Leupold’s Collaborative Winner

Oregon’s Dede Leupold collaborated with Goph Albitz to produce this 18K gold, tourmaline, layered opal, PMC and polymer clay pendant. It won best of show in the Central Oregon Metal Artists Guild Collaborative Show.

Start your week with the knowledge that polymer clay can be so much more than humble plastic. In the hands of a master of color and pattern like Dede (no site but you can see some of her earlier works here or contact Dede), polymer clay adds excitement and new beauty to traditional materials.

Israeli, Spanish polymer artists

As long as we’re on the road, let’s go to Spain and visit Claudia Raffa, a young Italian polymer clay artist living in Spain. She used a transfer technique to decorate these Skinner blend beads. Her blog is full of tutorials and intriguing examples.

And since you’ve got the weekend to travel, stop by the Israeli group site (right) that shows some of the work from a recent guild exhibit (here’s their photo site) celebrating the group’s second birthday.

The translation didn’t make much sense to me but you can see that the Israeli group is an active and adventurous guild that clearly puts their own cultural spin on their polymer clay works.

Eti Raz (bottle), Tami Shvat (wood) and Israela (face); all these artists are members of the Israeli PC guild. Thanks to Tania Podoleanu for the clarification. The Israelis speaking Russian had me totally confused. I hope I’ve got it right. Enjoy your exotic weekend.

Simple pleasures from Terre d’Effa

When life is complex, I gravitate to simple polymer clay pleasures and designs. This bowl made of extruded strings of color looks playful and fun. It’s from France’s Terre d’Effa. I was cruising for pictures and didn’t translate the text. Let me know if you come across her name. (It’s Fabienne…thanks  Miss Tempo.)

Often I head to another culture when I’m bored with my own point of view. French artists have a way of handling the clay with less restraint and fewer rules. Take a little foreign adventure.

Speaking of foreign adventure, Dan Cormier and Tracy Holmes have dipped a toe in Canadian blog water. It’s just an intro page but it’s a very necessary start. Write them to get on their list and encourage them to add much, much more.

Read Judy Belcher’s final Synergy thoughts and thank-you’s. If you attended, you can help NPCG plan its next event by filling out the evaluation survey.


Tech support erased the posts and comments from Monday and Tuesday. I’ve resurrected the posts and I’ll have to search for the comments. Oh dear.

Reminders from Voulkos’ early works

Watching Pier Voulkos work with polymer clay was a sight to behold. You can capture a glimpse of those early days on the most recent post in the Polymer Art Archive where you’ll read about the early efforts of both Pier and Victoria Hughes.

I snapped these pictures at Pier’s class in 2001. She took slices from one simple cane and in a couple of minutes combined them in more ways than I imagined possible.

Her works from years ago are still fresh today and the picture of the shapes reminds me to push my ideas further.

Crocenzi’s Polymer Tesserae

California mosaic artist Susan Crocenzi mixes tempered glass and polymer clay in unusual ways, an example of a hybrid use of polymer to get your week off to a fresh start. There are more examples of her tesserae mosaics on her Flickr site.

I have no idea how one works with tempered glass but the effect is watery and rich with color. You can read more about Susan here and here while she gets her web site ready. It’s ready.

Thanks to Cassy Muronaka for sending the link.

Kato redesigns

Friday’s a great time to tidy my desktop. Be sure to see Donna Kato’s new polymer clay split pods. Just when you think her design is perfect, she turns it on its head and comes up with something even better.

Arizona’s Amy Gebhardt had these velvety smooth, touchable vessels in the Synergy gallery. I’d love to show you more but her site’s under construction (sigh).

Polymer clay book artist Geraldine Newfry did her taxes (good girl) and she’s been using flick! artists database software that tracks her works. It looks fantastic and I plopped down the $30. Does anyone else have experience with this product?

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
Jack London

Boston’s Betsy Baker

One thing led to another on Betsy Baker’s web site. Her “illustrated transfer” technique intrigued me. She transfers portions of found images (using catalogs and magazines) onto polymer, then alters them with colored pencils. But that was just the beginning. Hang onto your mouse.

Betsy is part of Handmade Boston (major fun) and one of her favorite links is Just Jewelry. Just Jewelry happened to link to Facere Gallery where Cynthia Toops and Sarah Wilbanks had some pieces I hadn’t seen.

You’ll want to visit Betsy’s site when you have time to linger and luxuriate. There’s much to see.

Preston’s Modern Manuscripts

Nancy Preston of NY sent the polymer clay piece at the left to Synergy for the auction and I finally had a chance to see her work up close.

In her art the medieval manuscript meets contemporary media and a traditional aesthetic meets modern visual vocabulary.

Her most recent work (pictured at the right) has even richer colors and more layers of meaning. It’s visually dense and delicious.