“I make all kinds of artifacts,” says New Hampshire’s Luann Udell, “I imagine myself an ancient artist working in ivory and soapstone. I dream of giving these to people I love, people who wear them daily until they are worn smooth by the touch of human hands.”

These polymer faux stone masks kept calling me back to study them along with Luann’s ancient horses, bears, fish, birds and talisman. Resonances of both primitive and digital cultures come through as Luann retells ancient stories in our very modern medium – a cyber tribal effect.

“I tell stories with my art, stories to honor and encourage others who are making their own place in the world,” she explains. Check her links and see for yourself.

  • reply Page McNall ,

    Luann, I LOVE your work and what you can do with polymer clay. After living in Alaska for several years, it speaks of the lovely worn Inuit artifacts. Your colors, textures and effects are simply beautiful. Page

    • reply Luann Udell ,

      I was still recovering from knee surgery when these lovely comments appeared, but better late than never, right? :^)

      Page, thank you for your compliment, and yes, I LOVE Inuit carvings! I have two I bought with my very first paycheck from my very first “real job” (for the princely sum of $35!) I try to echo their aesthetic and tread lightly, so as to respect their art. I’m delighted you saw the “echo”. :^)

    • reply Loretta ,

      Me too! There’s a charm to these little figures and a tactile quality that feels like a soul has been rubbed into them. A couple of years ago Luann and I met at a show and I was all agog – so much so that my husband secretly went and bought me a darling bear pin which I treasure.

      • reply Luann Udell ,

        It’s always nice to get a compliment from someone you really admire. Love YOUR work, Loretta, and it WAS really nice to meet you at that show. I’m so glad you like your little bear. :^)

      • reply Maureen Carlson ,

        Luann’s blog is one that I return to as her voice comes out loud and clear not only in her art but through her words.

        • reply Luann Udell ,

          I’m honored, Maureen, to hear this from one of our polymer clay pioneers! Thank you.

        • reply Sherry Bailey ,

          You rock, Luann! Those masks are wonderful! (And, of course, my “Lascaux” horse pin is one of my treasures.)


          […] I saw an update in my inbox from Cynthia Tinapple’s delightful blog, It was titled Polymer Artifacts so of course I had to take a […]

          • reply Cynthia Tinapple ,

            Ooooo…new pictures. Love it when a post nips at your heels and gets us new eye candy.


            • reply Luann Udell ,

              I’m growing a new appreciation for how this works! :^)

          • reply Luann Udell ,

            OMG, it’s like old home week here! So wonderful to hear from all of you, especially some of my clay heroes. :^) Thank you, all.

            • reply Meisha ,

              These are lovely. Luann has a very sensitive hand. These and other works look like actual artifacts. Beautifully done.

            • reply Triche Osborne ,

              I’ve been a fan of Luann’s work ever since I saw the faux bone Lascaux horses on her art quilts. Both future/primitive and contemporary/primitive works resonate with me, and she captures and combines the two sensibilities to great effect.

              • reply Luann Udell ,

                Triche, you echo what a (more academic) artist friend said years ago: “It’s po-mo!:

                What the heck is po-mo??, I asked. She explained that the dynamic you’ve so aptly put–future vs. past, contemporary vs. prehistoric–is a post-modern aesthetic. Who knew?!

                I’m delighted you see that, and I wish I’d taken more modern art history classes so I’d have known what she was talking about! :^D

              • reply Sandra ,

                The Polymer Faux Masks are fantastic. Them look real stone.

                • reply Luann Udell ,

                  I love it when people ask what kind of stone it is! :^)

                • reply isabelle ,

                  I love your thechniques and creation your mask are so original

                  • reply Luann Udell ,

                    Thank you Isabelle! I love making these masks, and it’s fun to see how they’ve gently evolved over the years.

                  • reply Lidia ,

                    • reply Luann Udell ,

                      Lovely work, Lidia! I have a soft spot for cuneiform! Do you carve your own stamps for the figural work, or do you sculpt the polymer directly?

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