What got you interested in polymer clay as a medium?
I was making jewelry as a hobby and they were offering a class at a local bead show on how to make your own polymer clay beads. I learned how to make some millefiori canes and some round beads and was asked if I wanted to join a local guild that was just starting up. When I found out after all the many more things you could create with this clay, I was hooked!
What inspires you to create?
That is hard to nail down exactly but I would say colors mainly -- when I see something in colors I'm drawn to I start imagining. Also anything I see in a magazine or while I'm shopping or anything around me.
Do you have a favorite technique?
I like doing all sorts of techniques -- that is maybe why I use them all in my work and don't usually stick to one or a few. I would say millefiori or creating with canes is my favorite.
Of everything you have created which is your favorite?
hmmm. that is hard to answer as I have a lot of favorites. I guess I would say the Kite Bead Necklace done in a mica shift skinner blend.
What do you prefer to make out of polymer clay and why?
I love making beads the most. I don't like to use a bead roller but prefer to make them all in my hands as I find it very relaxing working the pieces of clay in my hands and fingers and creating various shapes and color blends.
How do you decide what to make?
I never thought of that before. I will usually have a plan -- like a special order I have to fill or maybe a switchplate cover for our house. I have a list of things I want to do and eventually they get checked off with more added all the time. I also have a huge mental list of all the techniques I want to try and new design ideas. When I walk into my studio, however, some of that changes. I will look at some unfinished projects on my table and some clay colors, etc. and will just dive in. Sometimes I end up getting sidetracked and making something totally different than what I was planning on making in the first place.
Is there something you wish you could make in clay that you have not yet?
Yes -- some larger items like large decorative bowls, etc. We just built our own fireplace mantel in our home and it has a space with lights for a focal point. I'm planning on creating some piece to sit in that spot but will take me awhile to decide exactly what I want to make.
What makes polymer clay a better fit for your products than other mediums?
I like the versatility of polymer clay. You can make it smooth or textured, shiny or matte finish, colorful or more subdued. You can shape it in so many ways and sculpt with it. I love how it fits in with other materials like glass or metal beads.
What is your best advice for someone starting out in polymer clay?
Join a polymer clay group or local guild of some kind. That was the best thing I did by learning the simplest things and getting advice from others who are more experienced. You have so many questions when starting out and it just makes it more enjoyable when you have others around you that you can share with.