z Archive Contributors

Elise Winters, Archivist: I am a working professional art jewelry designer. For the last ten years I have been on a mission to promote polymer clay as a respected medium for fine craft. The MISSION page outlines some of my past projects. Development of this site is the next logical step in my effort to elevate the discussion about polymer in fine craft.

Woody Rudin

Woody Rudin, Editor: My husband, Woody, is a writer with many publishing credentials in the fields of stock market analysis, corporate training, and poetry. In no small way, I owe much of my professional success to his powerful communication skills. For me, he has been not just a “ghostwriter” and editor, but truly a collaborator in all my professional efforts. Traveling with me to shows, he provides the muscle to construct my display and the wit to keep husbands occupied while their wives make jewelry selections. In my studio, he feeds me both spiritually and literally when I’m adrift in creative fog. On this site Woody will pitch in with his wordsmithing skills.

Rachel Carren

Rachel Carren, Art Historian: Rachel earned her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Maryland in 1990. As an accomplished polymer artist she has unique credentials and skills to contribute to this project. Rachel will collaborate on selections and documentation in the building of the research archive. I have also asked her to contribute posts on design and critical commentary.

Martha Aleo

Martha Aleo, Events Research Team Leader: Martha coordinates 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 can be seen 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 from the mouths of those who were there. I’m inviting early innovators to write about their personal recollections in the areas of their authority and expertise. As the Polymer Art Archive project expands, check back to see what new names have been added to our contributor’s list.


Jamey D. Allen: artist, historian, teacher, author of Five Artists -Five Directions in Polymer Clay.

Kathleen Dustin

Kathleen Dustin: 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 clay 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 it as a fine craft medium in 1987 and wrote the first professional article on it in Ornament Magazine in 1988.

David Forlano

David Forlano: 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 their own names. In May, 2005, David moved west to live in Santa Fe, NM. He has a studio there, and continues to collaborate with Ford, sending work back and forth across the country.

Steven Ford

Steven Ford: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, Ford and Forlano integrate polymer with precious materials primarily making one of a kind pieces under their own names.

Lindly Haunani: A lifelong artist, Lindly was delighted when she discovered polymer clay 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 their newsletter for three years, Lindly remains active in the polymer clay community. Admired for her gently empowering teaching style, Lindly has taught hundreds of polymer clay workshops during the past fifteen years. Click here to correspond directly with Lindly.

Victoria Hughes: Victoria has been making and selling artwork for more than 30 years. Her development and use of innovative techniques has influenced a generation of polymer clay artists 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. And this series can be credited as the first “training” program for polymer artists. Victoria’s book, Polymer: The Chameleon Clay, was published by Krause in 2002.

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“, co-author of “Imperishable Beauty: Art Nouveau Jewelry and a well-known lecturer. As a freelance curator she is currently working on “International Art Jewelry: 1895-1925” which will open in October 2011 at The Forbes Gallery, New York City.

Nan Roche

Nan Roche: Nan is author of the well known book about polymer clay entitled The New Clay. It was published by Flower Valley Press in 1991. This was the first book to compile all the available information about polymer clay 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 Shriver

Sarah Shriver: 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 Toops: Cynthia, an artist, teacher and bead collector, has been working with polymer clay since the 1980s. She is renowned for her figurative micromosaic pieces. Most of her work is inspired by ethnic jewelry and ancient beads. Cynthia frequently collaborates with her husband, Dan Adams, the glass bead artist. In 2007, Cynthia was granted an Artist Trust Fellowship


Pier Voulkos: artist and dancer

In addition, I’d like to thank the following people who have been helpful to this project:

Cynthia Tinapple for encouraging me to translate this vision into a website and for her patient handholding as I wrestled with learning the necessary computer skills.

Liora Kuttler, Hannah Bellon and Caroline Jureller who have assisted with photography and image management on this project