Tuck in a love note

Berlin’s Conni Filip tucked gift Euros into thin slots in polymer hearts designed especially for a friend’s wedding. She suggests that the hearts could later be filled with the couple’s personal love notes.

Conni’s site is full of sculpted, painted, wild ideas from an unleashed creative spirit. It’s a perfect place to start your week.

With this year’s bumper crop of polymer hearts, I couldn’t possibly bring you all the great ones you created. Here’s one last look at just a few more.

Your recent emails about why you work with polymer have been touching and heartwarming. Please keep tucking your stories in the PCD comments.

Amy Wallace Valeriani Solaris Iris Mishly
Cindy Gimbrone Kristen Winter Georgeanne Galante

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?

Edgier romance, easier extrusion

This Lovely Bones pendant from Georgia jeweler Jenny Baughman reminds us that not everything romantic has to be hearts and flowers.

Jenny often uses polymer to fill her deep bezels and add color to her modern primitive metal shapes.

See more of her work on her Etsy site and on FaceBook. The new link comes from another polymer artist with a primitive bent, Ronna Weltman.

Extraordinary Extrusions

I’m gathering my tricks to teach an online class on Alison Lee’s Craftcast next Wednesday called Extraordinary Extrusions. I find polymer extrusions fascinating and have made it my mission to assemble the most easy-to-use and easy-on-the-joints equipment.

I’ll even share my bulging file of design ideas from sites around the world. Alison’s a terrific hostess and you’ll leave with secrets, links and videos. Join us. Sign up here.

Designs that share the love

If it’s nearly Valentines Day, we must pay a visit to Tejae Floyde and her gallery of polymer hearts of all varieties…nested, pocket, winged, encased and more. “My passion is sculpting hearts with meaningful messages woven into the design, for others to share with those they love,” she says.

Tejae’s a heart expert and you can find instructions for her methods online at CraftEdu and in a number of publications including my dog-eared copy of the October 2008 Polymer Cafe magazine.

Faux felines from Ukraine

Is it enamel? Polymer is such a fabulous faux medium that this necklace from Polina and Sergey Muha could fool you.

The Kiev couple assures me that they use polymer for the base shapes, friends’ illustrations for images, and resin for the glassy effect. “We love to work in collaboration with different artists, illustrators, photographers,” says Polina. In this necklace 15 cat illustrations, the work of Russian artist Rimma Coffeee, hang together happily on a cord.

While the concept isn’t altogether new, the look of the thin shaped illustration beads is young and fashionable.

One of the benefits of polymer’s popularity spreading around the world is that new artists look at the medium with fresh eyes. Genevieve Williamson sent in this link saying, “I find it interesting when people use polymer clay to suit their own purposes instead of feeling obligated to use it in any traditional manner.”

Turns out, the couple have been regular visitors to PCDaily. Do you know artists out there using polymer in unusual ways?

Polymer studio in a box

San Diego’s Meisha Barbee shares her new spring palette, the result of a whirlwind color mixing fling (check it out). Once the polymer colors were mixed and conditioned, she carefully stacked the sheets into thick and thin layers that play off each other’s intensity. Her stripe canes grab attention.

With a box of companion bullseye canes and another box of mica shift textures, she’s assembled the raw materials for a fresh line of brooches, pendants and earrings.

Since Meisha works both in her home studio and at her Spanish Village Art studio, she needs to transport her canes from place to place. Doesn’t this tidy arrangement make you want to develop and organize your spring palette? See earlier pictures from this Niche Award winner here and here.

Creating polymer heirlooms

Ioana Weber from Rotterdam quiets the week with her White Noise series of polymer brooches. This Dutch mixed media artist had been collecting vintage laces and looking for a way to use them in a project. “Some are so delicate and old, it’s almost impossible to make something with them,” she explains.

Ioana came up with the idea of making them timeless by impressing them in polymer and using the resulting texture plates to create delicate polymer brooches. With no surface enhancement and no color the lace patterns speak for themselves. Some are embroidered with matching cotton thread.

I’m trying to remember where my grandmother’s box of tatting tools and remnants is stashed. My nieces might cherish a brooch with a family history. Do you have heirlooms hiding in your attic that could be shared with future generations in polymer?

How to take heart

Sophie Arzalier Tricia Dalziel Cindy Gimbrone

You must see how Sophie Arzalier grows her tattoo-inspired love heart into an elaborate polymer cane. In the same vein, she’s created a Rosie the Riveter cane that shows equal detail with a less romantic sentiment.

Tricia Dalziel’s Sacred Heart is one of a series of 20 sculptures in her Verses Of The Heart series created as part of a personal healing process.

Cindy Gimbrone aimed for a shabby chic effect with her polymer Heart Mandala. She explains that, “The heart represents metaphorically our emotions, our feelings. Pairing the symbol of the heart with a mandala means to me the universe is in each one of us, it is in our hearts. So, I give you the universe in this heart.”

Tory Hughes takes a contemporary approach with this blue heart brooch that’s been embossed, painted and sanded. You’ll find it on her newly tweaked and refined web site.

Secrets of the heart

“I am a hopeful romantic who is absurdly optimistic,” says Florida’s Heather Wynn.

Her hand-stamped and aged polymer pendants can be found incorporated into friends’ assemblages and reveal themselves like secret messages. (See them in Lorelei Eurto’s jewelry here and in Heather Power’s here.) Here’s her Etsy shop.


The swirl heart pendant in Monday’s post was mistakenly attributed to Fairy-Cakes. A closer read shows that Fairy-Cakes purchased the bead from UK’s Mel Parrett who sells them on Ebay. Thanks to Terri for pointing out the problem and to Mel for stepping forward.

Painting by the slice

Each brush stroke on these 12×16 canvases by Joan Israel is a slice of a polymer cane. You must see the larger photos to get the full 3-D impact (left, center and right).

The vision, the patience, the number of canes…all mind-boggling! Some have a Henri Rousseau tropical feel. I marvel at their composition and energy. See more of Joan’s lush polymer paintings on the New York Guild’s site.

My husband’s cold is trying to catch me so I’m off to bed to dodge it. Not to worry, I’m good at avoiding bugs and I had a perfectly lovely birthday thanks to all of you. (I’d been saving Jen Dott’s polymer tissue box cover from the Pikes Peak Guild site to share with you on just such an occasion.)