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Friday, January 25, 2008

Deluxe polymer clay jewelry at Stonehouse Studio

Betsy Baker surprised me! I was perusing my favorite handmade goods site, Etsy (which, if you haven't yet, you should visit and buy from) one day, and came upon these fantastic pieces of art in her shop, Stonehouse Studio. Thinking they were glass or perhaps ceramic, I noted their uniqueness, then realized I was looking at jewelry made from polymer clay.

You may not be familiar with polymer clay - it's made with a base of PVC (you know, what today's plumbing is made from - polyvinyl chloride) and is pliable as clay. Some popular brands available in your local crafts store are Sculpey and Fimo. When it's baked at a low temperature (I've used a toaster oven) it cures and hardens and lasts a very, very long time. My husband, who is a sculptor, used to use it for making maquettes and prototypical components. I've bought it for children in my life, who love its permanence over the nature of such ephemeral substances as Play-Doh.

So, I admit, it never really occurred to me that it could be formed into fine jewelry the likes of which Ms. Baker creates. To wit, her Bold Contemporary Ring ($50 on Etsy) pictured above and here. In colors of leopard skin, she has created an abstract burnished stone set in this beautiful brushed sterling bezel with an adjustable band to fit any size finger.Then there are her fabulous pendants! The colors and patterns are from the mind of someone who thinks hard about these things, and the architectural forms she gives the whole pieces are reminiscent of Eames-era furniture and lamps - that organic, a-straight-line-is-never-really-straight style, as in her Little Sunflower Neckwire ($75 on Etsy):And Blossoms on Blue Pendant on Chain ($40 on Etsy):There is a decidedly impressionistic flavor to the images she transfers to the clay stones, and easily my favorites are the Jupiter's Moons Pendant ($85 on Etsy):And the Sunset Trees Neckwire ($105 on Etsy):
I could go on and on about her beautiful work, but I urge you browse and buy it at her Etsy shop yourself (you can also see other designs on her web site, Stonehouse Studio). While you're at it, peruse her Trunkt portfolio. Trunkt.org is an online curated showcase for artists. Ms. Baker describes it in her blog thus:
Trunkt.org is a very selective site and the jury parameters are strict. Even after being accepted, each and every photo uploaded has to be approved before it's published. Since it is not an e-commerce site, design and artistic merit are what counts.
Read her fascinating blog here, where she explains some of her techniques and muses about her art, and where you will also find her very interesting and informative artist's statement.

All photos belong to the artist and are published here with her kind permission.

1 comment:

lwholl said...

Viva la Badass!