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CONNIE BARRETT

Your Company Name: Barrett
Email Address/Web Page: cbdesign@interserv.com
City & State: Newport Beach, California
Type of Craft: Critters, Gifts

Tell us in your own words, how you discovered polymer clay and how long have you been using it?

About 10 years ago (1987) I came to this country, from Croatia, and had to check out local craft stores. And there it was, Fimo and Sculpey. This wonderful material that was about replace air dried clay that I've been using back home.

Are there any special artists that you can attribute your interest to or that have inspired you?

Maureen Carlson was my latest influence, "How to make clay characters book" My Mom taught me art fundamentals, She's an architect back home. Donna Kato does wonderfull work. CityZen Cane, Love their color harmonies.

What is your specialty?

Figurines, goofy caracters, caricatures. Jewelry and home decor items too. Well, whatever else jolts my curiosity too.

Can you tell us why you find polymer clay the expressive medium for you?

I love it's colorfullnes. No kiln needed! Wonderfull consistency. Doesnt leave your hands mushy and sticky like real clay (well, not all the time.) And, last but not least, my cats don't try to eat it, unlike real clay !!!

Have you published any polymer clay books or do you have any in the works?

None, I'm not that good.    Yet???

I know it is very difficult to express, but have you won any awards for your polymer clay work?

No, Just my friends, that have seen my work, are going crazy over it. I actually got couple commissions for little statues from them. I'm just in awe with the reaction that I get from them now.

What are your expectations for the future? Where do you hope to be 5 years from now?

To make up the money I spent on materials, for right now, I hope. I did want to be an artist since I was little, but my schooling back home didn't work out that way. (Communist government, back then, tells you where to go. Doesn't ask you what you want.) Maybe there's still hope I'll wind up doing something artsy.

Do you have any advice for the beginning polymer clay enthusiasts?

Whatever you make, if you don't like it or it didn't turn out the way you imagined it, don't give up! Mine never turn up the way I want them, and it's after people that see them start liking it, I start believing it turned out OK. It will turn out better next time.

Are you a member of any Polymer Clay group,or any other craft organization?

Just joined our local guild, Orange County Ploymer Clay Guild. And guess what, The wonderfull Dotty McMillan is a member.

What brands of polymer clay do you prefer and why?

Different brands for different items. Caning, Fimo and Premo. Sculptures, bodys are Super Sculpey, outside is Fimo, Molds, just plain ol' Sculpey. I use Cernit, sometimes in place of Premo.

Last and most important can you tell us all about you? Your family, your training?

Like I mentioned. My mom taught me art fundamentals, and then books, books, books, and a burning desire. My "real job" is in engineering. I gues that adds to curiosity, and maybe the ability to figure things out on my own a lot, and learn from books. Experimenting a lot too. Mom and Dad are still in Croatia. My family here is my Boyfriend (soon to be...) and my two kittens, Pooh and Tigger.

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