Friday, January 20, 2012

Carol Blackburn . . . From the Other Side of the Pond!

I dare say....Carol Blackburn is "brill".  If you made it through ninth grade geometry, you have a leg up on understanding Carol's colorful jewelry.  Impeccably made designs use strips of skinner blend fashioned to imply a möbius strip design.  According to Wolfram MathWorld, the Möbius strip, also called the twisted cylinder, is a one-sided nonorientable surface obtained by cutting a closed band into a single strip, giving one of the two ends thus produced a half twist, and then reattaching the two ends.  That was totally greek to me, but oh well!  I don't have to understand it to wear it!

Her necklaces and earrings are quite different, and people unfamiliar with polymer are always at a loss what material they are made out of.  Carol has published a book, "Making Polymer Clay Beads" that should be in everyone's library.  The book gives you insight into many techniques and a plethora of bead shapes.  She was one of the founder's of the London Polymer Clay Guild and is an active member of the IPCA.

If you surf to Carol's website (, you'll see that color is an important part of why Carol works with polymer.  In addition to earrings and necklaces, Carol fashions little bowls, pens, and drapery tassels. She also tackles many different styles of bangle bracelets.  She will be in Santa Fe in February teaching a weekend workshop.  If you're in the area, you should take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

We have a nice selection of Carol's earrings and a couple of her fabulous cone bead necklaces.  Her work is beautifully executed...something we should all aspire to.

"Lovely"---in my best British accent!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Our Friend Ron Lehocky

We love Dr. Ron....Ron Lehocky, a Louisville pediatrician and polymer artist extraordinaire.  We first got to know Ron at a polymer retreat, and we look forward to crossing paths with Ron at Arrowmont, Mammoth Cave, Synergy...whenever polymer and fun are happening.  A lot of you know of Ron through his amazing fundraising activity...making heart pins to raise money for The Kids Center for Pediatric Therapies.  He sells his creations for $10, all of which goes to this worthy charity.  What started as an attempt to make a thousand hearts, has now surpassed 18,013. It's always fun to see the timely hearts for different holidays.  Halloween, with its glow in the dark mummy and ghost hearts, is fun to celebrate with a Ron heart.  Thanksgiving brings turkey hearts, and Christmas, hearts with Santa hats.  We have prevailed upon him to let us sell his wonderful hearts at our gallery and we send the ten dollars without commission as our small bid to help the cause.

We are all set for Valentine's Day.  I know you need a heart pin....we can even put a converter on it so it can be worn as a pendant.  You can also check out the other styles of jewelry made by Ron in the gallery.  We knew he made other things and also knew there was a limit to what his wonderful wife needed to wear, so we made him part with some of his other treasures.  His craftmanship is amazing, and sometimes you can see a gifted scrap cane reappearing in his work.  It is definitely upcycling!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lindly Haunani, Show Stopper!

Everyone who comes to our gallery does a double take when they first catch a glimpse of Lindly Haunani's display.  Her fantastic floral lei necklaces definitely say "Aloha" (in the "hello" sense) to our new guests, as they wander around with dropped jaws.  It is always fun to welcome someone new to polymer into our gallery.  Perhaps, at times, there is sensory overload.  Always there is a gasp and an "oh my, look how the colors almost glow" when they first admire Lindly's work.  I have to explain that Lindly is of Hawaiian descent, and when they glimpse her asparagus bracelet in the exhibit, that she is a 'foodie'.  I next explain that she has written the definitive book on color, and that we love to have Lindly come to Creative Journey Studios to teach.  I show her class samples and they are hooked, and they didn't know they even liked polymer before today.  (Watch the calendar page for information about her next class, which is in mid-September.)

We've known Lindly for four years now and have taken every class she has least once.  Now we have the pleasure of bringing her here to teach.  She is knowledgeable, energetic and just plain fun.  Come visit and I'll bet you'll decide you need a pair of her earrings for spring.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Calendar Page

Be sure to check the calendar page of our blog to get the full story.  If you use your iPhone to check our blog, it is not obvious that there are multiple pages to see.  Besides the home page, there is a calendar, a page about RAM, and an about us page.

