Allegory Gallery Blog

New Wire Wrapping Class Hosted by Jennifer Tuschong!

Hello Everyone! We hope that you're having an outstanding day today! We just wanted to put up a quick post to let everyone know that we've released a new wire wrapping class by Jenn Tuschong of JNTCreations! We know that during the Summer, people are often looking for fun things to do, and this should be a great activity here in Ligonier, PA to do with your friends—or to meet new ones!

We hope that you'll join us for a great Sunday evening in August!

Here are some details:

Students in this class will create a pair of wire-wrapped crystal point earrings similar to the pairs shown (each earring is approximately 25mm - 35mm in overall length).

This class will be held at Allegory Gallery on Sunday, August 4th 2019 from 4:30pm till approximately 7:00pm.

All materials/tools needed will be provided.

Price break down is as follows:

$20.00 Class Fee
$20.00 Kit & Materials Fee

This class is limited to a total of 6 students. If this number is reached, and more students wish to take the class, we may arrange another class.

Walk-ins will be accepted only if the class is not filled by online reservations. The best way to guarantee a seat is to purchase and reserve online. Purchasing in advance also helps us to plan for snacks and drinks.

All classes are non-refundable, however, we reserve the right to cancel classes in emergency circumstances (including severe weather). In the event that we must cancel, we will reschedule the class and automatically reserve seats for paid students—If you have paid but are unable to make it to the rescheduled class date and time, we will refund your purchase.

To sign up, please visit our Online Store here:

Allegory Gallery Around the Town

Here at Allegory Gallery, we know that the rising tide raises all boats. That's been our motto from the very beginning, and that's how we try to live our lives. A few years ago, we did a series on Facebook called Around Town where we visited our favorite places, stores, and restaurants in town. We have a wonderfully supportive community not only locally, but all over the world, and we wanted to show everyone how great our little town and community of Ligonier, PA really is! So, after some time, we've decided to bring the series back.

We've recently filmed and released our seventh episode this year of our Around the Town Series. In this episode, we take a look at a really lovely women's clothing store here in Ligonier, Song of Sixpence! Natalie, the Owner, does a great job of curating colorful and fun clothing for her clients, and we think you'll just love this walk through of her clothing boutique—especially the Songlines Jewelry Collection by Jewel (one of very few boutiques in the country to carry this wonderful jewelry line by the singer/song-writer!

There are so many activities and interesting things to do in Ligonier, and we have so many beautiful, independently-owned shops. That's why we created this video series. We can't help but want to show Ligonier off to the world! You can find this series on YouTube and Facebook, and we hope that you'll check all the videos out. And, even more, we hope that you'll see things you love, as most of these businesses will ship anywhere. So, if you want something that you see, please don't hesitate to reach out. And, if you have any questions, we're always willing to help get you in touch! And don't forget, if you're ever in the Pittsburgh area, we're not very far away! It's worth the trip to visit us in Ligonier! We hope this video series only reinforces that notion!


Bead in the New Year with Allegory Gallery!

We're big fans of creative challenges at Allegory Gallery! We decided to start the new year off right with a month-long challenge! Each day has a new prompt. You can pick and choose the challenges that appeal to you, complete them in any order (even from last to first if you're so inclined), OR you can really test your creative fortitude and try to tackle them ALL in order, carving out a little creative playtime each day! Participants are encouraged to share their projects with our special Allegory Gallery Design Challenge Facebook group. It's a private supplemental group where we encourage members to push themselves creatively and support each other in their artistic growth.

Follow the link to visit the group:

Think you're up for it? We hope you'll use this opportunity to have fun, challenge yourself, and grow in new and exciting directions! Please SHARE this post with anyone who you might think would be interested in this creative challenge! It's bound to be a wonderful time!

Bead in the New Year with Allegory Gallery!


Interview: Ginger Davis Allman of The Blue Bottle Tree

Ginger Davis Allman of The Blue Bottle Tree's Faux Lampwork Donut Beads

We recently had the pleasure to sit down with
Ginger Davis Allman here at
Allegory Gallery in Ligonier.  She was traveling through Western Pennsylvania and stopped on her way to see Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater.  Ginger Davis Allman is the writer and teacher who creates the popular polymer clay website, The Blue Bottle Tree. Her specialty is eliminating the confusion and making polymer clay topics easy to understand. When she's not traveling through Pennsylvania, Ginger lives with her husband Gary, too many cats, and three blue bottle trees in Springfield, Missouri.

Ginger Davis Allman of The Blue Bottle Tree

You can find out more about Ginger and her polymer clay adventures on her website: Don't forget to stop by her online store to see all her fantastic tutorials: Please also stop by and Like her Facebook page: Can't get enough?  She also has a growing Facebook  group called Polymer Clay Success, that you can find by following the link:

Ginger Davis Allman of The Blue Bottle Tree's Rustic Beads and Components

Allegory Gallery:

How did you get started? Do you have an interesting origin story?

Ginger Davis Allman: As a kid, I had three passions. One, I wanted to make things. Two, I wanted to know why things worked the way they did. And Three, I loved art and color. I found myself being equally pulled toward careers in art and science. It was neck-and-neck for a while, but ultimately science won and I got my education in Microbiology and then worked doing molecular biology research. Science was fascinating because it fulfilled my passion for understanding “why” and I loved the artistic elegance of complex biological systems. But life is life and when kids happened, the science career ended. I had always been a serial crafter, so once I was home with the kids, I got them hooked on crafts, too. Soon we found polymer clay. They weren’t impressed, but I was. It was an obsession. That was back in 2001. In 2012, I started The Blue Bottle Tree, a website that supports the inquiring polymer clay artist. Now I use my science brain to bust polymer clay myths and help others understand how to get the results they want.

