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J.M. COOK

Your Company Name: Razzbearys
Email Address/Web Page: GummyJack@aol.com
City & State: Madison Hghts, Michigan
Type of Craft: Polymer figures, pins

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

I needed some clay to make a pair of miniature shoes, I found Fimo and I was hooked. I have been using clay for about twelve years.

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

I felt that I was alone in my interest for along time, until I discovered our art clay guild , M.D.P.AG I love each and every one of the members who are so willing to share time and talents. Donna Kato has also inspired me, she is very helpful to beginning artists like me.

What is your specialty?

I began by making little painted dogs. I like to dabble in many different area, I really enjoy making scale historical figures. I also make holiday ornaments and pins.

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

I love the ability to create what I see in my mind quickly, and to be able to have a finished product at the end of the day. I enjoy the entire process of planing, sculpting, and selling my own work.

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

At this time I do not, but I think it may be somthing I would like to do.

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

I have really only begun to promote my work. I would like to have avenues to possibly compete in some shows.

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

I love Polymer because I feel that the future of my work, depends on how hard I want to work, I love to see how far so many of my fellow guild members have gone. They have done major shows, written books, some have even appeared on television. I may just stick to local craft shows. You never know, thats the fun of Polymer!

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

Practice, Practice, Practice! When you begin, study real objects, if you want to make a bear, study real bears. Techniques in books are great, but you must develop your own style if you want to be a true artist.

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

I belong to the METRO DETROIT POLYMER ART GUILD.

What brands of polymer clay do you prefer and why?

I really love Fimo, it is great for doing figures. I have found that other brands tend to lose shape and make the kinds of figures that I do very difficult. I have begun to try some of the other brands, mainly by watching some of the guild members. Different brands can do different jobs, so experiment and see what works for you!

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

I worked on a school bus for many years. I dreamed of the day I could create and sell my work. I feel that the time has never been better than now to get busy! I have an active eight year old son who really needed me at home. This summer I created a tiny studio in my attic, it has been such fun to have this place to call my own and let my creativity really flow. I am self taught, but being in the guild has opened doors to me that may have been closed forever. My advice to anyone is to join a local and national guild if possible. They are the nicest people and selflessly share ideas , it was the best thing I could have ever done to further my future art career.

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