Sophia Lenz’ polymer creature, found in the Synergy2 sales gallery with a bunch of his pals, is in the same robot mode that I’m in tonight.

It’s late and this hotel has terrific pillows that are calling me softly. I have plenty of pictures and lots of news but I’ve run out of steam and brain cells. Please check back later when I’ve recharged properly.

(Sophia popularized the lantern bead technique which she shared in a recent issue of Polymer Cafe.)

Strutting at Synergy

cohen's pins
Campbell polymer necklace

These were just a few of the glorious polymer gems at the Synergy2 opening night gala. Participants took the “Strut Your Stuff” theme seriously and the room was full of finery. A couple of the names are missing and I had no time for research but I wanted you to get a sense of how elegant polymer can be.

Polymer clay circus beads

Clawson's circus interpretation

Kate Clawson (OrganicOdysseys) with her polymer Carnival Necklace and Lynda Moseley with her Big Top transfer beads show life as a circus.

The two artists were responding to the ArtBeadScene’s February challenge to capture the Vestie Davis’ painting of Luna Park in beads. They both tell the stories of their creations and share their process on their blogs.

Moseley's circus poster transfer beads

This monthly challenge reminds me of Maureen Carlson’s story beads. What a great exercise.

The busy bright interpretations of the painting fit right in with my overscheduled day. I’m off to Baltimore.

Lynda’s Flickr page of image transfers from vintage fabrics is mouthwatering.

Falkenhagen snags polymer

Falkenhagen's man in red turban polymer/gold brooch

Pictures, often transfers on polymer clay, form the central visual elements of Diane Falkenhagen’s fabricated fine jewelry. She invents images or borrows them from historial sources.

Falkenhagen's Io brooch

This Man in a Red Turban and her IO brooch looked elegant and mysterious and caught my attention on her Crafthaus page luring me to examine the rest of her portfolio.

“The artistic freedom associated with less-expensive, non-conventional materials leads to an uninhibited spirit of exploration, a broader expressive vocabulary and greater artistic risk-taking,” says Falkenhagen.

She is co-chairing the 2010 SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) conference in March whose theme is Going to eXtremes. Nice to know that polymer is part of that.

Winning streak

2010 Niche Award Winners in Polymer Clay

With four 2010 Niche Awards to polymer clay artists just announced, we continue our winning streak. Here’s the list of finalists and here are the winners including¬†Jeff Dever (2), Melanie West and Sandra McCaw. The Niche site has been updated with some lovely larger photos. Thanks to Loretta Lam for alerting us to the announcement.

And as long as we’re tooting our horn. Did you see the polymer/metal clay work of Pat Bolgar on the cover of the most recent issue of Metal Clay Artist magazine? Her mixed media pin looks like spring.

Virtual Conference

The flurry of tests and silly pictures over the weekend was my attempt to get myself outfitted for the start of the conference on Wednesday. Can’t go the Synergy2 conference? Here’s the list of attendees.¬†Join me and Libby Mills on the Crafthaus blog for your virtual version.

First contest for the girls next door in the Netherlands

Breukelman's faux jade embroidered cuff

Karin Breukelman’s faux jade embroidered cuff took top honors in Dutch Polymer Clay Forum’s oriental contest. This was the group’s first contest. The variety and quality of the entries surprised them.

Van Engelen's polymer rice fields ring
veltenaar's polymer sunset

Karin’s design was based on a Chinese coin replicated in polymer jade with faux coral accents. Lanterns, fans, geishas, bamboo and cinnabar inspired participants’ imaginations. Nicole van Engelen’s ring plays on the contours and colors of rice fields.

The other top winners were Marij de Bruijn, Saskia Veltenaar, and Paula van Veen. Enjoy this glimpse of the orient by way of the Netherlands. You’ll find some interesting tutorials on the group’s Girls Next Door site too. I particularly like the idea of faux pearls.

Polymer ruffles on the runway

winters rainbow cascade neckpiece
winters garden cascade
winters omni cascade neckpiece closeup

First she got us into museums, now Elise Winters has put polymer on the fashion runways.

How cool is it that Elise’s polymer clay ruffle neckpieces were featured on models in Cynthia Rowley’s Fall 2010 runway show during NY Fashion Week?

You can catch some of the glam in the video here.

winters omni cascade neckpiece closeup

In the February issue of Get Creative magazine you can read more about Elise and her remarkable story (download the article here). As she says, “I don’t believe in talent, I believe in drive and perserverance.”

Support Elise’s museum efforts by clicking on the Polymer Collection donate button in the right column.

Wannabees are buzzing

Kate Church polymer Wanna Bees

Kate Church‘s Wanna Bees are perfect for today and her site is full of eye candy. We’re all acquainted with Wanna Bees in one way or another and hers are delightful buzzing sprites.

Her other creatures include wabbits and starlets. This Nova Scotia artist calls her work sculptural puppetry, combining polymer clay, wire armature and fiber.

Kate Church sculptural puppetry

Kate’s Cirque Du Soleil pieces are currently sold out and a new batch is in the works. She offers workshops at her winter home in Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Thanks to Cynthia Becker for sending us this new link – a great diversion a snowy day. Years ago while vacationing, Cynthia visited Kate’s studio. She was pleased to see an article about Kate’s La Petite Managerie in the December issue of Art Doll magazine.

Cavender emerges with moss

Cavender's moss-covered sticks and pods

Kim Cavender has emerged from hibernation covered in moss! After several months of quiet, she’s added some new work that includes faux moss clinging to her polymer sticks and stones.

Cavender's polymer rocks 2010

My polymer pebble mentor, Kim has expanded her forest finds to include nuts, vines and pods that she’ll be teaching at the Ohio retreat this weekend. (Let’s hope the snow stops.)

Kim’s rocks are beauties. Take a look at her new ones.