Selection from the Collection: Crayon Lei

Lindly Haunani, Crayon Lei in Oranges and Greens, 1998
Translucent polymer, Super Flex polymer, chopped crayons, nylon thread
2″h  x 2″w  x 23″long

This necklace was made for the faculty exhibit at the First National Polymer Clay Guild Conference at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  It was the second piece in a series of related color studies using the chopped crayons as a clay body additive with translucent clay- related designs included: bracelets, earrings and stacked pendants.

Lindly writes about this piece:

“In the mid 1990’s there were several artists experimenting with adding embossing powders to translucent clay, to add interest and depth to the clay matrix, including Susan Hyde, Marie Segal  and Donna Kato. Inspired by the notion that by adding things into the clay interesting (and at times very unexpected) changes were possible, I spent a weekend in Nan Roche’s studio measuring and mixing some of the hundreds of different materials that she had on hand into translucent polymer clay. The glass frit, used by glass bead lamp workers was a horrible idea= scarred the rollers of my pasta machine and cut my hands. The colored sand designed for use in terrariums yielded wonderfully color combinations reminiscent of heathered hand spun yarns and when using green, orange and purple sand – jade.  Some of the non-polyester glitters that I tried made for spectacular melted fractured puddles…and one of my experiments with chopped crayons jump started a thread of inspiration.

The melted spread of the crayon pigments coupled by the pitted “lost wax” edges of the baked clay spoke to me as slightly wilted flowers loosing their juicy, succulent edges while still “remembering” the splendor of the perfect moment of their blooming. Akin to the grace and age of a well aged Bordeaux wine, resplendent with structure, transformed softened tannins and inexplicable joyous unctuality, coupled with transformed fruit.  Thus in an artistic jump of imagination…I made a necklace made with translucent polymer clay with chopped crayons inclusions as an interpretation of a super perishable Hawaiian flower Lei.”

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.