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Featured Art from PolyMarket Press Books!

polymarket-frontArt from Polymarket Press books is on display at Kay Carol & Priscila Gallery during the month of October. In conjunction with a Gender Identity community art show, we are awaiting work from Ricardo Acevedo’s books Night and Interloper as well as polymer clay jewelry from Randee M. Ketzel and Kim Schlinke’s Polymer Clay Gemstones-The Art of Deception.

Art from Adapting Quilt Patterns to Polymer Clay is shown including the newly-mounted clay “bolts of fabric” contributed by many artists from around the world.

Also taking pride of place among the mosaics and sculptures are the fabulous miniature and full sized masks created by more than 100 artists involved in the annual Miniature Mask Swaps that have been held since 1998. Many were showcased in A Collection of Polymer Clay Masks, but more than 200 have been added since publication!

Work featured in my first two books with Krause Publications are also on display, making this a huge assembly of techniques and effects that are possible with polymer clay.

Do come see it in person at KCP Gallery, 364 Main Street, Longmont CO 80501. We’re open Th-Fr-Sat from 10-6pm.

Showing Off!

boltsA good part of 2014 so far has been  devoted to getting things set up and running at the new location. Kay Carol Gallery & Priscila Working Arts Studio often gets shortened to KCP Gallery, and is located at 364 Main Street in Longmont Colorado. I graduated with my Media Graphic Design degree in December and opened up a community arts workspace with Marcelo Fernandez in the same month. We were joined by Christina Cappelletti and had our Grand Opening in February.

We function as a working studio space, a gallery, an emporium, a class and meeting space, plus we have musical and cultural events. Marcelo, Christina and I all work in graphic arts as well as other media and have our studios in house. We are able to work with artists and entrepreneurs to develop their websites, business cards, packaging and display needs, as well as offer a nurturing  merchandising environment to try out new products and lines. We currently show the work of 48 artists, all but two of whom are local.

Every month we have a different Featured Artist’s work displayed and a reception for the artist on the 2nd Friday of that month. In October, the artists of PolyMarket Press take center stage. There will prints and cards from Ricardo Acevedo’s books Night and Interloper. I will have beautiful and mysterious artifacts from Randee M. Ketzel  and Kim Schlinke’s book Polymer Clay Gemstones-The Art of Deception. There will also be polymer clay artwork from my first books Create a Polymer Clay Impression and Celebrations With Polymer Clay. Mosaic musical instruments, wagons, and more created by Bryan Helm will be on display.

Helm-123In addition, there will be hundreds of miniature masks from A Collection of Polymer Clay Masks including 200 collected since publication. We are mounting and framing our entire collection for this show, all made by polymer clay artisans from around the world who have participated in the Internet Miniature Mask Swaps for quite a few years now. Some full sized masks will also be part of the collection shown.

Rounding out what may be the world’s largest collection of small samples of polymer clay techniques are the “fabric bolts” and miniature quilt store from Adapting Quilt Patterns to Polymer Clay, the premier book from PolyMarket Press, written with Judith Skinner. The little store was stripped to the polymer clay tiled floor and re-done as a Barbie-sized store for perfumes, toiletries and  accessories.

The bolts are business card sized pieces of card stock wrapped in a piece of polymer clay that mimics fabric. I made quite a few patterned bolts and dozens of solid colors, but ran out of time while working on the actual book layout. Artists from around the world came to my rescue and contributed a bolt or two, or more, and helped fill the shelves of the miniature quilt store. In the pictures seen in the book, most of the bolt is obscured, as they are all together on shelves. Now, for the first time ever, all the bolts will be seen face-on. I’m mounting 240 of them in a quilt block pattern, and no two bolts are alike.

Hundreds of techniques are on display–millefiore in a myriad of styles, inclusions, mokume gane, hand drawn or stamped, ripple-cut, extruded, and many more. The collection will be on display throughout the month of October at KCP Gallery.

The Story of Treaty Oak–a little background from Polymer Clay Gemstones, The Art of Deception

I love history–especially the history of the places I live. More accurately, I love knowing the stories–and if they are actually based on history, well, so much the better; but give me a choice between cold facts and a good yarn, there’s no contest: I’m for the yarn.

And stories are like fractal spirals–they take off from tiny points in the composition, and expand and expand….a case in point: there’s a throwaway line in the narrative of “Polymer Clay Gemstones” where Peele mentions ‘The corner of Treaty Oak..”

Treaty Oak exists. It’s a real tree in downtown Austin that was once a member of a huge group of trees called the Council Oaks, a gathering place for Native Americans for hundreds of years. It was a mere sapling when Leonardo Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa. By the time Pocahontas sailed for England, Galileo glimpsed the moons of Jupiter , and Milton wrote “Paradise Lost,” it was a venerable old tree in the wilds of the yet unexplored (by Europeans ) North American West.

When I first arrived in Austin, I paid a visit–everyone does–to the magnificent giant living in the heart of the city. It had in the early part of the 20th century been declared the most perfect specimen of Southern Live Oak in North America–and yes, it was a sight to behold:
treaty oak up to 1988
At an estimated age of over 500 years, its canopy stretched nearly 130 feet across–and the sense of majesty and age was palpable.
In 1989, city arborists became alarmed at the tree’s appearance–something was clearly wrong. An investigation revealed that the ground around the tree was saturated with a powerful herbicide, and Treaty Oak, the last of the Council Oaks, was dying. The city poured its heart and resources into saving it. Private and public citizens –remember Ross Perot?– donated vast sums to help; Dupont, the maker of the herbicide used in the attack, offered a $10,000 reward for the vandal. Shades were erected around it to protect it from the sun, earth was removed from its roots, sugar water was pumped in to help detoxify the soil…and tragically, dying limbs were cut from it to help save its life.
A protective fence was erected around the park it occupied, and soon they were solid walls of fluttering white, teddy bears and protective talismans–people from all over the world sent their prayers and get well wishes.
The herbicide that had been applied to the soil was soon traced back to a man named Paul Stedman Cullen, a ne’er do well and drug addict who bragged that he had killed Treaty Oak by way of casting a magic spell—his theory was that as the tree died, so would his unrequited love for a woman he admired.
He was sentenced to nine years in prison, and there reportedly was accorded the reception that his fellow inmates generally reserved for child molesters. He made parole a few years later, and his whereabouts are currently unknown. Good riddance.
Given the bleak outlook, the extreme pruning it was forced to endure, Treaty Oak’s death was forecast and mourned in national publications—but there is a reason for the phrase “tough as oak”.
After nine anxious years–ironically, the amount of time its would-be murderer would have served had he not been paroled–Treaty Oak , greatly diminished but still standing, produced its first crop of acorns, which were gathered up and sprouted for people around the world to plant scions of this once magnificent tree in their own yards. And if you come to Austin, you can still walk over to the corner of Baylor and Sixth street, and stand in its healing shade.
Life goes on.treaty oak today

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