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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Respect the polymer…

Polymer collage

So – Art Bliss – I know it was over a week ago, but I am still digesting some of what I learned. I took 2 classes with Christine Damm, a polymer and jewelry artist from Vermont. I had a phenomenal time, in fact I was only signed up for Saturday’s class but at the day’s end added Sunday’s class becouse I wanted to soak up more knowledge and inspiration.

I have been on a quest in recent years to respect the polymer. Its a clay. I love clay. It can be used sculpturally and texturally – as I use “real” clay. (Can you see my bias there?) Best yet – you can embed things in it and cure it in the oven. Cannot do that with stoneware…I see polymer work by other artists that I like, and others that I dont like. I have no desire ever to do cane work or color blends. The exacting nature of those techniques, the fiddli-ness, the precision, makes my creative muse curl up inthe corner and refuse to play. I worked in polymer a bit in the late 80’s/ealry 90’s. Teaching jewelry making at a Fine Arts camp – polymer was cost effective, user friendly and versatile. I was creating Art History pieces as brooches, all inlay – no painting. Imagine “The Scream” in polymer – that phase didnt last long.   So here I am: a sculptor, a jewelry artist, working in mixed media – and I was trying to add polymer to the mix. 

I am happy to report that I now like AND respect the polymer. Layering colors appealed to the painter in me. And a painter can create layers of subtlety that make me think: patina, age, weathered surfaces.I can now achieve intricate colors, detailed definition, shimmer, and a bit of mystery in the polymer. I am so taken with it: I went shopping immediately after returning from ArtBliss:

Heat set oils

RTV and blanks

And I made a new bunch or molds – I can use these for earthenware/stoneware as well – But I have some polymer ideas percolating!

Molds!

Oh – my work from class, you ask? ( Let me go snap a pix in natural light…)

Polymer from class

Top: ring and cuff bracelet. Bottom – experiment with copper bezel, Boudicca earrings. 

I have three bangles as well – LOVE them. Wear them all the time, and plan to make many more! So please stay tuned for more polymer pieces popping up soon.