I have always been interested in making things. As a child, my mother painted ceramics, and so I wanted to do it, too. Noting that I had some artistic talent, she signed me up for some art classes over the summer when I was five or six. I still remember making papier mache maracas out of old light bulbs, and scratching designs through India ink after coloring paper with crayons.
Over the years, I tried many things. I drew, I painted tee shirts, I appliqued, I made kitchen and garden angels for my friends and family. I even decorated cakes for awhile. I gave them all up eventually, for various reasons, but primarily because there was nothing new to learn and I got bored.
A few years ago, I made the decision to take a polymer clay class at our local rec center. I think I was expecting to go in, do a couple of projects and move on to something else, as I tend to do. When I walked in, there were several long tables set up with all kinds of supplies. The group was small, so it wasn’t too intimidating. The instructor was able to spend time with me, as the others had been to previous classes and were working on their own projects.
The first night I learned to condition clay, and we made faux jade from translucent clay and embossing powder. I made a few shapes using cutters and stamps to make a necklace and earrings. When my pieces came out of the oven, I was surprised that they had rounded somewhat during the curing, due to the embossing powder. It was quite interesting. I went home with a lot of thoughts running around my head.
The next week, she had me pick out some colors and we made mokume gane! Then we covered an Altoids tin with it. It looked so cool when it was done! I was now hooked. I started reading everything I could about polymer clay, scouring the internet for information. I came across many tutorials and pictures of other people’s creations. I started looking at things in a totally different way – everything became a potential texture. Ideas were flowing through my brain non-stop. I thought about clay first thing in the morning, and last thing at night, and most of the time in between!
I started buying supplies. Michael’s and Hobby Lobby surely loved me in those early months! One day, when I was going through the jewelry section at Michael’s I came across a pendant which said, “Do What You Love”. I realized that I had found that Thing, that Passion, that Love. I bought the pendant and the philosophy and I haven’t looked back.