Northwest Flavor

Joan Tayler, a Vancouver, B.C. artist, creates these wonderful small birds which she had on display at Ravensdale. She placed the raven at the center of this commissioned piece in tribute to the event. I'd call these lovely little creatures by their proper name, fetis_es, but you would not believe how much spam results from a word like that.

Joan's work captures the flavor of the northwest and her birds and fish are beautifully rendered. Visit Joan's website for more pictures and info.

Chihuly Country

Gloria Askin was wearing these earrings at Ravensdale. I shamelessly tracked her down for a picture. She has some new items on her site for you to enjoy as well (click "next" in her site's gallery).

It seems fitting that we feature these Chihuly-inspired beads as we leave the American northwest, home of many glass innovations. Gloria's polymer clay versions are thin, colorful, lightweight…and not nearly as breakable.

At Ravensdale

The first person I ran into at Ravensdale was Nan Roche (see her knot necklace here). Since it was late in the evening, I only took a few pictures and headed for the hotel.

Today I've run through two sets of camera batteries and there's more ahead. We've got plenty to look at for the next few weeks. The atmosphere is quieter and more professional than I recall at earlier conferences. Perhaps at year 10, Ravensdale has matured and we've started taking our art more seriously. The work certainly reflects that.

How nice to put faces with the web names I've been talking about for the past year. Stay tuned.


One more day

I'm deep in vacation mode, relaxing and breathing in the mountain air. This has had an adverse effect on my ability to think about polymer and compose sentences. 

Tomorrow I'll be shopping in some funky areas of Victoria which will no doubt get my juices flowing again. Until then, talk amongst yourselves. Check back tomorrow.

To Dye For

Usually I stay away from project books but "Clay Techniques to Dye For" is a treat, successfully combining artistry with how-to's.

The authors (Judy Belcher, Leslie Blackford, Kim Cavender, Donna Kato and Debbie Tlach) cleverly demonstrate how to use a number of Ranger products and Kato Clay in creative and fun ways.

It may take a while for the book to appear in your area. Check with the publisher ( or to find a copy online. The earrings at right are a great new design from Judy Belcher.

Cold Coffee

My intentions were good but the first day of vacation was just too much fun and too beautiful to pull out the laptop. As proof I'm offering this morning's picture of me and two of my sisters hiking in Whistler, British Columbia. You can see the family resemblance in our matching squints. Tomorrow rain is called for and I'll have news for you.

For those of you whose coffee got cold waiting for this morning's post, so sorry.

Old and new

Huichol artworks are made using an ancient technique. Seed beads are pressed into a layer of bees wax which has been applied to a form. As you can imagine, the sculptures are quite fragile on warm days or in the sun.

Deanna Moore (tigerpurple) demonstrates a new twist on the ancient art. She presses seed beads into polymer clay. Granted, it's a laborious process but quite clever and more stable.

Sometimes you find interesting techniques in the most unlikely places. Have a delightful weekend.

This ‘n That

I'm in a bit of a rush to get things wrapped up in Ohio so that I can head west on vacation (including two days at Ravensdale). Today's a bit of this and that. I plan to post from the road so that you won't miss a thing.

Facere Gallery in Seattle is exhibiting a polymer display that will accompany the Ravensdale conference. These bracelets from Sara Shriver are in the show.

These chocolates from Lindly Haunani's class won't melt even in this heat…and they look delicious.

Diva Jewelry

Techniques that are such fun to create often become mind-numbingly boring. Take those square extrusions. A professor of fluid dynamics bought a bowl of mine that was inlaid with square extrusions. He excitedly explained the physics of how the colors merged and formed. I was fascinated. After a while, however, they all look the same.

Some artists take these techniques to another level. These "Klimt pins" photos from Donna Kato illustrate the point. She takes a simple technique, renders it in unexpected colors and then pushes it further. In this case, she gave the pieces interesting shapes, added pearls and accented one with a textured layer.

It's that second effort that makes these pieces different from the rest. We must learn to obey that inner voice that says, "Take it farther…keep going"

The Ronna Weltman article in ArtJewelry Magazine was nicely written (I just got my copy) and I loved Steven Ford saying that polymer clay jewelry is "diva jewelry." He's right, of course (his new site is working a bit better today). These colors and styles are not for the shy or faint of heart.

New Names

Here's a new name for me…Kristine Taylor from Knoxville, Tennessee. Thanks for the link go to Jayne Hoffman, who will be teaching her own techniques at Ravensdale.

Another young up-and-comer is Cynthia Gordillo from Seville, Spain. Interesting to see adaptations of Dan Cormier's techniques migrating their way around the world.


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