The passing of innovator artist Tory Hughes on PolymerClayDaily

Thank you for the hundreds of messages, prayers, memories, and good wishes you sent Tory Hughes that comforted her in her final days. She died on Sunday.

This piece entitled The Path from Nothing to Something hints at the ethereal, celestial themes that appeared in Tory’s works. To learn more about this polymer innovator, teacher, and coach, visit her website and search historical information about her on the PolymerArtArchive.

She inspired many and will truly be missed.

  • reply dayle doroshow ,

    There really are no words. This wonderful teacher, artist, woman, shared her wisdom, laughter, teaching and friendship and changed my life. xoxo Tory

    • reply Christine Damm ,

      Tory’s book on imitative polymer techniques was the first I ever purchased and was a huge influence on my early work. So many brilliant nuggets of advice on being an artist, as well. She will be sorely missed.

      • reply Pam McClung ,

        I am SO very, very sorry to hear that Tory is gone. I watched her videos and had her books and she was a HUGE inspiration to me over the years. Besides being such a talent pioneer in polymer clay she was a cheerful, gentle soul who made the world a better place by simply being in it. She will live on in her work and through all of those that she touched.

        • reply Suzanne ,

          The loss to hr family and friends will be hugely felt. The loss to the art community is palpable. She will be happily remembered and we will all remember her force.

          • reply Randee M Ketzel ,

            Tory’s work was a major influence on my artistic direction—so sorry I never got to meet her in person; I am sure I would have loved her.

            • reply Pat Sernyk ,

              I am reeling in disbelief. I knew Tory was I’ll but did not believe that her passing was so imminent. I too have her book, The Chameleon Clay which she graciously signed for me on one of the two occasions I had to take workshopped from her. She was truly inspirational and insightful, knowing her students so well and leading them in their paths to creating memorable works in polymer clay. The world wîll miss her creative and omniscient spirit.

              • reply Amy Fessenden ,

                I took a class at Snow Farm from Tory on imitative techniques in polymer clay. I had just come through a personal tragedy, though, of course I never mentioned this, but I sensed she knew. Just being around her and her creative spirit made me see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am crushed now that she’s gone and I will never see her again. God bless you Tory.

                • reply Ellen Black ,

                  I am so sorry to hear about Tory Hughes! I have her book and dvd’s. What an inspiration!

                  • reply Rita Hammock ,

                    Heartbroken ?

                    • reply Rita Hammock ,

                      Heartbroken ?

                      • reply Mags Bonham ,

                        I’m so very sad. My first retreat/workshop was Courting the Muse. Tory was one of the instructors. She impressed me so deeply. Her input to our medium will live on.

                        • reply Erin Prais-Hintz ,

                          I am so sorry to hear of this loss. Such a blow to the world to lose someone so creative and innovative. I never had the pleasure of meeting her, nor taking a class with her, but have long admired her work and style. I think that her spirit will live in each of us that try to carry on the techniques that she put forth and perfected. May she rest in quiet peace and may her family and friends feel the joy of her life well lived.

                          • reply Laurie Mika ,

                            So very saddened to hear this news…..the outpouring on social media of heartfelt messages about Tory is a testament to the legacy that she leaves behind. She will truly be missed.

                            • reply Desmene ,

                              Stunned and sad… I remember first seeing Tory’s work in The New Clay book with her stunning stamp pins. Her imitative techniques opened an entire field of exploration for polymer artists… ivory, turquoise, agate… she could make them all. She loved new technologies and the amazing creations of our earth. Go in peace, my friend. You brought beauty into the world.

                              • reply Deb Sims ,

                                A brilliant mind, and inspiring teacher, insightful coach and a challenging and cherished friend. Ad Astra, Tory.
                                She leaves a big hole in my heart.

                                • reply Beth Kosterich ,

                                  Tory was my friend, mentor and muse. My heart is broken as my card will not have reached her in time. I take comfort in a life amazingly lived and loved. Her heart was as huge as her talents, and her willingness to share her techniques and her life experiences unsurpassed with any other teacher I have known. May G-d welcome her with open arms for a very very well lived life.

