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getting to know polymer clay artist ronnie kirsch

When I read today’s post on Polymer Art Archive I let out a sigh of relief.  Finally...the rest of the world can see Ronnie Kirsch’s polymer clay boxes! As I’ve mentioned several times on this blog, I studied with Elise Winters for three years when I started to explore the medium.  Sitting in the back of the classroom for most of that time was a talented, low-key-but-high-profile jewelry designer who made polymer clay boxes.  She needed no instruction but was a welcome addition to a class that already packed a powerful punch.

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You Are What You Love, 2003
polymer clay, 5 3/4″ x  2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″

Ronnie is as nice as she is talented and generously shared her process each week during the ‘show and tell’ portion of class.  You Are What You Love is one of the boxes she worked on during this time. It may have been Elise who taught me how to work with polymer clay, but it was Ronnie’s art that tickled my muse and helped me embrace the medium completely.  At the time most people were making jewelry and I wanted to make vessels. Ronnie’s work was lighthearted, sophisticated, uplifting and thought-provoking for this newbie, providing me with hours of inspiration.


Tribute to Louise Nevelson, 2001
polymer clay, 5 1/8  x  3 1/4″ x  x 3 1/4″

I remember being mesmerized as I listened and watched her work out one particular design – it was a box she was working on for a gallery show with a ‘movement’ theme.  We saw several iterations as she resolved the engineering challenges and if I remember correctly, the final box was embedded with balls in the lid that rolled when you ran your fingers over it. Sweet.


Details 2, 2000
polymer clay, 5 1/4″  x 3 1/8″ x 3 1/8″

Ronnie had two rules that she followed when creating a box: 1. The box had to have four sides.  2. No clay from any box went into the scrap pile.  After custom mixing colors, she created canes and patterned sheets and used every.bit.of.the.clay. in the design.

Details 2, seen above, has a very important future and Ronnie’s work was also chosen for a groundbreaking book about polymer clay that is in the works…more about all of that in another post.  She is currently working on a website that will showcase her latest work.  Look for a post about it on Polymer Art Archive soon – but please go here first to see more of her early work and to read about Ronnie Kirsch’s path to polymer.

Congratulations Ronnie – I’ve missed your inspiration and gentle spirit!

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