Celebrating differently

Lisa Mathews' sculptures provide a warm yet candid look at her experience on PolymerClayDaily.com

Atlanta’s Lisa Mathews demonstrates the power of polymer with her sculptures that illustrate the black experience. This Fourth of July, Americans are being forced to see the nation’s celebration for independence differently.

In this polymer diorama, Lisa looks at the controversial third stanza of our national them which is being scrutinized for its racial wording. The song wasn’t meant for all Americans when Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics in 1814.

Lisa’s clear portrayals of the black experience help us look at our patriotism in a new light.

At the age of 45, with no advance planning, Lisa threw caution to the wind and pursued a career as an artist. She happened upon an instructional book, How To Make Clay Characters by Maureen Carlson. It was through this book that she discovered what would become her passion as an artist.

Stories of artists’ passion are part of tomorrow’s StudioMojo. We’ll look at how Carissa Nichols turned her lack of vision into a passion for light and giving back. Join us to see how current events impact us all. 

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?

Fathers Day and Black Lives

Jon Stuart Anderson creates magnificent dragons on PolymerClayDaily

Don’t go looking for this exquisite dragon from Jon Stuart Anderson. It’s already gone and yes, there are problems with the site but let’s focus on the bigger picture.

We’re coming up on Father’s Day and the site is being handled by Jon’s daughter. Transitions are sometimes difficult. I like the story of father and daughter getting back together, no matter how messy. Let’s just sit with that for a moment.

Jon’s pigs and bowls are available. He is a character. Brilliant but not easy. Jon has wormed his way into our hearts and he has a loyal staff in Bali who can execute the wild ideas in Jon’s head when his health is challenged. You’ll find him on his site, on his daughter’s and on Facebook. Be patient. Happy Fathers Day.

Here’s my interview with Debbie Jackson from last week’s StudioMojo. We often talk about color in polymer but we rarely broach the subject of the black experience. The conversation will be on-going. We’ll settle for easier news items in StudioMojo this week. But don’t get too comfy, we’ve got work to do. 

There’s no place like home

Leslie Blackford offers classes to put you in touch with Oz on PolymerClayDaily.com

Kentucky’s Leslie Blackford (MoodyWoods) wanted to make clear that she wasn’t planning for the good witch in her new Oz series to look like me. It just happened…and I’m honored.

Leslie’s been offering online classes and everyone who joined in has been delighted at the creatures that fly off their fingers. There’s still time to jump into the Oz group by messaging Leslie.

Don’t we all wish we had a wand right now? Leslie shows you how to find yours. She has a special gift for putting you in touch with your inner Oz character.

Her birds take wing

Joan Tayler's birds take flight on PolymerClayDaily.com

Vancouver’s Joan Tayler has a way with birds like this little one she’s calling “Dicky Bird”  that’s now a zipper pull. She also makes them into whistles, earrings, necklaces, and more.

Joan Tayler's birds take flight on PolymerClayDaily.com

Joan is creating a flock of various species for her 100-day challenge. Her drawings and in-process shots on Instagram are captivating. Joan knows her birds.

Give a hug

Gesine Kratzner wraps her arms round what everyone needs...a hug in polymer on PolymerClayDaily.com

Yesterday it was a punch. Today it’s a hug. It’s hard to wrap your arms around all the emotions we’re feeling. Clay can help.

Portland’s Gesine Krastner shows us her Hugs by Mail on her Etsy shop and Instagram.

Gesine has a charming way of making difficult emotions and tender feelings easier to deal with in her clay creatures and illustrations. See a whole bunch of them on her website.

Ethnicity in the details

Jaishree Chowdhary adds great ethnic details onto simple shapes on #polymerclaydaily

New Delhi’s Jaishree Choudhary (JudaMani) creates mostly items based on Indian themes. These masks have more of an African flavor.

The features are added with a few rolls for lips and eyes and sharp triangular-shaped noses.

Jaishree Chowdhary adds great ethnic details onto simple shapes on polymerclaydaily.com

The colors add drama along with carved and textured details. Looking at the mask bases may tempt you to try to create your own tribe.

Jaishree has been working for several years to bring realism to her polymer figures and faces. Even her unpainted tiles have great power in their simple shapes adorned with abundant and accurate details.

Where do I our ideas spring from? That’s one of the subjects we’ll look at in this weekend’s StudioMojo. We found a fun and surprising story about how “what goes around, comes around.” Come on over to StudioMojo for a smile and a surprise. 

Animal natures in clay

Leslie Blackford's bunnies gather in the spring on PolymerClayDaily.com

Friends came back from a weekend class with Kentucky’s Leslie Blackford gushing about how much they’d learned about clay…and themselves.

There’s something touching, innocent, and vulnerable in Leslie’s unending series of loveable animal sculptures. How does she do that?

For the next few weeks, she will show how she imbues simple sculpted animals with irresistible qualities.

Class details are on Facebook. The tutorials are accessible, inexpensive and just the kind of play your inner child may be yearning for in rough times.

Cuddle in a ring bowl

Cuddle with Anita Long's ring bowl on PolymerClayDaily.com

After so many years of posting, I don’t question why I choose items to post. I trust my gut and this one feels like a warm blanket on a comfy sofa.

Indiana’s Anita Long (nee.nee.ree) makes her ring bowl look like a really restorative nap. Soft and cozy.  Not your usual one-layer ring bowl.

Want to step your bowls up a notch? Add a few more layers and it feels like a cuddle. Who couldn’t use a cuddle?

Confronting your fears with polymer

Amy Hucks and Nicole Johnson face their fears on PolymerClayDaily.com

How do you picture this menacing virus? Polymer is a perfect medium for giving you an outlet for venting your anger, anxiety, and fears.

Here New York’s Nicole Johnson (mealymonsters) and Indiana’s Amy Hucks (supersculptor) show you their interpretations.

Nicole calls her containers of polymer specimens caught in resin Germ Jars.

Amy’s are more prickly and they’re wearing masks.

I’d love to see your versions of this monster.

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