Stealing the moon with polymer

Barabaccio on PCDaily

Think you’ve exhausted ideas for extruding? Take a look at how Virginia illustrator Joseph Barabaccia turns spaghetti-sized strands of polymer into portraits and scenes like this Raven Steals the Moon.

You can zoom in for a closer look at his tightly packed drawings on his Saatchi Art pages and follow him on Twitter and Behance.

The raven piece was Joseph’s entry into the 2016 Niche Awards where he joins Wiwat Kamolpornwijit, Doreen Gay Kassel and Christi Friesen as a finalist in the polymer category. Emily Squires Levine is a finalist in the basket category.

Start your week with unusual and intense award-winning works.




Appreciating Life in polymer

OWR on PCDaily

Stephanie, one of the students in the Ohio Reformatory for Women polymer class created this lovely frame for the exhibit, Reflections from a Gated Community: Art from Ohio Inmates that opens at our local (High Road Gallery) gallery this Sunday. Reception from 2-4.

The black 10″ square wood frames were made by my husband and the inmates could decorate them with polymer however they wished. Because we can’t take glass into the prison, the mirror was added last. This frame is called Appreciating Life.

Seeing Stephanie’s children’s names and birthdays carved in the background bricks brought tears to my eyes as I typed the artwork’s label which reads, “The gifts of life, the beauty of nature and these three precious people make me who I am and remind me of what I have.”

The inmates have no internet available for tutorials, Pinterest and PCDaily.They have no tissue blades, nothing sharp, no fancy tools. They rely on books, occasional classes and their own creativity. Still their art is raw, powerful and full of conceptual content and personal meaning. In each class, I teach them techniques and they teach me about art and life.

Shout out to Lindly

I wondered why Lindly Haunani was sending PCD so many good links this month. Turns out she’s been convalescing and spending more time than usual online. She’s on the mend after quite a long siege but I know she’d like to hear from you all. Lindly will recognize that Stephanie’s been studying her color book! Appreciating Life, indeed.

Bright spots of polymer

Cepelikova on PCDaily

You’ve probably figured out that sometimes I choose pieces to feature just because they’ll make a bright spot on the PCD site design. And some shapes are fun to cut out in Photoshop. I indulge myself.

Pavla Cepelikova’s organic brooch struck all the right notes and doesn’t it look pretty here? I have no idea how she’s making those patterned swirls. She adds sparkly bits in the crevices.

The brooch is part of her Ammonite series and she tells all in a tutorial on Etsy. You may remember that she offered her version of polymer batik a couple of years ago. Pavla shares lots of examples on Flickr and Pinterest.


Speaking of indulging yourself, there are a raft of conferences coming up early next year. Need a treat to put on your gift list? The New Jersey Clayathon has a very attractive price tag especially if you register within the next two weeks.



Mondrian polymer

Loew on PCDaily

It was a rainy day and Baltimore’s Linda Loew had some time on her hands so she created this simple square bowl. Its mid-century, Mondrian vibes might make you believe it’s a 50’s ashtray but stubbing out your cig on polymer wouldn’t be smart.

The playful slump of the shape, the minimalist use of color, and the gilt edge combine for an artful, amusing, MadMen effect. Would you guess that the grid lines are transferred on? That’s my theory.

Linda prefers to fly under the online radar. You’ll have to befriend her on Facebook. The previous times that PCD has snagged her at conferences are here and here.

One-of-a-kind polymer


Sophie Arzalier (Cristalline) starts her holiday decorating with polymer that hints of enamels. The poinsettia petals and backgrounds are made with subtle blends that make them glow.

Sophie takes advantage of one sure-fire palette and combines the components in ways that make them each one-of-a-kind.

She shares her methods on her blog, on Facebook, and in her Etsy shop.

Home run

I’m hugging my computer and blessing my studio now that we’re home after too long on the road (extra time for ice). Now to sort the mail, take care of the dangling loose ends and retrieve the balls I dropped. Thank you for hanging in there with me.

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

    On this blog I showcase the best polymer clay art online to inspire and encourage you. I also send out weekend extras in the premium newsletter, StudioMojo.

    You can find my book, Polymer Clay Global Perspectives, on Amazon.

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