Blackford on PCDaily

I need your vote! Every Fall, Crafthaus awards a micro project grant and my application is in the running.

Prison Polymer: Art as a Lifeline Back to the Community is a project I’d like to nudge forward. This summer Leslie Blackford and Tammy Dye taught one class in Ohio prisons, Maggie Maggio and I taught another. We were all surprised and fascinated by the impact that our medium had on inmates.

What could we do with polymer in prisons that would make a difference? How could our community help? That’s what I’ll use the grant to discover. Please vote for Project #2. Thank you for your help.

It’s hard to look at Leslie Blackford’s Elvis and not smile at his gold leisure suit and sparkling belt buckle. Here are the characters from one afternoon’s class. You can follow her on Facebook too.

Re-Visioning on PCDaily

Catalog giveaway

Would you like to have a memento from the ground-breaking Carthage College Re-Visioning exhibit? In the show catalog Rachel Carren writes eloquently about how polymer art is expanding and reinventing itself.

This slim full color publication would make an elegant addition to your bookshelf. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below. I’ll pick five lucky winners on Monday.

  • reply Bettina ,

    I voted gladly for this great project!
    And of course I’d like to win a copy of that cataog to get a glimpse of that exhibit. Unfortunately I can’t be at RAM this year – but I honestly try to be there next time.

    • reply Christina Nevin ,

      Very happy to vote for your project – best of luck to you!
      Would love to win a copy of the catalog too.

      • reply jan montarsi ,

        My Vote is in – would love to see the catalog !

        • reply Alison ,

          Voted and thanks for being such an inspiration and reminder to pay it forward. Hugs. xo

          • reply cara letho ,

            greetings from Australia and the catalogue will be the closest that I will ever see the entries- many thanks

            • reply EN ,

              Happy to vote and would love to see the catalogue!

              • reply Nevena ,

                Wonderful initiative! Voted and the catalog wouldn’t hurt.

                • reply Kathy Koontz ,

                  I submitted my vote. Best of luck to you and your project!

                  • reply Linda L. ,

                    It’s so nice to see more and more polymer on exhibit–I’d love to see this catalog. My vote is in for this very interesting project.

                    • reply Ron Lehocky ,

                      Have fun at RAM . Share pictures. Wish I was there.

                      • reply Karen Lee Price Luda ,

                        Done. You’re ahead with 36% now!

                        • reply Wendy Moore ,

                          More greetings from Australia (g’day Cara!) I so hope the prison project gets up Cynthia! We both know the power of creativity for women doing it tough. Will gladly vote! And what about Elvis, eh! Love him. Wendy M

                          • reply Vicky Seixas ,

                            I voted for the project; having worked for years with the mentally ill and homeless as an art therapist and a social worker, I’m a believer!

                            • reply Dorothy Siemens ,

                              Fantastic project. You deserve to win! I’ve added my vote.

                              • reply LaLa Ortiz ,

                                This is GREAT! you have my vote! I want to hear more about the project with the inmates! What a wonderful idea! That is something I must look into!!!!

                                • reply Kathy R. ,

                                  What a terrific idea! To often our idea of crime and punishment is de-humanizing and does nothing to help the person be a productive member of society when they return to the outside. The average person who has never had to deal with a loved one in jail doesn’t think beyond the bars. Many of these people have no one to give them a helping hand, a way to find that humanity that was somehow lost along the way. Thanks to those brave artists who put that all aside and share their creativity and kindness with those on the inside.

                                  • reply Fiona Abel-Smith ,

                                    Fantastic, you have my vote.

                                    • reply Linda L ,

                                      Great effort! Happy to vote for this admiral cause … other efforts in this regard (i.e., Wally Lamb, Author) have unearthed some surprising results. Good job!

                                      • reply Mary Anne Loveless ,

                                        I am smiling right now.

                                        • reply carole ,

                                          Leslie always has my vote!
                                          Thanks Cynthia for always supporting the polymer clay world!

                                        • reply Katie ,

                                          I voted! What a great thing to do!

                                          • reply Kathryn ,

                                            Voted! Would love that catalogue too, of course, but I hope the prison project continues no matter what. Such an important initiative. Good luck.

                                            • reply Laurel Swetnam ,

                                              My intro to polymer was as a therapeutic medium. Clients and I fiddled, moulded and relaxed together as we talked. Great idea to use with women who are incarcerated. I support your project from experience. And the RAM catalogue- beautiful.

                                              • reply tejae ,

                                                Best wishes for a great Crafthaus win! Ya’ll deserve it. 🙂

                                                • reply Kathy Anderson ,

                                                  I am a volunteer at a prison and the arts are essential to the Inmates. Good cause.

