IPCA Events

Announcing the Winners of the 2018 International Polymer Clay Awards

View the Awards Galleries here.

The 2018 International Polymer Clay Awards were announced March 14, 2019 via facebook live. The entries were judges by Georg Dinkel, John McKinnon, Lena Vigna and the active members of the International Polymer Clay Association.

 Emerging Artist Members' Choice

Mixed Media: Dozen Rays, Cindy Gordon, United States
Nonfunctional Sculpture and Hanging Art: Fish Pod, Cindy Gordon, United States
Functional Containers: Wildling Bowl: Deep Sea, Christine Bergman, United States
Wearable Jewelry: Secret, Martina Buriánová, Czech Republic

Emerging Artist Jurors’ Choice

Mixed Media: Whale, Cindy Gordon, United States
Nonfunctional Sculpture and Hanging Art: TIE: Fish Pod, Cindy Gordon, United States and Prisoned Spirit, Elissa Hishawaka, United States
Functional Containers: Wildling Bowl: Deep Sea, Christine Bergman, United States
Wearable Jewelry: Deep in the Sea, Martina Buriánová, Czech Republic

Applicant Artist Members’ Choice

Mixed Media: Wedgewood Wave, Donna Greenberg, United States
Nonfunctional Sculpture and Hanging Art: Inspiration, Claire Fairweather, New Zealand
Functional Containers: Autumn Box, Sarah Machtey, United States
Wearable Jewelry: Britannia Brooch, Christine Dumont, France

Applicant Artist Jurors’ Choice

Mixed Media: Wedgewood Wave, Donna Greenberg, United States
Nonfunctional Sculpture and Hanging Art: Embedded Heart, Laurie Mika, United States
Functional Containers: TIE Black Forest Reliquary, Susan Detwiler, United States and Para Vessel, Margaret Polcawich, United States
Wearable Jewelry: TIE Britannia Brooch, Christine Dumont, France and Crazy Quilt Ensemble, Linda Leach, United States

Best of Show

Members’ Choice: Mardi Gras, Laura Tabakman, United States

Best of Show Jurors’ Choice: Mardi Gras, Laura Tabakman, United States


Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to everyone who participated! Our polymer community is vast and incredibly talented. Give yourselves a hand!

View the Awards Galleries here.

Jurors for the 2018 International Polymer Clay Awards

The International Polymer Clay Association is honored to introduce you to our jurors for the 2018 International Polymer Clay Awards: Lena Vigna, John McKinnon and Georg Dinkel! 

Lena Vigna is currently Curator of Exhibitions at the Racine Art Museum, where she oversees the production and implementation of 10-15 exhibitions per year, Lena Vigna has a particular interest in the contemporary fields of adornment, sculpture, fiber, and installation. She has curated numerous solo and group exhibitions and written several essays that explore issues relevant to contemporary art and society.

John McKinnon is Executive Director of the Elmhurst Art Museum. He has over ten years of curatorial and administrative experience at major art institutions. He has introduced a number of new initiatives and projects at EAM including restorations and site­-specific exhibitions in Mies van der Rohe’s McCormick House. Previously he was the Program Director for the Society for Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. From 2007 to 2010, McKinnon was the Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Milwaukee Art Museum. He has independently curated exhibitions at a variety of non­profit spaces and written for publications such as Artforum, Art Papers, X­TRA, and Flash Art.

Georg Dinkel is a polymer clay artist and professional photographer living in Franconia, Germany. He is known for his unique PMC work including big shrines for digital devices and medieval inspired sculptures. 

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2017 International Polymer Clay Awards Results

View the Galleries of all participants by clicking this link.

Congratulations to all the winners and participants.

Best In Show

 1922 AA MM 2a 1922 AA NSHA 1a 

Best in Show       Juror’s Choice >> TIE

Georg Dinkel       Day of Judgement

Best in Show       Juror’s and Member’s Choice >> TIE

Georg Dinkel       The Rat Ship

Overall                    Best in Show       Member’s Choice

Georg Dinkel       The Rat Ship

2017 IPCA Awards – Emerging Artists

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Emerging Artists: Mixed Media 2018

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Cindy Gordon: United States

Cindy Gordon: United States

Dozen rays wall hanging sculpture, hand sculpted hand painted, mounted on a wooden base.

3027 E MM2b

 


Ellen Prophater: United States

Ellen Prophater: United States

Mixed media…..the more mixed, the merrier. This piece mixes silver, polymer mokume, glass, crystals and artists.

