Thursday, April 17, 2008

In the Beginning......

I starting my artistic life with a BA in Art decades ago. Originally I was a photographer and printmaker. I started working with polymer clay in 1990. I don't remember how I found out about the clay. I do remember that the first clay I found was Cernit. A friend and I tried to recreate the African millefiori trade beads that we both collected. The beads were a good imitation, until they were baked. They didn't stay hard edged. The contours were soft and the appearance translucent. Eventually I discovered Fimo and got the nice hard edgez, and opaque colors, I was looking for.
I have purchased A LOT of books, videos and magazines to learn how to work with the clay. I will post lists of the books, and videos, in future blogs and I will talk about some of them in the future.
My first book purchase was The New Clay by Nan Roche, 1991. This was the "Bible" for us early polymer clay people. I think it was the first book devoted to working with the clay. My skills really improved once I had this book. Even though I find a lot of the examples simplistic now, it is still a very valuable book. It covers a lot of techniques with easy to follow instructions.
When learning to work with polymer clay, it really helped me to learn with someone else. It also didn't hurt that my fimo buddy has a PHD in astro physics. Two brains are better than one. My brain leans right and Mary's brain leans left. So between the two of us we have a nice big balanced brain. Unfortunately she lives in another state. But we do get together every year for our annual Arts and Crafts week. It is total clay immersion for 10 days. We seem to be in sync each year about the polymer clay, and precious metal clay, techniques we want to work on. There just might be something to that astrology sign thing. We have the same birthday, though different birth years.
I discovered while making my very first millefiori cane that I would rather play with the scraps. As Mary was busy making new canes, I was busy playing with the scraps from my one and only cane. Here is what I made with the slices from that very first cane. I have to laugh every time I look at it. I've come a long way since then! However, one thing that hasn't changed is that I still love asymmetrical abstract composition.

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