Ronnie Kirsch clutch - In Our Clutches

In Our Clutches

Ronnie Kirsch clutch 430x286 - In Our ClutchesAt the end of this week, I will be heading off to Pittsburgh to see the opening of the Into the Forest project. I am intensely excited about that (go here if you are in the area and want to join for the opening on Friday and the talks on Saturday.) But even more exciting is that, at long last, my beau and I get to go on our honeymoon! So this week and next, I may be a bit quieter than usual but I’ve lined up some eye candy for you that my faithful little helpers will ensure you get while I am off gallivanting about.

Putting together a wardrobe for this trip got me thinking about new accessories. Although I don’t have time to make anything new for this excursion, there are the holidays to get dressed up for. So I was thinking, what kind of new polymer accessory would really wow at the next holiday soiree? Then it hit me … a polymer purse! An unusual handbag is always noted and often gets conversations started where no particular subject has yet made itself known. A polymer handbag is certain to be quite the icebreaker.

So let’s look at polymer purses this week and see if I can’t inspire a few of you to make your own. Of course, at the mention of polymer purses, many of us will raise the image of our favorite Kathleen Dustin purse in our minds but she is not, by far, the only one to create purses. She is one of the few that makes them almost exclusively out of polymer but any other variation–covered, embellished, or accented with polymer–can still be a most wonderful example of our art.

Ronnie Kirsch was making quite the fashion splash with her clay clutches in the early 2010s. Full of color and pattern, they were sold at high-end stores for a very pretty penny. She used a lot of canes but would also apply stripes of colors. This red one here would be visible from across the room. And I think that was the thing about these–they were for women who don’t mind a lot of attention.

Although I could not find news of Ronnie’s recent work, I did find her website with a gallery available if covering a nice metal clutch is sounding like a great holiday project. Just take a look here.

Glitter and Shine

With the holidays upon us, things are shining and shimmering everywhere we go so I thought we’d have a week of looking at tastefully using our shiny, glitzier options.

It can be hard to make glitter look sophisticated. It is often tossed randomly onto an accessory to make it stand out, especially in commercial items, but it certainly can’t compensate for designs that are done poorly or are lacking in interest in any other way. The sparkle from glitter also has such a strong draw for the eye, so it can easily overpower and even ruin a good design. However, we do like our sparkle and, when used judiciously, it can be a great added element.

Katy Schmitt did a fantastic job on this little purse, keeping the focus on the color and swirl but mixing in just a bit of glitter to some, but not all, the colors to tastefully glam it up.



Most of Katy’s work leans towards simple and understated yet visually powerful pieces. You can find more of her work on her Flickr photostream and her own website.


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Cover 13-P4 web  120113 snowflake display ad  WhimsicalBead051512

Concept in Composition

This was actually the first piece I found that made me go “Oh wow! I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like this in polymer!” Well, it’s not all polymer, but I still thought it was a wonderful piece by a primarily polymer artist with a composition worth talking about. This container was created by the ingenious Fabiola Perez Ajates, simply known to most people as Fabi.

Fabi Bolw


The body of this piece is actually paper-paper streamers, to be exact. Many streamers, rolled up tightly into a disc, then pressed from the center to expand into tapered shapes like this one here. What I enjoy so much about this piece is that it is a container, but on top these random red balls are emerging and escaping down the side of a vessel made for holding things. It’s a nice ironic juxtaposition between the function of the objects and the imagery. The top of the paper lid, indented and tilted as well as being inherently striped, also makes it feel like the balls were spinning in the concavity before being spilled out, so there is quite the sense of moment with these very simple additions to the paper shape.

Fabi is another explorer-type artist. She has quite the collection and variety of work on her blog and Flicker pages.


pg collage 13-P3 Fall 2013

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