Collaboration with another artist is adding a new dimension to my work. I have always loved mixing a plethora of materials to accomplish my mokume, but working with Sherry Moser has added a whole new level of possibilities. Knowing Sherry and her kaleidoscopes and dichroic glass creations has led to a synchronism of our aesthetics. We start to create and then come together to see how our beginnings can meld into a combined thing of beauty. On this occasion, a shard of black glass revealed its true color of underlying green shades that led to color mixing experiments. These led to the color variances of the layers of mokume, with the glint of silver leading to a call for the sparkle of Swarovskis and the embrace of a silver bezel. Ideas lead to drawings in a true collaborative fashion, that lead to a partnership that is solidified in this exquisite piece, “Reversal of Shards — A Union”.

This piece is bezeled in roller printed silver that holds the piece of Bullseye glass that has been set with tiny Swarovski crystals. The glass is surrounded by polymer mokume that is the result of layering tinted translucent clay that was skinner blended and stacked with composite silver. The crackled silver repeats the sparkle of the crystals. The translucency of the clay melds with the shading of the glass and repeats its depth. The piece is 44mm wide, 56mm long and 24mm deep. It is on a 1.5mm round omega 18” sterling silver cable.


Cindy Gordon: United States

Cindy Gordon: United States

Polymer clay whale, hand sculpted and painted, with a concrete base, and hand folded paper boat.

Emerging Artists: Nonfunctional Containers and Hanging Art 2018

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Claire Fairweather: New Zealand

Claire Fairweather: New Zealand

Title: ‘Inspiration’

Description: The meandering line of small glow in the dark tiles represents the initial inspiration or brainwave. I often get my creative inspiration in the dark of the night. The graded colors that ripple out from this brainwave represent the development of an idea into the whole concept. The choice of shades of turquoise reflects the restful, calm, contemplation that forms part of my inspirational process. Each mosaic tile that covers this sphere is like one small part of a grand plan, and it is very satisfying when they all come together, to create the whole thing. As I was making this sculpture, I was already getting inspiration for my next creation.

Materials: Polymer clay tiles and acrylic paste grout (over stainless steel sphere)

Dimensions: 17 cm (63/4 inches) across x 17 cm (63/4 inches) high

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Laurie Mika: United States

Laurie Mika: United States

Embedded Heart

Having traveled extensively in Mexico, sacred hearts have long been a source of inspiration in my work. In this piece, I have also incorporated the practice in parts of Mexico for attaching Milagros to wood substrates like shoe forms and hands. Milagros, meaning miracles, are small tin pieces, often representing parts of the body, that were traditionally nailed onto church doors and pinned onto garments to give thanks for prayers that were answered.

This heart was first created in ceramic clay that was bisque fired. I then covered the heart with gold-leafed polymer clay and was then able to embed the surface with a variety of jewelry pieces, metal findings and charms similar to the Milagro-encrusted objects found in Mexico. The small window cut out in the center is symbolic of a portal to inner peace that only the heart can provide.

Ceramic clay base

Polymer clay with gold leaf

Metal findings

Charms

8 x 4 inches

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Laurie Mika: United States

Laurie Mika: United States

Hand of Mysteries

Alchemy and the art of the ancients is the inspiration for this shadowbox shrine, Hand of Mysteries. Historically, the hand, also called the Hand of the Philosophers, is a talisman that depicts the symbols of man’s transformation into god, however, this piece is secular in nature and speaks more to the way that the universe was understood in the 16th century. In the hand is locked the secrets of the philosophers about “earth and seed”. Traditionally represented with unique symbols on each of the fingers and thumb, The Hand of Mysteries is often portrayed with the all-seeing eye (also found on US currency!) and the symbols of the moon, the sun, a crown, and a star. I added the personal symbolism of the clam shell since it represents pilgrimage and travel, something that appeals to me. The eye, that I painted on a limpet shell, in the center is based on Victorian jewelry called Lover’s Eyes and is not associated with the original alchemical symbolism but was added as a way to incorporate and reinterpret symbols from various cultures and time periods.

Wood shadowbox

Polymer clay pieces that are hand stamped, painted and stenciled.

