Polymer Clay Collective Conversation: my interview

Polymer Clay Collective, a Facebook group, is devoted to Polymer. Canes, sculpture, whimsy, jewelry, skinner blends, etc. Its a fun group of people willing to share and discuss a medium that we all have in common. In an effort to get to know each other there is an interview series – and here I am! 

 

Tell us a little bit about where you live:  I live in Newark DE – a decent sized college town in Northern DE. I love that I am within 2 hours drive of the beach, Washington DC, Baltimore, and Philadelphia! I grew up in this region and am a big fan of four distinct seasons. 

 

What do I do when I am not “polymer claying”?  – well – I am a full time working artist… I used to teach art full time and now I have gone freelance, teaching ceramics classes on weekends and summers. I also teach workshops in the region. I divide my studio time between the ceramics studio and the mixed media studio. My “Mythic Nature” series is comprised of ceramic sculptural tiles and pendants. I also create ceramic shrines and altars, incorporating found objects, hand bound books and the like. My mixed media work ranges from jewelry to collage. A diverse array, I know, but I love the having the freedom and the skills to incorporated so many different mediums! 

 

What did you want to be when you were little/do you think you will ever be? I wanted to be a florist. I wanted to be my own boss, have my own storefront, and work with flowers. Will I ever? NO. I have brown thumbs. But I do get to run my own business, work with lovely materials in all colors and textures… Oh – then I wanted to be an archaeologist… 

 

Tell us something about yourself that we dont know. Hmm. I spent a semester of college living and studying in London. Its the single most transformative, influential experience on my adult/artistic life. I went to Art History class in the Tate Gallery once a week. I traveled to ancient sites and museums every spare moment. London still feels a bit like home… 

 

Tell us your polymer clay story: What made you first try polymer clay and how long has PC been part of your life?  I first tried polymer in… 1989? Kathleen Amt, Kathleen Dustin, Tory Hughes… the pioneers where my  inspiration. I taught polymer at a fine arts Summer camp. Then I put it aside in favor of earthenware/stoneware clay for years! In more recent scope, I was inspired to try it again when I had a chance to take a class or two with Christi Friesen. I started to apply my earthen clay sensibilities to PC and love the immediacy and the option for inclusions… 

 

 

What’s your favorite PC technique? My current favorite is image transfer onto PC, but my work ( PC or stoneware) always has texture… 

 

What are your art/design inspirations? So many! Thematically my work is inspired by mythology, folklore, goddesses, and nature. Keith LoBue is a friend and a mentor who has influenced my found object sensibilities. Lana Wilson is a ceramic artist whose textural language, use of symbols and hand carved stamps, and slab construction methods has been profoundly influencial to me. I have had the good fortune to work with both artists in a classroom setting. If we open an Art History book – its the Pre-Raphaelites that come first in my heart for their narrative works, incorporating myth, folklore, and fairy tale. But I could  mention Brian Froud, Andy Goldsworthy, Sulamith Wulfing, Joseph Cornell, William Morris… 

 

Show us something you’ve made with polymer clay. OK! 

 

 JDR PC transfers

As I mentioned – I love PC transfers! For bead embroidery, as shown here… or mixed media pieces – I love having another layer of meaning in my work. 

 

 JDR PC/resin

Resin! Layers of meaning… you see the theme? The “Language of Flowers” pieces incorporate vintage illustrations from a children’s encyclopedia. ( from my choldhood!) The text pieces  were features in January as the “Component of the Month” over at Art Jewelry Elements blog. Both will be available at Beadfest this August! 

 

JDR PC/mixed media

Tarot card inspired shrine pendants and my Athena piece from Diana Ptaszynski’s Waxed Linen blog hop – this was a hollow focal and has started many new ideas brewing! 

 

JDR PC Beadfest

Last, but not least! Mixed media amulet pendants – the class I will be teaching at Beadfest Philadelphia ( August 20-24th) Tab set cabochons, textured PC and all matter of paint finishes! 

 

 

 

 Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at my PC work – Leave me a comment if you feel so inclined! 

Until later… 

 

I can be found: 

FB – The Art of Jenny Davies-Reazor

Twitter – JDRshrineart

Etsy – Jdaviesreazor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A to Z: Collage

1. a : an artistic composition made of various materials (as paper, cloth, or wood) glued on a surface b : a creative work that resembles such a composition in incorporating various materials or elements 
   2
: the art of making collages
   3
: hodgepodge <a collage of ideas>
Collage. From the French “coller” – meaning glue. 
Braques. Picasso. Schwitters. Matisse. Rauschemburg. Bearden. Nick Bantock. Joseph Cornell. Lenore Tawney. Kara Walker. 
When I was teaching middle school – I always taught a Matisse inspired collage project, it was one of my favorites.  In poor health, and advancing years – Matisse leapt artistically into collage – “drawing with scissors” as he called it. And while my style of working with “various materials glued to a surface” is very different – this picture brings me happiness and inspiration without fail!
Matisse
So I am working on new collages for an upcoming show… and began documenting the process this (oops. last) week. Before I begin the actual collage, there are sketches, research, reading, themes, symbols… I am currently doing a series of 9 small (8″ ) pieces. They will hang as a unit – and are thematically related – the Muses of Classical myth. During the research phase, I hunted for images of each Muse. I like to incorporate found images – providing they are free of copyright restrictions… I want to work with the Muses as they have come down to me through art, history, and culture. They are not my original construct, and I want to acknowledge their classical context via found images. I am one of a long line of artists representing the Muses – for thousands of years… 
The images have been photocopied, and transferred to canvas or paper. While I like to use found images I always alter them to make them my own. I feel they need to have the marks of my process on them; and I find a copied image too perfect; sterile. The transfer process is by its very nature imperfect, and I work back into the image with ink, paint, pencil…
So starting out, I create a composition with large background sections of paper/color. This series is unusual for me. I am trying to create a cohesive composition overall, yet have each small canvas read well individually. 


 Collage layout

Collage layout 2

When I am happy with the interplay of color, texture and pattern, I trim the papers and tweak the arrangements. I will be collaging the sides of the canvases to cover the canvas and eliminate the need for frames. The canvas transfers are very hazy with paper residue at this point; they will be cleared up and enhanced soon. 

Collage layout refined

The following shots show the  series at approximately 65% complete. I have glued the base layers down. I use a mix of 50% PVA archival glue and 50% Jo-Sonja’s medium. The Jo-Sonja’s is very thin and permeates the paper well. I have glued down the focal images of the Muses. The canvas images have been accented with washed of ink and/or acrylic. I deepen the background with color to create interest and more contrast on the image. I have also begun to add additional papers into the compositions – fibers, patterns… and supplemental images transferred on as well. 

midway

The next picture shows you a detail of one 8″ collage. The yellow cording is antique, and will be stitched through the canvas where you see it tacked down now. The lyre image was transferred into mulberry paper – which goes almost transparent when collaged on with Jo Sonja’s medium. Allows me to “print” right on the collage surface. 

Muse in progress 1

Another detail: stitching to be done, antique lace medallion affixed with gel medium. 

Muse progress 2

The process takes up the whole of the studio. The 9 canvases alone cover the main work table, and need to remain together. I want to work on them simultaneously to maintain continuity. The small bare space of table showing is where I actually work. 

collage work table

The table behind me is a catch-all. Coffee, water, lace, ribbons, inks, extra photocopies… When I am working on collages there is very little room for anything else!

collage zone

Note: this “C” entry was supposed to be Feb. 18th. Hmm. It is currently the 22nd. Sigh. Will try to get the alphabet caught up. But I was busy collaging!