Mokume gane escape

Mesmerizing pinks and very 2019 colors (with the sound of cheering college football crowds in my background) make me daydream about Australian classes.

If you need to escape sports games I recommend spending some time on Dani Rapinett’s The Whimsical Bead’ site. The site flows seamlessly among various media. They offer an array of workshops and it’s fun to wander around. Try Instagram if you want a quick overview.

Is this an updated variation on my Leslie Blackford’s Garlic Gane video? No matter, it’s soothing and just what I need.

Forced blooms

Odile Marchais and Nikolina Otrzan team up for early spring flowers on PolymerClayDaily.com

France’s Odile Marchais uses techniques she learned from Croatia’s Nikolina Otrzan to make these stylized springy brooches. Nik teaches a surprisingly simple way to fill unusual shapes with air, keeping them light yet strong.

The childlike design of spring Odile’s flowers reminds us of the spring flowers we’re forcing to bloom at this time of year.

Nikolina Otrzan gathers her inchies into a brooch on PolymerClayDaily.com

In Nikolina’s most recent post, she shows how to make use of those “inchies” that lots of us have collected from various classes and events. She picks out a few favorites and gathers them into a great looking pin.

Wearable chips of polymer

Fiona Herbst's wafer-thin cane slices make a necklace of chips on PolymerClayDaily.com

The wonky, potato chip curls of wafer-thin beads make your eyes ricochet around these necklaces from Ireland’s Fiona Herbst. Flat white spacer beads keep the chips from stacking too closely.

Would you guess that she cut slices of one big wrapped cane that was rolled so that its size tapered on either end?

Wait, that’s a lot of chips, isn’t it? Maybe I’ll just admire Fiona’s or wait for them to come up in her Etsy store.

At the first of the year when we’re trying to stay focused It’s hard not to get thrown off-track by some fabulous looking piece. See how we deal with diversions over at StudioMojo this weekend. We found a bunch of treats as we cleaned up after the holidays.

Iconic polymer

Nine of Elise Winters' 64" wrapping rope necklaces from 2004 on PolymerClayDaily.com

DEATH OF AN ICON

by Fran Abrams

An icon in my artistic medium
died today
Cancer, the notice said

I was introduced to her at a conference
Heard her speak at a seminar
Ate dinner at the same table at another event
I never knew her personally
Didn’t know she was ill

Yet I feel personally bereft
Feel as if the saying
She will be missed
is much too casual
for her contributions to the field

Without her crusade to bring attention to polymer clay
Without her donation of her own collection to several museums
Without her own exquisite designs
Would the recognition be so great?
Would my own work be in a museum today?
I think not

I grieve because I can see clearly
the steps of her life leading
to a moment in my life
How her life
changed the story of mine

Photo, Elise Winters necklaces, Nine Sautoir, 200464-inch wrapping rope necklaces with gold, vermeil, sterling silver and mica

Elise Winters’ legacy

Elise Winters, 1947-2019, portrait by Barbara Bordnick

Polymer’s finest champion, Elise Winters died on New Years Day after a long struggle with cancer.

While we absorb the sadness of her passing, it may be comforting to read How Polymer Hit the Big Time, the story written by Monica Moses about Elise in American Craft Magazine’s October/November 2011 issue.

It begins, “In the 1990s, Elise Winters became convinced polymer artists weren’t getting the money or respect they deserved. “The whole field needed to be elevated,” she says. A natural strategist and organizer, Winters set out to make that happen.”

And she did make that happen.

The Racine Art Museum (RAM) was the first to put together a permanent collection of polymer art. Then RAM director Bruce Pepich helped pave the way for smaller chunks of Winters’ collection to go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Newark Museum; the Mingei International Museum in San Diego, and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.

Elise elevated our craft and artists around the world mourn her loss. Our community will forever be in her debt.

Share your favorites with PCD

Small landscapes from Siberia's Yuliya Zharova on PolymerClayDaily.com

The simple and striking pendants by Siberia’s Yuliya Zharova (WildOnionArt) show knowledge of stark winter and spring scenes. It’s challenging to effectively show so much with a limited palette and in the small spaces that pendants and earrings allow.

Yuliya was brought to your attention by Missouri’s Heidi McCullough who creates simple wildlife ornaments of her own. When an artist strikes a chord with you, it’s great to share them with PCD. Thanks, Heidi.

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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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