FIMO Symposium 2017 – Workshops with Loretta Lam and Donna Greenberg

FIMO Symposium 2017 – Workshops with Loretta Lam and Donna Greenberg

posted in: Personal development | 0

Friday and Saturday were two days with two fabulous workshops that really stretched your artistic way of thinking and understanding shapes, colors and materials. I had one fullday Workshop with Loretta Lam: ”Sculpted Foliage Brooch or Pendant” and one fullday Workshop with Donna Greenberg: ”Melting Colors/Dancing Waves Techniques”.

Both Loretta and Donna are very experienced teachers that not only fully understand shapes and color, but also can explain that in an understandable way to help their students stretch in their artistic development. They give very personal, helpful and clear advice on what to add or remove, what to enhance and what is too ”lame”.

FIMO_05Of course I did not make any jewery (I never make jewelry), but in Lorettas class I wanted to give the impression of the surface of a lake by creating some kind of ”circular skinner blend” with the Swedish mythological spirit ”Näcken” in mind.

My purpose was to place three small drops pf blood in the water to symbolize that he, by recieving this gift, would teach you his enchanting form of music. The red would also be a counter-color to all blue and green in my composition. But something went terribly wrong. I added too much red  (impossible to remove). When I showed Loretta how I had killed my composition she suggested me to place some hands on the water. So I did. And the result also told a story, but in another way than I had thought from the beginning. Now it’s not a subtle saga, now it’s something humoristic and drastic that makes you laugh.


Fimo_10 Fimo_09 Fimo_07In Donna’s class we tried making different soft shapes with white or lightly colored clay. To my astonishment I found that if you add just a little of green to the white clay, it gets shimmering shadows. Other colors don’t give that shimmer to the clay. Our inspiration was Verdi’s opera La Traviata. I made many different shapes, but the ones I chose to save to color in the afternoon was a horse’s head, surrounded by sun rays (a tribute to all the interesting jugend designs you could see at the hotel) and a mouth with snakes coming out of it (a tribute to the story of La Traviata, where things people say cause tragic things to happen). It was very interesting to try the Genesis Heat Set Oil Paints 




FIMO Symposium 2017 – Workshops with Cecilia Leonini and Monica Resta

FIMO Symposium 2017 – Workshops with Cecilia Leonini and Monica Resta

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Today I went to two workshops that created many new thoughts and ideas. To me, it is not just about the techniques shown in the workshops, but it is also about the possibilities and impossibilities I see with the techniques, and you also learn a lot and get insoiration by how the other course participants take on the tasks. Even though we work with the same tasks, the results are completely different – and maybe that’s what art really is? 😊

FIMO_04Cecilia Leonini – Paplito’s technique
During this workshop we worked on creating different types of patterns using alcohol inks and soft pastels. It was fascinating to follow how the effects evolved over time. The others in the group combined their patterns into very beautiful jewelry, but I was pleased to photograph my patterns as inspiration I will use in the future for some kind of pretty wild horses.

FIMO_03Monica Resta – Canvas Technique
Monica has worked with polymer clay for an extremely long time. It is she who has the YouTube channel Mo Clay where you can find lots of tutorials on different techniques. Today we used permanent pencils and aquarell crayons on canvas, which we transferred to white clay. As usual, the others created stunning jewelry and I just saved inspiration and trying to figure out how to use it for future horse projects.

FIMO Symposium 2017 – Wednesday

FIMO Symposium 2017 – Wednesday

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It was tough for me to take me to Monza today with flight delays, storms, stress, no food and lost luggage. But the taxi driver who picked me up at the airport saved the day with his big sunny smile. The first thing he did was to invite me to cup of coffee! 😊

Well arrived at the hotel – Hotel de la Ville in Monza – the welcome was warm and friendly from both dear polymer clay friends and the staff. This really is a wonderful hotel and my room is amazing! Since I arrived so late I only had time to say hi to the room before it was time for the Welcoming Reception for the participants in the symposium. Most of us are from Europe, but some of the instructors – Donna Greenberg and Loretta Lam – come from the United States.

I had a long evening with many nice conversations and many lovely new acquaintances.

A Horse House for Happy Horses

A Horse House for Happy Horses

posted in: konst | 0

I think that a great deal of the inspiration for this – my biggest creation so far – comes from Georg Dinkel, which I met at Synergy4 in Philadelphia a few weeks ago. He builds large and absolutely stunning buildings in polymer clay, which are populated by the most amazing creatures.

So I began to think.

