Banyas’ mermaid

Debra Banyas‘ fabric and polymer clay mermaid looks just like me! I’m home from the beach with my fish and shells and renewed self.

If you’re in need of a vacation, Debra’s happy flying creatures may help. Just looking at the accommodations Debra and her husband are building on their Riverdog property relaxes me.

Laundry’s started and the desktop computer is fired up. The best thing is that I have the weekend to play in the studio, catch up on email and troll the web. Have a grand weekend.

Williamson’s cool polymer


Pennsylvania’s Genevieve Williamson (Jibby and Juna) loves gray and muted colors for her polymer clay designs. Her cool, organic designs have a very modern sensibility and you’ll want to soak up the ambience at her blog and on her etsy gallery.


I’m soaking up the ambience of this coffee shop, my wifi oasis in Florida. My in-laws long ago opted out of technology and are baffled by my need to drive off to get a daily hit of caffeine and electrons. I’m writing fast and trying to remember that I’m on vacation.

Today’s link comes from Eugena Topina’s PolymerClayChameleon site. I’m headed for the dock to watch the porpoises.

Cleo and Cat’s attention grabbing polymer

Claudia and Catalina Pieschacon (Cleo and Cat) are sisters who have combined their artistic talents to produce a bold collection of polymer clay rings, pendants and bracelets.

Their oversize, attention-grabbing polymer jewelry is paired with semi-precious stones, silver, gold and other materials.

The sisters were born in Columbia and both worked in interior design. Cleo now lives in Parkland, Florida. Catalina resides in New York.

Visit FunkyLaLa where you’ll find their works for sale. Thanks to Lisa Henderson for bringing this fresh work to our attention.

Dembicer’s polymer reflections

Peggy Dembicer’s “Self Absorbed” polymer clay and seed bead piece is a perfect theme for today. What were the highlights of 2008 for you? What do you want to leave behind in 2008 so that you can start 2009 with a clean slate?

Change for handcrafts

The first round of voting for the Ideas for Change in America competition will end tonight (12/31/08) at midnight Pacific Time. The competition is a citizen-driven effort to identify the best ideas for how the new administration can turn the broad call for “change” into specific policies.

The idea that, “American-made souvenirs and handcrafts should be displayed and sold in our National Parks” needs more votes to qualify for the final round. The idea was proposed by arts advocate and American Style publisher, Wendy Rosen. You can help increase the chances of this proposal reaching the final round by voting here.

Niche finalists

The coming year has started off on the right foot for these 2009 NICHE Finalists in the Polymer Clay and Jewelry/Fashion categories. Happy New Year to you all!

Lopez del Prado’s polymer clay adventures

Barcelona’s Elvira Lopez Del Prado mixes her media and works with polymer clay in unconstrained ways. Her use of color is refined and her designs are exhuberant. She dabbles with many polymer clay techniques and comes up with some brilliant pieces like the stunning red beads below (transfers? stamps? canes?).

She’s equally adventurous with felt, wire, fabric, paper and resin and her fearless approach is just what I need to start my week in the studio. She shows her work on several sites and you’ll want to visit them all here, here and here.

Wilkes found objects found

Lori Wilkes (Millori) has a knack for integrating found objects with polymer clay. This bracelet includes antique china embedded in polymer. Her transfers are an intriguing mix of old images on backgrounds of bright modern colors and she’s working on an “industrial meets organic” concept.

What amazes me is that I’ve overlook Lori’s work and she lives just a few miles away from me here in Ohio! It was only by thumbing through bead magazines at the library that I ran into her work. It’s great to start the week with a new name and a new website (plus blog, Etsy, Flickr) on our list.

Dustin first at Sunapee; new Balombini in SF

Kathleen Dustin’s “Leek Blossom Pod” has won Best in Show at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Show (Sunapee Fair, August 2-10). Her “Moss and Pods” neckpiece also won the Best in Mixed Media Jewelry award. Sandra McCaw, Ann Dillon, Marcia Herson, Luann Udell, (and I hope I didn’t miss any others) Barbara Sperling and Susan Samitz are also in this popular show. (Thanks to Ann Dillon and Judy Dunn for the corrections.)

I like the show’s new blog which keeps you up-to-date on the activities.

Laura Balombini sent out a sneak preview of her new work for the ACC San Francisco show August 15-17. This is a mixed media piece 16″x16″x2″ of acrylic paint with polymer sheet (house) on a panel with encaustic wax/collage. There’s show info on her site.

Wiggins mixes her media

No better way to start the week than with snappy, crisp, snazzy polymer clay designs from Angie Wiggins. Angie ventures into metal, fiber, glass and found objects but she can’t resist the lure of polymer. Polymer clay "solves my intense color needs," she admits.

"I was taught to embroider at the age of five. I have been a detail freak ever since," Angie reveals. Her jewelry, platters, and containers sing with color and will get your week humming.

The link is from Ronna Weltman. Many thanks.


Local polymer clay finds

Two Ohio polymer clay artists in my local arts show make this a rich and easy Monday.

Pat Bolgar mixes seed beads, stones, silver and PMC in balanced and complementary ways. No element outweighs the others and the resulting textures hold your interest. Micro glass balls embedded in polymer on some of the beads give them an elegant touch.

Valerie Wright turns ordinary kitchen utensils into much more by covering handles with precise and impeccably finished polymer clay canework. Her counter-intuitive (and easy) method of creating fine stripes is explained in Barbara McGuire’s Creative Canes book.

You can see Valerie’s pieces and more of Pat’s work on the page I composed from pictures I took on my stroll around the show.


Friesen updates, moves forward

Christi Friesen is throwing everything but the kitchen sink into her new book, Polymer Clay and Mixed Media: Together At Last. The spikes on this dragon’s head are fork tines with the full forks running down the back. The book is due out at the end of the year.

Christi’s added a few new things from her books and classes to her website.

For her NYC book signing and workshops this weekend, Christi has invited students and fans to wear their Christi-inspired works (each receives a free raffle ticket for one of her works).

Early in her career, this often-imitated artist and teacher made a conscious decision to treat imitation as flattery and to avoid feeling threatened or to let territorial feelings get in the way of her creativity. “It’s art and it thrives on community,” she says. “I definitely get a kick out of having my work so well appreciated.”