Friday, December 9, 2011
Smooshers member Susan, of Fantasy Clay, has been smooshing polymer clay for over 10 years and was kind enough to share a bit about her work and her methods for creating these wonderful pieces.
With all the mediums available for crafting why did you choose Polymer clay?
Polymer clay lets me explore almost anything- I can play with colors, textures, form and that is just the beginning. I can make almost anything I can think of, I am limited only by imagination. Even better, I don't need a kiln, it's inexpensive, it bakes in my oven in about an hour, and it's non-toxic.
How did you learn to use polymer clay? Internet, experimenting, books, classes.....
I first started with a kids book which taught some basics and had simple projects that encouraged taking trajectories. From there I hit the net. I got a big boost when Dinko Tilov's book came out in 2004. I had known his work from PCC so I couldn't wait for it and it added a lot to my toolbelt of knowledge.
What is your favorite tool to work with?
My hands are my favorite tool, I like to squish and touch. With a needle tool and my hands, I have the basics to do a decent sculpture.
Do you like to work with any mediums other than polymer clay?
I've used other mediums including oil and water painting, pencil, yarns, wool- but now I just use polymer clay (and what I need for embellishments)
What is your favorite polymer clay technique and why?
I love sculptural and textural techniques. I love the freedom and the creativity, even when I have a defined goal, like a cake topper made to order. When I am doing something like my dragon necklaces, anything goes.
What is your least favorite technique and why?
Caning. Precision is key, 'Nuff said.
What is on your "to do" or "to learn" list?
My biggest "to do" is to try to find a focus and really hone my skills in that area and perfect it.
Do you mix your own colors? Why or why not?
I HAVE to mix my own colors, if only because I love the exploration of color. I love using analogous palettes, like shades of one color, mixing your own colors is the only way to get those shades. Even more, the colors define my work- my colors are mine, I think the worst thing Polyform does is advertize its new Premo colors as "we did the mixing for you". Hands off, that is my job and joy.
How do you keep your designs fresh and original?
Are my designs fresh and original still? I'm not sure. I keep trying new techniques and sculpting different things, often just doing a different pose requires new skills.
What keeps you from getting into a creative rut?
When I get in a rut, I usually need a kick start. I go back to making some of my basics, usually one of Christi Friesen inspired dragons. The shape is simple, just simple snake, mix up colors, make a face, add some more color and it starts rolling...
I make sure I don't focus on a sellable piece but just enjoying myself.
What is your favorite brand of clay if you have one and why?
If I could only have one brand, it would be Premo. The clay is firm but giving. It also has the best mica colors of any brand. They've dropped some of their crucial colors, actually the 3 most primary colors - magenta, cobalt blue and zinc yellow but it still has many of their original artist colors.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
You have to do what you love. And keep trying to do it better.
Copper and Blue MosaicFacebook, Flickr, Twitter, Indiepublic, YouTube, and her blog. Be sure to stop in and check out all her wonderful creations! And right now she's offering free shipping on all items from her ArtFire shop!
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