This polymer clay hostess gift from Maryland’s Mari Odell to Taz Chaudry has a lovely story. Mari pressed transluscent faux jade into antique Japanese sweet mold fragments to create the centerpiece of the necklace. The side beads are a combination of extruded polymer, serpentine jade and antique brass.
Mari taught high school art in Maryland and Taz was her student. Twenty-five years later Taz contacted Mari to thank her for that high school inspiration and Taz, now in Colorado, hosted Mari on her visit. And once again Mari had an opportunity to teach Taz art, this time polymer clay.
Elise Winters passes along this interesting link about gold that gives us more support as we polymer clay artists struggle to defend our medium. The article reports that:
The ecologic, economic, social, and political price of gold is far costlier than we imagine. We are in the midst of a new gold rush, one that is consuming wilderness areas, contaminating watersheds, destroying ecosystems, and imperiling the economics of poor nations and the well being of indigenous people throughout the world. Some cumulative, irreparable consequences of mining will be with us, in this country and around the world, forever.
This new gold rush is the result of a converging complexity of circumstances on a global scale, including:
- The development of highly effective and extremely toxic methods of gold extraction,
- A continual rise in worldwide demand for gold,
- The demise of gold as global monetary standard,
- The continued withholding of enormous stockpiles of gold in the vaults of national banks, and
- Huge, multinational corporations very eager to cash in.
Cynthia and my polymer friends,
No need to struggle to defend our medium. Those who criticize polymer clay are likely hypocrites working in another medium which has it’s own share of non-environmentally friendly aspects.
And I wonder if those who wear gold jewelry ever think about the environmental impact of extracting gold.
Yes PC is a petroleum product but so many things are. What about the sheer volume of plastics that go in the landfill every day? The blister-pack stuff that goes right into the trash after the encased purchase is extracted? Every scrap of PC is usable, as you know, none gets thrown away.
I could go on and on, but I’m preaching to the choir as your readers are polymer clay enthusiasts. But thanks for the opportunity to vent!
I realize this comment is a day late and probably a dollar short, but I really must answer to this post after reading some of the others posted in the last week or so.
It’s mighty fine to get on your high horse about raping the land for gold and diamonds…the process is a terrible thing to do to the earth. But, how about the silver we use? Sooooo many of the polymer clay artists we extoll extensively use silver in their designs. How about the gemstones used? the natural stones used? the copper used? If we’re going to take a high road, then take the high road, and don’t pick and choose which ones you follow.
And, if we take that high road, then we’re going to be forced to go out to our back yard to find natural products to solely use in the medium (which, by the way, has a myriad of unnatural applications to it). You know and I know that’s not going to happen. I’m not going to stop using gold, silver, copper and gemstones in my work…and neither are you. To suggest otherwise is a pipedream.