Artist Sarah Gualtieri Uses Her Creativity To Inspire Her Students For An Artistic Venture

Artist, Sarah Gualtieri has been involved in the local visual art scene, showing in area galleries. Focused on her teaching Special Education, she has not recently exhibited any of her own artworks (for which she won an award of this article in The Rickie Report).  The Rickie Report shares what Sarah’s students are creating and selling for a School-based Enterprise project.  We hope you will support their efforts! 




Growing up, Sarah Gualtieri took painting, photography and clay classes.  She also made cards and presents for friends and family.  She tells The Rickie Report, “I learned how to work with wood in Shop in middle school and also with my dad at home.  I took architecture classes in High School.  I went to Rhode Island School of Design for landscape architecture and while I didn’t finish, I learned some amazing things in my foundational art classes there.  I ended up majoring in Sociology at Guilford College and kept on with my art interests”.





Sarah was a case manager/support coordinator for individuals with disabilities and she loved this. She shares,” I also did direct care.  I started facilitating some art workshops for these populations and really enjoyed this.  I realized that I loved to teach!  Exceptional Student Education was the best fit for me because of my background working with vulnerable populations.  I love to focus on abilities and empowerment”.







A Transition teacher, with students between 18 and 22 years old who have already graduated through the 12th grade, Sarah’s focus is life skills, such as Pre-Vocational Job Skills, Social Skills, Personal Care and Health, Safety and Community.  “I wanted my students to create items that they could make and sell as they increased their Pre-Vocational Job Skills, so I developed the wooden fish concept after practicing some methods over the summer.  The staff in my room have been very helpful in putting the project together with me”.









She sees her students smiling and focusing as they are sanding wood and painting the wood.  “Some prefer to create designs on the fish instead of sanding or painting.  Some prefer to paint over sanding.  Some have surprised me with their amazing abilities to sand.  I continue to make adaptations to the process of making the fish so that the students can do as much on their own as possible.  This is really exciting for the students. Almost everyday, students and staff all put on smocks/aprons, cover the tables and get to work.  Pre-vocational job skills is a regular lesson and with this project they continue to get more and more skilled“. 









Students are reminded of who is getting the fish that they may be working on that day. Students are really proud to bring fish home to family and friends.  They carry them down the hallway with pride to their ride home.  It’s also fun for them to sell fish to the staff at school when we have visitors to our class showroom!







Sarah tells us, “We use the money to buy more supplies ( 1/4 plywood, paint, brushes, glue, sandpaper, jute rope, etc.).  We also are able to use money that we have made on pizza parties!  When The Rickie Report asked if anyone can donate supplies, Sarah said, “Yes! Donations are welcome!”




For more information about purchasing a single fish, a school of fish, or donating supplies please contact:


Sarah Gualtieri  (Ms. “G”):   (561) 558-5464

ESE Transition Teacher, Royal Palm School, room 2-123

@sarah_gualtieri, Follow us on Twitter @RoyalPalm_RPS






For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

Lori Axelrod Teaches Polymer Workshops At Bootz Culture Camp

Lori Axelrod spends most of her day working in the technology field, but once she is ready to create, Polymer Clay has become her go-to medium. Polymer clay is plastic, but until it is cured, it is a very malleable plastic.  Lori uses polymer clay as only part of her mixed media approach.  The layers and intricacies you see in her jewelry are not painted! Each color, dot and line is a different color of the clay she manipulates and forms.  Lori will be offering  a 6 week course at Bootz Culture Camp. Supplies and baking are included! The Rickie Report shares the details and urges you to sign up quickly, as the Opening Workshop begins Nov. 2nd!




Bootz’ Culture Camp, Inc.





6 Mondays:

Nov. 2nd

Nov. 9  

Nov. 23

 Nov. 30


  Dec. 14th

NOTE:  No class on Nov. 16th




6 – 9 pm

$270. Includes all supplies and baking

420 South SR 7    Suite 120      

Royal Palm Beach, FL 33414


​Explore the world through the arts!






Lori Axelrod will be leading 6 workshops to teach polymer clay, beginning Nov. 2nd at Bootz’ Culture Camp in Royal Palm Beach.  The workshops take place from 6 – 9 pm and all levels are welcome.  The workshops include all of your supplies and baking your creations!  They take place from November 2nd through December 14th.  Lori is a member of the International Polymer Clay Association and the 
Southeast Florida Polymer Clay Guild.




