The Winter Cover, 1/2 off Polymer Journeys SALE, & other news

17P4 Winter Line Lg border 430x537 - The Winter Cover, 1/2 off Polymer Journeys SALE, & other newsMy apologies for not getting the blog out yesterday. It is a whirlwind over here as we get the next issue ready and deal with some ongoing technical and third-party service issues in other areas.

But here you go. Your sneak peek at the Winter 2017 – Line issue whose cover will be graced with the beautiful work of Emily Squires Levine who is the featured artist interviewed in this issue. This great end of the year issue will come out third week of November.

Along with that must-read article, you can also look forward to …

  • Design with Line
  • The Art of Emily Squires Levine
  • Creative Extruding
  • More Tools from Other Trades
  • Etched Impression Plates
  • Simulation in Soutache
  • Color Spotlight:  Sabine Spiesser
  • Getting into Galleries
  • Jewelry Styles for Men
  • Growing Your Guild
  • Russian Polymer Quilt Project
  • … and much more!

To ensure you don’t miss out, go here for subscriptions and renewals.

And … we are working on the next couple projects so we thought we’d keep working on making room and this time, we’ve got Polymer Journeys on sale for a straight 50% off for print editions, 15% off digital editions, and if you buy both, you can get the digital edition for only $5! You can grab this deal on our website as well.

There is also news about changes in our subscription and ordering process which was run through a service that has, unfortunately not provided consistent service and has frustrated more than a few readers, and we just can’t have that. So this is all back in-house where we can monitor every single order ourselves. We do lose the online portal for you to check on your subscription and change your address but we’ll be able to offer more discounts and specials as well as having a cleaner and easier ordering system.

Get all this news in our newsletter which you can find online here. If you would like to sign up to receive our twice monthly newsletter, just drop your email into the form on our home page.


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Heading Into the Forest

I am heading Into the Forest in November! The huge installation project put together by Laura Tabakman, Julie Eakes and Emily Squires Levine will be a monumental event for the polymer art community and I, for one, can’t imagine missing this. It is being installed into a gallery in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania with a gallery opening and party on November 10th followed by a Saturday forum on related topics. Coming down off the high I got being around so many amazing folks at Synergy in August, I am looking forward to a little creative recharge in November along with getting to see the work of 300+ polymer artists, all in one huge piece of global art.

So first … if you are interested in attending as well, you can jump over to the website and get all the details right here. I would love to see you and meet you there!

Alina deer floral 350x341 - Heading Into the Forest

The anticipation of this event has put me in the mood for forest-inspired work. Of course. So I rooted around the internet and found some amazing stuff to share with you this week. Here you see a very curious and delicately beautiful pendant inspired by both the flora and the fauna of the forest. The artist, Alina Sanina, started working in clay eight years ago as a curious teen but now, with a degree in art education behind her, she continues to sculpt and create a wide range of fantastical but rather realistic pieces.

I found this piece to be an eye-catcher at first glance because of its contrast between a skull, representing death, and the green and floral details of Spring foliage that top it off. But if you examine it for a minute, you’ll notice that the skull is not all a skull. The deer has live-looking eyes and fully fleshed-out ears. The contrast of life and death is within the deer head, not just the skull and vegetation here. It looks to me like a little representation of the cycle of life in a forest setting.

I have long been interested in societal views of life and death and how different cultures and even individuals work out how to handle the fact that these complete opposite states co-exist and are an understood, if not readily accepted, part of the cycle of life. I don’t know if that is what Alina had in mind when creating this but there are definitely metaphors on those subjects that one can discuss in regards to this little piece.

Whether you turn away or are intrigued by such difficult subject matter, I think you will want to see more of the beautiful work Alina creates. You can do so in her Etsy shop and on Instagram.


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In the Midst of Leaves


So after a week of autumn color and a week of mostly translucent autumn, I am moving from Fall colors (I promise I am!) into leaves! There are tons of leaf motifs popping up out there and this beautiful bowl by the one and only Emily Squires Levine was on the top of my list for found leaf motif. (That has a ring to it!)

Emily has been branching out (pun intended … couldn’t help myself!) with some new designs this that are more of an extension of what she’s been doing than a departure. I am sure, with the In the Forest project, more trees and forest imagery will be popping up in her work and many more polymer artist’s pages as well.

I found these on Emily’s Facebook page where you can view more of her latest work. You can also stop by her website while you are off wandering through the leaves and such.

As for me, this will be a particularly busy week with the holiday, house buying paperwork (it’s like a second job!), getting the Winter issue off to the printer and, last but not least … in a non-traditional move that has more to do with logistics, health insurance, and moving residency to California before the end of the year, my beau and I will be tying the knot tomorrow, at least on paper. The official celebration is a month away but the fact that there will be no turning back after tomorrow does give one pause. Unless it’s the guy you should have married 3 decades ago. So yeah, don’t mind me this week. I may be a bit distracted.


Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Can we just say … get through the week, make time to relax and play, and enjoy your families. Sound good?


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Into the Forest

13576637_10154283234709491_7192967860885552779_oOkay, so this might just be a week of announcements but they are exciting announcements, let me tell you.

