Pick Me

We start the week with illustrator Linda Olliver from Baltimore, MD. While Olliver illustrates mostly in traditional media, her personal work in polymer clay communicates strong messages with wry, ironic imagery and tone.

Thanks to Susan Rose for starting out our week with a link to make us think.


A bit of fun and frivolity for Friday! This is NYC’s Amber Dawn who put together a "charm swap" with her polymer clay pals as well as some beaders and collagers.

The results are fabulous frippery. It almost makes me want to be in a swap (until I remember how my stomach feels the night before the work is due).

Have a frivolous weekend. I’m off to my son’s final graduate art show. Life is good.

Spanish Harlem

Olga Ayala grew up in New York’s Spanish Harlem. With its pulsating rhythms, spicy aromas, and the diverse make-up of its inhabitants, Spanish Harlem inspired Olga and her best works reflect the culture around her. Her dancers and drummers are filled with a remarkable sense of movement.

Olga’s been working in polymer clay since 1997, teaching herself techniques gleaned from books.

The best place to see Olga’s work is on her MySpace page which is as noisy and energetic as her work. It’s fun to look at some of her sculptures in progress.

Anything Goes Monday

"Anything or everything goes," says Connecticut’s Peggy Dembicer of her girl in the white dress, "polymer clay, stones, metal, plastics, fibers, sequins, beads, wood, buttons, paper, bark, fabrics, push pins, hat pins, yogurt caps." There’s an attitude to start the week.

It looks like this piece is loosely based on a William Merritt Chase painting (or is it a John Singer Sergeant)? Peggy particularly admires the work of the Huichol Indians of Mexico who set bead designs in beeswax.

You can read more about Peggy and her fiber arts background here and here.

Control to Chaos

Former NPCG president,

Carol Simmons has figured out how to bring control to the chaos of polymer clay kaleidoscope canes. These samples were all generated from one base cane.

Just as Judith Skinner saw polymer clay color gradations as a math problem to be solved, Carol has seen kaleidoscope canes as a system to be reassembled and explained. A scientist and researcher, Carol took a methodical approach to the problem and came up with an elegant solution.

Obviously this is more than science, however. It takes artistry and a fine sense of color to come up with these powerful combinations.

Thanks to her for sharing her new discovery. We’ll have to wait to hear how Carol decides to publish or teach her new technique.

And this seasonal polymer clay treat is from Illinois’ Scott Mizevitz, a multiple winner and now a judge in the "Bottles of Hope Challenge." Enjoy his photos and have a lovely Easter weekend.

Chaos and Control

Colorado’s Shane Smith creates and combines kaleodoscopic in a slightly different way shown here. You can see some additional samples.

I think of Sarah Shriver as the mother of this technique (not so sure she’d like that designation) and she has a DVD on the technique that’s not to be missed.

Then there’s Jana Roberts Benzon who wraps and bends the slices into 3-D constructions. And Karen Lewis (Klew) and many more. Each of these artists works in a slightly different way with distinctive results.

At one gathering there were so many artists who build these intricate canes that constructing objects with the cane slices became a team sport resulting in fantasy creatures like the ones shown here.


Oregon’s Dede Leupold doesn’t google well and I have only these pictures for you to enjoy today…no links to chase. I wish I could show you more of her fine polymer clay kaleidoscopic canes.

Dede’s precision, her colors (mostly blues) and her fine silver work combine into the most amazing delicate pieces. She often works in blue and white Delft colors and makes beautiful buttons.

These kaleidoscope caners are a reclusive bunch. Come back tomorrow to see who I’ve been able to roust.


To Colorado artist Yuriy Luzov, reality consists primarily of geometry and music. With this in mind, he began to study symmetry and fractal patterns, replicating kaleidoscope and mandala patterns in translucent polymer clay. Yuriy lists M.C. Escher among his favorite artists and it’s easy to see why.

If you’re overwhelmed by his deviant art site, check out the presentation he gave to the Pikes Peak guild. The pictures explain the process more clearly than words can.

There are several kaleidoscope cane experts in our midst that we’ll revisit this week.