Wednesday, October 19, 2011

King of Hearts - and a Giveaway!

The tricks are amazing, and the treats are even better. Many people who work with polymer clay know Dr. Ron Lehocky, a general pediatrician in Louisville, Kentucky, who makes polymer clay hearts to benefit the Cerebral Palsy Kids Center there. In 2005, when Ron became a board member of the Kids Center, he set a goal to make 10,000 hearts to sell at $10.00 each, with all monies from his sales to go to the Center for the children who are treated there. November, 2011, marks the sixth anniversary of the heart project and at this writing, Ron has made 16,840 hearts.

Ron's craftsmanship astonishes the person who picks up one of his pins for the first time. His construction is impeccable and his techniques and finishing details are those of pieces made for gallery exhibition. Each heart is made as if it were one of a kind. Buyers and gift recipients always feel as if they have gotten the better part of the deal, and when we displayed several hundred hearts in a class at Arrowmont recently, otherwise courteous and pleasant adult polymer clay students became aggressive and grabby in an effort to purchase just the right one.

Ron is a master of techniques that are appropriate for covering his plump, rounded hearts, and is generous with his knowledge and demonstrations on accomplishing specific techniques. Attend a class with him and he'll have everyone there howling with laughter - everyone knows how nice Ron is, but they forget to tell you about his sense of humor.  Not only do his Halloween hearts wear ghost and mummy costumes, but those costumes glow in the dark!
Ron has seven Louisville retail outlets selling hearts for him, including the prestigious Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft; each merchant writes a check to the Kids Center and then sells each heart for $10.00. No one profits from this project except the kids and the Center.

Maybe you need a glow-in-the-dark mummy heart to wear for Halloween or perhaps you need special gifts for favorite friends for the holidays. If you are nowhere near Louisville, Kentucky, you are as close to Dr. Ron Lehocky as the internet;  his email is rlehocky@bellsouth.net and you can order hearts directly from him. Every heart that is purchased from him is really a double gift: you get a heart for yourself or a friend and you give help to the children who are treated at the Cerebral Palsy Kids Center. Don't tell 'em, but Ron's hearts are what my friends are getting for Christmas!
Oh, yeah! Ron's hearts will be appearing one more place this fall: you will be able to see them at Arrowmont the weekend of November 3 - 6, 2011, in Judy Belcher's classroom. Judy will be teaching Op Art in Polymer Clay that weekend, and there are still openings for the class. To register for Judy's class, phone 865-436-5860;  for more information about the class, click here.
Now, the Giveaway!
I have a gently-read copy of the February, 2009, issue of Polymer Cafe, which contains a six-page article written and photographed by Dr. Ron Lehocky.  He presents two heart tutorials and I tell you, there are more pictures than words. There are also other articles by artists you know, and I think altogether this is one of the best issues of Polymer Cafe ever. If you would like to have this magazine, leave me a comment below and your name will go into the Goat-A-Rama cap for a drawing on Friday. I will announce the winner of the drawing on this blog on Friday and we can get together about mailing it at that time.

5 comments:

  1. What a beautiful story! I would love to learn his techniques for doing the hearts. They are awesome!

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  2. What a generous doctor! Now that's the kind of heart you want to see in your doctor! Good for him touching others around him and spreading beauty!!

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  3. I was blown away by the variety of hearts and the wonderful techniques and finishing of them!

    But the most excellent thing of all is the caring, giving heart of the doctor.

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  4. I would love to own this magazine with all of its valuable info...and now i want one of those beautiful hearts! terrific blog post!

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  5. Connie, just send Ron an email and ask him how to order a heart. He'll be very happy to hear from you. And your name and the three others on this page are in the hat! I'll get Charlie to draw one name at 5:00 PM and announce it then.

    Thank you all for visiting!

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