Linda Leach

maine, united states

Quilting with Clay

Years ago I was privileged to have met a fiber artist who specialized in crazy quilts made out of fabulous oriental fabrics. Polymer Crazy Quilt blocks made with Mokume Gane veneers, gradients, and other veneers are my version of fiber quilting. I will demonstrate the creation of my particular version of the Mokume Gane veneer and do a small portion of a quilt block. As color plays a major role in the harmonious quilt, we will discuss choice and positioning of colors in the creation of the Mokume Gane veneer. If time allows, we can discuss what the quilt block can be used for aside from an art object. Items to be covered can include jewelry, boxes, and vases


Creating harmonious Mokume Gane veneers and using the veneers for multiple projects.


For over 25 years I have partnered with Sandy Clement in our business called the Maine Lights Collection. It started with – guess what – paintings of Maine lighthouses. I was fascinated by the polymer face sculptures that Sandy made on shells and in 2003 I took an intensive 3-day class with Maine artist Laura Balombini and the creative beast was born. Membership in the New England Polymer Artist Guild has exposed me to the teachings of many master-class polymer artists, but my goal was to learn technique and then create my own designs. 

My first truly unique design combined hand-etched copper plates, liquid clay, alcohol ink, brass wire and strip into what I termed Etching Alternative©. Being able to present at IPCA’s Synergy4 about Etching Alternative© was a magical result for the creation of this unique combination of materials and I met many of my favorite polymer artists during the retreat. Their encouragement inspired me to continue working on new ideas and Linda Leach Designs was a result of that. 

Recently revisiting my early years as an oil painter led to combining oil paint and liquid clay and creating art on a polymer surface – whether glass vase or clay tile. Liquid clay can be combined with many other substances, but the beauty of oil paint is the richness of color and the ability to use either a brush or palette knife to apply it to the surface. Using a lace cane as the background on a glass vase allows the light to pass through unpainted sections and adds dimension to the finished piece. 

In 2019 I started combining many of the veneer techniques learned from workshops or created by experimentation into polymer crazy quilt blocks. I was honored to share the IPCA wearable jewelry award with Christine Dumont for my crazy quilt ensemble. More workshops allowed me to add new veneers which have been turned into art pieces as well as covering items such as gift boxes and jewelry. 

I hope to continue perfecting my techniques and using that information for more interesting projects in the future. I also love to pass on the techniques I have created as they tend to be a bit outside the box compared to most traditional polymer artists. With polymer clay the sky is the limit – well your imagination anyway. Happy claying!