In January 2000, after making a New Year’s resolution to return to my roots as an artist, I began studying and working with polymer clay. In July 2010, after 41 years of public service in government and nonprofit agencies, I retired from my day job to focus on creating art with polymer clay.
Polymer clay is a man-made substance that begins as blocks of solid-colored clay-like material that does not require water to become soft. (You may know it as Sculpey, Premo or Fimo.) Repetitive kneading softens it. Like clay from the earth, polymer clay can be shaped, carved, and textured. Unlike non- polymer clay, the colors of the polymer clay can be blended just like blending paint. That is, mixing together blue and yellow polymer clay yields green clay. Also, polymer clay bakes at 275 degrees rather than in a high-temperature kiln. Like many polymer clay artists, I use a pasta machine to blend colors and achieve new designs. However, unlike many other artists who work in this medium, I do not use any paint or inks on my work.
Many of my pieces interpret in polymer clay the fluid sense of fabric caught at a moment in time. The work appears to blur the line between what appears might yield to the touch and what actually is permanently formed. Many people believe my clay pieces are made from fabric when they first see my work.
I am fascinated by the wide range of color, texture and form that can be created with polymer clay and the sense of exploration that comes with mixing the colors and draping the clay. My background in architecture and urban planning inspires my use of geometric and structural forms. The pieces of baked clay are mounted on canvas that I cover with fabric that brings out the colors in the work. This allows the pieces to be presented without glass over them to better allow the viewer to experience the intricacies of the work.