"Apocalypto" extruded beads, placed in Bead Dreams competition
One of my earliest polymer mixed media pieces - mokume gane polymer disk,
steel, brass, textured polymer donut
'Ruffle' beads, colored with Genesis Heat-Set Oil Paints
"Tuareg" - Translucent Premo and Genesis heat-set oil paint - published in Designer Showcase article in Belle Armoire Jewelry, Sept/Oct 2011
The Emperor's Nightingale" - Mixed media piece - polymer, wire, acrylic paint, handmade textures - private collection
"Everglades" necklace - polymer clay, heat-set oil paint - private collection
Well, I’ve been called a ‘mad scientist’ since any and all mediums are fodder for my experimentation when coloring polymer clay. In my artistic life I’ve dabbled in most crafts, from pottery to fiber, rughooking, knitting, professional dressmaking, papermaking, furniture painting, etc. My brain seems to enjoy asking ‘what if?’ a lot and I never reject an artistic idea, no matter how loony it sounds at the time! Having a background in many craft processes, I can see how unusual combinations of things might be serendipitous artistically. This is how innovation happens.
The medium that most mimics polymer for me is handmade paper. In its liquid state, it is infinitely shapeable, taking the form of any mold into which it’s poured. I loved the work I did with this medium when I lived in Berkeley, CA back in the 80s and took classes at Fiberworks with Nance O’Banion. So it doesn’t surprise me that I have lately been exploring the marriage of polymer and paper in my work. The new Distress Oxide paints that I’ve been exploring from Ranger really love paper, were made for it but all the coloring media that work on polymer also work on paper.
"Kali" - Watercolor paper, acrylics, pen
"Can-can" - Watercolor paper, crayon, pens, Distress Paints
I’ve never been a polymer purist, thinking of myself as more of a ‘mixed media artist working in polymer’. All the common wisdom of the artistic (and art-as-a-business) community says I should stick with one idea and squeeze every ounce of creative and financial juice out of it before moving on. I say, listen to The Muse and let your intuition steer you out onto the vast waters of the creative sea. Shift your paradigm and see what shows up.