Photo by Ginger Davis Allman of The Blue Bottle Tree


 "The Blue Bottle Tree".  That's an interesting name.  Where did that come from?

GDA:  Here's the story behind them.
AG:  I can relate.  My early creativity was fueled by escapism.  We didn't have a lot of money growing up and there were some family issues, so art was my way to craft my own reality.  I could turn a cardboard box into a fortress and a box of pebbles into a treasure chest full of riches!  For so many people, art is their savior and their own "blue bottle tree".

Photo by Ginger Davis Allman of the Blue Bottle Tree


:  And there's another aspect of the origin story. This shows the constant pull inside of myself between the science and the art. You can read more about it here:

Ginger Davis Allman of the Blue Bottle Tree's Faux Seaglass Rainbow Colors


 So, do you think that's what really lights the fire under you to create? Is that the core inspiration behind your work?

GDA:  I’m insanely curious. I always want to know why things do what they do. This is the motivation behind many of my articles. I use my science background to design experiments and tests to learn how polymer clay and other products behave, then I show them in my articles. I don’t do as much creating artwork as I wish I could. My website and tutorials keep me pretty busy!

Ginger Davis Allman of the Blue Bottle Tree's Organic Scallion Beads


 The duality between science and art is definitely something that drew me to your website.  I particularly enjoy how you use your background in science to demystify the materials and processes, empowering other artists to create their visions.  I feel like polymer clay is one of the more "accessible" materials out there.  Folks might not be able to plunk down money for stone-carving equipment, a kiln and torch for glasswork, a lathe for wood... etc.  But a lot of people have access to the basic polymer clay tools and materials. Polymer clay is the great "chameleon" and you show people how to best tap into that magic.

Ginger Davis Allman of the Blue Bottle Tree's Faux Ancient Roman Glass


 Speaking of being busy, what are you working on now?

GDA:  I just wrote a 90 page guide to using pigments and powders with polymer clay. As of August 1, I will have finished a 100 Day Project where I made a different polymer clay veneer every day.

Cover of Ginger Davis Allman of the Blue Bottle Tree's Powders book


 Wow!  I applaud your stamina!  Not only do your examples show the beauty and versatility of polymer clay, but keeping that up is a major project.  I'd probably get ten days in and then things would get all sporadic and sputter out!

Ginger Davis Allman of the Blue Bottle Tree's Veneer Example: Day 54


 I’m  now getting ready to write a book on “Practical Color for Polymer Clay”.  Color confuses people and I believe the way it’s taught makes it harder to understand. I hope to make it more approachable and accessible for those without a fine art background. The photos of my work show what polymer is capable of. Most people, for example, don't realize it can make convincing sea and Roman glass.

Ginger Davis Allman of the Blue Bottle Tree's Veneer Example: Day 82


 Color is such an important tool in any artist's toolbox!  I DO have a fine art background and still find it can be a tricky, fickle beast.  Sometimes when I start a new project, I'll make a new color wheel or inspiration board with different magazine clippings, textures, and important words that best encapsulates the tone and feel of the project.  They help ground the new work in how I'm relating to color in that exact time and space.  I feel like color is such a personal thing and one's color sensibilities are always evolving and changing.  I think the veneers are a great way to explore color and get to the bare bones of polymer clay color use.

Ginger Davis Allman of the Blue Bottle Tree's Veneer Example: Day 55


Do you have any exciting plans or goals for the future that you'd like to share?

GDA:  I have trouble thinking too far in the future. I have so many things that I want to explore, figure out, and share that it can be overwhelming at times. Most of the time I have a full plate just oiling the squeaky wheels!

Ginger Davis Allman of the Blue Bottle Tree's Faux Lampwork Headpins


 But ultimately, I want to bring the incredible versatility of polymer clay to crafters and artists who don’t yet know what it’s capable of. There’s a lot to polymer clay and because of that, newbies often run afoul of its quirky nature. I’d like to help them overcome the quirks and use it with confidence. I’d like to change how polymer is seen in the world.

William Jones, Ginger Davis Allman of the Blue Bottle Tree, and Andrew Thornton at Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, PA

Ginger really is an important voice in the polymer clay community.  She works hard to inspire and encourage people interested in polymer clay and expand the working material knowledge of the material.  I encourage you to sign up for her newsletter if you get a chance.  Her email list isn’t just about polymer clay. There’s also a lot of creative inspiration there as well. You can sign up at It’s not spammy and is well worth the read.

Her tutorials are well-written and investigated.  I recommend her Rustic Beads and Components Tutorial for beginners, as well as her Organic Beads Tutorial. If people like glass, her Faux Glass Effects Tutorial has some of the most convincing sea glass out there and it also includes tutorials on how to make an utterly convincing Roman Glass from polymer clay. (Which is one of my obsessions!)  There are also projects on how to make faux carnival glass and Czech glass beads. There’s also the Faux Lampwork Tutorial which shows how to make polymer clay look like lampwork beads and pendants. The other tutorials are more for people who want to know more about polymer itself. The Powders book has info about mica, pigment, and dye powders that go well beyond polymer clay.  Stop by her website for more information and to connect with this amazing polymer clay guru:

Want to read more about Ginger's trip to Allegory Gallery?  You can take a tour of the shop through Ginger's eyes (and discover a special offer for readers of her newsletter) by following the link: