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high5 polymer clay: an update and new work from sarah shriver

I’m extending last week’s series, High5 Polymer Clay, through tomorrow so that I can include the posts I had planned to bring you before I became ill late last week. I’m still on the mend, so if the Universe cooperates I will have another post this afternoon and two on Tuesday.  Enjoy!

In the first few years that she worked with polymer clay, Sarah Shriver didn’t have a color palette she was comfortable with so she “stuck mostly with the bold graphic images using black, ivory, rust, burgundy and dabbling in blues.” This is hard to believe since today Shriver is known as much for her vivid color combinations as for her kaleidoscopic cane imagery.

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Art Nouveaux Bracelet, polymer clay, 2009


Frida Bracelet, polymer clay, 2009

She credits Judith Skinner’s color blending method, now universally known as the Skinner Blend, as the tool that helped her incorporate color into the work. Shriver’s work is beautifully executed and the cane-building technique she uses to make the kaleidoscope images, though labor-intensive and time consuming, rewards her with brilliant color and pattern combinations that dazzle.


Untitled, 2009

Shriver has tweaked her colors and bead shapes just enough to make a difference in this new work, saying “They are simply the result of moving a little slower and taking a slightly harder look at form. I definitely move in a “baby step” progression but I like to think, ever forward.”


Forest Necklace, 2008

The 2008 Forest Collar necklace, pictured above, is on the wish list of the Racine Art Museum. Shriver is working on a new website – hopefully we will see more of her new work soon.

From her artist statement:

“I build my canes fairly large (about 8 lbs and 4-5 inches in diameter) and work from a carefully worked out set of drawings. Often it takes me close to a month to complete a very elaborate cane with much of the time spent mixing and remixing sheets of color blends. I generally cut the original cane apart into several smaller canes and modify each one differently, using a technique of “kaleidoscoping” or mirroring. This results in a series of differently patterned but related canes.” Sarah Shriver


Sarah Shriver website

Sarah Shriver will present A Passion for Pattern at Synergy2

Read about the Polymer Collection Project and one of Shriver’s necklaces on Polymer Art Archive.

See Shriver’s earlier work here

Read an interview with the artist on Bead Nerd (more images there too)

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