Smoosher member Korrina, of Kael Mijoy creates beautiful one of a kind polymer clay jewelry, home decor, and more. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for us and share a little bit about her passion for polymer clay.
With all the mediums available for crafting why did you choose Polymer clay?
I didn't- it chose me. Actually, I've been crafting since I was big enough to hold a pair of scissors. I tried everything I could get my hands on and couldn't stick with anything for more than a few months or a year at most. Tried polymer clay and couldn't put it down. That was 9 years ago (about the same time that I started homeschooling, as a matter of fact) and I don't see an end in sight.
How did you learn to use polymer clay? Internet, experimenting, books, classes.....
Internet. I had a little bit of clay and wanted to mess with it but couldn't figure out much on my own. So, on a whim (didn't really think I'd find much), I Googled it. My first project was a lace cane that I made beads out of. Then I started buying books and checking them out of the library. Now, I still read every book I can get my hands on and am constantly searching online for new ideas.
What is your favorite tool to work with?
There are a lot of tools that I couldn't live without- I don't think I could pick just one. Pasta machine, a good blade, my extruder and its pusher, and my heat gun are probably at the top of the list, though.
Do you like to work with any mediums other than polymer clay?
Not really- I do crochet when I need something portable to keep my hands busy and once every few months I will dig out the quilt top or my cross stitch (both of which were started about 10 years ago) and work on one of those for a few days.
What is your favorite polymer clay technique and why?
Filigree- no, wait! Micromosaic... no, relief sculpture. Um, caning? I really don't know. It depends on my mood at any given time, although, I do tend to go in bursts. I'll spend days (or weeks) on one technique, only to wander off and come back to it a month or so later.
What is your least favorite technique and why?
Sculpting tiny stuff. I just can't keep my hands steady enough to do it. I could never be a miniature artist.
What is on your "to do" or "to learn" list?
My dream is to go on a pc retreat. I would love to meet other polyclay artists. There isn't anyone in my area who does it besides me. I love architecture and eventually I'd like to sculpt Hogwarts castle and do some of the LDS temples in relief sculpture.
Do you mix your own colors? Why or why not?
Almost always. I use Kato- the color choices are limited. Even when I do have a lot of color choices available, I can seldom find one that's "just right." I'm super-picky about color.
How do you keep your designs fresh and original?
I almost never make the same things twice. I follow my mood. Our art won't invoke feelings in others unless we put a bit of ourselves into our work. My best pieces are the ones that I felt the most vulnerable emotionally during their creation.
What keeps you from getting into a creative rut?
When I get stuck, I watch for beauty around me (there's plenty of that up here in the Grand Tetons), I watch for inspiration in the books I'm reading, I pay attention to the colors and textures of the things around me that I've taken for granted, I flip through my art books and surf the internet for images that catch my eye. And if all else fails, I clean my craft room, discover some supply or tool that I've been meaning to try and forgot I had, (or notes on a technique I want to try) and my muse comes back to me.
What is your favorite brand of clay if you have one and why?
Kato is my favorite- Fimo and Premo are my backups. I would use Kato exclusively but I can't get it locally and I don't always plan ahead enough to get it online in time. I love the texture of it, love the pureness of the colors for mixing, love the way it feels when it's baked. My only complaint with it is how hard it is to sand. That's the one thing I prefer the others for.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
With all of my responsibilities as a wife, mother of 6 kids, homeschool teacher to 5 of them, nurse to the one with diabetes, owner of one small business, and partner in two more, polymer clay is my therapy. I seriously think I would go completely crazy without it.
You can also find Kael Mijoy online on Flickr, Twitter, and her blog. Be sure to check out all the wonderful creations this very talented artist has to offer!
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