Synergy Recap in Pictures

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Marie Segal necklace and pin Synergy 4 081617 338x450 - Synergy Recap in Pictures

First of all … the new Fall issue came out over the weekend! Get your texture fix with this issue, in a big way. If you have a digital subscription and have not seen your access email, check your junk mail folder. You should also be able to access it through your account here. If you have a print subscription, those went to the post office in Idaho on Friday so they are on the way too. If you do not have an active subscription or need to get your single issue copy, go to our website at

So this week we are going to have a parade of photos from Synergy 4 to include some beautiful art and some show shots for those who didn’t go but are trying to live vicariously through the community’s representatives that did.

The absolute best thing about going to these events is the people you get to meet and chat it up with. I think I may have said that last week but it’s true! The first picture here is just a sampling of the talent that was sitting behind me at breakfast one morning. How thrilled would you be to have the opportunity to sit down with Jeff Dever and Rachel Carren and listen in on their, no doubt, very insightful conversation? Or pull up a chair and say hello to Nan Roche and Melanie West? Or hang out at the same table with Christi Friesen, Bettina Welker, and Martina Weller? And you can at these things. People here, no matter what the skill level or how long they have been involved, are happy to talk to all the attendees. It is always illuminating what one can learn from others with the same passion.

I was grateful to get to talk to so many people but I was particularly happy to have a little time to sit down with our longtime polymer master, Marie Segal. She gave a talk about the new Cernit formulation–there has been improved strength, flexibility, and clarity that looks to rival the other better-known brands which got me quite excited to try it. If you like sampling clays to see what works best in what application, jump over to her shop and get yourself some new goodies at The Clay Factory.



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Classic Work in Acrylic

Some of our major pioneers borrowed, almost from the start, mediums from other disciplines. Elise Winters‘ easily recognizable undulating forms sparkle with the crackle effect she got from adding acrylic. Likewise, the Bonnard Disc Collar Necklace by Rachel Carren that you see here is textured with acrylic paints, carrying the design so the polymer, as essential as it is, is the foundation rather than the star of the piece.


Acrylics are also widely used in screen printing on polymer, antiquing, accenting, and just straight up painting either to add realistic, exaggerated or decorative elements to polymer sculptural forms or to actually work with polymer in wall pieces and even jewelry. Acrylic, a plastic cousin of polymer that had its coming out as a true three dimensional medium in the 90’s with the production of new and highly varied thickening and texturing mediums, has also become known for its versatility and ease of use; along with polymer, this makes for a mind-boggling number of possibilities that I think have only been touched upon as of yet. We shall see what acrylic and polymer together have in store for us in the coming years as our innovative community continues to push the boundaries of what our medium can do.

Let The Light Shine Through

Although many of us may be mesmerized by the jewelry possibilities of translucent clays, we should not forget just how wonderful they can be on decor, especially pieces for which light is integral such as lamps, candle holders and night lights.

Below we have a beautifully detailed example of just what translucents offer when covering lighted decor. This is a lamp by Diane Dunville … created in 1998. (Yeah … we didn’t need no Pardo back then!)


The thing about lighted decor is that it needs to be designed for two different types of existence–lit and unlit. Obviously it’s gorgeous when lit from within but since it won’t always be on (one would think) it should be a beautiful object when unlit as well. Which is done here. Diane’s bold colors and a considerable consideration for the layout of the patterning should make this nearly as impressive a piece of decor in its unlit state as it is when illuminated from inside.

This is not just a covered object either. Here is the description of Diane’s work from the Polymer Art Archive post (written by Rachel Carren)  in which I found this lovely piece:

“Fascinated by glass art, Dunville created a series of lamps during the late 1990’s. After building a foundation of mesh, Dunville added layers of translucent polymer which were then textured and carved.   The results are a graphic and playful blend of color and pattern which make for bold, decorative surfaces when unlit and cast a colorful glow when lit.”



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