Toops: A Closer Look at Sculpting Color

Cynthia Toops, Helmet, 2009, detail

During the panel discussion at the opening of the Sculpting Color Exhibition, Kathleen Dustin raised the question of polymer as a “green” material.  Cynthia Toops was not present that day, but her Helmet was, in a way, one more response to this current concern.

Cynthia writes about this piece saying:
For this piece, I decided to restrict myself to using only polymer clay scraps that I had lying around the studio. These were used for the mosaic work. The idea of using modern materials – polymer clay and aluminum – to recreate an ancient Persian helmet was an interesting challenge. Inscribed on the interior are the names of friends and supporters, as well as images of items of importance to me – things that have kept me afloat over the years.

Cynthia Toops, Helmet, 2009, detail
36″ x 7.5″ x 7.5″
Polymer clay, aluminum, sterling silver, feather

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.