Inspired by Grandma

Laura Peery's porcelain/polymer artworks were inspired by her grandmother's dress shop. (Yesterday's post got me thinking about grandmothers.) You'll find patterns and fabrics and sewing paraphernalia embellishing her teapots and sculptures.

Peery is from Chevy Chase, Maryland and shows in galleries in that area as well as in the catalog. She's in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian.

Thanks to Maggie Maggio for the link. Have a fabulous weekend.


Annie Wahl may be the creator of yesterday's "snow baby" according to a tip from fellow Minnesotan Maureen Carlson. I couldn't stop chuckling as I cruised through Annie's site.

Annie says of her work, "Even when I have a specific plan in my mind, someone else inevitably shows up. I just welcome them in and in truth, these characters are most often the best company."

"I sculpt dolls for the pure joy of creating and having fun. In return they have taken me on this blissful journey meeting other doll artists, organizations, events and people whom I would not have had the opportunity to meet."

If you want to see Annie's step-by-step process, download this .pdf file, a reprint of a 4-page article in the National Institute of American Doll Artists magazine. What a treasure trove I've stumbled into. Thanks Maureen.

This just in from Babs Young in Michigan. She thinks my original baby may have been from Indiana's Kathryn Walmsley. Hey, take a look at her crayon sculptures! The mystery and the great links continue.


I wish I knew who I bought this little angel ornament from at Winterfair a few years back. It's delightful and my attempts to replicate it were laughable. There's a tutorial on Robin LeDuc's site that makes the process look deceptively easy. Trust me, it's not but I am tempted to try again.

Our young neighbors just brought their brand new baby over. Talk about artistry and little angels!

If you're a baby lover, Robin's got some very nice work on her New Hampshire site as does Utah's Lorie Follett (thanks to Carol Simmons for the link). Of course there's Camille Allen, the mother of all polymer clay babies.

On a more adult note, Kim Cavender just sent in a link to Joanna Howdydoo's sculptures which are immensely entertaining.

Models for Peace

My holiday wish is that tanks could be transformed into voting booths as this young polymer clay artist envisions it here.

George Estreich's creations have been featured in major art exhibits, television ad campaigns, textbooks and adopted by New York City public schools. George is currently pursuing a masters degree in industrial design at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.

A postscript from Ronna Weltman gives people a way to get care packages to soldiers, even if they don't know any. You can also give a tax-deductible donation and they'll take care of buying stuff.

While looking over the site, I ran across these polymer goodies crafted by CJ Rice, a military wife. J&C Manufacturers features handmade gifts and collectibles crafted by Active Duty United States Military members, disabled American veterans and their spouses. CJ Rice is a military wife who makes pins out of polymer.

I was really touched because the first thing I clicked on was a little polymer cake. Although it was a humble creation, it had "#1 Dad" on it, and that got me choked up, thinking a child whose father is serving overseas might buy that to send to daddy. Of course, that gave me a pang in the heart, and isn't that art pure and simple — something that says something, touches you, takes you to a new place?

Readers may appreciate knowing about an opportunity to support our troops this holiday season, and also it could be fun to give a military wife a "You go, girl" for her finding her voice in polymer clay, and to wish you peace.


Texas’ Tricia Dewey is a fresh face on this site. Her bio says she’s a nurse and astronomer who’s now pursuing an art degree. Lots of diverse interests and talents there and it shows on her site (she’s also a web developer).

New week, new name (she’s already been in several publications) thanks to Robin Johnston. A pretty palette to start your week.


Good Intentions is the name of this polymer clay piece from South Carolina artist Beth Bullman Regula. She uses polymer to create relief paintings as well as small and large sculpture. This new artist link was discovered by Susan Rose.

Lindly Haunani talks about the necessary steps in the art process:

  • gathering
  • intentioning
  • doing
  • refining
  • sharing

and how important it is not to get stuck in any one part of the process. Good Intentions…an appropriate way to close out our week of looking ahead and to expanding our polymer clay horizons. Have a lovely weekend.


Washington's Ellen George's works make me gush and babble. They're so beautiful and so in tune with this week's theme of moving forward with our work. Ellen says, "I stay improvisational, enjoying the surprise of one shift leading to another." She is known for her light, organic, abstract sculptures of modest scale and articulate execution. Her forms are familiar, yet ultimately exotic.

She has exhibited large-scale pieces that are made of hundreds of small components, at the Tacoma Art Museum, Interstate Fire House, and the Archer gallery. Her work has been exhibited in Massachusetts, California, Illinois, Florida and Texas as well as the Pacific Northwest. Ellen George is included in the Collections of the Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of East Texas and King County Public Collection.

A heartfelt thanks to Susan Rose for this inspirational link.


More than 90 polymer artists contributed fabric pattern swatches to the new book by Sarajane Helm and Judith Skinner. The book is now available most easily from Lulu books and also from Sarajane's site.

The book I ordered won't arrive until nearly Christmas (note: it only took two days and came on December 12) but it was great fun to scroll through all the samples in their slideshow. Be prepared, the slides run slowly and it only seems to work in Explorer. The artists responsible for the works above are Margie Drake, Dayle Doroshow, Nancy Osbahr, Margie Drake, Mags Bonham, Barb Harper and Leigh Ross.

With all the new techniques that have come out, I'm pleased to see that caning of this quality lives on. Congrats to Judith and Sarajane for birthing this baby.

Beyond your comfort zone

Just in case you thought that your polymer clay art was too safe and tame and boring, take a look at the work of Art Institute of Chicago grad student Peter Goldlust. As he says, "These environments explore the gray areas between seemingly distinct states of being: the alluring and the repulsive; the playful and the threatening; and the natural and the synthetic."

No flower canes here, just absolutely fascinating imaginings. This polymer and prozac piece is particularly intriguing.

His carved crayons may give Maggie's tutorial students some ideas as they contemplate their new crayolas. Thanks to Barbara Forbes-Lyons for passing this link along.

Carlson New Work

Congratulations to Maureen Carlson on her new work which is being shown in a Minneapolis gallery. As we come to the end of the year, it's the perfect time to follow Maureen's lead and dig deeper, venture outside our comfort zones. Here's how Maureen explains her bold leap.

"One of my goals for 2006 was to create some new artwork that explored my feelings about making art, taking risks, opening doors and exploring less familiar paths. I've loved what I've been doing for nearly 30 years now, but I felt that I had more to say that needed to be said in a different style than with the whimsical, smiling faces for which I've become known.

I wanted to explore the full spectrum of emotions and moods and expressions in my work – even if some of that work wasn't pretty or cute or easy to understand – and I needed to make a break from those sweet little people in this new work."