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rachel carren: art historian and polymer artist

Each piece of Rachel Carren‘s polymer jewelry bears the name of an historical artist such as Hokusai, Winslow Homer and William Morris.  Mixing color palettes that reflect the work of these iconic artists, the art historian, who holds a PhD from the University of Maryland, creates rich surface designs with patterns either relevant to the artist referenced or appropriate to the cultural time frame.


Divided Sebo Brooches
each 2 ¾” x 2 ¾” x 3/8”, polymer, acrylic, mica powder

Monet Bangle Bracelets
3” x 3” x 1 ¼”, polymer, acrylic

“The juxtaposition of a thoroughly modern material with historical referencing brings the past to the present and the present into contact with the past.” Rachel Carren

Winslow Homer Mini Disks Necklace
18” L, polymer, acrylic

Chardin Divided Sebo Brooch
2 ¾” x 2 ¾” x 3/8”, polymer, acrylic, mica powder

Hokusai Bamboo Bracelet
1 ½”x 5/8” x ¼”, polymer, metal leaf, ink

“Because of their mutual compatibility, polymer creates a permanent bond with the acrylic pigments I apply to its surface. It models like clay, drapes like cloth and fires at a low temperature into a strong and durable state.” Rachel Carren

Carren uses handmade silk screens to print thin sheets of polymer with acrylic paint before she layers, folds or weaves the material to create the textile-like effects that overlay the work.

See the full portfolio on her new website.

Look for updates about the book curated by Carren, due out in Spring 2011. Masters: Polymer Clay “will celebrate masterful artistic innovation and imagination in the ever expanding field of artists drawn to the creative capabilities of polymer.”

Click here to read about Carren’s contributions to the Polymer Collection Project, an ongoing effort to elevate the profile of polymer and the Polymer Art Archive, a comprehensive written record of polymer art history.

You can find a previous post about Rachel Carren here.

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