Saturday, September 12, 2009

Introducing gundowerks


What got you interested in polymer clay as a medium?
I picked up some clay in the late 1980's and really enjoyed it. I didn't do much but some beads & buttons, and some fridge magnets for friends, then life conspired to lead me on to other things and clay took a backseat. In the mid 1990's I started hand-dyeing silk, and concentrated on scarves. I needed something to accent them, and decided to try beads - and I realized that making beads unique to each dyed piece was a great selling point. Getting my hands back into clay got me deeper into the medium (many thanks goes to the wonderful people at Delphi Forums' Polymer Clay Central for helping keep me addicted to this wonderful artform), and before long I was doing much more than just beads.

What inspires you to create?
I have a real need to make things. There's nothing like the feeling of knowing that something has come from my handiwork. I get my inspirations from a lot of places, but the best creative inspiration I have is just sitting down at my desk and picking up a piece of clay.

Do you have a favorite technique?
I have a couple. One is working in black clay with surface techniques and colors. The other is a faux mokume gane technique I have developed over the years. I also love working with PC transfers, and liquid clay in general.

Of everything you have created which is your favorite?
This might be my favorite:

It's a greenman mask. Unfortunately I don't have better photos from when it was completed. I plan to try another one like it eventually.
This is another of my favorites, a covered goblet using my faux mokume gane technique:

What do you prefer to make out of polymer clay and why?
I love to make jewelry, but honestly I think covering things (tins, glasses, etc.) might be my preference. I love the precision of covering items, and the way they look and feel when they are finished. Another long time favorite thing to make are buttons - they're so satisfying, and it's exciting to see what I've made show up on someone else's handmade art.

How do you decide what to make?
Usually I have a project to complete - either bringing an idea I've had to fruition or fulfilling an order or a challenge or swap. Sometimes I decide what to make because I've been itching to work with a particular technique.

Is there something you wish you could make in clay that you have not yet?
I have several techniques I'd love to try, but I think the one I want to do most is precious metal clay. I'll get around to it someday!

What makes polymer clay a better fit for your products than other mediums?
The versatility. Clay can be manipulated so many ways it's amazing. You can replicate so many different materials, it's strong and light and flexible. It can be used with a variety of other mediums or all by itself. I love everything about it!

What is your best advice for someone starting out in polymer clay?
Oh, this is a hard one. I think "take your time, experiment, learn, grow, create". The beautiful thing about PC is that the learning curve starts low but it soars up amazingly high - there's a world and wealth of art in this medium, so study and grow with it. It can meet your artistic needs in incredible ways.


4 Smooshing Thoughts:

libertydoll said...

I love that mask!

agoodwitchtoo said...

That mask is awesome!

Anonymous said...

Gosh, you guys stole my comments- that mask is awesome. Like the metallics and it's just wonderful

Cat said...

Aha!! one of my favorite peeps! Love ya, Tess. Gorgeous work as always.