Monday, December 7, 2015

The Unexpected Muse of 2015

My 2015 inspiration came from an unexpected source, as inspiration often does. In June of this year, the studio where I'd worked and taught for two and a half years closed down. It would have been easy to see this as a setback rather than an opportunity, but a little shift in perspective and attitude opened up my creative doors - I decided that while I was downsizing my metalsmithing workspace into my small apartment studio, I could revisit an old flame of mine that I flirted with way back in the 1990's - namely, polymer clay.

At first, I had deep doubts about whether I could make this non-precious material look anything but cheap. I had a vague memory of polymer jewelry from the 90's and that memory was uninspiring. But over the past few decades, this material has come into its own bright light as artists from around the world experiment with colours, textures, tools, and complementary materials to make beautiful, incredible works of art.

I immersed myself in books, videos, and tutorials, and pored over Pinterest boards and google searches to see what other artists were doing with the material. Soon I became a fanatic. It helps immensely that I work in a huge craft store - I get to buy clay, alcohol inks, stamps, embeddable scrapbooking brads and mini-beads, gold leaf, sealants, mica powders, pastel chalks, and jewellery findings at a nice discount. As you can well imagine, my small apartment studio is near to overflowing with craft supplies as my polymer fanaticism takes over.

A few goodies from the Mirabilis! studio.
With the help of my good friend Pam (who was also sad about the closing of our metalsmithing studio!) and a weekly bottle of red wine (Wayne Gretzky's The Great Red), I started to hit on some designs and techniques that I was happy with. Every new tutorial, book, and project keeps yielding artistic gold (okay, it's artificial gold leaf and mica powders!) I am looking forward to sharing what I've learned through teaching and tutorials, but until then, I have a ton of polymer clay jewellery that I have to sell...

Find out what inspired my friends from the Etsymetal team in 2015:

Victoria Takahashi of Experimetal
Beth Cyr
Cynthia Del Giudice
Andrea Ring of Amuck Design


  1. Looks great and keeping an open mind and researching and not giving up makes for great work :) CLay on!