LoriAxelrodgraphic multi color pins - necklace

Polymer Clay, Multi-colored pins/pendants by Lori Axelrod



Artists and hobbyists alike love polymer clay for its brilliant colors, its ease of use, and the incredible range of possibilities it offers. The clay can be formed into any shape imaginable-from detailed miniatures for doll houses, to striking vessels and wall hangings, to beads of every description.




Lori Axelrod tell The Rickie Report, “There are no boundaries, no limit to what you can use to tell your story. I used the polymer clay flowers and fiber as my focal point and then I layered with gauze, gelato pens, acrylic paint, stamped images, pigment ink, embossing powder and probably some additional media”.





LoriAxelrodred flowers two pictures 2

Mixed Media Flowers using Polymer Clay by Lori Axelrod




Polymer clay is essentially PVC, polyvinyl chloride. It is plastic, but until it is cured, it is a very malleable plastic. It can be shaped and reshaped a multitude of times without deterioration. As long as it is stored away from excessive heat and direct sunlight, polymer clay can sit unused for years and still be workable (though it may require softening additives if left for very long).
Unlike earthen clay, it doesn’t have to be fired in a kiln, nor will it dry out at room temperature, like other clays will do. Polymer clay cures at significantly lower temperatures than earthen clays, so it can be easily hardened in a home oven or toaster oven. (In fact, the high temperatures in a kiln would ruin polymer clay and release potentially dangerous fumes.) Though it varies slightly by brand, most polymer clay must be cured at 265°F to 275°F (129°C to 135°C) for at least 15 minutes per ¼ inch (6mm) of thickness.




LoriAxelrodflower red and yellow triple 3

Polymer Clay Flowers by Lori Axelrod

Polymer clay is available in a variety of brands (each with its own characteristics) and a rainbow of colors. There are several specialty clays, as well, including liquid clays. Different brands of clays can be mixed together to create a limitless palette of colors.




Lori was born and raised in South Florida and has found her creative spirit and voice thru Polymer Clay. As her children grew up and went off to college she found that she had some time and energy for herself.  She shares, “I started to read magazines, poked around the internet and then I went to the craft store and bought some colored pencils and paper. Next I started to sign up for local workshops and classes. But I still couldn’t find the media that caught me. Somehow or another I found polymer clay and bought a few bars. That was it, I was hooked, I finally found my media to work in! Finding my artistic voice however, came much later… I look back at those beginning pieces and I smile at how much my art has developed. I’ve learned so much from the many artists who have shared their talent and knowledge”.





LoriAxelrodnecklace - multi color oblong shape 1

Multi-Color Polymer Clay Necklace by Lori Axelrod 





Lori tells The Rickie Report, “My weekdays are spent working in a technical field so it is in my  free time that my imagination is given full reign. I love exploring new color palettes, but usually find myself going back to the colors that speak to me. I hope that others will experience the same delight that I get when they see my work.  My polymer clay canes are created by combining custom made colors and shaping them into sheets or rods of clay to make patterns or images. When the cane is sliced, the image or pattern is revealed and it is such a pleasant surprise”.






Lori explains, “It is my connection with color and pattern that drew me to polymer clay as the perfect medium for my creative outlet. The intensely saturated colors and the details that I can achieve with polymer clay, combined with the wonderful tactile experience of the clay has me hooked”.



LoriAxelrodflower red grow where you are planted 3

“Red Flower, Grow Where You Are Planted”

Polymer Clay by Lori Axelrod




“I started to experiment with all of the mixed media products that I was reading about and found my rhythm by telling myself to conquer my apprehensions and doubts and allocate lots of time to play.  I love mixed media because there are no boundaries, no limit to what you can use to tell your story. I used the polymer clay flowers and fiber as my focal point and then layered with gauze, gelato pens, acrylic paint, stamped images, pigment ink, embossing powder and probably some additional media. There are pieces of fiber which adds the dreamy iridescence near the center of the flowers”.







For more information about Lori’s Polymer Clay creations, please email:

Or Visit:

Stop by:

Artisans On The Ave, where her artistry is on display

630 Lake Ave, Lake Worth, FL 33460




Broward Art Guild 3280 NE 32nd Street, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308 
(In the North Beach Restaurants and Shoppes Plaza)


For more information about Bootz’ Culture Camp:

Jeanne Bootz Brown, Chief Creative Officer 

420 South SR 7     Suite 120    Royal Palm Beach, FL 33414             561.290.2753







For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420