Wisconsin’s Joyce Fritz has been making her “Yipes” polymer clay bugs since 1993 and she has pieces in hundred of galleries and shops. “Bugs are a great vehicle for colors and pattern,” she says. “I like inventing my own species. It’s my chance to play God.”

Creating jewelry of butterflies, beetles, lady bugs, bees, grasshoppers, dragonflies and other critters is Fritz’s full-time occupation. She has about 70 bugs and critters in her line, and at least a third are new each year. She and part-time assistant Joan Berkopec make about 6,000 pieces a year.

Though the photos on her 2010 Web site are small, you can read great stories about her process here and in her alumni magazine. Her galleries show larger photos of her work here, here and here.

  • reply ilenia ,

    wonderful !! i like it !

    • reply sylvia ,

      Those really are lovely – and what a great way of using a lot of techniques. in one product – I bet she won’t get bored any time soon. (And as a bonus, in the slideshow of her work, she talks about windows. But not just any windows – you see one at about minus 1.12 in the video. Wow!)

      • reply claire maunsell ,

        So inventive and fun, I wish I could be a fly on the wall in her garage…

        • reply Kathleen Anderson ,

          Although I’m generally not into bugs and flowers, this blog about Joyce Fritz’s work was inspiring! Joyce’s colors and patterns give me food for future projects. Thanks Cynthia and Joyce, of course!!

          • reply Jeannie ,

            I had to show this to my husband who LOVES bugs. He thinks the bugs in your gallery are fascinating. Course he asked me why I don’t make those…geesheee.

            • reply Liz ,

              I’ve seen Joyce’s bugs in person and they are far more beautiful and intricate than the photos on the web show them to be. They are really fascinating to look at because her cane work is so fabulously intricate.

              • reply PLaneFancies ,

                II bought a bug pin about 10 years ago at a family reunion in San Antonio. It was a gift for my mother-in-law, a painter and bird-carver. It was hard to find unique gifts for her, but that bug-pin certainly fit the bill! I am almost certain it would have been one of Joyce’s creations.

                • reply Meisha Barbee ,

                  I am absolutely crazy for Joyce’s bugs. As Liz said, they are amazing in person. When I see Joyce at shows, I can’t wait to see what’s new to add to my collection.
                  I have several, and the small ones look great crawling up a lapel in mass. 6000 a year….it’s a wonder how she stays sane. Cynthia, thank you for highlighting Joyce’s wonderful world of bugs, and Joyce, I look forward to seeing you next year my friend.

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