Blackford’s sideshow

Leslie Blackford is breathing a sigh of relief as she finishes her first major batch of orders for galleries. The tagline for her “carnies” series is “Damn everything but the circus.” The theme continues through the sculptures to her imaginative packaging.

Pendant cords travel up through the top of her boxes through a slit that holds each pendant in place. Stacked together they form an impromptu fun house display of her sideshow characters. Her catalog is printed as a circus flier.

Leslie’s companion packaging and promotions amplify the impact of her intensely personal and engaging work, an edgy combination of dark and whimsical.

Leslie’s theme is based on an e. e. cummings quote that may resonate with you on a Monday, “…damn everything that is grim, dull, motionless, unrisking, inward turning, damn everything that won’t get into the circle, that won’t enjoy, that won’t throw its heart into the tension, surprise, fear and delight of the circus, the round world, the full existence.

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  • reply Christine Damm ,

    Great, great quote! I love Leslie’s work and this quote is a keeper!

    • reply Kim Cavender ,

      This is the pure artistic genius of Leslie on full display. She is truly an artist of the soul!

      • reply Cody Goodin ,

        Thank you for sharing Leslie’s work. I agree with Kim C. SHe is an artist of the soul.

        • reply Jeannie ,

          These remind me of (sorta) art assemblages. Fantastic! I like want she based her theme on.
          Two Thumbs way up Leslie.

          • reply Kathy Weaver ,

            Leslie’s work is amazing. The packaging is almost as wonderful as her pieces. She has such a creative mind. Love them, Leslie

            • reply Judy Belcher ,

              What a great start to my morning – LESLIE! Her gallery orders were many – how thrilling that now people from all over will discover the artistry that is Leslie Blackford.

              • reply doreen kassel ,

                Leslie!! I love these guys!!!

                • reply leslie blackford ,

                  OMG! What a wonderful surprise to wake up to on a Monday morning. Thank you guys all so very much for the kind comments!
                  And Thank you Cynthia for sharing my work and ALWAYS being so encouraging and supportive of my work. You are very dear to me. To everyone that took the time to say such nice things, I appreciate it with all my heart. 🙂

                  • reply Ronna ,

                    To know Leslie is to love Leslie.

                    • reply Shane ,

                      These are soooo cool in person! She’s gonna make a mint if she can keep up!

                      • reply LaLa ,

                        I love Leslie’s little carnies and freaks! The packaging and everything is so darned clever! Damn Everything But the Circus! I am sold!

                        • reply Seth Savrick ,

                          Leslie is one of my favorite artist working in Polymer today. This new work is just fantastic. I love circus freaks and Leslie’s take on them is well, breath taking!!! Brava!!!!!!!

                          • reply Sue Sutherland ,

                            Cynthia,you made my morning. Thanks for sharing Leslie’s brilliance with the world. She rocks.
                            Leslie….how will those little Shrek hands fly fast enough to keep up with the demand?!?!? I am so happy for your success. Good things happen to good people! love you big!

                            • reply Marlene Brady ,

                              I love how Leslie tied the quote to her art. The packaging is unbelievable! What a wall hanging these would make! Grab a necklace on your way out the door and hang it up when you get home. Love seeing things through her eyes. -Marlene

                              • reply Francie Owens ,

                                I love everything that Leslie makes and these little guys are wonderful (of course). Leslie, I can’t wait to see you and all of your critters in October at Mammoth Cave.

                                • reply Julie Picarello ,

                                  Amazing art, clever marketing…color me impressed with a slightly green tinge, lol!

                                  When I see Leslie Blackford’s work I’m reminded forceably of Pig-Pen, the Peanuts character who is constantly surrounded by a cloud of dust and debris. No matter what he does, he cannot rid himself of those flying particles. Leslie is surrounded by a cloud as well…but hers is one of vision and creativity rather than dust. And I suspect that just like Pig-Pen, Leslie could not walk out from under that cloud no matter how hard she tried!

                                  • reply Marnie Blum ,

                                    These are wonderful wacky pieces and I LOVE the quote!

                                    • reply Sarah Shriver ,

                                      Leslie and her work are excellent and charming. I’m happy to see her bustin’ out.

                                      • reply Wendy Malinow ,

                                        love the quote….love anything that Leslie does…. she always inspires me to try harder and have more fun, too!
                                        leslie – I need a companion for my skull bunny – do you have any?
                                        really like how you seamlessly integrate your packaging with your art – good luck with your galleries!
                                        Wendy WM

                                        • reply Gera Scott Chandler ,

                                          These are simply wonderful!!!
                                          I think I’d wear them with the box attached- I love that stage effect.
                                          gera

                                          • reply Priscilla Lane ,

                                            Hi, Leslie–With any luck I’ll make it to Mammoth Cave this year. I’ve loved your work since before I met you. congratulations on this new line of characters.

                                            • reply Beverlyjane ,

                                              Amazing art!!! I love it all. You are sooooo very talented.

                                              • reply Sarajane Helm ,

                                                Leslie is one of my favorite polymer clay artists. Her work embodies all that is playful without being syrupy. I adore her carnies!

                                                • reply tejae ,

                                                  I fell in love with Leslie’s characters when she visited us a couple of months ago. The characters are just super creative and playful. She’s pretty amazing too!

                                                  • reply Melanie J Pierce ,

                                                    What Kim and Ronna said!
                                                    Leslie is a true gem! 🙂

                                                    • reply Maureen Thomas ,

                                                      Leslie’s work almost defies description….funny, scary, macabre, cute, strange, creepy, and sweet. It appeals on so many levels. And she’s done a great job packaging these as well. Fabulous!

                                                      • reply Amy Crawley ,

                                                        Congrats Leslie! The new pieces are great and the packaging outstanding. Good luck with your new ventures with the galleries.

                                                        • reply christi friesen ,

                                                          Boy, everything about these are wonderful – I’d say more but all my illustrious colleges have said it so much better. Way to rock, Leslie.

                                                          • reply Susan Tilt ,

                                                            Congratulations, Leslie! You create art like no one else. Well, no one else has Leslie Blackford’s imagination and talent. It is the freshest, most original, truly authentic work that you produce. You are enormously talented and a prolific artist. You are also a love, a wide open love, always sharing your friendship, always generous. I’ve learned from you. Love you.

                                                            • reply susan Tilt ,

                                                              By the way, I want to live in the round world…I’m pretty certain I do.

                                                              • reply sandi ,

                                                                I am interest in buying two of the chubby birds. Please let know if this is possible.
                                                                Kind regards
                                                                Sandi

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                                                                • I'm Cynthia Tinapple, an artist, curator, and leader in the polymer clay community for over 20 years.

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