Monday mind-benders

When you take a close look at this new Encrusted polymer bracelet from Jana Roberts Benzon are you as mesmerized as I am? The colorful texture is sumptuous and mystifying. How could you possibly make such a multi-dimensional pixel-like construction? It’s a Monday mystery.

Jana admits, “Honestly, when I finished it, I was just like dang, this is the coolest thing I’ve ever done.”  More pix on Flickr and Facebook. Jana’s teaching in Philadelphia in April.

Polymer-covered pasta machine handle

Can a pasta machine handle survive the heat of the oven? Lisa Pavelka tested hers and the answer was yes. The next step, of course, was to cover it with a base layer of scrap clay and start adding cane slices.

She’ll never lose her handle in a class! Lisa’s theory is that you make better art with artistic tools.


  • reply Mary Anne Loveless ,

    This. Is. Fabulous.

    • reply Rebecca Thickbroom ,

      The detail is amazing, your work is as inspiring as ever.


      • reply Janie ,

        Wow…you can lose yourself in that texture! Incredible! Love seeing this new work from Jana.

        About Lisa’s pasta machine handle…Lol, I can’t believe none of us have been doing that yet! I’m sure that will change! Very cool. However, I would wonder, does the handle’s finished clay surface react after a while from handling raw clay during conditioning and using the handle?

        • reply Kristie ,

          Jana’s work is indeed fabulous. I had the opportunity at CFCF 2012 last week in Baltimore to see – and feel! – the bracelet in person. Simply amazing! As always, Jana sparks my curiosity and my desire to learn more and do more with polymer. She’s an outstanding teacher and a real inspiration.

          Thanks for sharing her piece.

          • reply Pati Bannister ,

            Fabulous, gorgeous, astonishing …. dang !

            • reply Trina Williams ,

              Looks like maybe Jana pushed her slab of clay through a screen. Even so, manipulating and applying it to the piece had to be time and energy consuming. And cleaning the bits of clay from a screen…….Hmm. Pieces of screen that you can toss.

              Love Lisa’s handle. I have several “pokey tools” made from different sizes of tapestry needles and a clay handle. They get dirty but a bit of sandpaper and buffing cleans them up. I’m down to two handles for my seven machines. Maybe I wouldn’t lose them if they were prettied up.

              • reply Dawna Sharp ,

                I’m in total awe. Jana always comes up with something fresh and exciting. Love her artwork. She a great gal too!

                • reply mira pinki krispil ,

                  as usually amazing artwork that made by Jana i am so waiting to see this bracelet in real
                  so much work with amazing result love the colors and this brilliant technique just amazing ?

                  • reply Nevenka Sabo ,

                    I am always amazed by Jana’s work. Those wonderful canes and laser cut pieces and now this.
                    Lisa’s idea is fun too.

                  • reply jana ,

                    Well, there’s just really nothing like a PCD feature to put a spring in the step and brighten an otherwise dreary morning (lol)….seriously, I’m really flattered Cynthia..thank you so much.

                    I posted on FB that nope, it’s not pushed through a screen (but, I want to see Trina’s results when she tries it!). A window screen would be too flimsy and just ‘mush’ the clay; I think that if you found a firmer screen, it *might* work, but I’m afraid there would still be just too much drag. It also would not create the periodic random nature of the little “towers”. The construction isn’t nearly as fussy as it appears it would be, and that, once again, brings us to the beauty of polymer — it rewards us with spectacular “how’d she/he do that!” results when “why didn’t I think of that” techniques are applied 🙂

                    Thanks to you commenters for your kind words!

                    • reply Trina Williams ,

                      LOL. You are right Jana, I tried the screen and some needlepoint plastic canvas. No luck. When are you coming to Sandy Camp to demo it??

                    • reply Kit Lockwood ,

                      I swear, Jana’s production of mind blowing techniques isn’t just trickling out. That woman is like a fire hydrant!

                      • reply jana ,

                        Trina, I’m coming this year! Yippee for me! I love Sandy Camp. I actually had scheduled something on that weekend before I knew when SC was going to be. When I found out the dates, I changed my plans (Thank you Houston Guild! I just couldn’t miss it another year. Demo-ing Encrusted..hmmm…I’ll have to think about that! Maybe you and I could have a session 🙂 hugs..

                        • reply jana ,

                          an obvious “oops” needs to be inserted here…Sorry Kit and Trina…posted my comment in the wrong spot. Oh well….Thanks very much, Kit, for the comment…loved your interesting analogy!

                      • reply Randee M Ketzel ,

                        For someone as modest and unassuming as she is, Jana’s work is just explosive–she is always pushing the envelope with respect to technique and design. Her creativity shouts from the rooftops. Never stop what you’re doing, Jana–you make us all hugry for more.

                        • reply jana ,

                          🙂 thank you, gal…

                        • reply Anita Brandon ,

                          That is one seriously awesome and mind boggling Encrusted Bracelet….as unique and special as Jana, herself!

                          Love Lisa’s beautifully cane-decorated pasta machine handle. Who would of thought? I predict the “artistic tool” she’s created a be spurring a new trend in decorator PM handles that we’ll be seeing in studios around the world. (She should sponsor a contest.)

                          • reply Sarah Pennington of Hip Earth Designs ,

                            Wow! Jana does some very detailed work- really amazing!

                            • reply Libby Mills ,

                              I saw this bracelet on Flickr and hoped you’d be featuring it here. The design is beautiful and rather mind boggling. Jana continues to amaze and expand the boundaries of this medium.

                              • reply Heather Campbell ,

                                Jana…. congrats on your well deserved spotlight here on PCD ! This new technique is so very amazing I just don’t know how you keep coming up with these mind blowers. You are a “work and a wonder” to say the least. …hee hee. Love ya!

                                • reply Sally Johnson ,

                                  So excited to try this!

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