Over the weekend, my family and I visited the local Sugar Creek Arts Festival held annually in Uptown Normal, IL. My 7 year old mistakenly thought we were going to the "Sugar Free Taco Bell" (not the Sugar Creek Arts Festival) but that's for a whole 'nother blog. My husband splurged on 3 polymer clay light switch covers designed by Layl McDill a.k.a. Silly Millies.

I love the combination of intricate canes, bright colors, and free style design that Layl incorporates into each piece. I immediately installed them in my home studio and took a moment to enjoy the work of a fellow artist. It got me to thinking about all the polymer clay art I've collected over the years. I'd like to share just a fraction of that collection with you.

The first piece I remember purchasing introduced me to polymer clay. My husband Tom and I were honeymooning on St. Martin and there was a boutique there with a glorious display of mysterious items. I had never seen polymer clay before, and the colors and the overall look of each piece made me want to handle each one and examine it until I fully understood it. After I made my new husband take me back to that same boutique every day for a week, Tom graciously offered to purchase something for me made from this wondrous material.

From then on, I pursued polymer clay passionately and found myself years later at the NPCG Conference held at Arrowmont in Gatlinburg, TN. There I saw so many inspiring works and I was gifted, once again by my husband, to purchase this collection of cane slices created by Pier Voulkos. This piece has served as an inspiration to me on many occasions. Pier's work is characterized by an intense attention to detail and perfect technique. She blends colors like no other and her design skills are flawless.

Innovative and Creative Polymer Clay Pieces

I'm proud to have in my collection a little guy made by designer Shelly Comiskey of Simply Shelly Designs. Back in the day, Shelly and I worked together as demonstrators at trade shows. I was thrilled when Shelly gave me an original piece for my collection. I smile every time I look at him and remember spending time with her.

I purchased this bracelet from a boutique in Naperville, IL. It inspired me to create my own signature cane with my name and year. I figured if she could write MARTHA in a cane, I'd have it much easier with my 3-letter name.

Through the years I've had opportunities to travel and in each place I've sought out a polymer clay piece to add to my collection. Tom brought me the little fruit ladies from his first visit to Costa Rica. Do you notice what they have in common besides fruit on their heads? The tiny little sleeping elf is from Calgary, Alberta. The entire bed would fit on top of a silver dollar! The bright red wall hanging is from China. The cane technique is perfect and I love how it's finished with the elaborate Chinese knots. The bottle is from another trip to Costa Rica. The artist scavenges for discarded horse teeth which she incorporates into all of her faces - now that's original!

Having fun rolling clay,