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Category Archives: High5

high5 polymer clay: news about synergy2 and the polymer clay collection

This post marks the last installment of this month’s High5 Polymer Clay series. I hope you enjoyed it. I am taking the rest of of the week off to regain my strength and stamina now that the virus has finally loosened its grip on me. The archives are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so feel free to browse while I take a break. See you next week?

In this High5 Polymer Clay series we took a look at jewelry, sculpture, dolls, objects artists and books that resonated with me in recent days – new work from established artists and work from emerging artists. This morning I shared a suggestion for how you can continue your exploration of the medium and this afternoon I want to tell you about two more important events coming up.

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Synergy2 Conference


Ford and Forlano, flower brooch

In 2008 the National Polymer Clay Guild made history with the first Synergy conference, which brought together leading artists in the field and individuals aspiring to bring the medium to a higher level to talk, share, explore ideas and plan for the future of the medium.  A resounding success, the conference sparked lively debate that carried farther than the polymer clay community and continues to help us move the medium forward.  In February 2010, the newly renamed guild, now known as the International Polymer Clay Association, will do it again with Synergy2 in Baltimore, Maryland.


Synergy2 will feature presentations that explore the theme ‘Expanding Connections’ and the highlight is expected to be a celebration honoring the 22-year collaboration of renowned studio jewelers Steven Ford and David Forlano along with a special presentation by the artists.


Ford and Forlano, necklace

Ford/Forlano, two of the top studio jewelry artists working today, “have developed a body of work that has changed the way we look at studio art jewelry.” At Synergy2 they will take us into their working process and discuss how collaboration has shaped their work over their career. A question and answer session will give attendees a rare opportunity to get to know the acclaimed artists.


New!  Pre and Post Conference Hands-On Workshops

In addition to more than 45 presentations, the Synergy2 team recently added pre and post conference hands-on workshops from some of your favorite artists working with the medium today.  The workshops are conveniently located in the same venue as the conference. I am looking forward to the Synergy2 conference in February – will I see you there?

Polymer Clay Collection Project


Racine Art Museum, Racine Wisconsin

In other news, Elise Winters and her team at Polymer Art Archive have recently announced that the Racine Art Museum in Racine, Wisconsin will establish a permanent collection of polymer jewelry, beads and sculptural objects.  In addition to assembling a world-class collection of polymer art, the museum will establish a library “to protect slide, print and catalogs for academic research”, a hardcover catalog of the collection and an exhibit.  Elise Winters, the force behind the Polymer Clay Collection project and Bruce W. Pepich, executive director and curator of collections at the museum, will also speak about the collection at Synergy2.


Dan Cormier’s Fiji Mermaid (2000) is one of three Cormier ‘Tin Toy’ vessels heading to a permanent home at the Racine Art Museum

[click on the image to read more]

Winters is also the driving force behind a fundraising effort to secure money for the project. She will be announcing donor levels, naming opportunities and fundraising goals as soon as the details are complete. You can donate by following the link at the end of this post.

From the PAA website:

“For those of you who have shared my dream over these many years, that polymer art be given an honored space in museum collections throughout the country, I now ask for more than good will. You can help turn our collective dream into reality today, by making a donation to the Racine Art Museum.” Elise Winters



2010 Synergy2 website and registration

A Collaboration Celebration – Ford and Forlano Synergy 2010

Hands on pre and post conference polymer clay workshops at Synergy2

Read about the 2008 Synergy conference here

Ford and Forlano’s website

Polymer Art Archive post about how you can support the collection

Polymer Art Archive posts about the Polymer Clay Collection here and here

Read the rest of the High5 Polymer Clay Series here

high5 polymer clay: cynthia tinapple

Today’s posts will complete the High5 Polymer Clay series, but that doesn’t have to mean the end of your polymer clay exploration. Cynthia Tinapple has her finger on the pulse of what’s happening with the medium and since 2005 she has been sharing it on her blog, Polymer Clay Daily.



Dedicated to “showcasing the best polymer clay art online”, PCD is the premiere place to go to discover trends in polymer clay, read about new artists, and see what your old favorites are up to now. The popular blog has a loyal following of artists, design enthusiasts, crafters, teachers and collectors who check in each day to see what Tinapple has found.