During her general assembly presentation at Eurosynergy, Laura Tabakman spoke about her projects, many of which are huge undertakings involving installations of her work and the work of others in anything from organic floor compositions in a gallery to entire bridges yarn bombed by the whole of the local community. So it wasn’t a complete surprise that she has a very ambitious project up her sleeve right now. The difference is that this project can include you!

Laura paired up with the very organized and motivated Emily Squires Levine to work on a project inspired by their time under the aspens in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Living here, I completely get what got their creative juices flowing. I am constantly amazed by the color, variety and just stunning beauty of the mountains here. I honestly have yet to find a place in the world I think is more beautiful than the scenery here. Laura and Emily were similarly impressed and started working out an idea for a large Rocky Mountain forest inspired installation. Later on they got Julie Eakes on board and between the three of them the seeds of the “Into the Forest” project was born. And just hours before Laura’s presentation, the threesome set up a Facebook page to help facilitate what is certainly to be an immense and fascinating project.

So what is “Into the Forest”? The image here is their first assembly based on the project idea and here is their description:

“An international collaboration of polymer artists and enthusiasts inspired by the high altitude aspen groves in the Rocky Mountains, “Into the Forest” is an evolving mixed media international installation organized by collaborating artists Laura Tabakman, Emily Squires Levine and Julie Eakes. Imagine yourself in a forest. On the ground beneath a canopy of branches and leaves, unexpected life exists. Look closely, be amazed at the variety of these organic forms. Be a part of our Forest and help it flourish! Create pieces which will form its life elements. We will combine them into living colonies of varying shapes, colors and sizes. We are looking for 1000s of elements, created by our international polymer community, to inhabit our Forest.”

To get involved, request an invitation to the “Into the Forest” Facebook group. There are already over 150 polymer artists and enthusiasts that have pledged to help. I know I’m excited. Jump over to the Facebook page to get more information and follow the project on Instagram (intotheforest17).


Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Here’s a simple one … join the project! Make one element a day or at least every other day, to send off to the project. I started on leaves on the weekend and ideas for lichen and other creeping color. We have until April 4th of 2017 which, making one little simple piece a day means you could have a couple hundred to contribute by April!


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An Art Crush and Some Monday Color

littleplates ESquireLevineSome time back, I saw these little bowls by the wonderful Emily Squires Levine, but suddenly they were the one thing that really stood out to me in my collection of images I want to share soon. The energy of the patterns, the simplicity of the form, the variety of the composition … not sure which is really drawing me the most, but it really felt like a good Monday kind of visual to share. Also, they serve as an inspiration of something useful and cheerful that can be created when one finds it hard to get into the studio.

This photo was actually found on Veru’s Design blog on an“Art Crush” postings, this one obviously about Emily. Apparently Veruschka Stevens has a serious creative crush on Emily Squires Levine’s work and spent a day with her, snapping shots of Emily’s work, her studio and also the pages of The Polymer Arts that Emily has been in, which was fun for us to see. It’s a very cute and insightful post–go take a look and get the full story on what Veru saw when she visited Emily. And if you want more color and fun for your Monday, see what else Emily has been up to on her website.




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And the Winners Are

At each conference, there are Polymer Clay Awards. At EuroSynergy 800 entries were juried to find the most significant 40 works for the IPCA Awards Exhibition. Georg Dinkel took Best of Show with his I-reliquaries and shrines, dedicated to Apple products like iPad and iPod. Best in 2D Art went to Fran Abrams for her “Warmth of Fire” and Laurie Mika for her “Circle of Life”. Best of Jewelry was shared by Angela Garrod for her “The Final Frontier”, Cornelia Brockstedt for her “City Skies”, and Annie Pennington for two of her pieces “Phagocytosis Brooch” and “Tucson Squiggle Brooch”. Best in Sculpture was awarded to Penne Mobley for “Pensive Prince”, Claire Fairweather for “Spring Trio”, and Joyce Cloutman for “Woodland Elf”. And pictured here, one of the Best in Functional Containers was this bowl by Emily Squires Levine.


Emily, a 2014 Niche Award Finalist, designs and creates one-of-a-kind accent tiles, bowls, and eggs. Using sophisticated color palettes, she fashions unique canes to form her exciting polymer clay art. Take a look at her use of pattern, shape, and color. How can you incorporate some of her distinctive juxtapositions into your own work? You can see more of her work on her website or Facebook page.


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Vase Gone Wild

Tendrils and squiggles on the surface of a piece are wonderful elements that add direction and energy, but it just seems to take it up a notch when the piece is actually made from such lines alone.

Emily Squires Levine creates most of her vessels with this open type of form, pinning together canes and lines of clay to create vases, bowls, and other decorative containers. This wonderful vase is aptly called “Tendril Vase.”



The tendrils look to be from a caned sheet, made from layers of clay folded over onto one another, rather than a roll or bar cane. These long sliced lines create the very structure of this sinuous vase. Does her approach get you thinking about open forms, or just what wide range of shapes a cane can actually take?

For more examples of this kind of structure with many different caned shapes, take a look at her website and blog.

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