Nepalis don’t fear color. The unbaked canes and finished pieces in the Samunnat studio showed none of the muddiness that plagues many projects. Their natural color sense must be a cultural legacy from a country awash in color. (Of course it helps that these polymer artists have also studied Color Inspirations.)

On the second day of teaching, the students gravitated to a pair of Kim Korringa earrings that I had brought along and were hungry to learn about them. Via email Kim generously agreed that I could share her tricks.

This tray of earrings headed for the oven (powered by a bone-rattling, foul-smelling generator) looked like a lovely local garden and the colorful Korringa designs with their new Nepali flavor blended beautifully with the women’s brightly patterned kurta salwars. Sharmilla models her earrings here and there are more pictures here.

Traveling around the world has left me jet-lagged, pondering what I learned and happy to be home as I sip a cup of peppery Nepali tea in my Ohio kitchen.

Thanks to the guest posters for their help, to you readers for making my trip worry-free, to my daughter for handling the details, to our gracious hosts and guides, and to you generous donors who continue to brighten the lives of artists a world away.

  • reply Anita Brandon ,

    What an amazing project! Love their Kim Korringa-inspired earrings and kudos to the teacher who helped them to learn how to make them. The pictures from the trip are wonderful to see.

    • reply Marty McGraw ,

      Wonderful pictures! What an amazing trip you had. Looking forward to hearing more about it.

      • reply Maureen Carlson ,

        Cynthia, your story and your involvement and your sharing of it are a blessing to our polymer community. We are bigger and better because of your willingness to take on this adventure.

        • reply suzanne ,

          welcome back Cynthia! thanks for sharing these wonderful and colorful impressions from
          your surely amazing trip.

          • reply Trina Williams ,

            Welcome home, Cynthia. Your guest hosts did an admirable job and we can’t wait to hear your story or see it in print. Imagine, if you will, a small self-published tome ala CF.

            • reply Kit Lockwood ,

              Cynthia, I have felt so enthusiastic about your involvement with this Nepalese community of enterprising women. And, of course, being a polymer addict, I feel quite proud that you were there representing and offering our favorite medium. I’m eager to see more. The women seem delightful and colorful in more ways than one!

              • reply Erin Prais-Hintz ,

                It was really marvelous to flip through your delightful pictures, Miss Cynthia. The trip looks like an astonishing gift filled with color and smiles and wonderful culture. Thank you for sharing this absolutely lovely model and the pretty baubles they made. They really are dazzling with color sense! Enjoy the day!

                • reply Carol Lessans ,

                  Hi hi Cynthia,
                  many TX for sharing your experience in Nepal with us. Your photos are awesome. Do you plan another trip there? My husband was a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal and has been keenly interested in your journey. Welcome home; have a peaceful holiday!

                  • reply Sarah Ziegler ,

                    So glad to have you back from your inspirational voyage!! You were missed and i look forward to enjoying your wonderful point of view and the stories of your travels! God Bless!

                    • reply Susan Morris ,

                      I loved seeing the very colorful pictures. I can see why their polymer efforts did not turn “muddy”.

                      • reply Sheri Williamson ,

                        Just wonderful! And kudos to Kim for sharing her designs.

                        What’s the weather like there? If it’s sunny enough, simple solar cookers might help reduce production costs and carbon footprint. I’ve found that solar cookers heat up more rapidly in the thin air at high elevations, so it should be a pretty efficient curing method on clear days.

                        • reply cynthia ,

                          Sheri – Since we left, the generator has been put on a cart so that it can be rolled outside when it’s running, lessening the noise and pollution. At an orphanage we saw a solar oven that they’d tried (for cooking) and abandoned since its temperature varied and it had to be constantly monitored and moved to follow the sun. They transferred to power from solar panels when they raised the money for them.

                          It’s fascinating to watch them work through these frustrating problems. Thanks for your suggestions and interest.


                        • reply Ann Davis ,

                          Awwwhhh Cynthia!!! That’s a wonderful story!!! Glad you had such a good time!!!

                          • reply genevieve ,

                            Welcome home traveler – rest and take your time on re-entry!
                            Glad to see Sharmilla would pose for more photos.

                            • reply Cassy Muronaka ,

                              Welcome back, Cynthia. I am really looking forward to reading more about your trip.

                              Leave a comment