                                  • reply Betty Nelsen ,

                                    I am deeply saddened by this news. I worked with Tory via phone sessions in the midst of a huge transition in my personal life and of course my creative life. Tory’s insights and compassion were a balm when I most needed it. I am so grateful to have been able to know her as a gifted coach. Her most lasting lesson? Trust the process. Thank you Tory.

                                    • reply Suzie Thompson/mdpag ,

                                      your inspiration will live on in all of us that you taught, touched, or mentored.
                                      Rest gently and color our heavens as you colored our earth.

                                      • reply Sherry Bailey ,


                                        • reply Barbara ,

                                          I met Tory at an ACC show in 1989 and have loved her work from that time on. As one of the pioneers of polymer clay, her work was innovative and original. I’m fortunate to have several of her book and DVD tutorials as well as some wonderful beads she made. She was a wonderful teacher! I am saddened that she is no longer with us, but her creative spirit will live on in those she touched with her magic!

                                          • reply Wendy Moore ,

                                            A darling friend.

                                            • reply JANE GASSNER ,

                                              So very sad. I always looked forward to her postings–and expected to for a long time to come.

                                              • reply Julia Powell ,

                                                I’m so sorry to hear of her passing – but I am glad that she got to see how many people she has influenced, touched, inspired and educated. I never had the honor of meeting her but her work has been a large part of my development as an artist. Thank you for giving us a chance to let her know how much of a difference she made. My condolences to you, all her friends and family.

                                                • reply Lisa ,

                                                  We, at the Racine Art Museum, will miss her as well. Her work is a part of our collection, and we use them constantly as fine teaching tools. If you find yourself in Racine, come and see her work in two shows currently, Polymer and Text. We salute her contributions to a field she helped develop, and one which we have all embraced.

                                                  • reply Kylee ,

                                                    A polymer star shines brightly in that night sky tonight. May she rest in peace.

                                                    • reply Tammy ,

                                                      Followed Tory and her work since early 1990s. Met her in 1994 at MIPCES. She shared so much. Am so sorry to know she has left this place. She will live on thru her art, and thru each of us who she touched in one way or another. Rest in Leace, Tory. Thank you for all you shared with us.

                                                      • reply Joan Lewis ,

                                                        I am in shock. I took at class in imitative techniques from Tory at Snow Farm more than a decade ago. She was such an unusual person. Innovative artist, wonderful teacher and etherial soul.

                                                        • reply Sue ,

                                                          This has been bothering me terribly all day. I know we were asked for prayers, but I had no idea she was that sick — facing death. It breaks my heart. I leaned so much of what I know about PC from her books and videos. The PC world will never be the same. Tory, thank you for all that you did for all of us. Rest in peace.

                                                          • reply Cindy Lietz ,

                                                            It is very sad to hear of Tory’s passing. It is a great loss to lose such a Master of our beloved medium. She has touched the community with her talent and her ability to inspire. She will be truly missed.

                                                            • reply JE ,

                                                              RIP! Sorry to hear Tory is no longer with us!

                                                              • reply Heather Richmond ,

                                                                We are truly in shock and heartbroken. Tory was a wonderful friend and we spent such a lovely time together on her trip to Australia when she stayed with Lexie & I in Melbourne, and taught a a workshop at Over the Rainbow. What makes it even sadder is not having a chance to say goodbye and having missed her when she visited Australia last year. Tory was a beautiful soul, an amazing creative force tuned in to nature, colour and life. She will be sadly missed by everyone.

                                                                • reply Nicola Brown ,

                                                                  I’m stunned and so saddened by the dreadful news. Tory and I met while we were both teaching in Geelong last October, a truly fun and generous spirit. RIP Tory, you’ll be greatly missed. Xx

                                                                  • reply Genevieve Williamson ,

                                                                    This is very sad news. I never had the chance to meet Tory…and clearly it was my lose.

