Freezing a moment with polymer

Vancouver’s Joan Tayler likes to make polymer art that is both decorative and useful. It’s not surprising that she’s recently turned to inro covered with cane slices. This refreshing blue and white series shows how much interest and variety can come from a repertoire of patterns in a simple color palette. “My favorite patterns are greatly influenced by the eight years I spent in Japan,” she explains.

She shares a poignant moment when as a child she proudly sculpted a perfect horse sculpture. Joan’s elation was immediately followed by disappointment when she realized that the soft play clay wouldn’t survive.

You can imagine her pleasure when, years later, she discovered polymer clay. She says, “Polymer clay, like most visual art mediums, attempts to freeze a moment. For my purposes it does it very well; it makes me happy.” Joan still makes horse sculptures.

Can you relate? Why do you work in polymer?

  • reply Marian Hertzog ,

    I like these pieces and I just visited her blog and website. She does amazing work. Thanks for the post!

    • reply Randee m Ketzel ,

      Beautiful work–I love both the simplicity of the Blue Willow type pattern and the way she constructs her inro, turning the concept on its head, as it were.

      Why polymer? Because it makes possible what was previously impossible with color–to move and blend and sculpt it in ways never seen before. It’s a whole new world.

      • reply Anita Brandon ,

        SO beautiful in both design and execution. Love the two hole netsuke “twist” that allows the Inro to “not twist.” So glad that the early horses lead to PC horses and so much other beauty.

        Why polymer……. or anything at all? As a musician, what I create to express myself is so frustratingly fleeting that it’s “gone” in an instant (recordings rarely seem to capture the elusive “magic” of live performance). I love the visual arts because you can re-visit what you’ve created in a “permanent” format. Why specifically polymer? Because it’s such a versatile medium with infinite applications, many probably not yet even discovered.

        • reply Clare Pramuk ,

          I love the blue and white. These are awesome Joan.

          • reply Trina Williams ,

            Why polymer? Why not? I was teaching a button class today and the one student was so excited about the possibilities. It is hard to believe after 18 years that there are still “new” people being attracted to the medium.

            • reply Rachel Gourley ,

              Beautiful! Congratulations.

              • reply Adrienne Avakian ,

                I like polymer clay because I don’t need a bunch of different items to complete a project like say beading or other arts/crafts. It’s endless possibilities challenges me to constantly strive and see how far I, personally can go with it. I’m not that good at it, so I am always thinking of different things I can try to make. It’s good for my brain too as I’m retraining after an injury. The therapeutic value is priceless.
                Thank you so much for this wonderful newsletter. It gives me hope as well as inspiration.

                • reply Deborah Groom ,

                  Thanks so much for showcasing some of Joan’s work. She is such a talented artist. Her attention to detail, colour and texture is outstanding. She is a muse for the Vancouver Polymer Clay Guild, and co-founder. She is very generous in her willingness to help others. Her whistles and animals are just beautiful. I love these inros. Thanks for sharing her work with the larger clay community. Way to go Joan!

                  • reply Carol Simmons ,

                    I also want to say thanks for showcasing Joan’s work. It is beautiful and uniquely her own. When I started working with polymer clay I spent about 6 months caning with dark blue, white and a little black. My designs were very Asian also. The reason I did it, though, is that I got overwhelmed trying to deal with both color and design in my canes at the same time so I decided to focus on design alone for a while. I love the cleanness of those colors. (Joan, I’ll send you a pic if you wish).

                    • reply Dede Leupold ,

                      Joan’s work is lovely! She inspires me to continue my “Ode to Spode” series.
                      Thanks for the post!

                      • reply Sera ,

                        I love her buttons! Infact – I love all her work. Its inspiring and beautifully finished. Thankyou for sharing it with us 🙂

                        Why Polymer? Well – I started out buying it because it was cheap! Now I buy it because it is STILL the most value for money art-making product on the market. I can make faux malachite, golden victoriana, mica shift, faux lampwork and a hundred other completely different techniques. Polymer was my first love – and still endures 😉

                        • reply Blue and White | Carol Simmons Designs ,

                          […] recent post on Polymer Clay Daily highlighting Joan Taylor’s lovely work in blue and white reminded me of […]

                          • reply Blue and White — Carol Simmons Designs ,

                            […] recent post on Polymer Clay Daily highlighting Joan Taylor’s lovely work in blue and white reminded me of […]

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