Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Beauty in Bitterness" featuring Jean Nordmann and his lovely polymer clay creations

The polymer clay community helped the ones in need so many times since I became a polymer clay artist : Wendy Moore and Cynthia Tinapple's aid to the Nepalis women, Ron Lehocky medical kids center project, Melanie Muir recent donation for women organization and more charity donations that sometimes we are not aware of.

In this spirit, of assistance, compassion and desire to help the ones less fortunate, I want to introduce you to a very special person, a dear friend that I met via the internet a while ago while chatting polymer clay language.

His name is Jean Nordmann, and he loves art, fimo, creativity and most of all - to help people.

After a career in neurobiology Jean Nordmann decided to leave his research institute at the age of 44 and devote himself to humanitarian work.

Jean, Melanie Muir and myself at Switzerland
For more than 20 years he worked as a delegate and head of mission for the International Commitee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and various nongovernment organizations, stationed in African countries (Republic of Guinea, Congo, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritania, Somalia, Sudan, Chad, Central African Republic), in Papua (Papua, West Papua, Indonesia), Afghanistan und Ex-Yugoslavia.

A Nikon camera accompanied him on his missions, which Nordmann used to portray his closest colleagues and the people around him, capturing their seemingly unspectacular everyday life, which after taking a second glance- reveal very normal madness as regulated extreme situations.

About a year ago he had an exhibition called "Beauty in Bitterness" which focused on this Janus-faced phenomenon, these moments of light heartedness in times of despair, which Nordmann came across again and again on his missions and which is the common bond in all the various situations, ethnic groups and countries portrayed. The twinkling moments of beauty within all the bitterness of war and its contradictions. Curator was Alexandra Staheli.

The aim of the exhibition and of his photo book is to raise money to assist a school for AIDS orphans in the Republic of Central Africa.
Nordmann travels to Central Africa on a regular basis and brings directly the funds to the school where it is used to build and improve the classrooms, the kitchen, the dormitories, the well etc. and to purchase school material.
These people are going through such difficult life, it is beyond perception or logic.

As a polymer clay enthusiast he loves to work with polymer clay and teach children of all ages how to work with it.
In his trips he takes several packages of clay and plays with the children and with fimo in the middle of Africa, where there is no TV, internet or commercials, making canes, animals and giving these children a moment of Joy.

To raise money Jean is selling a unique line of wall puzzle magnets, a beautiful idea for a clever game anyone can play with kids or... adults! :)
His dream was to sell polymer clay work and give that money to the school, but as you all probably know that isn't an easy task.

His puzzles (12x12cm) are created with a specific design whether it is an animal, figure or other, drawing a draft on paper to fit each of the 9 parts and then creating them one by one using polymer clay.
After the tiles are cured he is gluing them on wood and each tile is glued to a magnet.
Isn't that wonderful?
Wouldn't you agree that this is an amazing gift?

For the complete collection of Jean's puzzle magnets you are welcome to visit this gallery -

The owl puzzle was given at the raffle on our Switzerland event. I am not sure who was the fortunate winner but it is simply wonderful.

If you are interested in sending Jean's school a donation, or purchasing one of his puzzles (if still on stock), please contact him at nordmannjj{at} and I am sure he will be happy to hear from you and chat a bit.

We take our life too much for granted, that was my first thought after browsing his book. I thank god or all the high powers for giving me everything I have. It is not always obvious.

Thank you for being here with me :)

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