Women in power

Art at its best is a conversation between the artist and the viewer. For instance, take a look at the polymer figure in this glass and polymer mosaic called, She Persists – Women in Power by Debbie Maier Jacknin of Pittsburgh.

What is she saying? What is her story? What more can we learn by looking at all of the elements?

On her blog, Debbie tells of her interest in the history of Pittsburgh and of Native Americans, including that of the 18th-century leader, Queen Aliquippa.

T. Chalke wrote in 1706 that Aliquippa “…was an empress; and they gave much heed to what she said among them.”

Debbie says, “Let this sink in. While European women were not able to vote or own property, the Native woman was often the leader in her community and held in high esteem!”

Art can be much more than a pretty picture. Thank you, Debbie, for the timely conversation.

Blog post by Debbie Jacknin and Maureen Carlson

Focusing on the surface

Stunning surfaces on polymer from Ellen Marshall on PolymerClayDaily.com

When I discovered polymer clay in 1992, I was driven to learn everything I could. But my attention/intention changed when I attended Making History, the 2008 National Guild’s conference that was the brainchild of Steven Ford and that focused on applying techniques and approaches from other media to work with polymer clay.

At that conference that I found Tim Andrew’s book on raku and became fascinated with surface design.  A few years later, at Donna Kato’s urging, I followed an article I’d written on my testing of inks and paints on polymer clay with my book on surface design techniques.

I still do surface design work, but now it’s in the service of many other fascinations.

Posted by Ellen Marshall, former president of the National Polymer Clay Guild

Polymer that snarls for you

Heather Tinkham's mixed media sister snarls when you can't on PolymerClayDaily

Bazhie, of the Support Squad, is one of 15 mixed-media figures created by Minneapolis artist Heather Tinkham for a grouping that she calls the Sister Posse.

Take a look, and then a second, deeper look, at Bazhie’s expressive, mysterious face. Yes, it’s polymer, as are the accent pieces that adorn her head and serve as her feet. At 20 inches (50.8 cm) tall, she is an imposing figure.

Heather also creates jewelry, but her interest in art-making as a force for introspection and healing is especially evident in her figurative work.

Each of the Sister Posse members has a story that represents one of the amazing gifts we bring to each other, from the strength to stand firm to the need to grieve and heal from the storms of life. Bazhie’s story is about the Gnarly Snarls of Shoulds, which is a tricky job at the best of times. Heather says “Not to worry, Bazhie’s got this Gnarly Snarl for you. Go back to doing what you can. Things will be fine.”

Heather has wisely taken advantage of the photogenic quality of the Sister Posse and offers them as inspiration cards for journaling, reflection, greeting card enclosures, or as reminders of intention. Smart move, Heather!   Posted by Maureen Carlson

The Queen of hearts

When the King of Hearts loses his Queen, we all grieve with him.

Ron Lehocky’s wife Peg passed away on Monday, September 21, 2020, after a long and valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. What a wonderful partner she was to Ron!

Queen of Hearts, Peg Lehocky

As a physician’s wife, she knew she shared him with countless patients and their families, and in the polymer clay world, she shared him with all of us as well. Ron’s hearts are a testament to his love for Peg, as every heart he has made and will continue to make will have Peg enshrined in it.

Peg was an artist in her own right as well. Her skills with Swedish weaving were treasured gifts for anyone lucky enough to receive one. She worked hard to make sure that all the kids and grandkids had one as a keepsake after she was gone.

Peg and Ron had a love affair that lasted for 46 years. May her memory be a blessing.

Posted by Joey Barnes

Manly leather clay

Diane Quarles Remember Who You Are shield on PolymerClayDaily

When Dianne Quarles, an Atlanta based artist, was challenged to create a piece for a show on Black men, she discovered leather clay was the perfect solution. She created a piece titled, Remember Who You Are, inspired by Beyonce’s Black is King.

Dianne sculpted the face of a contemporary man mounted in front of a shield, reminding him of his ancestral African heritage.

Leather clay was perfect to create a shield that looked like real leather. Her work will be in the show, Fathers, Brothers, Sons at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in Atlanta, September-October, 2020.

Posted by Dianne Quarles

Derwin Murphy makes his mark

Derwin Murphy plunges his blades into books on PolymerClayDaily.com

Derwin Murphy began experimenting with polymer clay in 2016. Growing up in a household that engaged in science fiction, gaming, fantasy, anthropology, and folklore, Derwin uses these as the inspiration for his polymer work.

His attraction and interest in fantasy, folklore, and anthropology stand out in his bookmark designs. You can see clearly his skillful manipulation of polymer to mimic metal in his stunning rendition of his mythical Bookblade bookmarks.

Derwin Murphy plunges his blades into books on PolymerClayDaily.com

Under his business name Kindred Whispers, meaning related stories, in addi

tion to his bookmark series Derwin also designs jewelry, portable/wearable art for tabletop gamers, sci-fi fans, LARPers, and cosplayers. In his own words, “Cultural designs are treated with respectful admiration and appreciation.”

Posted by: Kathleen DeQuence Anderson

Emotional polymer

Gosia expresses emotion in her pensive sculptures on PolymerClayDaily.com

This Toronto-based artist goes by the single name Gosia and works in many sculptural clays including this stunning piece, Pearl, made with polymer clay and gypsum.

The range of quiet emotions Gosia conveys in her artworks is the most important aspect for the artist who hopes to connect viewers to contemplate their deeper feelings.

Gosia creates an original bust design then casts it a number of times but changes the original image into completely different female personalities by hand sculpting Neo-romantic embellishments and fine details which makes each one singularly unique. Her colors are often very muted.

Emotion is not usually a highly discussed element in polymer clay but it’s definitely present in many polymer artists’ work. Does emotion play a part in your work?

Camo Couture

Earrings for soldiers from Sherry Shine on PolymerClayDaily.com

Jacksonville, Florida’s Sherry Shine loves mokume gane for its random serendipity. Two of her mokume pieces were award winners in the Fire Mountain Gems’ contest last year. It’s her line of camouflage earrings that caught my eye.

Yes, she’s a proud Air Force veteran! Why not serve fashionably?

Here she is out of uniform on YouTube and Etsy

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