Early polymer pioneers, Michael and Ruth Anne Grove, left the business several years ago and are selling the last of their work this July 3 in California.
Michael explains that, “Ruth Anne and I are finally dealing with all of our past canes – thousands of them – and some of our old work. We are planning a sale at our home in 2510 Russell Street, Berkeley, CA on Saturday July 3. The canes for sale include faces, variegated, colorful patterns and black and white. These are canes which were the collage elements from which we made the majority of our work.”
The couple perfected the pre-Skinnner “step blend” and created magnificent complex canes and jewelry. Not familiar with the works of these polymer pioneers? You can read up here and here and find them in many books.
He says of those early days, “Since there were so few people working in the medium, it was wide open for play. I think that play is what still draws people to it. The techniques have been developed and refined and a new palette of them added since we played with it. But playing is what brings people into polymer and the pleasure and surprise of what they create keeps them there. Ruth Anne and I enjoyed the ride of being working artists in that medium. And we are delighted that it has continued to grow!”
Iris Mishly ,
This amazing cane-work reminds me why i love millefiori so much 🙂 wish i lived closer and not 16 hours flight from their home…
Thank you Cynthia!
Emily Miller ,
Thank you for sharing. Their work is beautiful, makes
me want to see more.
Hi Cynthia –
Thanks for the update on the Groves. They might like to know that people still come into my booth at shows wearing their earrings and ask me if I know their work, where they are, what they’re doing. One of the benchmarks of art is how it touches people’s lives and the emotional content that attaches us to it. The vibrant, magical, fanciful work of Michael and Ruth Anne certainly achieved all of that.
Thank you both…from those who came after.
The very first pair of Polymer clay earrings I ever purchased were made by Grove and Grove. I still have them. I remember seeing their jewelry pieces in a Museum Store, and wondering with amazement how did they keep those lines so crisp, and how did they cut the pieces so thin and even. Later I was able to talk with Michael at a show, where I purchased the earrings, and he said he had a special tool to cut the canes (I think he said like a guillotine). They inspired me to as Michael says “PLAY” with clay. I’d love to go to San Francisco for their sale…what an amazing opportunity. I don’t know if I can schedule it.
Oh, NOT FAIR to those of us far far away! I’m gonna pout for days over this!
Elsie Smith ,
Stunning and beautiful work!!
I’m not sure how anyone could “leave behind” working with polymer clay — it’s such an addicting, amazing medium.
Jeannie Havel ,
Always great to see these pioneers and their fabulous cane work. Thanks for featuring them.
Can someone ask them if they would take a mail order? Do you know how to contact them? Thanks
You must have some seriously great glasses to do such detailed work? WOW! I can’t imagaine how long that must have taken?
Kim Korringa ,
I can’t wait!! Berkeley is right up the road from me, and my birthday is that weekend. I have been hearing rumors of this for awhile.
Marty Woosley ,
Oh, I so wish I was closer to them. Texas is a bit of a journey but I am sure it is worth it. They are the first artists that really inspired me to do the clay and I have been looking for them for years. I love their art. I wish I could go with all of you who can go and buy their canes. What an honor to own some of their work. Enjoy the ride as they have over all these years. Wish I had a ticket to go. You guys in CA have a great time and buy, buy, buy. My best wishes to Michael and Ruth Anne what ever they plan for their future!
Is there anyway to get some contact info on Michael & Ruth?? It would help to know the hours of the sale…I guess if I drove from San Diego to Baltimore for Synergy…Berkeley’s a breeze…I’ve always wanted some of their work…everytime they were in SD at a show I either missed them or didn’t have the funds…again any contact info would help..to find out more info regarding the sale…Thanks in advance…
I hope they are teaching and have not given up PC altogether.
I, too, wish I could be there. I would so love a bundle of their canes. I saw their work in Santa Monica when I was just starting out with polymer clay. I fell in love with the necklace of ladies faces, turbans, and flowers (I’m 75 next month-so hope I’m remembering it right!). If they will sell anything thru mail, phone, or on line I’m up for it…or if someone going would purchase for me?
I had the great good fortune to take advantage of this sale! I almost didn’t go because the traffic down I-80 is usually awful and I couldn’t go in the morning. But made it down with no problem in the early afternoon and they weren’t cleaned out! Picked up some of the loveliest canes and got to meet Michael and some of his friends — some very nice folks! I’m so inspired and really looking forward to playing with the canes — after I finish my crochet project that is currently cluttering up my clay table — LOL!
Wow, that would have been wonderful to visit and buy those gorgeous canes. Lucky ladies who were able to attend.
Muronaka explains the polymer snowball ,
[…] Muronaka’s post about her treasures from the recent Grove and Grove sale grabbed me in the first sentence, “Polymer clay was a snowball that really began rolling down […]
Can only dream about it here in Australia. What an amazing experience that would have been!!!