Along with the photo of her spectacular Tide Pool Bowl, Carol Simmons offers the details of its construction on her blog.

You can see the components she amassed and follow along as she slices them to precise and consistent thickness. She assembled the patterns into a pleasing collage, pushed the edges together and flattened the whole sheet.

It’s nerve wracking to hear how she lifted the delicate thin sheet and placed it into a thrift-store bowl that served as a form.

Carol’s years as a biologist/ecologist certainly contribute to her ability to replicate botanical colors and diversity. In her career she spent months mapping vegetation in California, the Rocky Mountains and the Artic.

Zoom in and you’ll feel lost in a tide pool. What a masterpiece of color and form! See more samples of her work on Flickr and stay in touch on Facebook. Carol has collected quite a treasure trove of colors and designs on Pinterest as well.

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  • reply Mary Anne Loveless ,

    SO BEAUTIFUL! Your eye wants to follow all these patterns. So many interesting paths to take.

    • reply Carol Simmons ,

      Thank you Mary Anne. Your work is one of my inspirations!

    • reply JJJohn Frame ,

      Fabulous, Carol! Art can be very personal, of course, and for me, “Tide Pool Bowl” is so evocative of Ken Kesey’s (“One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest,” “Sometimes A Great Notion”) phantasmagorically painted bus “Further.” Wonderful!

      • reply Carol Simmons ,

        Thank you John. You have watched my work evolve. Thank you for commenting on this piece.

        • reply Carol Simmons ,

          You know I saw that bus. It parked on my street in California for a couple of days when I was a child. Maybe it imprinted on me!

        • reply Rebecca Watkins ,

          I recommend following carol on Pinterest … she finds a lot of interesting things!

          • reply Carol Simmons ,

            I have to admit I’m hooked on Pinterest. It has introduced to many new forms of artistic expression and allowed me to build a rich stockpile of imagery that I draw on subconsciously in my work.

          • reply Randee M Ketzel ,

            I agree with Becca wholeheartedly–Carol’s boards on Pinterest are some of the most consistently interesting–like the woman herself and her work; she draws inspiration from so many diverse sources, and has the kind of insatiable curiosity that is a delight to tag along with. If your guild hasn’t yet asked her to do a workshop, you are seriously missing out on one of the best teachers on the circuit.

            • reply Carol Simmons ,

              Thank you Randee for the wonderful recommendation. Your curiosity and appreciation of diverse sources of inspiration certainly match mine and have enriched many a conversation.

            • reply Andrea Victoria Paradiso ,

              Carol, I see you are my kinda gal! Whowee! What beautiful colors, inspiration greeted me here this morning…just when i need it for the project I am working on. Reading your blog about the process is like watching Indiana Jones! I love it and am certainly going to make it a point to follow YOU!

              • reply Carol Simmons ,

                Thank you Andrea. I always wonder how many people really want to know all that information about the process I put out there, especially my thought process. I appreciate the compliment.

              • reply Lorrene ,

                Cynthia!
                OMG. Her work never ceases to amaze me. I KNOW how to make kaleidoscopes… yet I’d love to take an extended workshop from her.

                I am coming to the IPCA retreat in August…. I hope she is there. I will write Debbie and Barbara to see.

                Thank you for this post…. awesome!!

                • reply Carol Simmons ,

                  Thank you for the compliments Lorrene. I won’t be at the retreat because I have a long-standing previous commitment. I hope to be able to attend the next one.

                • reply Carol Simmons ,

                  Thank you for your enthusiasm about my work Cynthia Tinapple, and for sharing it on your site!

                  • reply Dede Leupold ,

                    Carol’s bowl is a masterpiece, beautiful in every way! It should be in a museum!

                  • reply Candice Bishop ,

                    Wow. Words fail me right now. What an amazing piece!

                  Leave a comment



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

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