My journey with polymer clay began in 1995 when I bought my 8-year-old niece the complete Fimo clay assortment and found I couldn’t keep my hands off of it. I am captivated by color and find rich combinations intoxicating. I enjoy the process of mixing colors to obtain a particular hue. When I work with polymer clay I like to challenge myself by using new color combinations, especially those outside of my “comfort zone.”
I have been involved in art in one form or another all my life. My art reflects my passion for nature and color. Many of my themes are botanical, undoubtedly influenced by the hundreds of hours I spent examining plants in nature and under a microscope during my career as a biologist/ecologist. Stylized landscapes and rock forms also appear frequently in my work, reflecting the many months I spent studying and mapping vegetation in California, the Rocky Mountains and the Arctic. Nature-based design elements from the Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts periods often appear as well.
Teaching gives me at least as much satisfaction as making art. When I was 10 years old I organized an Arts and Crafts club for neighborhood children and made up projects to teach them. I have not stopped teaching since. I am passionate about introducing others to polymer clay and helping them advance their artistry in this extraordinary medium.
I am fortunate to have two studios. One is in my home located amidst pine trees on a ridge overlooking a reservoir and the city of Fort Collins, CO. Here I have solitude and few distractions other than the deer that sometimes press their noses against my windows. My second studio is in an artists’ cooperative in town. It offers opportunities to interact with other artists and the public and provides a venue for teaching.
Organizational Activities and Professional Affiliations
Co-founder, Past President and member, Rocky Mountain Polymer Clay Guild
Past President, National Polymer Clay Guild
Member, International Polymer Clay Association
Founder and Organizer, Pingree Park Polymer Artists Retreat
Member, Poudre Studio Artists Association
Polymer clay teacher since 1996.
Elementary school teacher for 4 years.
Montesssori Assistant for 2 years.
Folk Dance teacher for 4 years.
Publications (in which My Work Appears)
Terra Nova: Art at the Crossroads, 2011, Rachel Carren, Bruce W. Pepich and Lena Vigna, Racine Art museum, Racine WI.
Step by Step Beads (magazine), November-December 2009. Colorway competition finalist.
Bead Dreams 2010: Best of the Bead and Button Show (calendar), 2009, Kalmbach Publishing Co., Waukesha, WI
Bead and Button Magazine, October 2008, Kalmbach Publishing Co., Waukesha, WI
Polymer Clay Color Inspirations, 2009, Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York. (Featured Artist)
The Art of Polymer Clay: Millefiori Techniques, 2008, Donna Kato, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York.
The Art of Polymer Clay: Creative Surface Effects, 2008, Donna Kato and Vernon Ezell, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York.
Polymer Clay: Creative Traditions, 2007, Judy Belcher, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York.
Adapting Quilt Patterns to Polymer Clay, 2006; Judith Skinner and Sarajane Helm, Self-published (Polymarket Press)
Celebrations with Polymer Clay, 2003, Sarajane Helm, Krause Publications, Iola, Wisconsin.
Create a Polymer Clay Impression, 2001, Sarajane Helm, Krause Publications, Iola, Wisconsin.
Foundations in Polymer Clay Design, 1999, Barbara McGuire, Krause Publications, Iola, Wisconsin.
First Place in Polymer Clay Category, 2008 Bead Dreams Competition, Bead and Button Conference, Milwaukee, WI
Finalist, Colorway Competition, Step-by-Step Beads, August, 2009
Exhibitions and Collections
Terra Nova: Polymer Art at the Crossroads, Oct 21, 2011 – February 5, 2012, Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI
My work is included in the permanent holdings of the Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI.