Hello and Welcome to my Blog ~ I love art of all kinds. Two of my favorites are polymer clay and paper art. I have shops on Etsy that feature both of my passions. I also love writing my blog and finding artists that have a passion for their craft and feature them. I hope your day is filled with sunshine, laughter and loads of creativity.

Monday, February 7, 2011

We wouldn't have Fimo Clay if it weren't for Fifi

If you didn't know the history of Fimo Polymer Clay,
you will be as surprised as I was at how it came about.

It all began in 1939

In her search for a new material to use for her dolls' heads, the well-known doll maker Kaethe Kruse begins experimenting with a new substance.

FIMO history - Kaethe Kruse

As the material turns out to be unsuitable for serial production, her daughter Sophie does some experimenting of her own with it, mixing pastes and colours into it and then kneading it into whole variety of shapes and objects. She uses the material to create vases, mosaics, pictures, miniatures, figures and toys. Sophie Rehbinder-Kruse sums up her philosophy as follows: ‘‘Mankind instinctively wants to model things; it is his way of cherishing and preserving something dear to him”. As a result, she goes on to develop her first modeling clay kit in 1954.
She created the brand name FIMOIK by using the first two letters of her nickname ‘Fifi’, the Mo’ from modeling clay and the final letters of ‘mosaic’, one of her favorite techniques.
It wasn't until 1964 that Rehbinder sold the formula to Eberhard Faber. The manufacturer tweaked the formula dropped the "IK" and renamed it FIMO.

Can you imagine ~ It took a few more decades before polymer clay began to catch on as an art medium

In the mid 1960s, Zenith Products Company in the United States "accidentally" created its own variety of polymer clay. The company developed "Polyform" in hopes of using it as a thermal transfer compound. While it didn't work in its intended industrial capacity, a young visitors interest illustrated that the product had great potential as an arts and crafts medium. (The owner's daughter sculpted an elephant from the clay.) "Polyform" was the original version of what is now known as "Sculpey". Though the white Polyform/Sculpey was sold as early as 1967, it didn't get its present-day brilliant line of colors until 1984. Until that time, artists had to add their own pigments to colorize the clay. polyform products began manufacturing an American polymer clay (the Sculpey and ProMat line of products) and in the late 1990s, polyform introduced their Premo line . With this line came the first, strong and truly translucent polymer clay, and in 2003, renowned polymer clay artist Donna Kato introduced her own line of polymer clay.

"A Thing a Day"
For the past three years Polymer Clay Central has held a "Thing a Day" for the month of February. This is my first year to do this and I am having such a great time with it. At the end of the day, it is so much fun to see what everyone has created.
Below are a few creations that I have created for TAD

Little Imp ~ Big Heart
This little polymer clay Imp has a big heart and very tiny wings. As it is, he can't get very high off the ground and with this big heart he's carrying around it's utterly impossible. I created him with polymer clay and large glass beads for eyes.

Pearly Puffy Pendant with Fish Bail
I created this pendant with white polymer clay and embellished with a swirly stamp and gold mica powder.
I thought the fish bail was a perfect fit for this creation.

Blue Beaded Heart

To create this pendant, I made a heart out of black clay, filled it with blue/green beads, then used clear embossing powder as a fixative.


Trina Prenzi said...

Mom, Thanks for sharing the great information on the history of polymer clay!

Love all your adorable creations for "Thing A Day" at Polymer Clay Central! I'm enjoying looking at everyone's creations there too! :) Great stuff!

Happy Claying!

Melobeau said...

Most interesting. Thanks for sharing that info. Especially enjoy your Blue beaded TAD heart. Wonderful way to use those tiny beads.

Edinho Juliotto said...

Hello Sandy;

This is the first time I have the opportunity to
write to you.

The story of Fifi, makes me think in the time that she began the project. There was no Internet, fax, cell phone,and I believe that until there was no phone with ease we have today. How she did the research? She was a courageous woman and with unusual persistence.
I particularly pray in gratitude to this woman every day.
You know why?
Because all started with her.
I live here in Brazil, far from all of you
and I'm developing the market here, so that people can learn to work with polymer clay, express their talents and could still have an extra income at the end of the month, and with that they can help their families.
I started three years ago to manufacture the brand Bozzi Polymer Clay and like I said, it's hard work even with all the facilities we have today.

My respects to Fifi.

All the best to you and your daughter, Trina, I've talked to her through email.

Edinho Juliotti