Annie Pennington uses colored pencil on polymer on her mixed media Diatom Series commissioned brooch (left) which is set in copper and filled with felted wool. Annie is associate editor for ArtJewelry Magazine and was trained as a metalsmith.

When Janice Abarbanel featured Annie’s work on her blog, I noted that all the captions listed “clay” as one of the materials. A quick email clarified that the material was polymer and Annie happily amended the descriptions in her captions.

“I have just recently begun working with polymer clay again after close to 20 years (and I’m still using the same old clay!). I think it may be time to get some new clay,” she admitted. “I recently stopped by the Racine Art Museum to see Terra Nova before it closed. I’ve been to countless exhibitons and art shows, but that was definitely one of the best exhibits I’ve ever seen,” she added.

  • reply Melanie West ,

    Beautiful work! Reminds me of Ronna Sarvas Weltman’s work. I really enjoy how easily polymer plays with other materials. Brava, Annie!

    • reply Annie Pennington ,

      Thank you, Melanie. I’ve been a fan of yours for some time, so I’m glad to connect here. And, thanks for introducing me to Ronna Sarvas Weltman’s work!

    • reply Nena ,

      Beautiful pieces.

    • reply genevieve ,

      I love the surface/colors/textures created by colored pencils on polymer!

      • reply ronna ,

        Her work is beautiful. Yes, those of us who gravitate to circles, orbs, pods, things like that often arrive at a similar place from different roads. Polymer clay offers us so many ways to express ourselves. We all have different artistic voices that seem to play a harmonious riff on nature’s wonder.

        • reply Annie Pennington ,

          Thanks, Ronna. You work is absolutely gorgeous! I have been a “pod person” ever since I started making jewelry, and I am just beginning to discover all the potential polymer has to offer.

        • reply Marlene Brady ,

          The “scratchiness” appeals to me as well as the off centered layering and imperfect circles. Beautiful work.

          • reply Annie Pennington ,

            Thanks, Marlene! The “scratchiness” is one of my favorite features as well…I’ve never been a shiny, pristine-finish gal, and my work reflects that.

          • reply Kelley ,

            After seeing this, I’m definitely going to have to try my colored pencils on polymer clay.

            • reply Trina Williams ,

              Don’t get new clay if it is Fimo Classic (before reformulation). Once that clay is conditioned it stays pliable forever! I have a cane I made in a Sarah Shriver class in the late 90’s that is in great shape.

              • reply Annie Pennington ,

                I don’t think I’ll be getting rid of my old clay any time soon! It may be old, but it sure keeps doing what I need it to do for me! I think I may have a block or two of some Fimo Classic tucked away…

              • reply Loretta ,

                these are NICE. I’m wondering about the pencil on top – do you think it needs varnish or some fixative to keep from rubbing off?

                • reply Annie Pennington ,

                  Thanks, Loretta. While I haven’t had any issues with the durability of colored pencil on my pieces, I do take precautions to make sure it stays put! I seal the pencil in a variety of ways, depending onto what material I’ve applied the colored pencil (polymer, metal, wood), and I always rough-up the surface before I start drawing. 🙂 I also avoid placing colored pencil on areas of my pieces that will get a lot of wear-and-tear (back of a brooch, ring band, etc…).

                  • reply Enkhe Tserenbadam ,

                    Once I made a bracelet with colored pencil drawing on it and protected it very very thin translucent clay! Once it is polished and buffed it is not bad at all!

                  • reply ~*Amber Dawn Goldish*~ ,

                    I love the use of materials and the coloring effect!
                    Beautiful work! Thank you for spotlighting her today, Cynthia!

                    • reply Annie Pennington ,

                      Thanks, Amber! I’ve never been able to work strictly in one material, so most of my work combines a variety of materials.

                    • reply Barbara Briggs ,

                      What a wonderful idea…it gives polymer a “painterly” finish!

                      • reply Annie Pennington ,

                        Thanks, Barbara! “Painterly” is a good way to describe it! I hadn’t thought of that before, but it’s spot on. Painterly without paint….sounds good to me!

                      • reply Annie Pennington ,

                        Thank you for featuring me today, Cynthia! And thanks to everyone else for the kind words about my work; I really appreciate it!

                        • reply shelly ,

                          How and when is the colored pencil applied? Can someone send me to a site with a ‘how to’ for this technique?

                          • reply Sarah S. ,

                            Hey I’d like to add my name to the list of admirers here. I love your work Annie. I saw it, pushed “print”, and thumbtacked it to my wall before I could count to three.

                            • reply Enkhe Tserenbadam ,

                              Colored pencils on polymer! Love it! Beautiful work! I tried it once! Now I have to try again! Thanks for posting it!

                              • reply MOMENToCOMPLEMENTo ,

                                it is a work wonderful!!!
                                i like very much^^

                                • reply Garance ,

                                  Magnificent, j’adore !!!
                                  These pieces are a work of art, each telling a different story.
                                  Just gorgeous!

                                  • reply chifonie ,

                                    The composition is elegant and just perfect ! I love the tones too.
                                    Bravo !

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