Category: Adaptive Works

Adaptive Techniques: Chain Gang

Nan Roche, Autumn Loop in Loop Necklace

Chains have been an integral part of metal work from ancient times.   Various methods of linking metal rounds create different patterns and rhythms.   With the advent of extruded polymer in the mid 1990’s, a process made far easier due to Carl Hornberger’s suggestions on adapting  the traditional caulk gun, polymer artists such as Nan Roche were able to explore the concept of making polymer chains. 

Adaptive Thinking: Weaving

City Zen Cane, (aka Ford/Forlano) Two Tube Cane Vessels, circa 1991

At first glance one might think the inspiration for imagery on these vases came from an encounter with the plumber rather than from Mexican blankets.

Adaptive Thinking: Lathe-Turned Polymer

Michael Mode, Ode to Maracanda 1996

Polymer artists, Steven Ford and David Forlano have continually considered the “what if?” factor of polymer.  From early on they looked at how other craft techniques might be adapted to polymer.  In particular, Steven’s interest in exploring these possibilities created a viable back and forth of ideas.   His outreach to other craft artists, helped to educated them about the versatility of the medium. While teaching at the Arrowmont School in 1995, Steven Ford found that polymer could be turned on a lathe.  

Adaptive Thinking

City Zen Cane (aka Ford/Forlano), shibori collage polymer sample, circa 1995

The term “adaptive thinking” came up frequently in my recent discussions with Steven Ford and David Forlano about their sources for inspiration.  Each artist had stories to tell about traveling; of seeing an example of traditional native or contemporary craft and of wondering how that technique might be reinterpreted in polymer.

Leaf Book


Leaf Book, Liz Mitchell, 3.25″ x 1.75″ polymer, polymer mosaic, leaf, paper, plastic, screen, metal After MIPCES, Liz Mitchell continued to experiment with a variety of book forms. Leaf Book is a transitional piece in her evolution as an artist. In the making of this book she incorporated three different polymer clay techniques; photo transfer, thin sheeting and micro mosaic. From here, Liz went on to further explore multimedia in book arts.