11 10 2012


Tommie Howell is an award winning sculptor who resides in Connecticut.  While having no formal art education, he credits his Junior High School art teacher with instilling the desire to create things out of blobs of color or lumps of clay.  “I’ve always doodled, drawn, painted, and played around with art, but it wasn’t until my grad school roommate foisted (forced) a Sculpey III sampler pack on me in the 90’s that I found that thing for which I had been searching.”  Tommie admits that sculpting didn’t exactly come to him naturally, but it was something that he wanted to do badly enough to stick with it.

Stuck with it he has, and has made a name in the polymer clay and sculpting communities.  He has won awards for his figurative sculpture on both the national and local levels, his work has been shown in places from local galleries to the Bead Museum in Washington DC.  “I used to write more than I sculpted.  I still get emails from people who find old articles I had written about polymer clay safety or artistic ethics.  Finally I won a best in show award at a CHA event some years ago and was happy to be recognized for something other than having a big mouth.” Tommie has also taught in many venues around the country and we are pleased to have him join us at CFCF 2013.

Tommie lives and works with fellow artist Lynne Ann Schwarzenberg and her family.  They share together in the care for three highly eccentric canines and a couple of small rodents.  When not sculpting, teaching or assisting Lynne Ann, Tommie likes to keep up on current events, watch horror movies, and prepare for the zombie apocalypse.  His favorite quote is “Hold on a minute, I have to get some heads out of the oven.”

******   Download registration forms here and detailed workshop information here. ******

TOMMIE HOWELL – “I’VE BEEN FRAMED!” (4-hour workshop)       Sun. 6:30PM

HOWELL – Old Woman Face

In this workshop, students will be provided with a proportional blank face that they will build upon to create their own one of a kind sculpted face that will double as both a framed wall hanging or table top ornament and a piece of wearable art.  Students will learn basic art anatomy of the face and how to combine basic shapes into a complex, hand sculpted finished product.  All skill levels are welcome.  The workshop will not only produce a finished sculpt but will also provide techniques that can be used and built upon for many future projects.  The instructor will have a variety of sculpting tools to loan during class and for sale in the store.  Students are encouraged to bring any sculpting tools they own and while optional a pasta machine can be helpful for certain tasks.  All clay will be provided by Polyform.  Class will include a detailed handout that will cover not only the steps involved in the class but information on anatomy, tools, and a list of recommended products and suppliers to be used if the student chooses to further pursue sculpting as part of their polymer clay art. As each piece is one of a kind, photos provided are representative of what can be created and not meant to show exactly what will be made in the class.  NOTE: This workshop will only be taught once during CFCF 2013.


20 09 2011

We are SOOOOO excited to be gearing up for CFCF 2012!  WOW, have we got some great instructors prepared to teach you some new and innovative ideas to work with polymer clay, silver, PMC, and other mixed media.  SAVE THE DATES and start saving your pennies…the 5th Annual Cabin Fever Clay Fest is just around the corner – Feb. 17-19 Pre-conference, Feb. 19-22 conference at the Holiday Inn West in Laurel, MD.  Be certain to follow this blog and stay informed:

We’ve got another spectacular line-up of instructors that you won’t want to miss, including:

Barbara Lewis, Blair Anderson, Doreen Kassel, Jana Roberts Benzon, Jeffrey Lloyd Dever, Kathryn Jo Ottman, Laura Tabakman, Linda Hess, Lindly Haunani, Liz Potter Hall, Lynne Ann Schwarzenberg, Marie Segal, Nan Roche, Sarah Shriver, and Shannon Nelson.

Also, announcing the next recipient of the Creative Pioneer and Innovator Award – Marie Segal.  To learn more about Marie’s long history with Polymer Clay, visit her website, blog, and Clay Factory store!

Workshop descriptions coming soon and registration opens next week!  Subscribe to this blog to stay updated on all the latest from PCCAF!


15 08 2011

LINDLY HAUNANI’s work has appeared in more than fifty invitational and juried shows and was awarded the prestigious Niche Award in 2009.

Lindly is a founding member of the National Polymer Clay Guild and with Pierrette Ashcroft, co-authored “Artist’s at Work: Polymer Clay Comes of Age.”  Her latest book  “Color Inspirations“ was co-written with Maggie Maggio and  has become the color reference manual for the polymer community as well as for artists. She has produced several video workshops and been featured in numerous polymer and arts magazines.

She began teaching workshops in 1990 and continues to enjoy traveling to lecture and inspire artists.  Her passion for food and cooking provide a basis for her inspiration and is often expressed via color, construction techniques and form.  In addition to many private collections her work is part of the permanent collections of the Racine Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Newark Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Meinge International Museum in San Diego. She has a BFA, in Printmaking from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Come to Wisconsin where Lindly will be teaching Rainbow Roll Beads at PCCAF MidWest 2011.