The calendar is getting a lot of updates as we plan for the year's classes and we don't want you to miss out.  We had a nice mention on Cynthia Tinapple's blog - - this morning (my day doesn't start until I've read her blog, and there is a wealth of information to root through when you have a dull moment.)  We hope our blog will tempt you to come visit Creative Journey Studios if you are in the Atlanta area.  There is so much to see!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Exploring Silk Screening on Polymer Clay

Creative Journey Studios is delighted to bring Karen Woods to Buford to provide an introduction to silk screening.  Perhaps this will be a completely different jumping off place for you when you wish to impart texture to the surface of your polymer clay piece.  In this 2 day workshop students will learn to create individualized graphic designs; make inexpensive light activated silk screens; and silkscreen patterns and overlays onto polymer clay to create surface designs.  These polymer patterns can then be combined to create collaged jewelry pieces, wall art, and other forms of expression.  Karen is known for her collaged vestment pins and pendants. 

I first met Karen at Synergy I in Baltimore, where she was enthusiastically talking about the use of polymer with basketry.  As a hand weaver and basket maker, she has some very interesting takes on polymer.  I know it will be a lively class and you will go home with your head spinning with the possibilities.

A lot of people wear t-shirts with pictures of their heroes on the front.  I guess I will have to make one with the following picture of Song Taizu, the founder of the Song Dynasty.

My Hero
Silly?  Yes, but it got your attention, didn't it?  I went to Wikipedia and found out that screen printing was first seen in China during the Song Dynasty.  This type of printing was adopted by other Asian countries and was advanced as a craft with the use of block printing and hand applied paints.

As silk became more readily available in Europe, screen printing became a viable method of transferring an image to surfaces.  It was used a lot in early wallpaper creation.  Many methods and substrates have come and gone, but people continue to be interested in this technique and create easier and easier ways to accomplish screenprinting.  Here's a link to a great article for further reading --  Polymer clay seems to work really well with acrylic paint, and screen printing is a great way to add design elements to your art.

Friday, January 6, 2012

"Terra Nova" has arrived!

We're very excited (and feeling very special) as we have been allowed to offer "Terra Nova - Polymer at the Crossroads", the book published to celebrate the exhibition by the same name at the Racine Art Museum, for sale at Creative Journey Studios.  A history to date of polymer clay, this tome presents an erudite discussion of the "boundary breakers" featured in the amazing collection now on view in Racine.  Rachel Carren, Lena Vigna and Bruce Pepich illuminate the collection and its path to existence.  Elise Winters' polymer collection project is celebrated, as it should be.  We had the good fortune to attend the opening of the exhibit and the accompanying symposium held at Wingspread and the Johnson Foundation Headquarters.  How incredible it was to be privy to the debates and opinions of many of today's respected polymer artists.  A happy weekend was spent listening to the history, as well as the projected future of polymer clay as a respected art medium.

The exhibit will be on view until Feb. 5th, so it's not too late for a visit, and it is truly not to be missed.  If you can't make the trip, the next best thing will be to purchase the book (only $35) and all proceeds will go to RAM.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Digs for Filigree & More!

We have been in the process of moving our mortar and bricks version of Filigree & More into a different portion of our space.  What a job!  I think all the work will be worth the effort.  We are expanding what we carry ... we just added Tim Holtz' Distress Powders.  We're adding new Nunn Design pieces.  We have lots of interesting new beads (as soon as I get them restrung to sell) -- who needs sleep!  We have acquired some wonderful displays from our friend Donna Stephens, who sadly has closed "On the Rocks".  Donna plans to continue her business at the local bead shows and to teach here at Creative Journey in the future.  Hopefully the new displays will make it easier for you to see what we carry in filigree and stampings.

The other big job we are working on is moving the "Polymer ... From the Beginning" exhibit to a spot in the front room as you walk in.  Amazing all the little details you don't think about when you embark on a project like this ... new name tags with the new logo, cleaning all the new glass shelves (ugh!), more IKEA to put together, reorganizing the collection.  Whew!

Of course, all the websites are in transition.  We are planning the year's classes ... lots of phone calls and lots of typing.  All good ... we wouldn't do it if we didn't love it! Who knows ... maybe one of these day we'll get to do some polymer!  I'm behind in my sanding!