Ellen Marshall Explains It All For You

By now I suppose everyone has heard the news that Gwen Gibson passed away on September 24, 2013.  If you have any doubts about the influence Gwen had on her students, consider this:  Ellen Marshall (below) brought Gwen to Philadelphia to teach her class on Inro vessels to the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild in the late 1990’s.  That was my introduction to silk screening on polymer clay.  I went on to write articles about the technique and I even got to demonstrate my version  on HGTV.   And Ellen went on to explore surface design in polymer clay and to write her book Polymer Clay Surface Design Recipes Ellen mentioned Gwen’s work  during her demo and one of the pieces she brought to show examples of surface techniques was an Inro vessel (picture below) she made in Gwen’s class years earlier.  Gwen inspired her students and her students, will continue to inspire others.  Her body is gone but her spirit is alive and well.

Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.  Ecclesiastes 11

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Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild member Maisha Sullivan  organized a multi-media  Community Crafting Group  and a couple of weeks ago, Ellen Marshall  and I showed some basic polymer clay techniques  to the group of enthusiastic newbie clayers.   Ellen gave a great mini workshop she called  “An Introduction to Color and Surface Design.”  Ellen literally wrote the book on polymer clay surface design and we all had fun watching her design and create a pin and a pendant.  

Here are some pictures from the her demonstration:


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Surface Techniques

IMG_5155Applying paint

IMG_5152Cutting and and rearranging the clay.  Ellen likes to work on a  grid.

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Making and attaching a polymer clay bail to a pendant

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I demonstrated Skinner blends and Mokume Gane.  Maisha finished up with a quickie image transfer demo.

Here’s some more color samples and pieces from Ellen

Screen Printing on Polymer Clay

You can achieve beautiful effects by screen printing on polymer clay.  I was introduced to this technique several years ago when Ellen Marshall, who literally wrote the book on polymer clay surface design, Polymer Clay Surface Design Recipes encouraged me to take a  class with Gwen Gibson,    S.L. Savarick, is another polymer clay artist who uses screen printing with breathtaking results.

They all inspired me to create my own designs and see how far I could take this process.  You can find my article, Surface Techniques: Silk Screening Polymer Clay, in the Fall 2007 issue of Polymer Cafe Magazine.

In the meantime, please enjoy my slideshow.  It includes some things I have come up with while playing with screen printing and polymer clay.   This is a journey and I am just getting started!