The Philadelphia Guild’s very own Sherman Oberson recently became President of the American Regional Board of the International Polymer Clay Association. Congratulations Sherman! Sherman is also President of our local guild and one of the forces behind Clayathon which had a record 80+ attendees this year. When he is not teaching polymer clay classes at one of the many art centers around Philadelphia, Sherman is busy consulting and designing for Penn State Industries who chose him to help them expand their marketing reach from wood crafts to polymer clay.
Sherman’s work is pretty spectacular too. To have a look, press here and here.
Here is a video Sherman made for Penn State Industries.
They say that a picture is worth thousand words. It certainly is in the case of Turkish artist Alev Gonozar who uses polymer in her sculpture and installations.
Alev gave an revealing talk about the evolution of her work, her creative process and the challenges she has faced in doing large installations and commissions for building projects.
Take a look at the gallery of here work here.
This year Arlene Groch’s son Mike asked her to convert a steer skull (yes…it’s only resin, not real) into an object d’ Arte for his foundation’s fund-raiser auction during San Diego’s Gay Pride festivities this weekend. Here’s a close up so you can appreciate Mr. Steer’s fine mica shift ghost image coat. (Fans of Barbara McGuire will recognize her wonderful Klimt designs.) Other photos show a few stages of the process and the finished object.
Mr. Steer is a bit smaller than last year’s Mr. Deer, so he probably won’t bring in as much as the $700 Mr. Deer raised for this worthy cause, but Arlene is hoping he’ll also find a good home.
This months’ meeting is all about texture and we are pleased to have member Kate Clawson share her ideas and techniques. This is a meeting you don’t want to miss! Which is why you need to start thinking about travel plans for Sunday.
Philadelphia is hosting the Philadelphia Marathon this weekend which will make traveling to the meeting and parking a little more challenging than usual. On-street parking will be limited because there will be a lot o people in town. Some streets will be closed because of the marathon.
Sunday, November 17
- Kelly Drive to Ridge Avenue will be closed from 5:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Inner lanes of Benjamin Franklin Parkway (including cross streets) will be closed from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- The 22nd/23rd Street entrances from Route 676 will close on Sunday morning (5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.). Please plan alternate routes to the start.
There is absolutely NO PARKING along the GORE-TEX® Philadelphia Marathon course on Sunday, November 17, beginning at 5:00 a.m.
The marathon route is at
The Philadelphia Eagles play the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field this Sunday too and the game starts at 1:00 PM. So make plans accordingly.
Need a parking lot? These will be crowded too but you’ll find it easier to find parking in a lot than on the street. Press HERE for a list of nearby lots.
Acclaimed polymer clay veneer maven Bonnie Bishoff made a rare teaching appearance in Philadelphia last week teaching a marquetry technique class on Saturday and demonstrating how she makes her signature veneers at the guild meeting on Sunday
Hard to believe it’s all just polymer clay
Show and Tell
If you had been paying attention in your ornithology class, you would already know that there are more than 150 species of owls flying around the planet. That means that Sue Springer won’t have any shortage of models for her latest obsession: recreating owls in polymer clay. Here are some of her latest creations. Click under the pictures to see the real-life owls that served as inspiration.
Sue builds her owls on a polymer clay tile with a wire attached to the back for hanging. She fashions the owls
from her ever-growing collection of canes she designs to suggest the different feathers of the inspirational owl.
Sue employs complex Skinner Blends, translucent clay and color mixing to good effect, achieving a look of depth to the feathers despite the limited color palate.
Sue builds more colorful canes for the eyes but employs similar subtle shading that gives the eyes dimension and a lifelike quality.
Don’t you feel like he’s staring at you?
- The Polymer Clay Avengers
Sue and Wilma
Now that I have your attention, here is some Owlish Trivia
You can find owls on every continent but Antarctica.
Owls have three eyelids and zygodactyl feet
and asymmetrical ears.
Owls can’t pivot their eyes
but they can turn their heads 270 degrees.
Owls’ feathers make them noiseless fliers
which is good because they’re predators.
Not all owls hoot
but some can bark.
A flock of owls
is called a Parliament
and the largest owl fossil ever found
was over three feet tall.
Be careful Sue when you venture out into the forest.
Find out more about owls here
by Arlene Groch
It all started when my son Mike called from San Diego, and asked if I would cover a resin deer’s head with clay to hang on the wall of his office.
When I stopped laughing, I realized he was serious. Always game for a challenge, I agreed. He sent me the head; it came broken. That gave me a spare ear to test in the oven. The ear didn’t melt or send us running out of the house to escape poisonous fumes. So I called Mike and told him to send me another head. He must have really wanted this badly because the second head arrived in the next few days.
Mike wanted the deer covered with a hounds-tooth pattern. I scoured the Internet for ideas and found a tutorial for a hounds-tooth cane. I made some samples and Mike chose the plain pattern without the red silk screened design. I smeared the deer with Genesis and then covered all of its skin/fur with a medium thickness of “junk” clay. Then I applied the cane slices all over the deer’s head, chest and ears blending in the seams of each section to match the pattern. I blended the seams of each section together using Dan Cormier’s rag paper smoothing technique.
When Mr. Deer was ready for curing (some 30-40 hours after his arrival at our home) I had to use our regular kitchen oven because Mr. Deer’s head was too big for my convection oven. I settled him on a cookie sheet, wrapped him in tented tin foil and baked him for about 45 minutes at 300 degrees. I added a few clay patches on missed spots behind the ears, and some very thinly sliced canes where needed to improve the overall design. I cured those with a heat gun.
Mr. Deer was ready for sanding. Rough sanding to clean him up and smooth a few bumps was all the sanding I felt a deer deserved, no matter how cute.
After a good apres-sanding bath, it was time to finish him off. I applied three coats of matte red Golden paint to his antlers. I tried clay tips on the antlers, but both Mike and the Deer felt that it was too much so off they came.
Following Mr. Deer’s final photo session, George and I escorted took him to the Fed Ex office for some serious bubble wrapped, double boxed packaging and sent him off via ground transportation to his new home across the country. When the Fed Ex guy asked for a value for insurance purposes, and I just laughed and told him, “A week of Mother Love — it’s invaluable”.
I hope you enjoyed Mr. Deer’s journey, and do say a prayer [or just send some good vibes] for his safe arrival. And now for the pictures