Elise’s husband, Woody, is a writer with many publishing credentials in the fields of stock market analysis, corporate training, and poetry. He has powerful communication skills. For Elise, he has been not just a “ghostwriter” and an editor but a true collaborator in all her professional efforts. Traveling to shows as her supportive wit and muscle or in the studio as spiritual and literal sustenance, Woody has been by Elise’s side throughout it all. On this site, Woody has often pitched in with his wordsmithing expertise.
Martha Aleo, Events Research
Martha coordinated a team of volunteers to document gatherings and conferences that were seminal to the development of polymer as an art form. She served as president and co-president of the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild from 2001-2005, launched one of the first guild websites for the PAPCG and currently edits its newsletter, The Clay News. Martha writes extensively for journals both online and in print. Her polymer work appears in Polymer Clay Surface Design Recipes by Ellen Marshall and The Art of Jewelry: Polymer Clay by Katherine Duncan Aimone.
Additional Contributors: What better way to learn about our history than through the words of those who were there. Occasionally, early innovators and others add to the record as they write about their personal recollections in the areas of their authority and expertise.
Acknowledged as one of the world’s leading polymer clay artists, Kathleen has been a pioneer, an educator and source of inspiration for those interested in this emerging medium. Kathleen received her Master of Fine Arts degree in ceramics and sculpture from Arizona State University in 1979 and has been a professional artist since that time. She was introduced to polymer while a student overseas in 1972, began working with it in small ways again while living overseas in 1981-2, and then began working with it more seriously to make jewelry in 1986. She taught the first workshop in the US on using polymer as a fine craft medium in 1987 and wrote the first professional article on it in Ornament Magazine in 1988
In 1988, David Forlano began collaborating with Steven Ford on jewelry design under the name City Zen Cane. As early innovators in the medium, their polymer production work from this period was characterized by bright colors and complex caned cross sectional patterns. Today, Ford and Forlano integrate polymer with precious materials primarily making one of a kind pieces under the name FordForlano. In May 2005, David moved from Philadelphia to Santa Fe, NM. He continues to collaborate with Ford, sending work back and forth from studio to studio.
In 1988, Steven began collaborating with David Forlano on jewelry design under the name City Zen Cane. As early innovators in the medium, their polymer production work from this period was characterized by bright colors and complex caned cross sectional patterns. Today, FordForlano integrate polymer with precious materials primarily making one of a kind pieces under their own names. Steven continues to work in Philadelphia and collaborate long distance with David. Both Ford and Forlano admit that the distance has not been an impediment to their continued evolution as artists.
Originally a printmaker, Lindly was delighted when she discovered polymer in 1988. Lindly co-wrote Artists at Work: Polymer Clay Comes of Age with Pierette Ashcroft, which was published in 1996 by Flower Valley Press. A founding member of the National Polymer Clay Guild and the co-editor of the guild newsletter and Journal of Stress Management for three years, Lindly remains active in the polymer community. Greatly admired as a teacher, Lindly has taught hundreds of polymer workshops over the past fifteen years.
Tory has been making and selling artwork for more than 30 years. Her development and use of innovative techniques in polymer has influenced many both through her work and through her teaching career. In 1994, she began producing the first instructional videos under her screen name “Tory Hughes.” She currently has 15 titles to her credit. This series can be credited as the first “training” program for polymer artists. Victoria’s book, Polymer: The Chameleon Clay was published in 2002.
Elyse Zorn Karlin
Elyse Zorn Karlin is the co-director of the Association for the Study of Jewelry & Related Arts (ASJRA), an association open to anyone who has an interest in studying jewelry and jewelry history. She is executive editor of its magazine, Adornment, The Magazine of Jewelry and Related Arts and runs its annual conference and American Jewelry Travel trips. She is the author of Jewelry and Metalwork in the Arts & Crafts Tradition and co-author of Imperishable Beauty: Art Nouveau Jewelry and a well-known lecturer. As a freelance curator she has curated a number of shows including, the 2013 exhibit, “Out of this World: Jewelry in the Space Age” at The Forbes Gallery, New York City.
Nan is author of the well-known instructional book about polymer, entitled The New Clay (1991). This was the first book to compile all the available information about working with polymer into a single volume and is sometimes called “the bible of polymer clay.” Nan was also a founding member of the National Polymer Clay Guild and continues to work and teach in the medium.
Sarah is a full time artist who has been working with polymer since 1987. She creates beads and jewelry using the millefiori technique. Sarah sells her work at craft shows around the United States and teaches both domestically and internationally.
Cynthia, an artist, teacher and bead collector, has been working with polymer since the 1980s. She is renowned for her figurative micro-mosaic pieces, which are often witty or suggestive of a narrative. Cynthia frequently collaborates with her husband, Dan Adams, the glass bead artist. In 2007, Cynthia was granted an Artist Trust Fellowship
As a dancer and an artist, Pier Voulkos imbued her work with a sense of movement and play. Her inventiveness in bead forms, tone on tone pattern, caning and composition was seminal in the early decades of polymer art. Pier taught widely and left a noticeable hole in the polymer community when she retired from polymer to return to dancing.
Thank you as well to the following people for encouragement and support in all ways. Cynthia Tinapple for her technical computer skills and vision. Liora Kuttler, Hannal Bellon and Caroline Jureller who over the years have assisted with photography and image management on this project.