                                                  • reply Beth Ackley ,

                                                    Voted. Hope you win!

                                                    • reply Leanna Englert ,

                                                      Of course I voted for your very worthwhile project. I loved your project in Nepal & admire how you continue to use polymer clay to make a difference.

                                                      • reply Libba Pendleton ,

                                                        I too voted for prison art!
                                                        Thank you for your work.

                                                        • reply Debbie Crothers ,

                                                          What a sensational project. I wish you all the very best of luck and look forward to seeing the outcome. xx

                                                          • reply Sue Urich ,

                                                            Voted, hope you win. Hope I do too.

                                                            • reply Laurie mika ,

                                                              Just voted! Hope you win as it is such a worthwhile endeavor…..and we all know how art transforms lives.
                                                              A few months ago I taught for a non-profit called Piece by Piece that ministers to the homeless and skid row populations providing free art instruction …. And it was clear what a great impact art had on their lives….. Best of luck to you!

                                                              • reply CAROL BLACKBURN ,

                                                                Yes, Cynthia, you’ve got my vote. Good luck.

                                                                • reply Enkhe ,

                                                                  Just voted!

                                                                  • reply Marty McGraw ,

                                                                    I voted for your wonderful project!

                                                                    • reply Bob ,

                                                                      You have my vote!

                                                                      • reply Lenora ,

                                                                        Cynthia, you have my vote too. I really would love the catalog. I had hoped to travel to Kenosha to see the exhibit but I’m still recuperating from my bilateral mastectomy at the beginning of August and dealing with problems of healing which necessitate more surgery in a couple of weeks.

                                                                        • reply Maude ,

                                                                          What an inspiration you are for me-my thanks and my vote are yours!

                                                                          • reply terri ,

                                                                            What a worthwhile project! I added my vote….good luck!

                                                                            • reply Sherry Bailey ,

                                                                              You guys are The Best for reaching out to the prison community — and the results speak for themselves. Obviously people had fun and learned things!

                                                                              The exhibit looks like it was amazing — wish I could have seen it. But if I am lucky enough to get a catalog, I will be a happy camper! Thanks for the opportunity and for what you are doing, both with the prisoners and this blog!

                                                                              • reply Audrey ,

                                                                                Voted! I am thrilled to see this particular initiative. Last week I went to a WritersFest and heard Wally Lamb and two others discuss the multiple problems with the U.S. and Canadian prison systems. All prison farming has been abandoned in Canada. A travesty. But there are book clubs and that’s great. Polymer Clay workshops held in prisons is a fabulous idea. I work with PC, too and live near Kingston, Ontario where there are 7 federal penetentiarys. Best of luck with all you do. I, too, would love a catalog.

                                                                                • reply Diane Bruce ,

                                                                                  I am off to vote for you. I would love to be updated about the project if you win!

                                                                                  • reply dayle doroshow ,

                                                                                    wonderful project! fingers crossed for the grant

                                                                                    • reply Leslie Blackford ,

                                                                                      Of all the classes I have taught over the past 11 years this was the most meaningful experiences I have ever had in a classroom. What I gained was so much more valuable than any amount of money . The people were so appreciative and eager to learn. They were so observant and showed so much gratitude to us for just being there to share what we knew with them.
                                                                                      I believe that we are all just one minute away from making some kind of bad mistake that could change our lives as it did theirs . I know that is what happened to most of the men and
                                                                                      women I met in the prison that day. It was an honor to have had the chance to go teach there. I look forward to going back again near Christmas time. Please vote for this .

                                                                                      • reply Judy Tanner ,

                                                                                        Voted. The prison project sounds like a great endeavor.
                                                                                        I’d love a book. Thanks for the give-away!

                                                                                        • reply Lyn StClair ,

                                                                                          Wow! Irons continue to be in the fire! Keep at it Cynthia!!! You rock!!!

                                                                                          • reply Sylvia Valentine ,

                                                                                            Voted. Excellent project.

                                                                                            • reply kay ,

                                                                                              I hope everyone interested in pc votes for this wonderful project. It is behind #1, so we need more votes!

                                                                                              • reply Peggy ,

                                                                                                What a great project! And I know how Leslie can inspire imagination and determination! I voted.

                                                                                                • reply Edie Stanger ,

                                                                                                  To be fair, I looked at all the entries, easily chose yours.

                                                                                                  • reply Sarah Wilbanks ,

                                                                                                    I love the prison project. I’ll vote for your project!

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