Year: 2007

On Creative Leaps

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Posted in Tools

“One small change for man, one giant leap for an entire creative community.” Admittedly, it doesn’t have quite the ring of Neil Armstrong’s moon-landing quote, but it does mark a historic step in the development of polymer clay art. Of all the innovations in the medium, perhaps the most consequential and defining one came from the single leap of imagination that made the connection between polymer and a pasta machine. Consider how limited the progress would have been without this facile means to condition stubborn clay. Without it, precision caning would never have been possible nor the Skinner blend which has become

Rachel’s Eye on Design: Carved Chatoyant Bead Necklace

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Posted in Aesthetic Comments

The elements of design are present in all fabricated objects, although we rarely stop to consider them.  A stylistic analysis of a hand crafted piece of jewelry, a manufactured chair or product packaging may seem strange, but one can evaluate each of them with the same care and language as one might use to discuss a painting or piece of sculpture in a museum.  The basic design elements of line, form, color and texture are important components of the creative process.  And, although each has a separate function within a given piece, they generally work together in a fully integrated

Beadazzled Show in Washington, DC

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Posted in Exhibitons and Shows

I was certainly bedazzled to see the this show at Beadazzled in Washington, DC in 1990. It was the first time I had ever seen the work of Pier Voulkos, Sarah Shriver, Grove & Grove and City Zen Cane in person. The show was displayed in the back room of the store’s original location on Dupont Circle in six large display cases and was curated by Penny Diamante.  I visited the show five times, each time leaving with new ideas and inspirations. There were thirty artists in the first show, so I was particularly thrilled (and grateful that Kathleen Dustin had

Food and Fimo

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Posted in Artist's Commentary

I became interested in polymer clay in 1988, when a number of things serendipitously led me to take a workshop from Kathleen Dustin. At the time I had a large vegetable/herb garden and was experimenting with different colored inlays of herbs and vegetable purees into handcrafted pasta. One day I’d been tempted to buy FIMO after enjoying a display of miniature food at a local doll house store. I bought a piece of polymer clay jewelry at the Smithsonian Museum gift shop that had been made by Steven Ford and David Forlano (they called themselves CITY ZEN CANE-then). I had

What I saw in Julie

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Posted in Uncategorized

In 1994, Julie: Artisans’ Gallery was just about the only places you could see work by accomplished polymer jewelry artists.  When Julie Shafler Dale opened her gallery in 1973, it was the very first boutique dedicated to wearable art in America.  Ten years later, she wrote the first book on Art-to-Wear. And by 1994 her gallery was presenting the work of several polymer artists including Pier Voulkos, Michael and Ruth Anne Grove, Shellie Brooks and City Zen Cane. (top image courtesy of Jamey D. Allen from his book Five Artists – Five Directions in Polymer Clay, 1995