Welcoming the familiar

Cynthia Tinapple finds comfort in a bright striped inlaid bowl on PolymerClayDaily.com

I hesitate to feature my own work but when I run out of research time, it’s the best option. Here’s the 11″ diameter bowl I inlaid last week.

I was happy to get back to my easy stripes at the Virginia conference. Rather than fight against doing the “same old, same old” I welcomed the ease of the familiar. And I had Lindly Haunani nearby to give me color guidance.

I laid narrow strips of veneer into a shallow groove in the spalted maple bowl turned by my husband, Blair Davis. There’s something comforting in knowing that the bowl is made from the tree across the street. “Spalted” is a fancy word for rotted and the tree had to go. You can see a few in-process shots on my Instagram.

Now I can get to composing this week’s Saturday newsletter and gathering up the last tidbits that surfaced at the end of Shrine Mont. Just as we were packing up, people were sharing their “one-last-thing.” And there was a sudden spring crop of tutorials online this week. Join us over at StudioMojo for the scoop. 

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  • reply Randee M Ketzel ,

    You finished it!! Turned out lovely.

    • reply Leah Spalding ,

      It’s so lovely! I really like the colors and I love that you have a history with the tree.

      May I ask what was the Virginia conference? Was it for a guild?

      • reply Chifonie ,

        The composition and mix of material is joyful and warm, and we feel privileged to learn about the “roots” of both polymer and wood parts !

        • reply yvonne faus ,

          this is spectacular!

          • reply Jackie ,

            Gorgeous!!!

            • reply Kim Korringa ,

              Such a beautiful collaboration! You SHOULD feature your work more often!

              • reply Laurie Mika ,

                Glad you featured your own work, it is so distinctive and finely crafted…..I just love this piece for so many reasons…..one is that it reminds me of Guatemalan fabric woven into the wood….it is a once both ethnic and contemporary…..thanks for sharing your unique vision with polymer…..

                • reply Luann Udell ,

                  In this world of even-more-speedy “what’s new” and “what’s different”, there is the just-as-powerful concept of the story. Years ago, another artist criticized my work as “the same old tired work”, and asked if I were being “honest with myself” by sticking with the “same old tired aesthetic.”
                  The gift here was I discovered I simply wasn’t done telling that story.
                  Over the years, the story has evolved and grown even bigger, as has my work.
                  And here you are today, with a beautiful bowl you’ve “made before”. But it’s different, isn’t it? Lindly showed you how to expand your use of color with a familiar form, which delights us anew with the combination.
                  And now you, too, have a beautiful story.
                  That old, rotted wood, recycled from your neighborhood, turned into a graceful bowl by your partner, and now a source of experimentation, has its own story, too.
                  Wood, like people, reflect the hard times, the injuries (physical and spiritual), the decay and the loss. Those same “flaws” are also made beautiful through the hands of the maker, and serve a new purpose, filled with love, awe, and respect.
                  You did good.

                  • reply Cynthia Tinapple ,

                    Nicely put, Luann. Thank you.

                  • reply Sultana ,

                    Absolutely beautiful! How did the clay attach to the bowl?

                    • reply Barbara ,

                      Lovely work, Cynthia!

                      • reply Barbara Briggs ,

                        I’ve always loved your inlay on the bowls your husband makes, Cynthia!

                        • reply Shuli ,

                          WOW! This is spectacular! I love the colorfulnes

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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.

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