Benzon branches out

Jana Roberts Benzon branches out in her Nature Walk class on

Why a branch on PCD today? Because it’s polymer and over the past year Jana Roberts Benzon has refined and refined her tools and technique for shaving polymer until it looks spiky. It’s remarkably durable.

Like yesterday’s Julie Picarello and her hardware store appropriations, Jana grabbed tools from a nail tech’s drawer for her new trick.

This is just one of the goodies from Jana’s Nature Walk workshop scheduled for March 17 and 18 in Texas. Taking classes from artists who have already done the laborious research saves you oodles of time and allows you to daydream about how you could integrate their research into your own style.

Festive polymer

Shelley Atwood’s brooch is a festive combination of gold pods, gilded needles, and red leaves. Alien meets suburban Texas but in a good, friendly way.

I hadn’t checked on Shelley’s work lately and it felt like going home for the holidays. Her colors are muted and slightly dark and her shapes change. The clay leads and she follows in a curious, unforced way.

Shelley created a slew of earrings for her gallery’s ArtWalk. Her UK fan, Carrie Harvey pointed out what I’d been missing. Shelley demos on Facebook and shows her work on Flickr.

Polymer transformations

Sona Gregoryan transforms textures on

These new hoop earrings from Sona Grigorian transform into a pendant. She’s not sharing the process yet but this queen of deep, layered textures has a YouTube channel full of her tricks and tutorials.

Sonya is inspired by Gaudi’s organic Spanish architectural forms. She mixes those shapes with memories of her Armenian roots and religious traditions to create her own mysterious and distinctive style.

You can quickly keep up with her evolving aesthetic on Instagram and Facebook.

How has your style evolved and transformed?


Polymer flattery

Claire Wallis rolls polymer into shells

The UK’s Claire Wallis builds a cane pattern, backs it with white and shapes it into an imitation cone shell. A bit of weathering with paint and sand paper completes the effect.

Claire Wallis rolls polymer cane slices into shells

Claire loves to simulate nature. PCD has featured her water cane, her faux agate, her polymer knitting and now shells.

Mother Nature must be flattered with all Claire’s imitations.

Polymer that protects

Marchal's sharks on

It’s summer and you know what that means. Sharks and other sea creatures will be in the news. Like this strange polymer species from Estelle Marchal’s Les Ptitsmobiles.

Estelle moved to Grenoble, France where she’s unpacked and back in the creature business. A scroll through her Facebook collection of stylized octopuses, carnivorous plants, stingrays and other oddities is sure to make you smile. They will soon populate her shop and her Instagram page.

She often turns her creations into mobiles that protect children while they sleep. Estelle is a molecular biologist when she’s not making sharks. The polymer community attracts lots of scientist/artists who enjoy reinterpreting the lifeforms they work with.

Czech tide pools

Phamova's anemones on

Can there be anemones and tide pools near Dana Phamova’s (fruitensse) in Czech Republic? Must be! How else could she reproduce them in glowing translucent polymer colors so well? Her photo of a pile of these beads on Instagram will make you want to dive in.

Dana will teach these twisty beads during Lucy Clay Academy Polymer Week in July. “We will explore transparency and flexibility of polymer clay and I will show you how create Anemone jewelry,” she says. Here she is on Flickr and Facebook.

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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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