bright, printed shawls or head coverings.

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Best intentions

My phone notifies me every two weeks that I should remember to write a post.  Oh dear!  This year I’ll aim for a more reasonable once a month and really do it.

Here is a photo of the flipsides of a few of  the pendants I made for our Kickstarter prizes last fall – I liked the backs better than the fronts.   The necklace is the sample for new class I’m teaching at Via Artistica http://viaartisticapdx.com.  I am on a steep curve as I learn how to prepare for teaching classes and, harder still, how to demonstrate techniques and talk at the same time.  Not much right-left brain crossover in my head!

Backs of a few Kickstarter pendants.

Backs of a few Kickstarter pendants.

Sample for class - Ikats and stripes

Sample for class – Ikats and stripes

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Dog of the wild

ImageFor city dogs , Montana is nirvana.  Streams, deer, scents, trails!  Here’s a new adventure for Pippin and he behaved perfectly.  There’s a beaver dam in the background and we often see them out for a swim. 

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View of Lake McDonald

It’s been a rainy summer, bring zillions of whining mosquitoes, awesome streams and wonderful flowers. This is the view from Apgar Peak in Glacier, looking north into Canada. Image

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