Found objects, jewelry pieces

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Donna Greenberg: United States

Donna Greenberg: United States

RUSTY REEF – Polymer Wall piece

Rusty Reef represents a small intimate bio-system based on forms and shapes found in the sea or perhaps even the forest as nature repeats herself endlessly. In this piece I’m most interested in exploring the movement, transition and transformation that happens in the natural world while not being slavish to realistic interpretation. I imagined this fantasy system almost as a piece of metal, affected by the passage of time by creeping rust and verdigris. In keeping with the organic quality of the piece, I chose to create an irregular edge dictated by the interplay of the individual forms themselves. I challenged myself to find depth and interest and life using a limited palette to focus more on the forms and movement. 

Rusty Reef Materials – Ultralight polymer clay, wire armature for the largest flower form, Genesis oil paints and glazes, Gesso board with adhered Arches paper for the base. base. Dimensions- 12 x 12 in. , 1 ½ in D.

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EvaMarie Törnström: Sweden

EvaMarie Törnström: Sweden

 Title: Haru

Description: Haru is a Japanese word that means “Springtime”. With the mild colors of this sculpture, I want to give a salute to traditional Japanese art with its sparse and very precise lines, which ” coincidentally” happen to express beauty and harmony.

The zipper on the back becomes a contrast to the soft and timeless attitude. A zipper is a modern invention and thus becomes a break of style. In addition, it reveals a shimmering inside that also is a strong contrast. Question: What does this mean? There are many hidden messages in this little horse sculpture that, with great expectation, looks up to what is coming. Answer: The messages you find by yourself are always the right ones. 

Materials used: Concrete (as the armature), polymer clay, black zipper, copper leaf metal, soft pastels, acrylic paint.

Dimensions: Height: 21 cm, Width: 10 cm. Depth: 6 cm

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EvaMarie Törnström: Sweden

EvaMarie Törnström: Sweden

Title: Global Warming

Description: One of humanity’s greatest challenges is the global warming. It is all about decisions: Political decisions, corporate decisions and the decisions that each individual person make – we are all important.

I present our earth as a globe, wildely forced forward by a resolute rider with a whip. In front of the globe stands a symbol of the future – a little child. With a droopy flower in her hand, she bravely stands still and with her right hand raised she tries to stop the very big runaway horse. She wants to have a world to live in when she grows up.

The creation of this sculpture unexpectedly touched me very deeply. Keeping the round globe in my hands and carefully placing out the different continents and understanding their relations to eachother made me understand how important it is for us to take really good care of this little globe that is our mutual home in the universe.

Everyone should create their own globe with their bare hands to understand how important it is for us to cooperate in nurturing the world we live in. And to not push it beyond its limits.

Materials used: Steel wire, apoxie sculpt and aluminum foil as the armature, papier maché for the shape of the globe, polymer clay, soft pastels, acrylic paint. 

Dimensions: Height: 71 cm, Width: 66 cm, Depth: 20 cm

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Beverly Chesterby: United States

Beverly Chesterby: United States

ROBOT FLUTIST

This guy was inevitable! He was created for a flutist buddy who collects vintage robot art and wears Vibram sole shoes. Since I’m also a flutist, polymer clay has proved to be the perfect medium in which to work. It’s super easy on the pinkies! No more telling the conductor that I can’t play F# for a while since I burned my ring finger while soldering a bezel or had a little boo-boo with the lapidary wheel… 

Materials: Polymer Clay, craft wire, silver findings and beads for eyes

Dimensions: 4″ high x 3-1/2″ wide x 1-3/4″ deep

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Henry Aschner: United States

Henry Aschner: United States

Title: Desert Tortoise

Description: Many of my creatures are southwest inspired, sometimes known as spirit animals. This is my polymer clay desert tortoise sculpture. The tortoise represents patience, persistence, and well-grounded in folklore.

A base clay figure is sculpted over armature wire and foil for initial shape, then fired. The millefiori tiles are placed over the base sculpture, smoothed and fired again. I then sand and buff using wet sanding and micromesh to a 12,000 grit for a super-smooth finish. Even with its small size, this tortoise represents many hours of work.

List of Materials: Polymer Clay, armature wire, taxidermist glass eyes

Dimensions: 3” x 4” x 5.5

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Henry Aschner: United States

Henry Aschner: United States

Title: Nine-banded Armadillo

Description: Many of my creatures are southwest inspired, sometimes known as spirit animals. This is my polymer clay armadillo sculpture. The armadillo represents a heightened sense of awareness, security and strength in folklore.

A base clay figure is sculpted over armature wire and foil for initial shape, then fired. The millefiori tiles are placed over the base sculpture, smoothed and fired again. I then sand and buff using wet sanding and micromesh to a 12,000 grit for a super-smooth finish. These millefiori canes were made just for this sculpture, and this armadillo represents many hours of work.

