MIPCES Exhibition: Gwen Gibson

If you are a new visitor to Polymer Art Archive, you can find background about this event in the 2 posts, Past, Present Future and All About MIPCES.


10” x 10”

For the MIPCES catalog, Gwen wrtote:

“By moving from the body (jewelry) to the wall, I found freedom to be more innovative, less polished. I can fully indulge my passion for simulating the surface richness which often occurs with time. In this piece the corroded surfaces are produced by the use of patinas, dry ground pigment, and toner etching on polymer clay.”

More recently, Gwen Gibson shared the following thoughts:

“Partly because I didn’t know anyone else working in polymer clay, and partly because I had spent time painting, my work took its own direction from the beginning. My main departure was the use of paint for surface effects rather than the color of the clay.

I created wall pieces for the MIPCES show because I found it hard to work with a variety of surface effects on the scale that jewelry demands. My intention was to make a reference to a museum display by mounting the faux artifacts slightly off the picture plane. I developed a technique for etching the clay with traditional Japanese textile patterns which I then “aged” with burnt umber acrylic paint.

What makes this piece special to me is that MIPCES was my debut in the world of polymer clay. Seeing my work displayed along with artists whose work I very much admired gave me confidence to teach the techniques which I had been developing in seclusion over the past three years.

The wall pieces are closely related to the collage work I do today. I still like to play with images from cultures that captivate me and I’ve never abandoned my love for aged, textural surfaces.”

Gwen Gibson with her 3 wall pieces in the MIPCES exhibition
Gwen Gibson with her 3 wall pieces in the MIPCES exhibition

I cannot remember a time in my life that I wasn't interested in looking at art, talking about art and the making of art. In 1990 I earned a Phd in art history at the University of Maryland. My first experiences with polymer clay were in 1992, but I consider my real work with the medium to date from 1999.