                                                                    • reply Lexie O’Sullivan ,

                                                                      Fly high sweet lady, shine brightly for all to see. Will miss your presence.

                                                                      • reply LaLa ,

                                                                        Our dear Tory is now starburst and moonbeams, rainbows and rain. Her magic was to much to be contained in one body, in one lifetime. She shines bright like the mystical diamond that she is! Rest in Peace dear Tory. Thank you for the encouraging words, the inspiration, and friendship.

                                                                        • reply Deb Sims ,

                                                                          I think this is the best description of Tory that I have heard. Thank you for the beautiful words. Her legacy is immense.

                                                                        • reply Paige Garber ,

                                                                          She had a saying that went something like, “Art is spirit made visible”…I am not sure that is quite it, but her spirit and ability to manifest it were so gorgeous…A lovely soul who touched many others.

                                                                          • reply Gina Reilly ,

                                                                            I am so sad to hear of Tory’s passing. I met her for the first time at Snow Farm in 2008 but I already owned and used her Imitative Polymer Clay book for a number of years before. She was so grounded and wry and a very creative spirit. I remember her being so generous with what she had earned through her own hard work and integrity. Her pieces have always resonated with me. May her spirit live on.

                                                                            • reply Sophie palm ,

                                                                              So sad to hear Tory left us!
                                                                              She was a wonderful woman, creative, fun to be around, so special!
                                                                              We miss you!

                                                                              • reply jesse vernier ,

                                                                                It was my great privilege to know Tory for the last week of her earthly incarnation…. we danced…. we talked of the God self…….. and this poem became true ……. in all of the grace it implies

                                                                                On Dying

                                                                                When I stand before my Lord,
                                                                                in a final act of selfishness,
                                                                                I need not fear my trespass,
                                                                                or wrongful passage. 
                                                                                At the end of my great life journey,
                                                                                it is only the remains of my ego that fears what is now dawning, the light of true understanding  illuminating my rightful passage.
                                                                                As my physical remains bow,
                                                                                immersed in this radiant light,
                                                                                my ego is unbound, revealing my true undivided self as it had always existed,
                                                                                having endured this long blind night of denial
                                                                                that has haunted my worldly incarnation.
                                                                                We are more beautiful Lord than I could ever have imagined ……..
                                                                                The expression of God’s being that is enacted upon the surface of our physical universe, becomes to our mortal sensibilities, the four forces that are the foundation of our natural laws. The two great dominions , Space/Time, and all events that are expressed within as ‘Matter” , are merely aspects of that being. All life, and the animate expressions of our physical universe, are merely reflections of his being in the delicate fabric of their “ field relationships”. Our fulfillment of this aspiration is never more than the recognition of the beauty that surrounds the hope of these truths. Within these thousand fold expressions of beauty, all truth becomes manifest in our waking consciousness , in this act of grace that is our creation.

                                                                                • reply Sidney Oliver ,

                                                                                  Just devastated. I second all the specific tributes to Tory, and would add that she was a genius, a bona fide genius in addition to being a muse, mentor, teacher, sherpa, and friend. There’s a big chunk missing from my heart now, yet I know Tory flew to the stars with a smile in her eyes and colorful bells on her wings. Don’t rest yet, Tory. Be alive in your new realm, and know how much you are loved.

                                                                                  • reply Valerie Watts ,

                                                                                    I will miss that her very much. She was such a inspiration to everyone . I will miss all her wonderful teachings that I was so wrapped up in . I have a hole in my heart .

                                                                                    • reply Janet fowler ,

                                                                                      I will miss tory hughes. I enjoyed her teachings. Rest in power tory and thank u.

                                                                                      • reply Carol Cristen ,

                                                                                        So sad, gone much too soon. I have been wondering/worrying if fimo and the dyes included have anything to do with bad health.She worked with it so much and so long.I understand Tory hasn’t been in the greatest health for a while but this is a real shock

                                                                                        Leave a comment