Beach Stone Necklace, polymer clay

The Ohio artist, who has been working with polymer clay for over twenty years, seems most comfortable showcasing other artists, but occasionally shares pictures of her own work and process. Tinapple’s art shows the same care and meticulous attention to detail as her writing and editing and the results are always stunning. Take a look at some of her recent solo work-in-progress – she is still tweaking the multi strand “beach” necklace pictured above, which was inspired by Laura Timmins and Gera Scott Chandler.


Petroglyph experiments, polymer clay


She is also working on perfecting her petroglyphs and she told me she still hasn’t found “just the right solution” – she’s not quite satisfied yet, though she has tried inks, canes, stamps and stencils. They look ‘perfectly’ spectacular to me – I’m looking forward to the final version.

Tinapple and her husband, woodturner Blair Davis, often collaborate on turned wood bowls inlaid with polymer clay (check the links at the end of this post to see images). In October, their town’s first art center, a $6 million dollar facility, opens with a prestigious inaugural show that will include collaborative pieces by Tinapple and Davis.  I have no doubt that their art will be a hit at the Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center of Worthington – if you are in the area do stop by to see the show. The couple is busy creating work for the show and I’m sure she will share photos on PCD, so watch for them.

Come back this afternoon for my final post in this High5 Polymer Clay series.

Cynthia Tinapple’s Polymer Clay Daily

Remember when she decorated her wall with cane slices?

More of Tinapple’s polymer clay stones here and here (love that bowl!)

Don’t miss Blair Davis and Cynthia Tinapple’s bowls

Read the rest of the High5 Polymer Clay series here

high5 polymer clay: book review – polymer clay color inspirations

Whether color fascinates or frustrates you, Polymer Clay Color Inspirations: Techniques and Jewelry Projects for Creating Successful Palettes will be one of the most used reference books in your library.  Although geared towards use with polymer clay, this book is valuable to anyone working with color. Through clear explanations, diagrams and a series of exercises, Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio demystify color for the color-challenged (that would be me) and expertly guide readers on a journey designed to help you explore and analyze your color instincts and preferences as well as mix your own personal palette.

[nonmember]The remainder of this archived post is for Members Only. Click here to become a member or to get a one day pass. If you are a member, please login to view the post. [/nonmember]



Polymer Clay Color Inspirations: Techniques and Jewelry Projects for Creating Successful Palettes

Cynthia Tinapple’s Forward is pure motivation to read the book:  “What I’ve found is that excellent color can rescue a mediocre design.  And color that’s off the mark or muddied can ruin the finest concept.  Your palette becomes your signature.  That signature is very personal.  It’s tied to culture and geography and weather.  It shifts with latitude, with attitude, and with age.  Learning about color means learning about yourself.”


The start of a collage…more to come

There is a quiz to determine your confidence level in working with color.  Here’s the first line of the description beside my score: “You often feel overwhelmed when making color choices.” Yes, that about sums it up. Until now, I’ve made most of my color choices intuitively and while people usually respond well to the colors in my work I admit that I have never been confident about them – I often feel like they happened by accident.

This book – part textbook, part workbook and part self-help book, will be within arms length while I work in the studio. I’m learning how to understand color, find my personal color palette, choose colors for my next project, mix colors that work, play games with color and then put it all together. At my own pace.  In my own time. And you can too.


As an added bonus, Maggio is posting “Weekend Extras” to her blog – more guidance to help you through the exercises.  Don’t be shy, this is your chance to ask questions and a wonderful opportunity to connect directly with the author.

Thank you Maggie and Lindly – I am finally beginning to understand the language of color and I know I will come back to the book for years to come as I slowly develop my personal palette and use it in ways that will make my work sing.

From Elise Winters’ review and interview with Lindly on PAA:

“Color Inspirations has been designed to meet the needs of a wide audience. It should be of interest to newcomers who want to try polymer, as well as people who find color challenging. We wrote this book as well for people who might be interested in working with dyes, paints, even colored pencils. If somebody is interested in the dynamics of color, the science of color mixing, the aesthetic awareness of color choice, this book should provide lots of nourishment and inspiration.” Lindly Haunani

Read Elise Winters’ review and interview with Lindly Haunani on Polymer Art Archive

Maggie Maggio’s website and Weekend Extras

Lindly Haunani’s website

Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio will each present at Synergy2

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