Elevating the bowl

Gilcher on PCDaily

I’m itching to get back to work as my week at camp winds down. All week long the humble little polymer bowl has been on our minds and work surfaces. Lynda Gilcher built several prototype wire bases to elevate her little vessels.

Bowls are on the rise. I’ll leave you with that and report more when I return home next week.

Lynda’s teaching at the French Lick gathering this summer and her Ohio shop (online here) carries some tool gems. Enjoy your weekend.

Scrap habits


While we’re focused on ways of working, I noticed that Emily Squires Levine accumulates her cane slices and in a designated scrap bowl and at the end of each studio session, she makes coasters from the day’s surplus.


Clay that isn’t used in the coaster collage is blended into backing to add thickness. What a good way to get rid of scraps regularly so that they don’t nag at you from an ugly  pile that clutters the studio.

See more of Emily’s studio here and on Flickr.

Silk road


Julie Eakes (yesterday’s artist) is more than a one trick pony. While she’s drawn to mosaic portraits, she’s also a cane magician who’s been collaging her canes and patterns into a new Silk Road series of brooches and bangles.


Julie was intrigued by Meisha Barbee’s process of spreading out a big selection of component canes and colors on her work surface and then happily composing works from the array of choices in front of her.

Julie built up her own stash of stripes, colors and textile canes from which she’s building her new collection.


Verklempt polymer


The heart guy, Ron Lehocky, admitted that he was shocked and verklempt at the gift Julie Eakes presented him as we celebrated his having made 30,000 polymer heart pins to support the Kentucky Kids Center. Julie mounted heart cane slices on a 24″ x 28″ canvas to form a mosaic portrait.

Julie ran the photo of Ron through her mosaic software program to determine the basic design. She then made 9 heart canes in varying shades of pink, surrounding them with either black or white backgrounds. She baked the canes and sliced them while they were warm so as not to distort the squares. The mosaic required about 2,400 slices and Julie has the blisters to prove it.

What a fitting tribute to the guy who warms the hearts of so many. Here’s a recent video of Ron on local tv. See more of Julie’s work on her site and on Facebook.

Modern quilt polymer


My tablemate, Libby Mills put on her prototype necklace so that I’d have a Monday post. The design is inspired by the Modern Quilt movement and is part of Libby’s larger collection.

A lack of internet at last night’s hotel has slowed me down but we’ve got strong signal in Virginia so we’re back!

See more Libby on Flickr, Facebook and her site.

Butterfly class

Maunsell on PCDaily

Quebec’s Claire Maunsell will construct these butterfly beads, hollow joining elements and clasp this Saturday (May 9) live online in her Elusory Leaves class on Craftcast. (Her first international class at Galerie Friesleben was a big hit.)

A hot glass artist for decades, Claire embraced polymer because it offered color, malleability and portability. She happily left the heat and heavy equipment behind. Because of her experience with glass Claire approaches polymer with a fresh perspective, stretching, moving and coloring the medium very differently.

Maunsell on PCDaily

She has several ways of making hollow beads (one in my book) and her most simple stacked hollow bead photo tutorial is still my favorite.

If you look at Claire’s ideas on Pinterest, on Flickr and on her blog, you’ll begin to grasp her aesthetic – organic, ethereal, dark – and begin to appreciate her skill and creativity. Craftcast classes are recorded so that you can revisit the instructions whenever you need to.

Polymer flutters

Bardol on PCDaily

There’s something appealing about a design that’s been boiled down to its essence.

Arden Bardol’s Flutter brooches rely on bold repeating triangle shapes and subtle shades. No fancy techniques or tricky tools required.

Companion cane slices peeking out of the middles and circles strew on the petals move our eyes around the form.

Bardol on PCDaily

Can you tell that Arden was trained as an architect? Her work is very much about geometry and structures, how they work together, how they delight.

These new designs and other never before seen pieces will be unveiled at her trunk show on May 9. See more new work on her Facebook page and on Artful Home.

Baking bees

Terlizzi on PCDaily

Melissa Terlizzi also interprets nature in polymer with her bee colony. She was inspired by the Victor Hugo quote, “Life is a flower for which love is the honey…” and says the piece is almost like sunshine in a box for her.

On her Facebook page and on Flickr she shares photos of her work in progress and tells how she created her swarm.

Is Mother Nature speaking to you in the language of polymer this spring?

Terlizzi on PCDaily

Poly willows

A bunch of dried pussy willows in a booth at the farmers market caught my eye. What if I picked off the fuzzy blooms and replaced them with polymer ones?

This bunch of blossoms in my living room would provide a splash of color and a clever visual pun. Here’s a closer look.

I raided my old canes and piles of color scraps, recycling them to make hundreds of little ovals. I baked them and fired up the hot glue gun. The worst of the whole process was removing the fine webs of glue threads that draped themselves on the branches.

I considered saving this idea for my class on polymer and power tools at Maureen Carlson’s facility in Minnesota in late July. But by then all the pussy willows will be gone.

Tinapple on PCDaily

Besides, I have plenty of ideas for tweaking our medium with the help of simple tools and an adventurous decorating spirit.

The Poly Willows may never make it to our living room. The other artists want them to stay on display in the studio.

Polymer CPR

Lehocky on PCDaily

Ron Lehocky just hit the 30,000 heart mark in his campaign to raise money for Kentucky Kids Center. He’ll continue to make hearts as he begins teaching CPR.

Not that CPR! His first class is called Come Play with Ron, May 22-24 at Creative Journey Studios in Georgia.

Lehocky on PCDaily

Dr. Ron is easing up on his medical hours and he’s beginning to share some of the finer points that working with polymer day in and day out taught him.

He’s perfected Roney Gane, the Easy Peasy Cane and developed clever ways to recycle canes and enliven surfaces. Ron explains more on this short video. He’s donating the 30,000th heart to Creative Journey Studios’ polymer history collection.

Polymer by month

Each month I upload all the PCD photos to my Flickr gallery. April’s features were particularly photogenic. Have a look.