Macro and micro mosaics weekend

The student work from Cynthia Toops’ polymer micromosaic class is a testament to both her teaching and the expertise of the Philadelphia guild. Here’s a small sampling of student work at the end of the weekend class (hastily assembled in my hotel room). Each student quickly reinterpreted Toops’ techniques into her own style.

It was an added bonus that we stumbled on Isaiah Zagar’s Magic Gardens in South Philly on Saturday evening. Zagar’s mosaic covered storefronts, alleyways, gardens and galleries provided a perfect counterpoint to Toops’ tiny formats. The micro and macro of mosaics! Meeting Zagar working in his studio was an unexpected treat.

My clumsy and colorful class bead shown here takes after the Zagar style. Thanks to our hosts, Martha Aleo and Ken Baskin, and to the great guild bunch. I’m on the way home after an invigorating weekend.

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  • reply Martha Aleo ,

    • reply Sherry Bailey ,

      Jealous!! Toops is my all-time favorite, I’d love to take another workshop with her!

      • reply Ann ,

        I think your bead is fantastic!!! very 50’s!!!

        • reply Cindy Silas ,

          Cynthia–love the pic of your adorable bead and choice of colors! Cynthia Toop’s workshop was off the charts fabulous, coupled with the Philly guild’s hospitality and togetherness made this workshop one of the best ever.

          Off to finish my running bunny micro-mosaic,
          :))
          aka Cynthia #3

          • reply averilpam ,

            I love your quirky colourful bead! The workshop sounds amazing – I must try out the micro mosaic sometime. It’s on my growing list of techniques to try! PCD is so inspirational 🙂

            • reply Lindly Haunani ,

              I have always enjoyed visiting the “Magic Gardens” – did you see the wall that has the message- “Art is the center of the Universe”?

              • reply Jackie ,

                An unusual and interesting bead Cynthia. I love mosaics, what a wonderful garden that must be, we also have a lot of mosaics on walls in our town many done by school children and they are beautiful.

                • reply Cynthia Toops Came to Philadelphia « Ornamento ,

                  […] Area Guild’s blog.  Cynthia Tinapple took the class too,  and put up some images on Polymer Clay Daily.  To see a video with Cynthia Toops explaining her work, press […]

                  • reply pauli cymet ,

                    Have to comment-some of the artists are really sensational, & would be artists in whatever medium they would choose. Light years ahead of me, sorry to say. However, I am SO SICK of seeing those cutesy weird polymer creations-like cupcakes, food in general, weird creatures. Tell me, do you EVER ever see anyone wear that stuff? I have lived in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Palm Springs, Mexico City & have traveled extensively and have never in my life seen anyone wearing anything like those except a child. Maybe a l2 year old. Most women I know wouldn’t be caught wearing anything that tacky. Encourage instead these wonderful artists who show true artistry in design, so we can all learn from their incredible techniques.. Other pet peeve is people displaying their polymer with lumps & bumps & nicks & stuff. No one has to be perfect, it is handcrafted, but UNFINISHED & displayed with no concern for professional finish, just galls me, as it takes away from the great polymer artists. To those great artists I see on Cynthia’s pages, thank you for inspiring me. And for those of you who make the ones I can’t stand, the cutesy pootsy trinkets-sell them with Girl Scout cookies, that’s where they belong…NOT on grown women. We are goddesses who deserve to wear works of art, not JUNK that any l0 year old could create…c’mon, let’s take this to a higher level. Polymer is a fabulous medium-take it to the moon & stars not to childhood recreations that show only copycat talent & no real originality in creation. I only hope someday that my own skills in polymer warrant being featured on this site…still working on it, but new to this medium. Deceptively simple, until you see the great polymer artists-and then you say to yourself…a long way to go to get that effect…wow, how did they? Thank you Cynthia for this wonderful site..I love reading it….pauli

                    • reply Barbara ,

                      All artists walk a path. And are at different points along that path. As adults, we must give ourselves permission to play as a child again – that is the way that we find new ways and new combinations for expressing our creativity. So if cupcakes are the way a person chooses to express, then cupcakes it is. If complicated mosaics are another person’s way, then that is valid too. Mostly, people have to learn about their medium, its limits and its possibilities. And as we do, we learn also about ourselves as artists. Picasso said it took him all his life to learn again how to create as he did when he was a child. That says it all. Let the market say what it will. I am not a critic of people’s abilities. I am however, very happy that they are involved in creating and not into tearing each other’s creations down. Being overly critical of someone else’s work is the surest way to stifle the creative instinct in the bud. Encourage each other to blossom and be glad that there are so many kinds of flowers in this world. There is room for all.

                      • reply I Am One Classy Dame. | More Mojo, Less Hobo ,

                        • reply Sandra ,

                          macro and macro mosaics work is nice and a lot of time making the tiles.

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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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