Tag Archives: Cynthia Tinapple

Going Global

Well, I am going to Nepal and Cynthia Tinapple is going global!

Cynthia has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things polymer.  (And of many other fascinating things by the IMG_0173way.) This means she is the ideal person to write a book about global perspectives in polymer clay. In Polymer Clay Daily, she explores polymer art internationally and has created the basis for a fabulously supportive network of people. Her next post will be her 2000th!!  Congratulations Cynthia.  And thank you!  Cynthia visited the ladies of Samunnat in 2011 and taught them to make one of their best selling designs.

I am very excited about Cynthia’s book. Primarily because it features some really interesting people-artists I’m getting to know better, to my great delight. Artists Manifesto necklaceGWlike Genevieve Williamson who made a favourite necklace.  Her art has a wonderfully organic quality. Her quote to accompany this necklace is a great one: Never grow a wishbone daughter, where your backbone ought to be by Clementine Paddleford.  She is about to head off to St. Helena’s island, a British Overseas Territory you reach only by sea after a long boat trip. She’s got backbone!  We have shared our expat living experiences and her blog is one I love to read.

Rebecca Watkins is another artist featured in the book who makes gorgeous beads with a sense of playfulness and celebration.  Then there’s Claire Maunsell whose work is so subtle and organic, Fabi with her fabulDSCN0240ous sense of colour, Natalia Garcia de Leaniz joyful, spirited art and so many others.  Thirteen artists have each contributed a project to the book and Cynthia showcases the work of over 150 other artists.

I’m also there and just between you and me I kept half expecting a kindly worded email from Cynthia telling me that she’d decided to only include proper artists. It turns out others were sharing that thrilled but am I good enough? feeling!  I am excited that the story of theDesert Dash 2013 Samunnat ladies is being told in the book.  For all sorts of reasons I encourage you to bloody well buy it.  (I think Australians can use this phrase in a totally non- pressuring, friendly way!)

On Sunday I ran DSCN3582in one of the hardest fun runs I have ever completed-the Living Desert Dash-not so much fun as a sense of acheivement. I felt like the number on my chest was my core body temperature on completion of the event. In Celsius of course.  And, against the odds, I have uploaded the photos for my April FlickR 12 Projects 2013 entry.  Driven? Moi? Must stop. Getting into the car now.

I heart Ron Lehocky

DSCN3346Today’s post was going to be a slightly sycophantic rave about someone who’s had a profound influence on Samunnat and what is happening for the ladies.  But the arrival of a parcel last night means that I’ll talk about this first and will tell you about Cynthia another time.

I head back to Nepal in a couple of months and always like to take some small presents for each of the clay ladies with me. Often I try to make something but this time I knew I wouldn’t have time and, having heard about Ron Lehocky and his hearts via PCD, and seen him interviewed by Cynthia Tinapple in Studio Mojo, I decided to buy each of the ladies a heart pin.  I knew they’d love the vision behind themDSCN3345 (Ron has made and sold over 20,000 heart pins to raise funds for the Kids Centre for Paediatric Therapies in Kentucky) and the ladies love seeing the work of other polymer artists first hand.

I emailed Ron and ordered the pins, telling him what I was going to do with them.  He replied immediately and said that he knew about Samunnat and would love to be involved.  He had lots of questions and his enthusiasm and energy just about burst off the screen.  One thing led to another and Ron saw an opportunity to help with raising funds for a Samunnat building.  A local person has donated some land to Samunnat so, for less than $10,000 we will be able to build a decent size work room, a training room, an office where ladies can share their situations with privacy and a kitchen where we can make and sell our pickles and other delights.  Ron offered to match donations for the building up to $2000. PCDaily will help spread the word in the coming days to rally the polymer community and  already we are receiving incredibly generous donations.

DSCN3342But that’s not all.  When Ron’s exquisitely crafted hearts arrived, they were surrounded by so many other goodies for the ladies…books, tools, inclusions, magazines, clips and what I think is a greeting card from Bhutanese Nepali people Ron is working with in the US. (An aside: where Samunnat is based in Nepal there were once 7 huge UNHCR refugee camps that were home for two decades to over 100,000 Bhutanese refugees.  Some of the ladies we’ve worked with have been refugees experiencing domestic violence nad Kopila provides legal counselling to women in the camps.  Many refugees have been resettled to new homes in US, Canada, Australia, Denmark and New Zealand.  Bhutan focuses on the Gross National Happiness of some of its citizens, not all.  You can read more about this here)

Each tool or piece of equipment had careful and thoughtful instructions written on it and the hearts were just magnificent.  RonDSCN3339 had ended many of his notes with Have Fun.  I hope I can convey to him how much fun we will have and that it will be fun that will continue to change the lives of the ladies and many others.  Anyone who knows me well, knows that sharing the journey with the Board and ladies of Samunnat has transformed my life.  Part of that transformation has come from seeing the open-hearted and abundant generosity of people all over the world who want to make a difference to these resilient and courageous women.  It encourages me to be brave, to be vulnerable and to trust that we are not alone.

Ron, what to say?  Dherai dhanyabad.  Thank you so much.  You already give so much and now this.