Ultra Fun

With an impeccable palette Bettina Welker takes the simplest polymer clay techniques (like this single slab of pattern looped over to form a pendant) and turns them into very appealing pieces. Her graphic arts background shines through her work.

Her Ultra Light beads become ultra fashionable orbs glued onto memory wire.

While Bettina’s site is nicely designed and inviting, it’s her Flickr site that best showcases her art. And as a bonus, you get a glimpse of her studio setup. Have an ultra fun weekend.

Energy and mystery

Our cub reporter/photographer at Bead and Button, Barbara Young, found the polymer clay works of Barbara McGuire intriguing and I’m sure you’ll agree.

Are they ancient or modern? McGuire has a loose, freeform approach to the clay that combines timeless energy with a dollop of mystery. I forget about technique and focus my attention on the art of the clay. Her class page listings leave me wanting to head south to Georgia.

Jewelry as Art

Ford/Forlano’s polymer clay show in a local gallery exhibited pieces with a painterly quality. I particularly enjoyed the way the show was displayed on a narrow strip of black running horizontally at eye level across a long span of white wall. Their brooches were displayed at intervals on the black band (see the picture).

Ford and Forlano also included a couple of larger sculptures in the show. The one at the left above is about 16 inches tall and one of the ovals (the large one) is a wearable pin that is held onto the sculpture magnetically. Pier Voulkos was the first polymer artist that I know of who integrated her jewelry into larger sculpture so that the pieces could either be worn or viewed as sculpture. A clever trick and most effective in this impressive show.

Ford/Forlano’s work is represented in the current show at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston called, "Jewelry by Artists: The Daphne Farago Collection." Take a look at the slideshow of these wearable works of art.


Since we’ve linked to winners Julie Picarello and Lynne Ann Schwarzenberg recently, let’s take a look at one of the third place Bead and Button “Bead Dream” winners, Janice Abarbanel from Massachusetts.

A self-taught polymer clay artist with a significant background in seed beed crochet work and metalsmithing, Janice developed her mosaic technique by experimenting. Her mixed media art pendant class merges all three interests.

Janice’s site is chock full of everything from seed beads to polymer to findings. You’ll want to browse a while.

First for the Second Time

Congrats to Lynne Ann Schwarzenberg for winning first place in the Bead Dreams contest/polymer clay division for the second year running! Can’t wait to see the list of other winners and entrants.

Barbara Young scoped out the Bead and Button show for us, combing through the acres of glass beads for the best of polymer clay. Barbara sent back these pictures of Heather Wynn’s new work. Just enough to whet your appetite on a Monday morning.

According to Bead and Button, the winners in the polymer clay category are 1st Place – Lynne Ann Schwarzenberg – Perfect Union: Floral and Faux; 2nd Place – Julie Picarello – Tulip Field; 3rd Place – Marlee Page – Ikebana hairstick and stand; 3rd Place tie – Janice Abarbanel – Fragments.


A Ford/Forlano exhibit, Organica, opens here this weekend. Steven and David Forlano have collaborated (now by long distance between Santa Fe and Philadelphia) for years. David’s strength is color, pattern, and surface while Steven’s is mechanics and structure.

I love to visit hushed, austere galleries and open their drawers of expensive polymer clay items. To handle these well designed, finely crafted items is to understand where this medium can go. Inspirational! (Don’t miss the gallery’s POMO polymer clay bracelets either.)

It’s art festival season. Have an arty, inspirational weekend.

As Seen on TV

Ugly Betty’s trademark "B" necklace is a polymer clay replica of Anne Boleyn’s and it’s from Massachusetts’ Jennifer Parrish, according to the April issue (UK edition) of InStyle magazine. "I think that painting was completed just before they cut off her head," Jennifer says.

Television characters from “Ugly Betty” to “According to Jim” have worn her necklaces onscreen, and in the upcoming movie “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” you’ll see one of her stained-glass pendants on—well, Parrish doesn’t know who yet. “Hopefully it will make it into the final edit,” she says.

Watch the inspirational CVC-TV piece about how Vancouver’s June Hunter quit her day job to develop her art which includes photo transfers to polymer clay jewelry. June’s tiles were used to decorate the set in one episode of the popular TV show "Men In Trees."

Happy birthday to my college roommate, best friend, and relentless editor, Jan!

Enough Already

One more Shrine Mont moment and then we’ll move on until next year.

This picture is from Ruth Ann Husted and shows the polymer clay mirror created for the silent auction. The group was instructed to contribute something found on the forest floor.

That so many styles, ideas and colors can be integrated into one piece amazes me. I’ve never worked on a committee that could accomplish such a task.

Here’s a gallery of Shrine Mont participants and their work. It was compiled with my photos and others from Hollie Mion, Barbara Sosna, Linda Weeks, Ruth Ann Husted, and Judy Belcher.

This piece is built on a 10×10 wood-framed mirror from Ikea. It’s best to bake the frame unadorned first to make sure the wood is stable.

One cane wonder

One translucent polymer clay cane is all that was used to make this spacey, retro earring by Marla Frankenberg. Reduced to several sizes and overlaid on a Skinner blend base, the cane gives the bead a spacey, retro look.

Many of Marla’s beads remind me of batik and other luscious fabrics. She’ll be teaching at Bead and Button this weekend. Here are some pictures from an earlier class and she’ll be teaching her marlafiori at Arrowmont in October. We’ve got scouts out taking pictures at Bead and Button and I hope they snag some treats.

Monday Baubles

Here are some lovely baubles to get your week off on the right foot. Be sure to look at the large image of this polymer clay necklace on Julie Picarello’s Flickr site to appreciate the details.

Her use of the mokume gane process is masterful, relying on vibrant color rather than metal leaf for its accent.

Julie’s web site has some new pieces for your Monday morning viewing pleasure including some great mokume gane examples in her bead gallery. Many thanks to Gin Martin who sent the link.