My Mosebacke Horses also need somewhere to live. Why not in a house? A real horse house?

This is the result. The frame is made of a particle board (thanks Beijer Bygg in Linköping for sawing according to my design), which I then covered with “wood” and “bricks” and “knots” and “winds” of polymer clay.

On each of the three floors there are four Mosebacke Horses. Some look a little bit more angry, but they all are very excited about having a big window that they can look through. The windows frames resemble picture frames, so all the horses looks like three-dimensional paintings.

At the top is the happiest horse of them all – because that horse lives in the hay loft where there is a swing. So it’s a rocking horse 😊 (Gunghäst in Swedish.)


Height 92 cm
Width 56 cm
Depth 13 cm

Exciting art shows, exciting art conferences

Exciting art shows, exciting art conferences

As usual, everything happens at the same time. 🙂

I came home from the amazing Synergy4 conference in Philadelphia loaded with energy and inspiration from all the enthusiastic and amazing polymer clay artists I met there.

I had barely landed in my everyday life, had started my usual daytime job and had made plans for what I wanted to create when I got the message that I had been accepted as one of the artists in Romele Konsthall’s juried art show – Romele konsthall jurybedömd utställning. You are welcome to visit the show September 16 to 24 2017.

I also have another juried art show that I now have to create more “outstanding art sculptures” for within a week because I soon am on my way to Monza and the FIMO Symposium where I will meet other polymer clay artists and gather even more inspiration.

FIMO Symposium: Bella Italia and inspiration on different levels

Inspiration for your own art can have many different sources: whether architecture, moods, fashion, pictures or music. This year we would like to try to offer you these different sources of inspiration. This year’s symposium takes place under the theme “Bella Italia and musical highlights”.

Italy stands for summer, sun, temperament and passion. This is also reflected in the music. The emotions, which are transported by music and the voice, simply stir along. Italy has a long musical tradition and is the land of musical high culture. What could be closer than to incorporate the inspiration of Italian music from the various epochs into the workshops and to feel the mood that is transported by the music?

So – my upcoming weeks will be tough with days and evenings filled with hard work – but I’m definitely not complaining. I look forward to it because it’s a blessing to be able to work and develop within a field you really are interested in – both at my daytime job as a communications strategist and at my second job as a polymer clay artist.

And in addition, even more exciting things will happen – but, unfortunately, I can not tell you yet.
Keep your eyes open and follow me on this blog and social media  and you will be the first to know 🙂

The most important day

The most important day

posted in: Synergy | 0

The fourth day of the conference was perhaps the most important of all the days. It was the day we all began to process all the impressions from the three fully scheduled days. Therefore, it was so important that we still were in the same place so that we could talk to each other and strengthen and develop what had begun in our brains.

As I see it, creativity and development are not happening in our hands even though it’s our hands that create our kind of projects, but it begins in the brain when we process all the information that will eventually become a piece of art.

During this day I participated in several great conversation groups where we discussed communication (which is my profession) in relation to art – and if you can explain communication more clearly using examples from the art world. Because art is the essence of communication.

In another group we discussed colors, different color schemes and whether it should be color wheels or color triangles, what is actually a “pure” color and why it is necessary to be able to understand color theory. Of course (would you have figured that?), we could not find one only answer, but the discussions were very rewarding, forcing you to really consider your relations to color and how to use these many possibilities of combining them.

In a group we discussed international similarities and differences. The Americans were startled when I explained that in Sweden, jewelry is not regarded as art, possibly there are jewelry that are “artlike” but those who make jewelry in Sweden are not called artists but jewelry designers. To me it is striking that in the United States there is a much more positive and permissive attitude towards art than in Sweden, and most of the artists are involved in several organizations / associations working on highlighting local art. Nevertheless, the American polymer clay artists feel like the polymer clay is not considered as an approved art material such as oil, metal, pottery and more.

We also discussed a lot about teaching. Most often, we polymer clay artists give workshops that are from a few hours up to a full day. How should you put it up so that the participating students get as satisfied as possible? How do you create partnerships and a willingness to develop within the group? How do you create the right expectations? And last but not least – is it important for everyone to bring home a finished piece?

So today I’m heading home again. I will bring with me all the inspiration, all the hugs, all the smiles, all the heartfelt comments, all the discussions, all new knowledge and all the joy within the polymer clay community! Look forward to seeing some of you in just a couple of weeks at the FIMO Symposium in Monza!

