AMACO Sponsors Friendly Plastic Open Design Challenge

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The American Art Clay Co. is proud to have hosted the Friendly Plastic Open Design Challenge for the second year which honored a Tolerance Project for schools. The purpose of this challenge was to raise awareness for the tolerance efforts of the Holocaust Museum in Houston.

The American Art Clay Co. is proud to have hosted the Friendly Plastic Open Design Challenge for the second year which honored a Tolerance Project for schools. The purpose of this challenge was to raise awareness for the tolerance efforts of the Holocaust Museum in Houston. Through this challenge, AMACO is honoring the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust with a challenge category called "butterflies." Open to all ages, the contest received dozens of entries from around the world.

The challenge gave mixed media artists, students, craft designers or someone who is usually a pottery artist an opportunity to try their hand at a different type of plastic art. This design challenge took artists away from their ceramic kilns and put them at a craft table working with Friendly Plastic Designer Sticks or All-Purpose Pellets instead. There were four simple categories that required the use of a least 50% Friendly Plastic in each entry. Friendly Plastic is that glitzy, bright, shimmering metallic jewelry from the 1980's that crafters embellished with crystals, watch parts and beads. Today, the medium has masterful jewelry designers, like Jana Ewy and Linda Peterson, who take the medium and make it look like dichroic glass or inlayed and lacquered wood with the help of a two-part epoxy.

The rules were pretty simple. Each butterfly made by an artist had to be less than 8" x 10" in size. Glitter and perishables (think macaroni) of any kind were not allowed, so that butterflies can stand the test of time at their new home, a massive installation at the Holocaust Museum Houston. Those who didn't make butterflies created one-of-a-kind mixed media jewelry or altered art for jewelry or home decor. These items will be donated to a daytime shelter called The Living Room for abused women and children in Santa Rosa, California.

These butterflies collected by the AMACO symbolize each child lost during the Holocaust and will be installed at the Holocaust Museum Houston Butterfly Project. The butterflies were collected at the Craft & Hobby Association Show in Anaheim. The winners of the challenge were announced at the awards reception on Monday, January 25, 2010. All winners of each of the four categories received an etched crystal award, a $100 check, plus a $100 check to the charity of their choice. Best of Show winner Terie Pauley arrived just in time to receive her award, while Ellie Hitchcock was present for her special Community Leadership Award for a career of teaching clay in schools and summer camps for children. Other winners included 10-year-old art student Ambrose Holcomb and craft designers, Linda Hess, Sherry McGilvray, and Cathy Frank.

This challenge was a great opportunity for artists of all kinds to show their creativity. Whether they are a pottery artist, someone who works with ceramic kilns, or simply someone who paints watercolors, they all came together for this amazing mixed media challenge for a worthy cause. There is nothing better than being able to create a beautiful masterpiece to help support a tolerance project created for communities and schools. We are looking forward to next year's challenge!

For further information on the American Art Clay Company, visit http://www.AMACO.com or call (800) 374-1600.

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Dawn Sandoe
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