Year: 2007

Paying Close Attention

Posted in Conferences, Techniques

This image, stunning for its deceptive simplicity, provides unusual insight into the development of polymer artistry. Shown are the 12 beads Pier Voulkos brought to exhibit and sell at the 1995 International Bead conference in Washington D.C. Those who know Pier’s work well will recognize that these beads both mapped her past work and forecast her future. Note especially the leaf bead in the top right corner. This bead had first mesmerized me when she showed it in workshop in March of that year. You will recognize it as her early experimentation with the chatoyant effect. Pier once confided to me that

Polymer blossoms, seeded by Flower Valley Press

Posted in Publications

Many acknowledge Nan Roche and her book, The New Clay, as the source and the early inspiration for the explosion of information about polymer and its growth as a medium for artistry. But how many realize that this could never have happened without the support and vision of Seymour Bress, founder of Flower Valley Press.  In those early years, FVP published 3 seminal volumes that remain as classics today in any polymer artist’s library.

A Name You May Not Know

Posted in Artist's Commentary, Publications

On this blog I suspect there will be some kind words said about me as the person who — by hook or by crook or by waving a magic wand — cajoled some naïve publisher into printing The New Clay at a time when almost nobody in America could identify the meaning of the phrase, “polymer clay.” For anybody who learned from or was inspired by “the Bible,” as it has been called in our community, let me properly share the credit for its creation. The book was birthed not by me alone; there was a man involved, a brilliant and

We’ve come a long way, baby!

Posted in Publications, Techniques

In St. Louis in 1981, the National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts held a national convention. It was there that Esther Olson introduced her process for making miniature candies from FIMO®.  Today we would recognize these techniques as millefiore caning.  From that inconspicuous beginning, caning has evolved into extraordinary art, as seen in the work of accomplished artists like Sarah Shriver.

Rachel’s Eye on Design: Caned Cuff Bracelet

Posted in Aesthetic Comments

The appeal of a kaleidoscope is its capacity to offer a constantly changing view from the same set of components.  For Sarah Shriver, the possibility of perpetual change from a single starting point suggests an inspiration for her intricate compositions.  In her elasticized cuff bracelet, one’s initial sense is of an amalgamation of coordinated, but disparate parts.  With multiple patterns and two differently scaled sets of tiles, it would be easy to lose focus.  So, how does she make it all work together so well?