Polymer/felt Halloween

A final not-so-scarey Halloween tribute from Kathy Penovich. Her needle-felted bat and cocoon characters with polymer clay faces look as cute as the kids on my porch last night.

See more critter instructions from mold and pattern creator Kathy Davis here. She shows even more of her work on her Flickr page. Felting is such a popular craft that I expect to see much more of this mix.

Look at these few posts from Debra Dewolff who adds polymer to her felted jewelry as in this pastel bracelet.

How we’d love to see more. Happy Halloween. Happy weekend.

More polymer niches

A few more Niche Award candidates have surfaced. Sandra McCaw’s work pictured here has been nominated in the fashion jewelry category.

Sandra’s added some newer pieces to her CraftHaus page that you’ll want to catch. Her diamond-studded polymer earrings took top honors at the League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair in the Jewelry with Stone category.


wo of Elise Winter’s pieces were designated Niche 2010 finalists in the sculpture to wear and polymer categories.

Elise is campaigning in earnest for support for the Racine Art Museum’s (RAM) polymer collection. She tells us that a Pier Voulkos’ necklace is featured on the cover of RAM’s current exhibition catalog.


For a donation of $100 or more to the polymer collection, you will receive a copy of the catalog as a premium. (Scroll down to the donation button in the right hand column here and be sure to note “catalog premium” in the comment box.) The offer is only good through November 30. Read more about the project at the PolymerArtArchive.

Cozzi’s niche

Louise Fischer Cozzi’s Necklace Belt 2 has won a place among the Niche finalists in the costume jewelry category. This is not the category in which she entered the polymer piece but she’s not complaining.

The long strand of etched translucent disks can be worn as a belt or a necklace. Louise is famous for simple, gently-curved and repeated shapes. Here’s her Etsy shop. The Brooklyn-based artist also hosts classes at her summer home in Stresa, Italy.

Morris, Lombardi, Soehjar applique

The applique technique is picking up speed. Jennifer Morris, one of the first to popularize the style, gives solid colored polymer beads a distinctive look with sumptuous embellishment (front and back) and extravagent colors. Her finely crafted beads fly out of her New York based Etsy shop.


Germany’s Eva Soehjar gives her appliques a more contemporary twist with shaped bases and more graphic flowers. Eva began painting delicate scenes on polymer beads and has recently added this more dimensional line.

Rome’s Marina Lombardi (Ali di Libellula) enlivens simple polymer clay lentil swirl beads with romantic appliques of color-coordinated leaves, flowers, micro beads and crystals.

For these artists, the devil is in the details. Precisely placed teensy petals require patience and skill.

Monday winners

Congrats to Melanie West whose stunning polymer clay Nudibranch BioBangle has been named a finalist in the 2010 Niche Awards. Check out her new anemone bangle too.

Can’t wait to find out who else is in the running. Any rumors out there? Winners will be announced in February.

Italy’s Ariane Freisleben arranged polymer clay beads that float downward in this comfortable design. Enjoy her work and her Euro Clay Carnival results on Flickr.

Ariane’s necklace reminds me of the colorful leaves floating past my window throughout the lazy weekend. It’s Monday. Time to stretch and head back to the studio.

Wood/polymer in new venue

Thursday night was the opening of our town’s new art center which featured an exhibit of art made from local wood assembled and sculpted by Dorothy Gill Barnes (see more about her here).

My husband, Blair Davis, has assisted Dorothy for several years. He thinks of himself as a cabinet maker/woodturner/engineer and Dorothy insisted that he receive billing as an artist. He’s the bearded guy in the hat in this page of pictures I quickly assembled. Dorothy is the white-haired woman.

One of Blair’s wood turned bowls with my polymer clay inlay was included in this show (here’s a brief in-process video). I was pleased that tonight two public gallery directors asked me about having polymer group shows in their spaces.

If you haven’t been a polymer artist for long, you may not understand that it is music to my ears to be asked to set up a polymer show. No more explaining or defending polymer clay as art. It was a lovely night. Have a lovely weekend.

Segal’s small set designs


Thyrza Segal of Vancouver arrived at polymer clay after ten years in set design and costuming. Now she works on much smaller sets. Her plantscapes combine terrariums, vintage glassware and polymer clay sculptures into miniature organic dioramas.

Thyrza gathers glassware and ceramics from local thrift stores and fills them with succulents, minature tropicals, mosses and air plants. What brings the plantscapes to life are the sculptures – alien figurines and fantasy plants sculpted from polymer clay.

This combination of green-conscious, recycled, fantasy and sculpture is one terrific example of the future of crafts that experts envisioned at the conference I attended last week.

Maunsell converts from glass

Another convert to polymer, Quebec’s Claire Maunsell was a professional glass blower for almost 20 years. Since her family moved frequently, she had to find a more portable medium.

She says, “I love the fact that polymer clay has many of the characteristics of hot glass – malleable, brilliant colours, ability to build millifiori canes – I could go on and on. I don’t miss the heats and burns from hot glass though!”

Look at her new faux raku beads. Ancient designs happily meet modern materials in her works which are listed on Flickr as well as Etsy.

Williamson speaks polymer

Genevieve Williamson (Jibby and Juna) is a metalsmith and I love her description of learning to design and work in polymer clay as she made this latest necklace.

She explains that, “…being trained as a metalsmith I often still design/think in metal. Then I translate to polymer, modify and move on. This is the first piece that, in my head at least, I felt like I thought through the process in the new language (polymer).”

She’s speaking fluently and her Etsy site is full of simple, textural, modern pieces.

Voila! launches

To keep everyone up to date on the growing interest in polymer clay in Europe, the UK’s Christine Dumont has launched a new site called Voila! that gathers works and news from around the EU. You’ll want to sign up to get all the information. (Those are Christine’s own butterfly beads at the left.)

Reporting on the recent Euro Clay Carnival in France, the Voila site shows this pendant from Holland’s Saskia Veltnaar (Sassy & Co.) which tweaks Bettina Welker’s etching technique by undercutting, shaping and bending the layers.

Thanks to Marjon Donker for sending the link. My Minneapolis meeting was a success and I’m processing all that I learned. More on that later this week.