Wednesday, March 7, 2007

In the beginning....

there was polymer clay...

Well, not really. I started out loving fiber (yarn, fabric... I have an extensive collection of both!). Sewing, needlework... In college I fell in love with weaving, and my fiancé (now husband) bought me a table loom as a gift.

We got married after I graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BA in studio art, and then life interrupted my journey in art. Four years later, we had a daughter. Four years after that, a son. I sewed, but the table loom gathered dust and the yarns remained packed in a box.

I became a Girl Scout leader for my daughter's troop, and one of our activities included a trip to the local bead store and the creation of some jewelry. Ohhhh, beads!!! Another collection began! I could actually make and modify my own jewelry!
At this bead store, they began carrying these cool handmade Fimo™ beads by a local artist. The design went all the way through the bead! I thought back to those hard candies we used to get at Christmas that fascinated me the same way... how did they get that design all the way through the candy??? I had to know.

I attended a class at the bead store (I think it was around 1994) by the artist that made those beads, Andrea (wish I remembered her last name!). We were making a Kaleidoscope cane, and as we put the pieces together a lightbulb went on in my head. I was hooked. (the picture to the left is a composite bead made from slices of everyone's completed canes)
My first beads

My first canes were hit or miss, but I loved every one of them. I look back at some of my work from that time, and of course it looks.... well... like a beginner's work, which is what it was. I still love those beads ;)

Fast forward to today... My work has changed dramatically. It continues to reflect my mood: dark and somewhat monochromatic when I'm depressed; colorful and bright when I am feeling joyful or am in need of sunshine.

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