9 08 2011
Doreen creates her quirky creatures in her Hopewell, NJ studio/storefront.  Her work is inspired by love of E.H. Shepard, (The Wind in the Willows illustrator), William Holbrook Beard, anthropomorphism without sugar, vintage toys and all the old and wonderful books and beasts of her youth, lovingly given to her by her Grandma and Aunt.
Her creatures and stories have grown out of her many years of children’s book illustration and have taken off, almost on their own. She loves giving form to them and feels so fortunate to have such a passion for these small souls and the opportunity to spend every day working in her studio.
Doreen crafts each one out of polymer, imbuing them with attitude and emotion, getting the right turn of the head or rise of the cheek.  Animals who wear clothes clutter the studio and continue to multiply.  Right now her attention has turned to Story Tiles, Beastly Pendants, ornaments, small sculpture and all sorts of Uncommon Creatures.
Her images have been used for many books, magazines, toys, puzzles, greeting cards, Christmas ornaments and textiles. Her clientshave ranged from puzzle design for Unicef, poster illustration for HBO, Book illustration and toys for National Geographic.   See her website(s) for a more complete look at her work.  Doreen’s art has been selected for juried shows and has won awards in several international competitions.  She loves sharing her enthusiasm for creating and has a great time teaching in her Hopewell, New Jersey Studio/ storefront and in libraries and bookstores along the East Coast.


7 08 2011

Laura, born in Argentina, moved with her family to USA in 1989. Although her background is in Architecture, she favored art. After exploring several media, she discovered Fiber Arts which appealed to her because of its tactile quality, variety of textures and colors. In 1995, Laura began making jewelry with polymer clay, becoming attracted to its vivid colors, its dimensionality and the diversity of effects and textures she can accomplish with it. Visit her Flickr site here.

More recently, she began combining her fiber and polymer clay interests in mixed media sculptures and installations. She is particularly interested in process and exploring different approaches to materials and feels more comfortable working in three dimensions, using basic forms evocative of nature and primitive cultures. Time touches, alters and decays things. Seeing the marks of the passing of time moves her and tries to include these marks into the work.

She is a studio artist and teacher who exhibits and sells her work through galleries and juried art shows nationally and internationally. She is a member of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, the International Polymer Clay Association, the Pittsburgh Polymer Clay Guild, where she is currently the president, and the Fiberarts Guild ofPittsburghwhere she is in charge of exhibitions and was co-director for the Fiberart International 2004 exhibition.

Laura’s work has been featured in several publications: 400 Polymer Clay Designs– Lark Books, Polymer Clay Creative Traditions, Polymer Clay Color Inspirations, and Polymer CAFÉ magazine.  Laura also won the Best of Show award in the 2010 Progress and Possibilities, a Competition organized by the IPCA, and Best of Show at the 2009 AnnualART+TECHExhibition – Pittsburgh Technology Council with a computerized polymer clay piece.

Laura will be teaching Polymer Clay Pendants at PCCAF MidWest 2011.


CFCF 2011: Unveiling Their Inspiration

18 05 2011

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As they say, better late than never! CFCF 2011 was great fun and very inspiring for us all.  It was also exhausting!  But, here are just a few of the hundreds of photos taken during the event.  You will see from them that lots of creative juices were flowing.  Just another 9 months til our 5th Annual CFCF.  But, if you can’t wait until then, consider attending our 2nd Annual PCCAF in Wisconsin in October 2011! Registration information coming soon…

CFCF 2011: Spotlight on Instructor Laura Tabakman

14 01 2011

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Laura Tabakman was born in Argentina,and in 1989 moved with her family to USA. Although her background is in Architecture, she was always more inclined towards art. She’s been taking art and craft classes since she was a young girl.  She truly believes that adults have the same passions as a ten or twelve year old. Learning to weave at ten and working with clay and wire at twelve, Laura also loved going to her dad’s workshop to build stuff and is still amazed every time she creates something from nothing with her own hands.

Laura works in mixed media, fiber arts and polymer clay. She feels more comfortable working in three dimensions, using basic forms evocative of nature and primitive cultures. Time touches, alters and decays things. Seeing the marks of the passing of time moves her and she strives to incorporate these looks into the work. In the past years, she decided to merge her fiber and polymer clay interests creating mixed media sculptures and installations.

She is a studio artist and teacher; she exhibits and sells her work through galleries and juried art shows nationally and internationally. She recently won the Best of Show award at 2010 Progress and Possibilities, a Competition organized by the IPCA; and Best of Show at the 2009 Annual ART+TECH Exhibition – Pittsburgh Technology Council with a kinetic computerized polymer clay piece. See it here

Her work has been featured in several publications: 400 Polymer Clay Designs– Lark Books, Polymer Clay Creative Traditions by Judy Belcher, Polymer Clay Color Inspirations by Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio, and two articles in Polymer CAFÉ magazineTwo Clay or not Two Clay article, Feb’ 09 issue and ReversibleTransfer Pendant article, Oct ’08 issue.

Laura Tabakman: Mixed Media Sculptures

In this class students will make three dimensional mixed media sculptures. We will use some molds as a starting point, but students will develop their own personal vision from there, with each finished piece showing her/his own personality and message. We will use polymer clay, wire, fibers, papers, beads, etc. Students are also encouraged to bring found objects or any material they would like to incorporate. This class is a great way of getting your creativity flowing and open new paths for your own work.

To register for Laura’s workshop and other CFCF classes, go to the registration form here.

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