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Polymer clay artists featured in open house at Alice Stroppel’s Studio 215

By SHARON WEATHERHEAD

Correspondent

SEBRING –– Polymer clay artists from around the country were honored an an open house Saturday, Jan. 21 at Alice Stroppel’s Studio 215.

A versatile medium that came be stamped, sculpted, painted or used to create canes, polymer clay can be used to make jewelry, pictures, table tops, glass designs and more.

Five well known artists, Stroppel being one of them, showed off their artistic creations and demonstrated techniques used in polymer art. Each artist has a unique voice and shared their varied knowledge with visitors.

They all write articles and teach classes to help others enjoy the art.

The five showcased artists were Stroppel, Laurie Prophater of South Carolina, Julie Eakes from North Carolina, Dayle Doroshow from Florida and Meisha Barbee of California.

Doroshow had earrings, necklaces, broach pins, ethnic figures, book and fabric art on display. “I like to make the fabric art first,” she said. “That inspires me to create the broach which becomes part of the picture. It can be detached and worn.”

Prophater was working on bracelets. “Actually a collection of stylish bracelets,” she said.

“These will be adaptable to all different wrist sizes.

Sometimes it’s difficult to find one that fits just right.”

Eakes said she is working with Laura Tabakman and Emily Squires on a project called “Into the Forest.”

“This is a global collaboration that will be held in Pittsburgh in November,” Eakes said. “We are asking artists to send in multiple organic items to go into this huge installation piece. So far we have received items from Thailand, Europe and all over. We’re so excited.”

Barbee has a studio in Spanish Village in Balboa Park, California. “You had to be a juried artist to be able to set up there,” she said. “Color is what inspires me, lots of color.

With polymer clay you can mix any color. I like using stripes as a theme.”

Stroppel is sending some of her polymer clay flowers for the project.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of a worldwide project,” she said. “There is a relatively small group of polymer artists as the art form is only about 50 years old.

I’m so happy to have these talented ladies join mehere today.”

Last year there was a polymer clay design challenge. Stroppel created an interesting bracelet design form and it was published in Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine.

Many area residents attended the open house and shopped for unique items for themselves and

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Laurie Prophater (clockwise from left), Meisha Barbee, Karla Bieneman and Julie Eakes.

Sharon Weatherhead/Highlands Sun

Fabric collage with detachable polymer clay in the form of a broach created by Dayna Doroshaw of Largo.

Cheryl Crawford (left) from Kentucky with artist Laurie Prophater of Kiawah Island, South Carolina.

Lois Lin from Ocala (left) with artist Julie Eakes of Charlotte, North Carolina.


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as gifts. Julie Garron came from Tampa to join the crowd and purchase some items. “I saw the designs online and had to see them in person,” Garron said.

Cheryl Crawford was here from Kentucky. “This is just beautiful,” she said.

“I love the variety of the designs.”

“I drove hours to get here from Ocala,” said fan Lois Lin. “I love it, all of it!” Alice Stroppel’s Studio 215 is in historic downtown Sebring at 215 N.

Ridgewood Drive. To find out more about “Into the Forest”, check out its Facebook page.

Polymer clay artist Dayna Doroshaw from Largo.

A demonstration table for polymer clay creations was a center of activity at the open house.

Artist Meisha Barbee from San Diego, California, shows off a neclace design.

Alice Stroppel, artist and owner of Studio 215, was host for a polymer clay open house that brought artists from as far as California.

Julie Garron of Tampa was shopping for jewelry at the polymer clay open house.

Sample of artist works for an ‘In the Forest’ project that utilizes elements from around the world.

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