Polymer that emerges with hope

“I’m loving this new project,” Heather Campbell said in October, “It’s so physical and messy. I guess a darker side of me needs to erupt and show itself before I can move on.”

The December result is Holding It Together, a large polymer and mixed media sculpture with a hopeful, healthy message for the end of our year.

Heather explains that, “Our strength is our ability to sew and hammer and bind, to glue and nail each piece of ourselves together, until the strength of our parts makes us whole again. Holding it together is our challenge, emerging with hope is our goal. We are survivors.”

The scale and power of this piece is remarkable. Watch Heather rip into a mannequin form that serves as the base. Scroll down to watch this big girl take shape.

Heather will teach others how to make a powerful personal portrait of their own at Maureen Carlson’s Center in May.

As a fitting start for the new year, she received word that her rustic, layered polymer necklace has been chosen as a finalist for a Niche Award! Visit the Niche site to see more finalists. Happy 2012 to all of you!

Our polymer niche

Arden Bardol is one of the winners just announced in the 2011 Niche Award competition. Arden was omitted from our previous list of finalists. Her Timepiece belt buckle won in the fashion accessories category.

The other winners are Wiwat Kamolpornwijit (fashion jewelry), Doreen Kassel (polymer clay), and Barb Fajardo (polymer clay).

Eight polymer artists were finalists this year and a whopping four of the eight were named winners in their categories. Clap for them and stand up, take a bow for our polymer community. It’s a nice niche you’ve helped establish.

New Niche and Sparks

Sandra McCaw’s work launches us to the east coast. Two of her entries are finalists in the Niche Awards. These earrings have been named in the Fashion Jewelry category and one of her signature necklaces was selected in the Polymer Clay group. Both pieces showcase her ability, “…to create complex patterns where lines seem to lose their distinction and blend, and where colors bloom and merge.”

If you’re near Rhode Island, Sandra is scheduled in the Pawtucket Foundry Artists Show starting December 3.

And speaking of the holidays, Dayle Doroshow and I have put together an inspirational volume that’s chock full of Dayle’s famous tricks for easing you back into the studio when your muse goes missing. Creative Sparks is full of luscious pictures and powerful tips. Preview and purchase it here.

Niche toots

More Niche Award toots have been heard. This piece from San Diego’s Meisha Barbee’s Shimmer series was selected as a finalist. Meisha has started incorporating sterling silver elements into her polymer clay pieces. See previous PCD posts about Meisha here and here.

Liz Hall sent in the link to her silver and polymer Bubbles Belt Buckle that qualified as a finalist. A jellyfish swims among bubbles in this mixed media piece.

I wonder if there are more shy finalists?

Second Look – Marcia Palmer, Loretta Lam

Let’s catch up with a couple of artists that we haven’t heard from in a while. Niche Award winner Loretta Lam hasn’t had time to update her site so she sent PCDaily some of her most recent work for you to enjoy. Her polymer clay jewelry is in a NYC gallery and she’s been thrilled to hear local customers say, “Didn’t I see your work on Madison Avenue?”

Marcia Palmer has refined and expanded her ethnic looking ivories, chunky bracelets and stamped switchplates since we last visited her. She has a bold, decorative style comes through no matter what technique she uses or what item she embellishes. I subscribe to her “Home is where the art is” philosophy. Thanks to Ronna Weltman for reminding us to look Marcia up.

NOTE: In an attempt to improve those slow load times and ditch the nuisance hackers, I’ve moved PCDaily to a new host where a person answers the phone and the head geek is a polymer clay artist’s husband (thanks, Barbara). Got to purge the gremlins this Halloween. Have a gremlin-free weekend.