Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I am currently working on ...

It will be a good six months until the Labour Day Art & Craft Market at Mission Bay (Monday 23 October 2017), where I plan to launch my latest project that I am working on.

Swirl-StoNZ by Claire - hand sculpted ‘stones’ for all occasions

This is part of the display info that I am working on:

What are they for?
Great as a souvenir from New Zealand (I remember when I was a child taking pebbles home from the beach as a souvenir of my holiday) or as a gift; they can be made into jewellery, key-rings, charms and decorative accessories. They can be used to give a message or as a memento of a special occasion. My StoNZ also feel nice to hold in your hand, just as they are, and make great ‘calming stones’ for both adults and children

How do I make Swirl-StoNZ?
By rolling selected colours of polymer modelling clay into a ball and rotating it up to 100 times using the polymer clay lentil (or century) bead technique. I often add some extra detail, with slices from specially made canes, or write words into the pattern before they are baked to harden and preserve the design. Each one is unique.

I call the resulting lentils ‘StoNZ’, as they are created here in New Zealand. The swirl pattern is reminiscent of the Maori ‘koru’ symbol, which represents new beginnings, growth and harmony (see below for more info). As all StoNZ are created by myself, I can make them in your choice of colours or personalise them to commemorate special occasions – please ask.

The koru symbol – widely used in Maori art, carvings and tattoos, has also come to represent New Zealand (Aotearoa). Derived from an unfurling silver fern frond, the koru represents new beginnings, growth and harmony. New Beginnings both literally, in terms of new life and growth, and also a new start or new phase of life involving personal growth. To be in harmony with life is to understand, grow and change.

My contribution to 'Into the Forest'

NZ Leaves - my contribution to 'Into the Forest'

I did not think I would have time to participate in this international collaboration project, as I have been busy working on my three entries for the 2017 International Polymer Clay Awards. However, as the deadline for this competition has been extended, my three entries were completed in plenty of time. So, with only a couple of weeks until the deadline for 'Into the Forest', I have made a small contribution. There was nothing so far from New Zealand, and I felt it was important for New Zealand to be part of this international polymer clay project.

These heart-shaped leaves, with a Maori-style pattern on the surface, bring a little love to the 'Into the Forest' project all the way from New Zealand. I have just strung them on some thread, to keep them together during transit, but it makes them look like a creeping vine. I am will be posting them off today and just hope they make it to the USA undamaged.

Monday, March 20, 2017

International Collaboration Project: 'Into the Forest'

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.
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.
Laura Tabakman, Emily Squires Levine and Julie Eakes
November 2017 in Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
A preview of Into The Forest will be on display at Synergy4 in Valley Forge PA in August 2017.
The first version of Into The Forest is currently on display in Philadelphia through December 2016, created by Laura Tabakman and Emily Squires Levine, with the help of Julie Eakes, Libby Mills and Nancy Travers.
We are hoping that the much larger November 2017 installation will be filled with your contributions.
Organic forms, from simple to complex. See inspiration and examples posted on this Facebook page and on Instagram (intotheforest17). We prefer elements inspired by a real forest, so please, no fairies or gnomes at this time.
The more the better. We want multiples of each element you make, with a minimum of 10, a maximum of infinity, so less complex forms, but more of them, is preferred. Variety is good, as long as there are at least 10 of the same idea. We will be building colonies, which overlap and create an environment which is more complex than the individual.
There is no restriction to size or color.
We likely will alter your pieces (drill holes, attach them to other pieces, hang them, etc.) so as to create a cohesive installation. Your pieces will not be returned. Instead, we hope to use them again in future incarnations of the installation. We will be posting pictures of all the work as we receive it. If you don’t want your work photographed and made public, please let us know in advance.
Postmarked by April 4, 2017
Laura Tabakman
137 Alleyne Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15215
Email us at intotheforest17@gmail.com or message us through Facebook
Thank you in advance, we are looking forward to your great contributions to the project!
Laura, Emily and Julie

