Vintage Items at Clayathon Auction

We had a few vintage items this year. Not everyone at Clayathon was familiar with the work of Mike Buessler who specialized in landscape canes. The pin you see below is a cane and it is the exact reverse image on the other side. People have made landscape canes since the time Mike retired his tissue blade, but he was the first and the best.

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Mike Buessler landscape cane pin
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Carolyn Potter mosaic inlay pendant

I am not sure if Carolyn Potter is still working in clay. Her work was certainly beautiful as this mosaic pendant attests.

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Lindly Haunani Inclusion Swap Pendant

Lindly is still working in polymer, teaching, writing, and she taught a very popular class at Clayathon. I warned her that one of her pieces from the 1990’s swaps was going to be in the auction.

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Barbara McGuire Face Canes from Angel and Barrette swaps

Barbara McGuire is still very active in polymer as an artist, teacher and writer. It’s hard to retire when you have so many great ideas.

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Pier Voulkos Earrings and Pendant

Pier Voulkos retired from polymer more than 20 years ago. She set standards of artistic excellence for everyone.

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Pier Voulkos pin
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Grove and Grove Earrings

Michael and Ruth Ann Grove were artists who became involved with polymer in the early days who no linger work in the medium. The earrings above are a good example of their work.

If you want to learn more about the early days of polymer, go to the
Polymer Art Archive.

No Work and All Clay

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Clayathon logo by Robin  Milne

Clayathon starts in a few days and it won’t be too soon for me.  The hotel where we hold it was sold last year  and ensuing renovations meant we had to move Clayathon from February to April.  Nicer weather but too long a wait!  Fortunately, Clayathon will return to its February time slot next year and make that dreary month seem a little less miserable.

Here are some pictures from last years’ Clayathon.

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Back From Clayathon

I got back from Clayathon today and I am so tired I can barely see straight.  But we had a ball,  all 110 or so of us.    The Stockton Seaview, where the event is held, is a luxury golf resort with a spa, pool, fitness center, a fireplace in the lobby and a big bowl of apples on the hotel’s front desk. It’s a great place to unwind and have fun.

This years’ Clayathon attracted clayers from as far away as California, Texas, and Canada.  Each Clayathon attendee got a 6-foot table as a workspace.  We had ovens for baking, buffers for buffing, drills for drilling and electric pasta machines out in the hall.  Donna Kato was this years’ guest artist and taught a class before Clayathon started.  Sarah Shriver, Claire Maunsell, Lindly Haunani,  Melanie West and Jana Roberts Benzon taught pre and post-conference classes, too.

I’ll write more on Clayathon next week, I hope!  In the meantime, here are some pictures.
 

 

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For more Clayathon reportage, go to Lisa Clarke’s blog here.

New Leaves and Old Friends at Synergy 4

I attended  the Synergy4: A New Leaf » IPCA North American Conference this year, although other commitments limited me to  the opening reception and  first day’s programs. Fortunately for me,  the conference was in nearby King of Prussia and I was able to get a ride with a friend from Philadelphia who decided to commute to the conference. 

I attended  workshops  (how to unbox my creativity  with Anke Humpert and environment as inspiration with Beth Wegener),  drank lots of coffee, rekindled old polymer friendships and made new polymer friends.  The attendees were a very friendly and lively bunch!

The Monday sessions opened with Emily Squires Levine, Laura Tabakman and Julie Eakes talking about their global polymer installation, Into The Forest scheduled to open the weekend of November 10-11 at the Spinning Plate Gallery in Pittsburgh.

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They brought a little bit of the forest with them as a preview:

Something new at Synergy this rear was Retreat Plus, an option that allowed people to have a polymer workspace and see polymer demos along with attending  some of the conference programs.

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Karen Woods and Alison Galant share screen printing techniques in the polymer workroom

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No one ever gets out of the Synergy Gallery without spending something, but this year there were even better reasons to part with your cash.   I bought the beautiful  flower pin above to support Into The Forest.  And Ron Lehockey was there with a pile of hearts in support of his Heart Pin Project.  Who could resist temptation like that?  

Into the Forest in Philadelphia

Last year, polymer artists Emily Squires Levine and Laura Tabakman  spent some late summer days in the  Colorado mountains and were so inspired by their walks through groves of aspen trees  that they decided to collaborate on an installation.

The result  is “Into The Forest” which opened for public viewing in Philadelphia on September 12.  Located  in the South Tower Art Gallery of the Park Towne Apartments in Philadelphia, the installation  is part of the “Constructing Organics” show which features work by three other Philadelphia artists.  InLiquid and AIMCO  co-sponsored the show.

I attended the opening and was excited to see polymer art recognized as fine art. Laura, who lives in Pittsburgh, was not able to attend the opening but Emily did an excellent job of  explaining how she and Laura were influenced by their hikes through the aspen forests and how they translated that experience into an intriguing installation.

Here are some pictures

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Painting by Jeffrey Keith

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Emily talks about “Into The Forest”

 

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Installation at twilight

 

The Philadelphia venue is only the beginning for “Into the Forest.”

I first learned at  the EuroSynergy conference this summer that  Emily and Laura, who have been joined by award winning polymer artist Julie Eakes plan to expand “Into The Forest”  into an  international collaborative project.  Laura  announced the project at the end of her Synergy presentation on “Getting Your Work Ready to Show.” She’d  already wowed the audience with her stories  about how she scouted exhibition  opportunities for her incredible polymer and mixed media installations.  After she revealed the plans for the international collaboration she invited everyone to volunteer via a Facebook group set up for the purpose.   I volunteered right there on my iPad and many people in the audience did the same.