List of Materials: Polymer Clay, armature wire, taxidermist glass eyes

Dimensions: 5” x 6” x 13”

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Henry Aschner: United States

Henry Aschner: United States

Title: Barn Owl

Description: Many of my creatures are southwest inspired, sometimes known as spirit animals. This is my whimsical polymer clay barn owl sculpture. Wise and mystic, the barn owl has a classic heart-shaped face and piercing eyes looking through you.

A base clay figure is sculpted over armature wire and foil for initial shape, then fired. The millefiori tiles are placed over the base sculpture, smoothed and fired again. I then sand and buff using wet sanding and micromesh to a 12,000 grit for a super-smooth finish. My process represents many hours for each sculpture.

List of Materials: Polymer Clay, armature wire, taxidermist glass eyes

Dimensions: 4” x 4” x 7”

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Kelly Hoffman: United States

Kelly Hoffman: United States

“A Bird’s Eye View”

16″ x 16″

My sculptures usually include a “found” or discarded object. For this piece it was a silver plated teapot. At the same time, seeing crows in my neighborhood inspired me to create one out of polymer clay. I imagined putting the two forms together, the life size crow and the teapot. Making several sketches, the concept and design for how to physically connect them came together.

The landscape image created on the teapot builds a narrative for the sculpture while the curved branches suggest mystery and movement.

The crow has a cardboard and wood armature with a polymer veneer. The branches are made from extruded polymer which were then coiled over formed wire. The silver plated teapot was sprayed with a paint primer and then was covered with a polymer veneer. Lastly, a wash of acrylic paint was brushed over the entire piece.

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Fran Abrams: United States

Fran Abrams: United States

Title:  Abstract Influences

Dimensions (not counting frame): 12″ x 16″

Materials used: Polymer clay, fabric, pre-stretched canvas, glue

Description: I create polymer work that hangs on the wall. My work uses polymer clay glued on canvas that I have covered with fabric to bring out the color of the work.  The clay design is created using the tapestry technique that I learned from Carol Zilliacus (deceased). I use Premo clay for its strength and flexibility.  The black lines are applied over the design layer.  I enjoy pushing the clay to see what colors can be blended successfully and seeing how the clay can be used sculpturally as well as flat on the canvas. In this piece, my intent was to evoke abstract art and the lines in work such as that of Kandinsky.

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Fran Abrams: United States

Fran Abrams: United States

Title:  Hanging Around

Dimensions (not counting frame): 8″ x 10″

Materials used: Polymer clay, fabric, pre-stretched canvas, glue

Description: I create polymer work that hangs on the wall. My work uses polymer clay glued on canvas that I have covered with fabric to bring out the color of the work.  The clay design is created using the tapestry technique that I learned from Carol Zilliacus (deceased).  I use Premo clay for its strength and flexibility.  In this piece, the design has been cut and then assembled with spaces between the sections. It was baked over a rope of clay to provide the shape. I enjoy pushing the clay to see what colors can be blended successfully and seeing how the clay can be used sculpturally as well as flat on the canvas. In this piece, my intent was to create a sense of joy and ease.

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Fran Abrams: United States

Fran Abrams: United States

Title:  Knotted

Dimensions (not counting frame): 12" x 12"

Materials used: Polymer clay, fabric, pre-stretched canvas, glue

Description:  I create polymer work that hangs on the wall. My work uses polymer clay glued on canvas that I have covered with fabric to bring out the color of the work.  The clay design is created using the tapestry technique that I learned from Carol Zilliacus (deceased).  I use Premo clay for its strength and flexibility.  In this piece, the ribbon is gold clay that has been textured with sandpaper. I enjoy pushing the clay to see what colors can be blended successfully and seeing how the clay can be used sculpturally as well as flat on the canvas. In this piece, my intent was to take advantage of the alluring combination of red and gold to evoke a sense of love and love's never straight path.

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Marisol Ross: United States

Marisol Ross: United States

“Walk Off Grand Slam”

16″ L x 20″ W

polymer clay, italian glass, metallic powder, grout & acrylic on wood.

“Walk off Grand Slam” depicts New York Yankee, Mark Texeira’s dramatic come from behind grand slam win at home over the rivalry Boston, Red Sox. Fellow team mate, Bret Gardner gives Mark the cutomary, come from behind, game winning, Gatorade bath. Mark retired that year, making that exciting moment unforgetable.

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