Carlson’s new works

Yesterday’s characters got me thinking about other polymer clay sculptors. I revisited Maureen Carlson’s site and saw that she’s added a number of new galleries of her work like this lovely leaping figure which she made over a wire armature.

A gifted storyteller, Maureen lets stories flow from her characters which reflect many moods – thoughtful, mysterious and playful. Her newest pieces are exhibited in Minneapolis and she’s filling in the roster of classes scheduled for 2009 at her teaching/retreat facility.

Polymer clay toy artists and their site

Toy news and toymakers haven’t appeared on our radar very often but after a look at, it’s apparent that we need to fix that. Toycyte covers toy artists, including a number who work in polymer clay. They’re growing in number, in expertise and in popularity.

Meredith Dittmar may be familiar to you already. Her small polymer “my guys” regularly sell out (check out her holiday versions) and she’s got a large following for her wall art, animations, and illustrations as well.

ToyCyte’s blog post led me to Leslie Levings and her polymer clay beastlies (pictured here). She’s been making these charming characters since fourth grade and all that practice has made her very good at bringing the clay to life. Check out her videos and her Monday night show and be sure to read the site’s interview of Leslie here.

To top off my exploration, I clicked on the Mike Leavitt link. We’ve featured Mike before and his Barack Obama figure is outstanding. ToyCyte’s interview picks Mike’s brain as he makes art.

I’m sure there are more polymer clay artists on the site. I’m overwhelmed with this talent and need to catch my breath and explore further.

Sanders’ integrative approach to polymer

Lately Washington’s Pam Sanders has been creating wall art frames that shelter companion polymer clay pieces inspired by ancient cultures and nature. Beads and clay also find their way into her paintings and collages.

Her “Old Man” and “I Am the Moon” pieces shown here illustrate her integrative approach.

Pam’s work is on the new “Crafthaus” site for artists as well as on Etsy.

Note: Sharon Sahl’s polymer clay gingerbread house was featured on a weekend Apartment Therapy post!

Polymer clay reasons to believe and recycle

This comfy, couch potato polymer clay Santa by Dennis Brown could make me a believer again. It comes from the “ReasonsToBelieve” site, a treasure trove of Santas.

Brown’s work has been licensed by several reproduction companies and these are the polymer originals. He makes Santas 365 days a year. Thanks to Susan Lomuto for the tip.

Kudos to Heather Powers (HumbleBeads) for her wins in the Bead Star competition from Interweave Press. She combines and collages beads and found items into evocative pieces.

Iris Mishly has jumped on the recycled band wagon too, using throwaways from her computer job as findings for her polymer clay work. Have a useful weekend.

Shriver’s new designs

This photo that accompanied the description of Sarah Shriver’s February class shows polymer clay “petal bracelets” that depart from Sarah’s earlier works. She’s been perfecting her intricate kaleidoscope canes and celtic knots for nearly twenty years. You can see her early works in the PolymerArtArchives and on her web site.

These new designs move in a looser, larger, more colorful direction. I’d like to show you more but these are the only photos I could find. Guess you’ll have to take one of her classes in California or catch up with her in Spain, Portugal or France this spring.

Hyde’s polymer angels

Discussions about holiday spirit wouldn’t be complete without mentioning another of my polymer clay favorites, Seattle’s Susan Hyde. She sent these two examples of her latest angels dressed in her signature colors with extruded clay slices as accents. Those colors are pure holiday eye candy.

Her fabric tutorial (a Skinner blend with shreds of contrasting color mixed in and stacked into plaids) is one of the best for polymer clay color lovers.

Pozzo’s motorcycle tanks

Indiana’s Bill Pozzo fabricates custom exhibits and in his spare time makes custom designed motorcycle tanks.

The designs have a definite Hieronymus Bosch bent and reflect both Pozzo’s years of professional experience and his love of motorcycles. He sculpts in polymer clay and then casts the piece in fiberglass.

Each elaborate tank takes 200-250 hours and costs $4,500 and up. Custom designs are twice that.

His polymer clay figures are quirky and funny as well and his site reveals an artist of immense and varied talent.

Sahl’s polymer clay gingerbread houses

Nothing gets me more in the mood for the holidays than Sharon Sahl’s polymer clay gingerbread houses. She made only 10 for sale this year and there are just a couple left. Click on the large versions of her photos to see how detailed these beauties are.

“I buy and measure candies and cookies and gum and make them 1/4 sized with whatever clays best match their opacity. Trees are built from green star shapes, baked and then layered with white clay icing. For the cookies, I make an original with as much detail as I can fit onto a 1/2 inch disc, make a mold, and then pull every cookie from that mold. Gumdrops are coated with very fine glass beads and really look like gumdrops,” Sharon explains.

Her “Christmas Kids” ornaments are created with equal attention to detail. Sharon has moved back to Ohio and we’re happy she’s returned.

Brisk polymer clay holiday sales

Our local Winterfair was full of fine polymer clay work. Pat Bolgar uses micro glass marbles in innovative ways on elegant pieces, Kim Arden’s booth was full of eye-popping colors and Wiwat’s work was full of unusual shapes and hidden treasures.

There were others at the show (look for my small picture album here). Many were too busy for me to intrude. Even in our dismal economic times, the appeal of polymer clay’s authenticity and color are strong and sales were brisk.

Speaking of brisk sales! Did you notice that Ford and Forlano, Celie Fago and Susan Lomuto have joined the ranks of Etsy sellers? We’ve reached a tipping point, don’t you think? I hate to miss a party so I’m promising to fill my empty gallery this week. Are you on board?

French polymer clay connections

Poking through the polymer clay on the French PerleRouge site launched me into an afternoon at the computer. (I’ve streamlined the trip for you.)

I surfed from there to Crea’Sofimo (pendant at the left) who credits Mathilde Colas (the green necklace to the right) as her teacher and inspiration. Somehow I landed on the site of Cecilia Mabcrea, a French artist working in Xiamen, China.

This whirlwind web surfing made me marvel at how fast concepts travel and at the polymer clay community with its connections that span the globe.