Sunday, February 26, 2017

3 x competition entries completed

I have now completed and photographed my three entries for the 2017 International Polymer Clay Awards. Since doing this, the submission deadline has been extended from 1 March to 15 May 2017. So I must wait patiently, until the competition has been judged and the results announced, in August 2017. I will post photos of my entries once it is permitted.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

2017 Polymer Clay Awards


I have just finished my latest polymer dot mosaic artwork, which will be my main entry for the 2017 International Polymer Clay Awards competition. Unfortunately I cannot show a photo of it yet, as I believe one of the rules of the competition is that it must not have been exhibited or shown (which includes online) anywhere before. As soon as the competition has been judged, I will post a photo and a description of why I believe it fits the theme of the competition, which is "To Boldly Go".

Monday, January 30, 2017

A beautiful day at Mission Bay

The weather was perfect for the Auckland Anniversary Art & Craft Market at Mission bay today. The sun was shining, the sea was blue and sparkling, and everyone seemed happy. It was a lovely day.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Monday 30 January - Mission Bay Art & Craft Market

I will have a stall at this event, so hoping it is a sunny day. You should find me in Row 1, nearest the road (Tamaki Drive).

10am - 4pm on the Selwyn Reserve at Mission Bay, Auckland.

For more info see

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

New look website

This is my first post of 2017 and it is well into January because I have seriously been considering my creative direction for this year. After a little mishap on 6 January, involving resin and a pocket money idea, my husband reminded me that one of my New Year's resolutions was to ‘be proud of my creative artwork’. So rather than spend any more wasted time on salvaging the disaster, which was only started to use up some coloured varnishes I no longer wanted, it went straight in the bin.

It also reminded me that it is my dot mosaics that I am most proud of. So, I will concentrate on creating some of these, which can then be reproduced (as greeting cards, block prints and possibly pendants and other gift items) to provide lower cost items to sell at selected markets and art gallery stores while promoting my mosaic art. I will try out the pendant idea at the Mission Bay Art and Craft Market at the end of this month.

I have also given my website a new look, to reflect my creative focus for 2017, and hopefully future years.

Post Script: Since writing this, I have decided to also continue with my idea of making Swirl-StoNZ, as small souvenir/gift items to demonstrate and sell at art and craft markets, to attract interest in my own work and polymer clay as a creative medium in general. The relatively quick and unpredictable design when making these Swirl-StoNZ, (based on the polymer clay Lentil Bead technique) is a perfect balance to the slow, precise nature of my mosaic art. I will post more about this project when it is fully developed.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Review of 2016

This is when I usually review the past year but this year I do not feel like I have accomplished much. Moving home at the beginning of the year took a few months out of my creative time. Four polymer clay workshops at the Estuary Arts Centre were all cancelled due to lack of interest, I had to close the Auckland  Polymer Clay Guild due to lack of participating members, and a few ideas/experiments did not amount to anything. Also, I have tried very hard not to be obsessive and spending every spare minute creating. So all in all it has been a rather depressing year in terms of promoting polymer clay and creating with it.

However, on a more positive note, I have continued with my dot mosaics and received a lot of encouraging comments on the few pieces I have shown, winning the People's Choice award at the Puhoi Art Show and selling a couple of pieces at exhibitions. This year I joined the New Zealand Mosaic Art Organisation (as the APCG no longer exists) and definitely want to continue with the dot mosaics, even if only as a hobby due to the time they take to create.

I do have another 'pocket money' project in the pipeline (Swirl-StoNZ) that needs refining before trialing it in 2017. Maybe this could provide the balance with my dot mosaics, allowing me to create some small items that are profitable to sell, as well as creating the dot mosaic artwork that I am so proud of. 

I made one of my New Year's Resolutions for 2017 to 'be proud of my creative artwork', so I must not lose sight of this in the forthcoming year.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Puhoi Art Show - People's Choice award

Found out tonight that I won the People’s Choice award at the Puhoi Art Show. I had three entries in the show but I believe it was for my polymer clay mosaic titled ‘Watching the sunrise over Rangitoto’. This news made my evening.