Red, white and boom polymer

Two guys today! Boys and fireworks for the Fourth of July holiday ahead. Both guys subscribe to Picasso’s quote, “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

Lance Perry draws his inspiration from children’s stories, nursery rhymes, childhood nostalgia and anything that might create a smile. He builds his sculptures over wire armatures and adds color with acrylics.

Mike Devine's polymer veteran

Mike Devine says of his polymer characters, “I finally found something to quiet my noisy mind and allow me a real escape from then angst and drama of working in NYC.” Mike’s “Miss Forever” was a winner in this year’s Progress and Possibilities competition.

Zlatkis’ illustrates on polymer

Geninne Zlatkis’ painted polymer bird mobile was immediately claimed by her son to hang above his desk in their new home in Mexico. Pictures on her beautiful blog show how the 3.5″ birds were sculpted in fimo, baked and then painted with acrylics and given a coat of matte varnish. It’s Geninne’s remarkable detailing that makes these birds sing.

I’ve long been a fan of her illustrations and designs which have been widely published and picked up by retailers like Urban Outfitters. She occasionally works in white polymer (see an earlier mobile here) which provides a canvas for her signature drawings.

Her studio and her homes designed by her architect husband have gotten increasingly dramatic and serene. The views from the house they’re building now (their fifth) are breath-taking.

You can find her illustrations on Etsy and read her featured seller interview there.

Sila’s polymer rinds

Ponsawan Sila makes us grin as we end the week and begin a hot summer. Last summer her friend posed wearing a slice of real watermelon as a fashion statement from her garden.

Without missing a beat, Ponsawan created her own version in polymer. The rind is made from a mokume gane stack of shades of green. The interiors are Skinner blends of red to white.

She’ll be adding these rind rings to her Etsy store soon. Have a juicy weekend.

P&P winners overview

Progress & Possibilities winners 2010

Here’s an overview of winners in this year’s Progress and Possibilities competition. The International Polymer Clay Association (IPCA) received 119 entries from eleven countries in their annual juried competition

Clicking through the IPCA gallery is organized and logical but if, like me, you prefer to rip into surprise packages with abandon, this page of thumbnails may be easier.

While most of the names of the winners are familiar and searchable on PCDaily (the search is in the left column), we’ve got some research to do on winning artists who haven’t been featured such as: Julie Sweeney, Helen Wyland-Malchow, Nancy Nearing, and Mike Devine.

A few, like Angel Goulter and Petra Dewi Handayani are hard to find online. If you’ve located them, let me know.


I smile at the abundance of condolences you sent in response to yesterday’s post. Jan was fascinated by the comments and took great pleasure when a post prompted readers to say something. She would have been pleased that her “numbers” were the highest PCDaily has ever received. I can hear her chortling.

Art angels

Our friend Jan Crandell died this week. You may not recognize her name because she never created a cane or attended a conference. But she knew all about you as she followed along on PolymerClayDaily. She collected your works, commissioning me to purchase pieces for her at each event. (This angel from Susan Hyde was a favorite.)

Jan was my college roommate, an English teacher and a retired state education administrator. She had a huge intelligence and a quick wit. She mentored many students and colleagues.

Early each morning she read the day’s PCD post and called me if she spotted a broken link, a misspelled word or, heaven forbid, a grammatical error. The technology terrified her but if I couldn’t get to a computer she’d fix my gaffes herself. She skyped me from her hospital bed and edited faithfully until very recently.

Jan was my personal coach and cheerleader. I was her technical guru. She bought any art I made, even the awful stuff. My art angel is gone and we lost a dear friend.

Polymer with a family story

Sandra Mitchell's polymer story bracelet

Sandra Mitchell’s mother was so proud of her daughter’s work that she just had to write me. Isn’t that sweet?

I’m a sucker for polymer art with a story (remember Maureen Carlson’s necklace). Sandra’s Wearable Whimsys are full of tales like this James and the Giant Peach bracelet. Sandra’s Menacing Pearls offer glamor with a twist.

Vickie Turner, Sandra’s mom, says of her daughter, “Her write-ups, both the description of her shop and of the polymer clay articles for sale, flow like molten silk spiked with lemon crystals that slightly startle and make the viewer look again.”

Can you hear me now?

Some readers have been telling me that in the last couple of weeks they haven’t received their posts by email. I checked the mail list and it’s ok. I haven’t located the problem but I’m looking. Thanks for the heads up.

Attention collectors: Grove and Grove sale

Michael and Ruth Anne Grove polymer necklace 1994

Early polymer pioneers, Michael and Ruth Anne Grove, left the business several years ago and are selling the last of their work this July 3 in California.

Michael explains that, “Ruth Anne and I are finally dealing with all of our past canes – thousands of them – and some of our old work. We are planning a sale at our home in 2510 Russell Street, Berkeley, CA on Saturday July 3. The canes for sale include faces, variegated, colorful patterns and black and white. These are canes which were the collage elements from which we made the majority of our work.”

The couple perfected the pre-Skinnner “step blend” and created magnificent complex canes and jewelry. Not familiar with the works of these polymer pioneers? You can read up here and here and find them in many books.

He says of those early days, “Since there were so few people working in the medium, it was wide open for play. I think that play is what still draws people to it. The techniques have been developed and refined and a new palette of them added since we played with it. But playing is what brings people into polymer and the pleasure and surprise of what they create keeps them there. Ruth Anne and I enjoyed the ride of being working artists in that medium. And we are delighted that it has continued to grow!”

Garden inspirations from Clawson

Clawson's fresh start
Clawson's queen anne's lace pendant

I’m using Kate Clawson’s garden-inspired polymer creations to give myself a fresh start. Life events have intervened and left me with unfinished projects and forgotten chores that I plan to tackle this weekend.

In my own overgrown garden I hope to find the beauty Kate sees in her lush vegetation. She says that she wants her beads to “…recall many a wonderful memory of the farm days and the great meals from the bounty of the earth.”

She impresses plants into polymer, adding paint to enhance the delicate details. Enjoy more of her work on her Etsy sites and Flickr pages. Have a rejuvenating weekend.

Three polymer visionaries

Three little piggies went to market! And they did well at the annual ACREs wholesale show.

Kathryn Reid, Leslie Blackford and Doreen Gay- Kassel launched into the wholesale market, thanks to IPCA which sponsors a booth.

IPCA juries three polymer artists into the event each year. They share booth space, enter the wholesale marketplace and promote polymer clay…a win/win.

The pig is Doreen’s, the beads are Kathyn’s and this is my most recent acquisition from Leslie. Each of these artists has a distinct voice and a vision that inspires.