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Venus & Vegetable


"Terra Nova: Polymer Art at the Crossroads," Rachel Carren, Bruce W. Pepich and Lena Vigna (eds.), Racine (Wis.) Art Museum, 2011, pp. 58-67.

"Polymer Clay: A Modern Medium Comes of Age," Ornament magazine, Vol. 34:4 2011, pp. 38 - 45 by Jill A. DeDominicis.

"How Polymer Hit The Big Time," American Craft magazine, October/November 2011, pp. 54 - 61 by Monica Moses.

"Masters: Polymer Clay," Rachel Carren (curator), New York, Lark Crafts, 2011, pp. 8-15.

"100 Artists Of New England," E. Ashley Rooney, Atglen, Pennsylvania, Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2010, pp. 176-177.

"The History Of Beads," Lois Sherr Dubin, New York, Abrams, 2009, p. 342.

"Holding Color In My Hands," Connie Donaldson, Polymercafe, April 2008, pp. 14-21.

"Clay, Science and Art," 30-minute Radio Interview with Kathleen Dustin, New Hampshire Public Radio's "The Front Porch" with John Walters, 30 March 2005

"The Timeless Art of Crafts: The Smithsonian Craft Show 2000," Diane M. Bolz. Smithsonian, May 2000, pp. 86-96.

"Kathleen Dustin: A Polymer Clay Pioneer," J. Tol Broome, Jr. The Crafts Report, April 2000, pp. 20-23.

"Foundations in Polymer Clay Design," Barbara A. McGuire. Krause Publications, 1999.

"Movers & Shapers," Lee Lawrence. American Style, Summer 1999.

"17th Annual Smithsonian Craft Show," promotional poster and cover image of program, 1999.

"Designing Women," Clifford Pugh. Houston Chronicle, Sunday, May 9, 1999.

"New Challenges: Polymer Artists Work Precious Metal Clay," Robert K. Liu. Ornament, Winter 1997.

"Kathleen Dustin: The Journey Within," (cover article) Carolyn Benesh. Ornament, Summer 1997.

Artists At Work, P. Ashcroft & L. Haunani. Flower Valley Press, 1997.

1997 Polymer Clay Invitational Calendar.

Creating With Polymer Clay: Design, Techniques, and Projects, Steven Ford & Leslie Dierks. Lark Books, 1995.

Blooming Artichoke Purse
Collectible Beads, Robert K. Liu. Ornament Inc., 1995.

Creative Clay Jewelry, Leslie Dierks. Lark Books, 1994.

The New Clay, Nan Roche. Flower Valley Press, 1991. Dedication and Foreword.

The Guild: A Sourcebook of American Craft Artists, Kraus Sikes Inc., 1989.

"The Use of Polyform in Bead-Making," Kathleen Dustin. Ornament, Spring 1988 (Vol. II, no. 3), pp. 16-19.


From "The Timeless Art of Crafts" by Diane Bolz, Smithsonian, May 2000, p. 93:

For Kathleen Dustin the challenge lies in making something that is functional as well as beautiful. Her unique sculptured evening bags are fashioned entirely out of colored polymer clay. One of the pioneers of fine art in this medium, Dustin developed a multiple-layering technique that entails drawing, creating images with the colored clay, carving, and repeated baking and buffing. A sculptor and ceramist, Dustin began using polymer clay—a nontraditional material that requires only simple tools and an oven for baking—because it fit her itinerent lifestyle. As to her motifs, Dustin explains, "I´ve depicted women in some form or another the whole time I´ve been an artist. I´m fascinated with how women in different cultures live."

Artist Profile by Belinda Clanton, from the Crafts at the Castle 2003 Program, p. 18:

Kathleen Dustin is a pioneer and one of the leading authorities in the medium of polymer clay or polyvinyl chloride, better known in the industry as PVC. She taught the first workshop [in the U.S.] on polymer clay for jewelry making and authored the first article for Ornament magazine singing its praises of versatility. With Kathleen´s infectious enthusiasm, and a growing number of artists working with the medium, polymer clay is fast becoming more and more popular. Kathleen has been working with the medium for the past 18 years. Originally a ceramics artisan, Kathleen came to polymer clay because she needed a creative outlet that would travel easily for her nomadic lifestyle. She and her husband have traveled all over the globe because of his job, and ceramics was not an option, because accessing a kiln was not always possible. In the Middle East, Kathleen was introduced to the German clay compound, Fimo, generic polymer clay, while in Beirut, Lebanon, on a student exchange program. Kathleen responded to the Fimo because it was easy to use, and it needed only basic tools and a toaster oven to bake it. It´s a real hands-on medium, the colors are infinite and so are the ways to manipulate it. . . . . . .

Today, her one-of-a-kind exquisite evening bags steal any show. Her Crafts at the Castle booth is always filled with admirers, collectors and other artists wanting to talk shop.

One of Kathleen´s signature pieces is the evening bag, titled "Madonna." The gold handle is reminiscent of a halo and the beautiful serene face of the women would make Michaelangelo weep. . . . Kathleen´s message is in the women´s faces. Every pain, every joy, every horror is captured. Their eyes are haunting, drawing you in, as if to speak some hidden secret. You find yourself looking at them for hours mesmerized by their beauty, as a calm sweeps over you.

Now living in a New Hampshire log cabin, Kathleen has set down roots. She concentrates on her one-of-a-kind sculptured evening bags completely made from colored polymer clay, still using women as her inspiration. Kathleen´s cutting edge techniques and constant layering and baking produce the most astonishing functional pieces. Although Kathleen´s patrons collect her bags as sculptures and display them in their homes, Kathleen likes to see the evening bags used and enjoyed. They are fun pieces of sculpture that can take a bit of abuse, so she tries to encourage her fans to take them out on special occasions. After all, PVC is used in plumbing and if it can hold up your plumbing system, surely it will survive an occasional night out on the town.

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