Florida on a Tankful: Art lesson in polymer clay

By Scott Fais, Feature Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, March 03, 2017, 10:53 AM EST

They look good enough to eat.

"It's named after a million flowers,” said artist Alice Stroppel in her Highlands County studio.

Although her art comes from an oven, this isn't a recipe for dessert, although it looks like colorful sushi.

"It's really called 'Millefiori cane,'” she said.

Alice’s art in Sebring is different.  She works exclusively with polymer clay.

"They say, ‘I've never seen anything quite like you do,’" she said, explaining what visitors to her downtown Sebring studio will utter.

The reason?  Alice says "Studio 215" is unlike any other art studio, well, until you hit Atlanta.

"I think I am the only one exclusive to polymer,” she said.

Alice grew to fame from working with polymer clay.  The brightly colored clay pops on table tops, lamps and jewelry.

Three days a week, Alice offers lessons for individuals and groups at Studio 215.  The polymer clay workshops let beginners create what are called “canes.”

When the canes are assembled together, they form a masterpiece.

Beginners in the classes will run their clay through a pasta machine to blend colors.

Next, get ready to roll your clay like cookie dough.

"Use all your fingers just like this and roll it up,” Alice told Scott.

The next step is for adults only, as students take razor blades and begin to slice.

"Don't cut yourself,” Alice warned.

Once placed in the oven at 275 degrees Fahrenheit, the canes will emerge hard like plastic and ready to wear.

"They have to bring their sense of humor and we have a good time,” Alice concluded.

More Information:
Classes are given on Thursday, Friday and Saturday or by appointment only.  Be ready, some may find classes to be expensive ($75-90).  Materials and tools are provided. Alice warns the classes are best suited for teens and adults.

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