As a mosaic artist, Susan Crocenzi’s specialty is combining cut pieces of material, in various colors, to form bright and dramatic designs. But she’s not content to work with the limited color palette that glass or ceramic gives her. Susan creates her own materials with polymer clay. Yes, you heard me. She uses the unlimited variety and possibilities of our beloved polymer clay to make her own tiles and pieces in any color (or translucency) that she needs for her composition.
There’s no reason you can’t include polymer clay into complex mosaics and you can even grout them along with the glass and ceramic bits that are more commonly used for mosaics. Susan even has a video explaining and showing how this works.
Susan is a teacher, but you don’t have to visit her to learn how to make her intriguing polymer clay work. She has two paid courses where she goes into detail about creating and using polymer clay in glass mosaic work. You can learn more about her classes and courses here.
Susan uses an incredibly rich color palette with bold, clear, saturated colors and she understands intuitively the play of light through the material. Her use of translucent polymer clay deserves special note as you can see in the detail view above. The properties of polymer clay mean that the material can do things that glass could never do (such as be woven in place). By taking advantage of the translucency that’s possible with polymer, the material takes on a much more glass-like feel that works beautifully in a mixed media mosaic.
In a world of small polymer clay figures or jewelry, it’s refreshing to see the material used in a large-scale way. You’ll recognize canework and variations of mokume gane here, but many of the stylistic ties that bind polymer clay are shed in Susan’s work.
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Give Susan Some Love
What do you love about Susan Crocenzi’s work? Tell her! Every artist needs encouragement.
I love that...
Susan Crocenzi pushes our understanding of what polymer clay is for and how it can be used. I love that she uses the unique features of the material, itself, to bring new elements to her mosaic work that are not possible with traditional mosaic materials. And finally, I love her colors. Because she’s not limited to the colors of commercially available glass, she can compose much richer pieces than we typically see in mosaics.