About 5 ½ years ago as I was approaching my 49th birthday, I learned I didn't know "me" as well as I thought. Having always been characterized as a "math and science enthusiast" in an otherwise artistically talented family, I am happy to say that age is not necessarily a factor in the discovery and enjoyment of new talents.
The initial inspiration came shortly after my son's 21st birthday. Having decided to rid his room of "all the kid's stuff," he began a major excavation. Included in the "to be pitched" pile was a "hunk" of modeling clay that was leftover from some forgotten grade school project. Intrigued by the many years of accumulated crayon chips, pencil shavings, dog hair, sand, lint, broken toy bits, dirt and heaven knows what else that was stuck to the clay, I picked it up for a closer look. As I removed some of the debris, I found myself engrossed by the potential of the dirty shapeless mass. I wanted to bring it back to "life" by giving it some kind of shape. Although I didn't know what it was or how to express it at the time, I wanted to sculpt!
After several weeks of enjoyment and many new and varied identities for the clay, my frustration with grade school quality modeling clay became overwhelming. I began to search for a more modern sculpting medium. This lead to the discovery of polymer clay. The rest of the story is very simple... I tried it...; I loved it...; and remarkably, it seemed to facilitate a talent that was lurking beneath the surface just waiting to be developed. An entirely new and exciting facet of "me" had surfaced. Who was this artistic, creative and totally unfamiliar person? I soon realized that this WAS me! I was still "JUST..., JANE!!"
While exploring polymer clay connections on the WEB, I discovered and contacted the Metro Detroit Polymer Art Guild. With the kind encouragement of Kris Richards , I soon became a member of the Guild.This wonderful organization consists of a group of highly diverse and remarkably talented artists who share a common goal of promoting the use of polymer clays in artistic endeavors. Another significant characteristic of this guild is the emphasis placed on having fun along the way! My discovery of the various polymer clays, the influence of this fine group of artists and the instruction and support of Jack Johnston, founder of the Professional Doll Makers Art Guild, are all major factors leading to my enjoyment of and enthusiasm for polymer clays and ultimately sculpting one-of-a-kind, original art dolls!
UPDATE The past 5 ½ years of sculpting have been exciting and rewarding. Sculpting babies and young children has become my primary focus and enjoyment. I have been fortunate enough to travel to New York City three of the last four years to the American International Toy Fair, the largest international trade show for the makers of toys ands dolls in the world. I have held the office of the Vice President and Manager of Public Relations of the Professional Doll Makers Art Guild for the past three years on through 2004. In this office I help promote the Guild as it assists talented individuals take their first steps in becoming professional dollmakers. I can hardly imagine how I lived so much of my life before discovering my love for sculpting.
You can see some of my creations in the gallery!