Applicant Artists: Functional Containers 2018

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Laurie Mika: United States

Laurie Mika: United States

Years ago while teaching polymer clay workshops in Israel, I was treated to a day at the flea market in Old Jaffa. There was a vendor selling metal embossed and jewel-encrusted antique Old Testaments that caught my eye. I ended up bringing home two small tomes that I have treasured to this day. These beautiful books have become a continued source of inspiration for a series of Medieval-looking, jeweled book covers I have been creating in polymer clay on tin boxes.

During the Medieval period, monks were often commissioned to create lavish book covers with “treasure binding” where metalworkers would use embossed patterns of gold and silver and set precious stones into the surface creating an ornate, jeweled cover. Using polymer clay and gold leaf I was able to create the look of these jeweled covers. I have also been exploring ways to create bezels in clay to surround and secure gem stones and pearls. All of the jewel clusters on this book cover were created from scratch using polymer clay.

The focal point of the cover is a handprinted transfer from an illuminated manuscript with a banner written in Latin that snakes through the middle of the floral design.

Tin box

Polymer clay pieces that are gold leafed and painted

Hand made jewelry pieces

Transfers of Illuminated Manuscripts

6.5 x 5 x 1.5 inches

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Helen Malchow: United States

Helen Malchow: United States

 Hollow form 32. This is a Hollow form that has no interior armatures. I have use two different types of Mokume Gane, inlayed colors and a carved top. You open the box by sliding the hollow form lentil out of the concave insert. The lentil is a hollow form. I used black Premo and sterling silver sheets to make jellyroll veneers, glued two ½ rounds together, polished to 800 grit. The Concave insert in the lid is a mixture of all colors used in the box. It harmonizes the patterns. Shaed accents were rolled into the veneer. The box was constructed using the slab technique. The box is 10”x7”

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Helen Malchow: United States

Helen Malchow: United States

Boomerang Box. This hollow form has no interior armatures.  The veneer is made from a  Mokume Gane background. Jelly rolls were allowed to dryout so they would crack around the outside edges when enlarged. They were inlayed onto the Mokume Gane sheet. Applied to a form and constructed using the slab technique. The sides are sanded to 400 grit. A small black pinch pot is glued to the lid. 7”x12”

1695 A FC3a copy


Helen Malchow: United States

Helen Malchow: United States

Outside/Inside  Box. I am exploring  a series of containers using images we usually see on the outside of containers and transferring them to the inside of my hollow forms. Food that we love but may not love us. What we see and eat everyday does end up on the inside. This hollow form used  Sculpey original clay, watercolors, graphite, Prismacolor pencils, Salt and a Pringles can transfer.  3″x7″

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Linda Leach: United States

Linda Leach: United States

Title: Matched Mosaic Vessel

This matched mosaic vessel started with a bowl of solid polymer clay. A structure of steel wire was added on the outside and woven to the top. Panels of polymer clay were attached to the outside of the bowl and wire basket and decorated with sections of matched mosaic. The stopper is a hollow cone of clay with openings to hold the hammered wire shawl pins topped with mosaic designs.

Materials: Polymer clay, steel wire, nickel silver wire.

Vessel measures 15x8x8”

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Beverly Chesterby: United States

Beverly Chesterby: United States

OPTICAL ILLUSION RING TRAY
 
Maybe it IS a good thing that I don't have a two and a half carat diamond ring to remove when (if) I do the dishes! Bling like that in this little triangular ring tray by the kitchen sink would be the only thing that would take your attention away from the amazing 3-dimensional visual tricks possible with Skinner Blended polymer clay. (Just kidding... I'd take the ring!)
 
Material: Polymer Clay
Dimensions: Triangular-3-1/2" per side

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Margaret Polcawich: United States

Margaret Polcawich: United States

 

“Para Vessel”
Polymer Clay, Epoxy Clay, Wire, Paint, Copper
12″x10″x10″

A lidded vessel of growth and delicate decay. Natural processes simultaneously demonstrate building while deconstructing; tending while sabotaging; peace and conflict. Vessels contain and protect, while restraining and hiding.

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Sarah Machtey: United States

Sarah Machtey: United States

Autumn Box 

Made entirely of polymer clay and liquid polymer clay (Cernit and Sculpey), this box grew from two inspirations: 

The fall leaf influence is obvious; I live in Vermont.  

The other inspiration came from a ceramic box my father made and I inherited when I was eight years old. Thrown on a wheel, it was designed to look like a vase with a very tight neck, but the neck was closed and there was an opening cut lower down that was partially disguised by decorative patterns. I always loved the idea and wished the true opening was completely hidden. So now I make boxes that are not recognizable as boxes when they are closed. 

The color gradations within each leaf are not skinner blend or caning; they are my own technique which I developed to take advantage of slightly translucent clays to achieve not only a smooth color transition but also extra color depth/glow. Each leaf is hand shaped to taper from a center thick enough for vein impressions out to very thin sharp edges. The strength of Cernit allows this. 

Nearly 5 inches tall and 3 inches across. 

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Susan Detwiler: United States

Susan Detwiler: United States

This horned reliquary with its shape suggestive of a human heart was inspired by visiting The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and especially by those artifacts from ancient and medieval times in Europe. I found their mix of sophistication and crude crafting methods fascinating and charming. This is my interpretation of such an artifact, one that might be found hidden deep in the mysterious Black Forest. The exterior of the reliquary is adorned with precious jewelry left as tributes by the devout. The gold-lined interior holds relics whose origin has long since been lost to history.

The Black Forest Reliquary is approximately 7 x 5.5 inches, not including its stand. It was constructed over an armature made of a bivalve shell and foil which was subsequently removed. It is made of polymer clay with bits of paint, glass beads, crystals, and a repurposed rosary.

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Fiona Abel-Smith: United Kingdom

Fiona Abel-Smith: United Kingdom

Title – Save our Seas

Materials used – Created completely from Fimo Polymer Clay, apart from a thin layer of wire mesh buried inside the bowl to give it more strength.

Dimensions – 9.25 inches diameter x 3 inches deep.

Description: We know pollution’s devastating our seas, our reefs, coral and marine life. But many of us only see this through pictures on glass screens, (TV / Computer) or in glossy magazines. These often-contrived images prepared for our enjoyment are reflected on the inside of this fish bowl. A 2d image, of a reef in a pristine state, a characterisation, finished to a glass smooth surface, just like those screens we see the world through.

But the underside of the bowl depicts a different scene, beneath the waves, and takes us to the reef itself. Textures, 3d fish and coral, and unlike that choreographed 2d image, here some species are missing, others are reduced in numbers, and parts of the coral are bleached and dying. It is for me, a more realistic representation of how we are affecting marine life and our seas.

And while I am aware of the irony of depicting ‘saving our seas’ in Polymer Clay, I consider that not all plastics are in themselves bad, and it is what we do with them, how we dispose of them, that is important. I am hoping this polymer artwork will not be consigned to the depths of our seas.

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