Buddha cane by Jon Anderson


Jon Anderson lives and works in Bali and is one of the most prolific and accomplished artists in polymer. Years of pinching and pounding clay have taken their toll on Jon’s thumb. He’s scheduled for thumb repairs and in the meanwhile his longtime assistant demoed Jon’s process, assembling and reducing the cane according to his instructions.

Jon pays strict attention to the angle of light in his intricately caned sculptures and is always aware of how he leads the viewer’s eye through each piece. This Buddha cane illustrates how John builds large canes and plays with light to enhance the 3D effect. Slices of the reduced cane are integrated in with Jon’s distinctive repeated designs to make sculpture or jewelry.


For more photos, interviews and recordings of this delightfully eccentric and very successful artist, sign up for the Saturday StudioMojo where we’ll take a more in-depth look at what I learned on the Bali-Fiber Tour that I’m currently on. See Jon’s latest work on his Facebook page.

Comfort zones, time zones

Germany’s Bettina Welker made these earrings in a Czech Republic class taught by Eva Haskova. You can see hints of each artist in these classroom experiments. Bettina says she moved out of her comfort zone as she tried Eva’s methods.

I’m moving out of my comfort zone and my time zone this weekend, traveling to Bali to take a class and meet up with polymer artists and learn some new ways of working. PCD will shift into sporadic travelogue mode for the next couple of weeks.

Kicking off a yearlong celebration of FIMO’s 50th year, manufacturer Staedtler unveiled the FIMO 50 World Project, a globe-shaped sculpture to be covered with polymer tiles as it moves from place to place, generating enthusiasm for clay and revenue for several philanthropic projects. Details and instructions are being written up and everyone will be invited to participate. Stay tuned for the project’s site where you’ll find complete information.

One more thing…Iris Mishly has devised one more way to push you out of your comfort zone with her newest series of classes that mix macrame and polymer. Take a look at INKredible Macrame.

Set in stone

If autumn has you itching to get back to nature, revisit the woodsy section on Kathleen Dustin’s site. Her polymer rocks snuggle comfortably against the Mountain Laurel wood focal. The group is suspended on a 19″ steel cable to form her Architectural Neckpiece. She integrates polymer gracefully with natural forms in her woods and beach series.

Here’s a free 3-minute tutorial on wishing stones to inspire you to try your hand at rocks. The video is short and reminds me of how much fun it is to make realistic rocks using translucent polymer colored with distress powders (or spices).

Kathleen is preparing for the Craft2Wear trunk show at the Smithsonian in October and the American Craft Exposition in Chicago. Catch up with her and see some of her newest works on Facebook.

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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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