Saturday, July 20, 2013

Joyce Fritz Polymer Pins Featured at Smith Galleries

Sea Turtle Pin by Joyce Fritz
Smith Galleries on Hilton Head Island, SC, features the polymer jewelry of Joyce Fritz.
Color and patterns are key to Joyce's process. She uses the technique of  millefiori, an Italian word meaning "one thousand flowers".  This ancient method originally used in glass designs has been adapted by Joyce to create the intricacy and delicacy of a dragonfly's wings.

The clay is prepared and conditioned, using a food processor to mix colors, then kneading every batch by hand. Sheets of clay are rolled out, using a pasta machine to achieve varying thicknesses. Sheets and coils of colored clay are assembled into a cane or loaf, where the design can be seen in cross section. The loaf is made larger than it needs to be, then carefully squeezed and stretched out to its final size, while maintaining the consistency and proportion of the pattern throughout the length of the loaf. As the cane is reduced in size, the color relationships change and patterns become smaller and more intricate.  Thin slices of these canes then become the wings of the insects and the colored bodies of other creatures. Metallic leaf, metallic powders, and glitter are also used to embellish the surfaces of the work.

The creation process
Joyce Fritz working in her studio.
Other parts of the insects are created and stored until needed.  Joyce plies several strands of recycled telephone wire together to make long lengths of leg material.  She made her own machine to do this, using an old sewing machine motor and foot pedal control.  Antennae , made of wire and beads, are also made in batches.  When all of the elements of a particular insect are made, they are assembled in the studio  in small batches (or hatches!)

Smith Galleries is located in the award winning Village at Wexford at 1000 William Hilton Parkway on Hilton Head Island, SC. The gallery features the work of approximately 300 American artists. Gallery hours are 10-6 Monday through Saturday year round. 843.842.2280