Polymer rocks!

The response to our polymer clay and wood works at the local artfair (a few more pix here) was rewarding beyond our expectations. An article in the local news prompted old friends and neighbors to come see what we were up to.

The debut of my polymer clay rock line (called the Wilma Flintstone collection by my husband) was so enthusiastic that even the little rock cairns I created to enhance the displays ended up being hot items.

They’re not just my rocks, of course. I blame Kim Cavender for first showing me some rock tricks, and Tracy Holmes for her west coast versions. Betsy Baker makes great pebble earrings and Tory Hughes is widely recognized as the creator of the finest faux. Thanks to all of them and many others for their inspiration.

Buhrman’s polymer mandalas

Texas’ Susan Buhrman (Three Eye Studio) designs dimensional polymer clay mandalas on 7″ squares. She explains that her work, “…reflects the soul’s yearning for balance and symmetry.”

I’m particularly frazzled today as I prepare for a weekend art show. Susan’s mandala pictured here, Just Before Dawn, caught my eye and calmed me down.

Take a look these unusual polymer constructions on her Flickr and Etsy sites. Her dream is to complete an installation of hundreds of mandalas for public view.

Celebrating polymer 1000 times

The Venice Biennale is the world’s oldest and most pretigious international forum for contemporary visual art. This year the polymer and mixed media work of New Zealand-born Francis Uprichard will be exhibited there.

Her polymer sculptures in the installation Save Yourself include searchers, dreamers, dancers; consumed by their acts of meditation or lost in reverie. One reviewer calls her a doctor of contemporary voodoo and says that,”…the mix-up of history, mischief and meaning is a potent mixture.”

The polymer community is a potent mixture too – jewelers and miniaturists, illustrators, dollmakers, celebrities, sculptors, fine artists and hobbyists around the globe. Today PCD marks 1000 posts that have covered it all – from dining room tables to the Venice Biennale. Thanks for following along!

The icing on today’s cake is the fine polymer work of Oregon artist Dede Leupold which made its online debut in her budding site and Etsy gallery. Have a sweet weekend.


Yesterday’s artist, Mary Tempesta, writes that she is from L’Aquila, Italy, the site of that monstrous earthquake in April. Mary and her family have to rebuild their home and she says, “My work with polymer has been great therapy and has given me a push to start over anew.”

Mora’s polymer birds & Bead Dreams winners

Elsa Mora is a Cuban born California artist most recently known for her intricate evocative papercuts. Lucky for us, she’s picked up polymer clay again, sculpting and carving it and mixing it with recycled findings. Her bird brooches look very old…and completely new.

She explains that, “There is something about pins that make me really happy. They are like a little miracles. I often plan my outfits around them. In my collection the most important themes are flowers, birds, bugs, cameos, fruits but I also have elephants, cats, dogs, snakes.” She promises to share pictures of her pin collection soon.

Elsa’s clean quiet website is not only a treasure trove of resources, it’s an oasis of calm. Once you read her story, you begin to understand the calm and the intensity that radiates through all that Elsa does.

Bead Dreams Winners

And speaking of treasure, Bead and Button attendee Libby Mills has posted snapshots of the 2009 Bead Dreams polymer clay winners on her website. First place winner is this “Chinese Cinnabar Big Bead” from Diane Villano.

Official photos will soon be posted but in the meanwhile enjoy the scoop and pictures from Libby.

Friesen, Alibert, Belchi – old is new

I’m not sure that I could successfully integrate the bits and bobs from the corners of my junk drawer into polymer clay jewelry but that’s what Christi Friesen aims to do with her new “foundpunk” line of brooches. Her impulse for reusing and recycling may be just right for our times.

France’s Christine Alibert (Xtine) combines fun fibers with her polymer brooches.

If, like me, you’ve admired these yarns but couldn’t envision a use, Christine’s work may have you heading to your fiber stash.

Combed polymer clay beads like Christine’s and this second one by Spain’s Ana Belchi have grown in popularity recently. I created combed polymer faux tiles for my stairway years ago and am happy to be back in fashion.

Banyas’ mermaid

Debra Banyas‘ fabric and polymer clay mermaid looks just like me! I’m home from the beach with my fish and shells and renewed self.

If you’re in need of a vacation, Debra’s happy flying creatures may help. Just looking at the accommodations Debra and her husband are building on their Riverdog property relaxes me.

Laundry’s started and the desktop computer is fired up. The best thing is that I have the weekend to play in the studio, catch up on email and troll the web. Have a grand weekend.

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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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