Souvenir polymer

Vintage Segal on PCDaily
Pennington on PCDaily
Shriver on PCDaily
Lam on PCDaily
Malinow on PCDaily
Cormier on PCDaily in vintage Voulkos

My traditional souvenirs from polymer events are snapshots of treasure chests. It’s a treat to share with you what artists are wearing. In this case the Racine Symposium participants wore a mix of new and vintage works.

Tracy Holmes wearing a vintage Marie Segal knitted polymer stocking cap. Annie Pennington in her latest copper and Prisma-colored polymer brooch. Sarah Shriver in a new harlequin necklace. Loretta Lam in big fall beads. Wendy Malinow’s small purse (a covered Bandaid box) made years ago after she took a Cynthia Toops class and made her one and only micro mosaic piece. Dan Cormier sporting vintage Pier Voulkos.


Please vote!

The Polymer Prison Project is slipping behind in the polls and voting ends tomorrow. Your vote on the Crafthaus site could put this important project in the lead for the grant. Leslie Blackford says she’ll make a special Elvis for one lucky voter. Vote, leave a comment (in PCD comments below) and Elvis could be yours.

Speechless Friday

Dever on PCDaily

The first peek at the Racine Art Museum (in)Organic show left me without words. I didn’t even catch the proper title of Jeff Dever’s creeping polymer vine piece. Here’s the front and the back.


Jeff’s was the first jaw-dropping work I encountered in a stunning show.

This is going to be a mind-blowing weekend. Yikes! I need some time to soak in the fabulous polymer art before I try to explain it to you next week

Enjoy a quiet, speechless Friday.

Homeland polymer

Grigoryan on PCDaily

Madrid’s Sona Grigoryan has been experimenting with strips of newspaper coiled to make forms. Here she shapes the paper coils into a shallow round vessel.

She tops the paper bowl with ribbons of polymer wound into a traditional design that becomes a lid.

Memories of her homeland are never far from her thoughts and historic Armenian designs often appear in Sona’s works. Here polymer is braided and curled into a lovely pattern that is then textured and antiqued to look ancient.

“I’m a free artist,” she says. “I don’t live a single day without making beautiful things or thinking about them.”

Her growing body of work is cataloged on Flickr and she posts regularly to Facebook.

Polymer pens

Goodrich on PCDaily
Goodrich on PCDaily

Holiday times remind us that polymer is fun for whimsical, silly art made with a wink and a smile. Tina Goodrich (Handmade Mom) turns ballpoint pens into carrots, corn, asparagus or pickles.

When Halloween comes around this California artist tops pens with spiders or ghosts or wraps them into mummies. She breathes new life into an old project.

She likes to play and you can play along with her on Etsy, Facebook and Pinterest.

Polymer graduate degree

On her profile Marie Segal lists her educational institution as Hellenback University. Her latest line of work reflects a graduate degree with honors! And she’s got new tricks up her sleeve.

Mokume gane, textures, cane slices and luscious colors are stacked onto lentil shapes. She repeats the shape again and again with each iteration more enticing than the last.

You should know that Marie is credited with being the first person to use the pasta machine to flatten polymer. She’s been at this a while and she’s teaching in the UK in November.

See what Marie’s been creating on her Etsy shops here and here, on her blog, and of course at the Clay Factory. Her most recent works are on Facebook.

Exhibit catalog lucky winners

  • Linda Prais
  • Carolyn A.
  • Kathy Koontz
  • Christina Nevin
  • Ann Schroeder

Low tech polymer

Kokareva on PCDaily

No extruder? No fancy cutters? No problem. Moscow’s Anna Kokareva (Annie Bimur) shows you how to start the week with a minimum of muss and fuss with two free video tutorials – Cane 1 and Cane 2.

Turn off the sound if you don’t speak Russian. The pictures are sufficient to show you everything you need to know.

Her “cut and replace” approach results in precise geometric canes. Since there are no voids between the design elements, the pattern stays in perfect shape. Here’s Anna’s shop, her Facebook page and her Flickr photos.

The challenge is to come up with more designs that lend themselves to this treatment.

Your vote counts

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.

Aging the rainbow

Boehmer on PCDaily

Germany’s Margit Boehmer shows how she reused a candy tray with shallow indentations to hold her palette of pastels.

She shaves hard sticks of color into a powder that falls into the tray’s dimples. If you look closely you’ll see that she uses cotton swabs to apply powdered pastels to polymer.

Boehmer on PCDaily

Margit draws on and carves and distresses the pieces to give them more character. Lately she’s been aging her rainbow colors by adding crackle surfaces and washes of paint as a finishing touch.

See her complex textures on Flickr and Etsy and Facebook.

Architectural polymer

Kilgast on PCDaily
Kilgast on PCDaily

When it gets gray and chilly, I like to wander through the small cozy gingerbread villages created in polymer by Stephanie Kilgast.

Will this be the year you try your hand at some? Look at those little circles she uses for roof tiles. She makes it look temptingly easy and you can google scads of templates. She shows some in-process shots on Instagram.

In the fall Stephanie makes gorgeous gourds that look fresh picked and tiny breads that almost smell home-baked.

Like many of you, I started playing with polymer when my daughter was furnishing her dollhouse many years ago. I have a soft spot for these small delights. Visit Stephanie on her blog, Facebook and her shop.

Polymer cut ups

Nowak on PCDaily

Beauty will save the world. – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Austria’s Izabela Nowak posted this quote on her site and she takes it seriously. She mixes polymer with juice boxes and milk cartons as she navigates her way to beauty in recycling. Upcyling humble materials is part of her most recent Cut Up pieces.

Nowak on PCDaily

A stroll through her Flickr site shows how she’s moved from spiraled up strips of polymer (her Gilese pieces) to intricate folded shapes (Into the Fold) and then to Cut up assemblages.

She has found that most manipulations that can be done with paper can also be done with polymer and she has developed classes and workshops for teaching her methods. Ultimately she combines the two media. Her latest creations appear on her Facebook page.

Nowak on PCDaily

Her colors are bright and her love of geometry comes through strongly as she bends, cuts and folds basic shapes into beauty.