Buddha cane by Jon Anderson


Jon Anderson lives and works in Bali and is one of the most prolific and accomplished artists in polymer. Years of pinching and pounding clay have taken their toll on Jon’s thumb. He’s scheduled for thumb repairs and in the meanwhile his longtime assistant demoed Jon’s process, assembling and reducing the cane according to his instructions.

Jon pays strict attention to the angle of light in his intricately caned sculptures and is always aware of how he leads the viewer’s eye through each piece. This Buddha cane illustrates how John builds large canes and plays with light to enhance the 3D effect. Slices of the reduced cane are integrated in with Jon’s distinctive repeated designs to make sculpture or jewelry.


For more photos, interviews and recordings of this delightfully eccentric and very successful artist, sign up for the Saturday StudioMojo where we’ll take a more in-depth look at what I learned on the Bali-Fiber Tour that I’m currently on. See Jon’s latest work on his Facebook page.

Comfort zones, time zones

Germany’s Bettina Welker made these earrings in a Czech Republic class taught by Eva Haskova. You can see hints of each artist in these classroom experiments. Bettina says she moved out of her comfort zone as she tried Eva’s methods.

I’m moving out of my comfort zone and my time zone this weekend, traveling to Bali to take a class and meet up with polymer artists and learn some new ways of working. PCD will shift into sporadic travelogue mode for the next couple of weeks.

Kicking off a yearlong celebration of FIMO’s 50th year, manufacturer Staedtler unveiled the FIMO 50 World Project, a globe-shaped sculpture to be covered with polymer tiles as it moves from place to place, generating enthusiasm for clay and revenue for several philanthropic projects. Details and instructions are being written up and everyone will be invited to participate. Stay tuned for the project’s site where you’ll find complete information.

One more thing…Iris Mishly has devised one more way to push you out of your comfort zone with her newest series of classes that mix macrame and polymer. Take a look at INKredible Macrame.

Set in stone

If autumn has you itching to get back to nature, revisit the woodsy section on Kathleen Dustin’s site. Her polymer rocks snuggle comfortably against the Mountain Laurel wood focal. The group is suspended on a 19″ steel cable to form her Architectural Neckpiece. She integrates polymer gracefully with natural forms in her woods and beach series.

Here’s a free 3-minute tutorial on wishing stones to inspire you to try your hand at rocks. The video is short and reminds me of how much fun it is to make realistic rocks using translucent polymer colored with distress powders (or spices).

Kathleen is preparing for the Craft2Wear trunk show at the Smithsonian in October and the American Craft Exposition in Chicago. Catch up with her and see some of her newest works on Facebook.

Polymer superheroes

Arteaga on PCDaily

The superheroes on Sandra Arteaga’s site will protect you today. That’s Vegetable Man, Wonder Repipi, and Superskeptical.

This Barcelona artist’s polymer and mixed media art dolls range from charming to creepy to dark and deviant. You can’t help but be impressed by Sandra’s work and her wild imagination.

Go dip into her strange world on Instagram, Facebook, and her blog. She turns her sculpts into articulated paper dolls that she sells on Etsy where she also markets a line of polymer sealing wax dolls.

Leslie Blackford can’t get enough of Sandra’s work and sent the link along for your Halloween enjoyment.

Magpies collaborate

Lehocky on PCDaily

This new batch of Picarello/Lehocky hearts was too beautiful to pass by. Julie Picarello tidied her studio and forwarded those pesky tail ends and bothersome bits to Ron Lehocky.

Ron never met a polymer scrap he couldn’t use. Look at the lovely collaborative patterns that he melded into hearts (more here). He’ll peddle the pins for the Kids Center during Julie’s 2-day class in Indianapolis. Here are Ron and Julie on Facebook.

Picarello on PCDaily

The yellow pieces below are Julie’s samples for Magpie Mokume. In this version she adds leaf and inks and anything within reach into her stacks of clay colors.


Green with jealousy

Otrzan on PCDaily

Germany’s foremost polymer manufacturer, Staedtler, celebrated 50 years of FIMO last week with a 4-day shindig in the Czech Republic. The artists looked glamorous and exhuberant in the event photos.

Don’t you hate to miss a party like that? With wine and fireworks, perfect skies and fabulous giveaways?

When these sample beads from Nikolina Otrzan’s 3D earring class showed up on Facebook, my jealously exploded. And this picture of Natalia’s overlay sent me reeling. They learned how to do THAT? Here’s more Nikolina and Natalia.

Thank goodness that we can now immediately take part in the celebration and begin to learn the latest. Once the wave of jealousy susbides we can continue the sharing that has helped bring FIMO and other polymer clays a long way in 50 years.

Polymer beach finds

Williamson on PCDaily

Genevieve Williamson’s chunky gray polymer chains are weathered like the dock where the shapes originated.

Her photos on Instagram show her jewelry off better against a gray/blue seashore and let us appreciate one more look at a summer vacation on the Maine coast.

Continue your virtual vacation on her Pinterest boards which are chock full of fashion inspiration and seaside imagery. Have a relaxing weekend.

Back to work

Getting StudioMojo ready for Saturday’s edition snaps me out of my reverie. I’m organizing a folder full of tidbits about magnetic clay, homemade slicers and new tutorials along with reports about artists making news and ruffling feathers.

If you’re interested in the juicy bits and PCD backstory, join the party every Saturday at StudioMojo.

Urban polymer on social media

Garrod on PCDaily

The UK’s Angela Garrod has jumped into Facebook this month with the same intensity and determination that she brings to her art.

Her Strata pendant is part of her Opposites series. Suspended on a square silver wire choker Strata was created during Christine Dumont’s Genesis online course as a study in line and shape.

Garrod on PCDaily

On Facebook Angela shares her work-in-progress shots and lets you see the how she tackled the problems she ran into. Watching her work develop is a class in itself and you’ll want to follow along.

Her neck rings like this Bricklane slip over the wearer’s head and are particularly fascinating with their strong urban designs applied onto tribal shapes. She also shares these works and ideas on her Pinterest boards.