You can volunteer too. Just go to the Facebook group page, here.   You can follow the project on Instagram (@intotheforest17).   Read more about the project on the Polymer Arts Blog.

Several  polymer events to support the program are in the works.  Emily will lead one at the September meeting of the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild.  For information on this meeting, go to the PAPCG blog.

 

 

 

Still Claying After All These Years

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Clayathon time is here again. I will pack up my stuff and head to beautiful Galloway Township NJ and the Stockton Seaview Hotel where I will meet new and old friends and have a chance to play with my clay for as long as I want.    Clayathon is a friendly gathering of creative people who enjoy playing and claying together.  Clayathon  can be a time to set goals and try new things, or  a time to make birds.  Lisa Clarke has attended most of the Clayathons and written about them.    Robin Milne designed a great logo for this years’ event.    And Arlene Groch and her team of volunteers have made Clayathon one of the best clay events of the year.  

 

Want more?  Here  are some past Clayathon posts from this blog.

Clayathon Goes to the Circus!

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This is the second collaborative piece made at Clayathon 2013,

 Sherman Oberson(Dancing Clown),  Patty Pickup Clown with Blue Feet), Patti Underwood (Bearded Lady),  Lois Rosenthal Seal),  Robin Milne (Elephant), Martha Aleo (Juggling Balls and hands), Sue Springer (Spinning Plates  and Hand), Mary Frederici (Dancing Dog), Arlene Groch (Clown Shoes), Denise Pettit (the Bear in the Cage and the Giraffe) .  Please leave a comment as to who else contributed to The Circus and I will update the post.  We have a Ringmaster, the Balancing Teacups, the Giant Octopus,  the Gag Flower, the platforms and who painted those lovely boxes anyway?

What We Made at Clayathon

The Dinner Party

The Dinner Party

   A collaborative effort by the attendees of Clayathon 2013,  presented to Clayathon founder and organizer (and really cool person!!!)  Arlene Groch with gratitude,  affection and a big round of applause.

Some of the contributors: Sherman Oberson (chef),  Mary Frederici (fish),  Lisa Clarke  (napkins),  Terri Powell (wasabi peas),  Sarah Sorlien (bowl of oranges), Martha Aleo (baked potato) and Lenora Kandiner.

Here are the names of more contributors.  Thanks Robin and Sarah!

Sandra Donohue (pizza),   Jenn Dorion (salmon mousse), Lois Rosenthal (polka dot cake), Perrie Layton (orange flowers) Emily Squires Levine (bowls) Robin Milne (roses, banana and fortune cookies) Sue Springer (candy corn)

 I know that more people made things.   If I left your name out or omitted what you made, please leave a comment.

 

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Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild Website

ClayConneCTion 2012

This year, I finally got to go to ClayConneCTion, the semi-annual retreat of the Southern  Connecticut Polymer Clay Guild.    The SCCG knows how to throw a party-er-retreat.  Besides plenty of work space in a brightly lit room, they had a full schedule of interesting demos in a quiet room with an overhead camera,  a fundraising auction,  a bead contest, a bottle of hope challenge and more.  You could participate as much or as little as you wanted.    There was lots to learn and lots of eye candy.   The facilities on the Connecticut College campus were conveniently close to one another and there was easy access to workroom, dormitory cafeteria, parking and a clown complete with funny shoes and a big red nose.   Now for the pictures.

Best Demo Set Up Ever!

Work Room

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Sherman Oberson

Throw in a side trip to Wolf Myrow  in Providence RI with Sherman and Patty (and meeting the rest of the people there with the same idea) and my joy was complete.

Stay tuned for the big reveal!

What I learned at Clay Carnival Las Vegas 2011

I learned that Las Vegas is stranger than I remembered

I learned that normal people will pay a lot of money to get married standing in a fake gondola floating in a man-made canal.

I learned that grown men with beer bellies become Roman Gladiator impersonators if they stand in the chilly night air clad only in underpants (briefs-not boxers), the appropriate helmet and sandals.

I learned that I do not have to go to Hawaii to see a volcanic eruption, and that I can even drive past the volcano while it is going off.

I learned that in Las Vegas, there is an impromptu Elvis Impersonator convention every day of the week.

I learned a lot about polymer clay from a great bunch of teachers. I  met  wonderful people from all over the world.  I had a marvelous time.  OK, OK, maybe I didn’t do shots with  some Japanese guys I met in a restaurant like someone I know.   But I did have fun.

And I learned some new polymer clay techniques including how to built a sturdy hollow form (Beach Bangles); how to make a pendant that is also an elegant closure (Sorbet Pendant); and a cool way to combine baked and raw clay (Desert Brooches).       No disrespect to Elvis, but this is the real reason I went to Las Vegas. At any rate, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

The pictures below show what  I made in the classes.  Some projects turned out better than others,  but I learned a lot in Las Vegas-including that it must be hard work standing on the Strip at night in your underwear.  No, I really hadn’t known that!

Judy Belcher Spring-y Bracelets

Leslie Blackford Le Carnival Box

Kim Cavender Wood Gone Wild

Natalia Garcia de Leaniz Funky Desert Brooches

Donna Kato Squash Blossom Pendant

Daniel Torres Mancera Beach Bangle

Sylvie Peraud Colorful Pendant

Bettina Welker Sorbet Pendant

For descriptions of the Clay Carnival Las Vegas 2011 classes, go to the Clay Carnival Blog.

Tutorials for some of the classes are available on-line at CraftEdu.com

Next Week: A short video on Clay Carnival.