Tag Archives: Polymer Clay Daily

A card carrying member of the Sona Grigoryan fan club

It has been a long while since I wrote and not surprisingly, I am almost paralysed DSCN4779with indecision about where to start. So much to say!  Two amazing, albeit exhausting months away.  To deal with my paralysis, I will do the writing equivalent of a Skinner blend…I won’t set myself the task of writing a brilliant post that conveys all I want to say but will write several smaller posts that say one or two things. Let alone be brilliant.

Today I write about the kindness of strangers and Barcelona!  And maybe it was the kindness of a not really stranger which is one of the reasons I loved Barcelona so much.

Cynthia Tinapple told me about Sona Grigoryan and Noelia Contreras, two talented w3artist from Barcelona here, here and here. I loved their work and when I knew I was going to be in Barcelona, possibly with some free time while the football was on, I emailed Sona and Noelia to see if we could connect.  To our disappointment, Noelia and I could not get together (but we will!) but Sona and I did.  She was amazingly hospitable, treating us to the most wonderful paella I have had, showing me her workspace (I will NEVER complain about lack of space again!!!) and then giving me an absolutely gob smackingly gorgeous necklace she had made especially! (Sona’s husband took the photos)

wendy3Sona shared about how inspired she was by nature and by the work of Gaudi, so much a part of the feel of Barcelona (and one of the reasons I chose to go to Barcelona en route between Malta and Nepal. Logical to me?!)  Her work is so fearless and organic (look at her latest creations!!!!) and the piece I am now privileged to own reflects this.  She wanted to combine elements of her home, Armenia, with elements of mine. The resulting necklace used an ancient Armenian manuscript juxtaposed with the famous shell shapes of our Sydney Opera House.  I feel like a queen whenever I wear it and the day I wore it at Eurosynergy in Malta (strap yourself down…another breathless post to come!) I never tired of telling the MANY people who asked about my necklace the whole story.  I reckon in five years, I would not be able to afford a Sona Grigoryan original!!!  I will treasure mine because of its great beauty and because of the wonderful memories it brings.




What I’m doing after my VERY BIG WEEK

What a week it has been.  And not just because it included a teapot that I didn’t think I’d have time to finish.  (Aptly entitled: Tea with the Girls)

DSCN4326It began on a whopping great high with my Tsarang Mala being featured here on PCD. I was, as any PCD addict would totally understand, blown out of my tiny mind.  In a really evolved and unattached and calm way, I was beside myself. Yes, indeedy.

Then, as fate would have it, a day later, my copy of Global Perspectives Polymer Clay by the magnificent Cynthia Tinapple arrived and I was even more excited! Hard to imagine!  Obviously there is a degree of bias being a contributing author etc but, casting that aside, I know I would buy this book anyway! I loved reading about the other artists.  This is not a CV/ Galleries/ articles blurb.  Cynthia’s great skill is in drawing out the people behind the stories, capturing the warmth, the journey and then seeing the links, the shared experiences.   The inner busybody really enjoyed reading about the other artists- their motivations, practices, inspirations and lives.  How their landscape, experiences and culture impacted on their work.   I also particularly liked Cynthia’s discussion about categories of motivation.  She said that not everyone fell neatly into oneDSCN4328 category, I know I don’t, but I could certainly recognise myself in some of her descriptions.  And then, there are the projects. So many I want to try.  Perfectly timed to almost coincide with AFTER THE INSTALLATION.

Ah yes….the installation. Well, on Wednesday the last piece for the Exhibition, my triptych, was delivered to the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery and a few minutes ago I pressed SEND on the final bit of paperwork.  It’s DSCN4333over to them now.  It is a weird mix of vulnerability and excitement and for now I am enjoying the sense of relief at getting it done.

I had to really fight the urge to immediately sit down and make a (long) list of all the things I now need to do and to itemise those things I have to catch up on because they didn’t get done during the GREAT EXHIBITION PREPARATION OF 2013.  Those who know me will know just how hard it was not to make that list.  Instead, I spent several hours in lovely Winter sunlight yesterday writing letters.  With pen and on paper.  Until my hand got sore and my writing deteriorated due to loss of hand writing skills.

I shared my sunny space with our boisterous and happy new dogs and marvelled that little old me, who as a child became hysterical with fear at the sight ofDSCN4338 dog poo, let alone an actual dog, can now say that these two beings have improved the quality of my life enormously.

I savoured time with our younger daughter, formerly the primary carer of the aforementioned dogs, who is about to leave Australia for exotic lands.

And…in a more traditional after finishing a big thing task…I cleaned my desk.

But wait, there’s more. And I am loving myself sick about this really.  Following a tradition of up-cycling and domestic organisation (not mine) I made a wonderful thing.  It solves all the desk storage issues I have DSCN4341been battling for years and uses tins and an old (hopeless) dish drainer.  Which may in fact belong to the Flying Doctors but it was truly useless in its intended role and I promise I will replace it with a good one!  Anyway, here is a photo and I only wish I had a BEFORE shot now.  You can imagine though.

And I joined a Challenge! For a while now, I have thought longingly of participating in a swap (like those at Art Bead Scene) or a Challenge and Erin Prais-Hintz’ in particular have appealed.  She has has Challenges based on Music, Art, Literature ans last year in her travel Challenge, she made this piece inspired by Nepal.  Her Travel Challenge for this year appealed at so many levels.  It’s all about creating an art necklace inspired by where you are.  I am very inspired by the incredible scenery here in the Outback and find that my work increasingly reflects this.  It’s time to do it in a more deliberate way so I am very excited about taking this challenge up.  I don’t fully understand what it all entails and have yet to learn what a blog hop is but am looking forward to seeing how over 80 other artists use their home as a source of inspiration.

So, enough for now.  Lots more happening but I’ll save it up for next time.

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.