Turning wine into water creatures

Donna Greenberg turns wine into Hydra sculptures on PolymerClayDaily.com

New York’s Donna Greenberg creates Hydra, a 3-spout vessel built over glass bottle forms.

Donna bonded the wine bottles together with Apoxie clay and covered them with Ultralight which she sculpted and painted. Watching the process on Facebook is fascinating.

Donna Greenberg turns wine into Hydra sculptures on PolymerClayDaily.com

Could you envision a prickly, sculptural multi-headed water monster emerging from your recycle bin?

True grit

Ginger Allman Davis remembers the true grit of her youth on PolymerClayDaily

Ginger Allman Davis (thebluebottletree) calls this her True Grit vessel made with leftover baked polymer shavings and other studio debris rolled into the thick raw clay.

It’s part of Ginger’s 100-day challenge. There’s more to the story. Her grandfather was a bit player in the original movie!

It feels like we’re in need of some true grit. We’re all trying to make sense of our circumstances right now. I’ll take this as our sign of strength for Thursday.

Manly polymer

Juliya Laukhina whips up some manly polymer gifts on PolymerClayDaily.com

There’s time this weekend to whip up a manly soap dish for Father’s Day or just for fun. These are from Moscow’s Juliya Laukhina and are intended for her brother.

Juliya Laukhina whips up some manly polymer gifts on PolymerClayDaily.com

The men will be impressed that the patterns are composed of scrap. Use a Stroppel cane or Kim Korringa’s mosaic trick or some other variation of a scrap veneer.

Useful, not too fussy, and made with love – what more could your men want?

If you need more fresh-squeezed creative juices, head on over to StudioMojo to see what goodies we pulled out of our stash of new ideas and products that wouldn’t fit into PCD.There’s so much going on! Our juices are flowing.  

Mindful remaking

Doreen Willey rearranges lost scraps into dazzling tiles on PolymerClayDaily

These tiles from California’s Doreen Willey are a dazzling blast from her past. Encouraged by Christi Friesen’s Play Days and driven by bags of scraps that Doreen was anxious to reduce, reuse, and recycle, she jumped into this project with stunning results.

Years of design decisions added up to works with wild variety yet a cohesive, exuberant look and feel. “If you are like me, you probably have a huge stash of stuff you’ve made that’s gone into boxes never to be seen again,” says Doreen.

“I pulled out my boxes, started cutting my stuff up and put it back together in a new way,” she explains. And we’re lucky she did! What an inspiration! Here on Facebook.

Semi-precious polymer

Pennsylvania’s Genevieve Williamson considers polymer a semi-precious material in her Redeemed show of all-recycled jewelry in Ohio. “Plastic has been vilified,” she says. “It’s not the material that’s the problem, it’s our one-use, throwaway attitude toward plastic that has caused the problem.”

Genevieve makes a case that could change your whole approach. She gives us new talking points that elevate our art in this conversation recorded for last week’s StudioMojo.

Turning old into new

Bettina Welker shows how to mix old and new elements into modern marvels on PolymerClayDaily.com

Germany’s Bettina Welker arranges textured elements on a black spiral doodle of clay to form a thoroughly modern pendant/brooch.

Bettina is teaching this workshop in her hometown. Students bring favorite elements they’ve made or gathered. They evaluate and sort their finds and learn to arrange them into something new and better.

You can see more in this series on her Etsy site.

Upcycling and making old into new is another of the trends we’ll look at in this Saturday’s StudioMojo. It’s a heads-up for where our work may be headed in 2020 and beyond. We’d love to have you join us.

Computed polymer


Sila on PCDaily

Ponsawan Sila’s many experiments spilled out of her boxes and bags at the Indiana French Lick Atelier. She’s still in process with these pieces which rely on scavenged computer parts for creating mokume gane over Skinner blends.

Sila on PCDaily

The finishes are layered and lustrous. On the black and white version she sews through the holes to add a dash of color with thread.

Ponsawan encourages her students to ask “what if” and if we are lucky and she finds enough parts to upcycle, she’ll explain these clever methods.

She offers a few pictures from the weekend on Facebook here and here and more work on Flickr. Sort through her tutorials and the results of her endless experiments on Pinterest. She shares her ideas freely.

Poly willows

A bunch of dried pussy willows in a booth at the farmers market caught my eye. What if I picked off the fuzzy blooms and replaced them with polymer ones?

This bunch of blossoms in my living room would provide a splash of color and a clever visual pun. Here’s a closer look.

I raided my old canes and piles of color scraps, recycling them to make hundreds of little ovals. I baked them and fired up the hot glue gun. The worst of the whole process was removing the fine webs of glue threads that draped themselves on the branches.

I considered saving this idea for my class on polymer and power tools at Maureen Carlson’s facility in Minnesota in late July. But by then all the pussy willows will be gone.

Tinapple on PCDaily

Besides, I have plenty of ideas for tweaking our medium with the help of simple tools and an adventurous decorating spirit.

The Poly Willows may never make it to our living room. The other artists want them to stay on display in the studio.

Polymer for tea

Stroppel on PCDaily

Who uses silver tea sets these days? Alice Stroppel does. This set immediately sent her to Wonderland and she embellished the serving pieces with polymer characters from Lewis Caroll’s tales of Alice. Examine the pots closeup on her Flickr page. Here she is on Etsy and Facebook.

Syndee Holt took the pictures as she visited Alice’s shop/studio in Florida. Continue the tour on Syndee’s Facebook page. You’ll spy a silver pitcher in the front window that’s revived with polymer. Nothing escapes Alice’s talent for recycling.

Polymer reruns

Steven on PCDaily

Vintage celluloid pieces are the starting point for California’s Laurel Steven’s New Old series of pendants and brooches. “In this series I’m combining molded pieces of vintage bits with more modern textures,” she explains.

Steven on PCDaily

She revives and refashions her extensive collection of celluloid by molding polymer versions of the originals and updating them with today’s colors then pairing them with trendy textured backgrounds.

Laurel plays with other techniques that you can see on Facebook, on Flickr, on Pinterest and in her Etsy shop. You can sense that she’s drawn to the old souls of the celluloid florals and enjoys giving these early plastics a second chance in polymer.