Rethinking color – rethinking clay

Rethinking color – rethinking clay

posted in: Synergy, Uncategorized | 0

synergy4_11 synergy4_12 synergy4_13 synergy4_14The last day at Synergy4 started with the celebration of Nan Roche, whose book “The New Clay” celebrated its 25th anniversary. There are still some copies available on the market, for example, you can order via Amazon.

– Polymer clay is a 21th century material. It takes time to gain acceptance, but it will, Nan Roche says.

Thanks to internet we are now emerging from wondering What will the clay do? to talk about design, color and expression.

Maggie Maggio talked about ”The ABCs of Color: Learning the Language of art. She wants to transform how color is being taught to children.

– They need to learn the language of art, because that’s what color is, Maggie Maggio says.

She showed how all our current color wheels are missing an important sector – even the rainbow does. Maggie proposes a totally different way of thinking about color – forget what you earlier have learned about primary colors. Maggie talks about a paradigm change where there with modern primaries can be more than one complimentary color. And we all got one CMY Mixing Triangle of our own! 😊

In Katrina Salins class about Creativity and Collaboration we did just that: We were creative and we collaborated, covering small glass jars with motives that we had collaborated in creating with inspiration from four different photos. Of course we signed our creations – and the one that is ”mine” will be a very precious souvenir from this conference to me.

At the IPCA Awards George Dinkel was the over-all winner! I think he got five of the prizes and he is soooooo worth it because or the totally wonderful and crazy worlds he is creating.

In the last session for the day Jeffrey Lloyd Dever guided us through a discussion about Common Ground and Distinctive voices. What are the differences between polymer clay in USA and in Europe and where are we going? Where do we want to go? Which are the most important steps?

I thought about the Maker Movement and all the Cosplay-people. Many of them are using polymer clay – can we come to a better understanding of the material by cooperating with them or will it make it harder for us to make polymer clay be understood as a ”real” artist’s material? I also said that I did not see any problem with different perspectives, we are both artists, sculptors, jewelry designers and so on at the same time – what is most important depends on the situation.

It is the same for me as a person. I am a woman, a mermaid with blue hair, an artist, a Swedish person and much more at the same time – which of these properties that are the most important depends on the situation.

Creative minds, hearts and talent come together at Synergy4

Creative minds, hearts and talent come together at Synergy4

posted in: Synergy | 0

synergy4_06 synergy4_08 synergy4_09What’s most amazing with the Synergy conferences are the meetings with inspirational people. Here you meet everyone – from the most famous artists in polymer clay in the world to those who are completely novice. I remember a woman I met last year in Bordeaux at the EuroSynergy2 conference. She had been working with polymer clay for a total of two weeks when she signed up for the conference. And one of the amazing things about her was that she had learned things that we others did not know about in the polymer clay!

It’s the same here at Synergy4. Everyone is talking to everyone and all learn from each other and admires each other’s successes in the exploration of this very special clay. In this way, we all develop in the areas of for example design, structure, technology and business manners.

At this conference there is a part called Retreat Plus! that is aimed at those who prefer to work with the clay together with others while the ordinary conference program mainly is different types of lectures where we theoretically exchange knowledge to develop, each in the way you choose.

Today, I began listening to Ellen Prophater who showed a whole universe of possibilities regarding the magic techniques surrounding Mokume Gane. Originally, it was a technique used to make amazing patterns in the iron of swords, but as much else it easily translates into polymer clay.

Bonnie Bishoff gave a very personal and rewarding lecture about A Collaboration of Strengths: Polymer Clay Meets Metal, where she not only told about metal but also wood and other materials that combines well with polymer clay.

Loretta Lam had talked to several different polymer clay artists and had compiled their thoughts on artistic development and how to do business under the title Creativity Takes Courage. It was very inspiring to listen to all these stories from the real life and different approaches to creation and creativity. We learned how different well-known artists had gone through the different types of problems, opportunities and challenges that life creates. All the time with the art as a goal and vision.

Ana Belchi talked about “What About Teaching?” and discussed the very interesting question about how we actually train people in polymer clay at our workshops. Too often, the teacher shows in detail how to create something, and then the students are supposed try to create exactly the same objects, but is it really good for their creativity? And what does it tell you about copying other people’s work? Can there be another way of teaching creativity and artistic development? Ana gave a lot of good thoughts and tips on how to develop our approach to education.

And finally Georg Dinkel showed his amazing creations where he incorporates modern technology into environments that looks like something from the Catholic Church’s world. The latest creation is about the strange creatures from hell…

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