What got you interested in polymer clay as a medium?
I started with Play Doh as a young child, moved to clay in art classes in grade school and high school, then discovered polymer clay in my late teens. I loved the ease of use, variety of colors, the fact that you could bake it in a household oven, and the limitless uses. Plus once I discovered Maureen Carlson's clay booked I was hooked forever.
What inspires you to create?
I find inspiration all around me. I love nature and animals, and both are featured in many of my sculptures and my jewelry. I also find tons of inspiration in the world of fantasy, be it books, artwork (Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell...), screen savers, movies, just about anything. I have more ideas for sculptures than I could ever create in a lifetime
Do you have a favorite technique?
Favorite technique? Hmm, well, I like Maureen Carlson's methods, and Dinko Tilov, but really, I just do whatever works for a particular project. That's one reason all of my work is one of a kind. I have a huge variety of clay books and I learn all I can from each, and incorporate those methods as needed. I just sort of "go with the flow" with most of my projects.
Of everything you have created which is your favorite?
Right now my favorite item in my studio is my Scorch the Rockin' Dragon Sculpture. I spent a LOT of time on this sculpture and I really like the way he came out. I like all the pieces in my studio though. I always try to make the best creation I'm capable of.
What do you prefer to make out of polymer clay and why?
My favorite polymer clay creations would probably be the fantasy sculptures. With fantasy anything is possible. I can make whimsical creatures, vicious creatures, sexy fairies, sweet fairies, brave knights, goofy knights, anything! I can tell a story with a sculpture, like my Frog Prince sculpture, or build a story around a fantasy character, like my Troll with a Fairy sculpture. Fantasy is just so much fun, it really allows me to spread my creative wings.
How do you decide what to make?
Sometimes it's hard to pick just one of the many ideas in my head. Often if I'm reading a good fantasy story I'll sculpt my version of a character, or a scene in the book. If I'm looking at paintings or computer images, sometimes they'll spark an idea and I'll so my version of the picture. It always ends up being "my version". I really don't copy- I tend to adjust things to my own preference.
Is there something you wish you could make in clay that you have not yet?
I'd like to be able to make larger sculptures. Right now I simply can't afford the amount of clay needed to make a life sized bust, or large animal sculpture. Technically, it's easier to sculpt on a larger scale, and I'd really like to find out if that is true! Making tiny little fingers and toes is definitely NOT easy! Plus on a larger sculpture you're able to add more detail and make it even more realistic.
What makes polymer clay a better fit for your products than other mediums?
Polymer clay has limitless possibilities. You can add a huge variety of inclusions, bake it repeatedly, continue adding fresh clay to a baked piece, cut it, shape it, sand it, polish it, do pretty much anything to it and with it. Plus it's surprisingly durable once baked. I've dropped my share of sculptures, and have been pleasantly surprised at the lack of damage to most. Polymer clay is freedom- freedom to create anything I can imagine.
What is your best advice for someone starting out in polymer clay?
My best advice for new clayers is to have fun and keep experimenting. The more you "play" the more you develop your skills. And learn from others. I have tons of polymer clay books from a huge variety of authors, each with their own style. I learn all I can from others, then take that knowledge in my own direction. Just have fun with it.