JUAN & KATHRYN CUKIER
Your Company Name:
Email Address/Web Page: Glocandle@aol.com
City & State: Casselberry, FL
Type of Craft: Mixed Media
Tell us in your own words, how you discovered polymer clay and how long have you been using it?
My husband and I discovered polymer clay in the mid eighties
and most of the work we were inspired by came from the San
Francisco area. An artist there made the most incredibly detailed
beads out of the clay and we vowed to learn the clay process
of Venetian Millefiori Art.
Are there any special artists that you can attribute your interest to or that have inspired you?
What is your specialty?
For several years we have been perfecting our Millefiori cane
creations . Along with that we have tested the clay on various
surfaces . We have also perfected a technique we use to finish
our pieces both large and small.
Can you tell us why you find polymer clay the expressive medium for you?
Our interest in the medium of polymer clay has come for our
great appreciation of the ancient Venetian Millefiori glass
artisans. We realized by working in this medium early on we
would be able to achieve a different level of understanding
of the original art by breaking their techniques down to
a science and applying this knowledge to our own aspirations.
Have you published any polymer clay books or do you have any in the works?
Juan & I would love to publish a book and teach, but between
two young children and exhibiting in over Forty shows this
year we are dedicating the most part of our time to educating
the public at every show about this new and exciting medium.
I know it is very difficult to express, but have you won any awards for your polymer clay work?
Almost every weekend Juan and I are competing against other
artists for some pretty fantastic $ awards. Unfortunately
the judges often pass by not even knowing the medium or technique
we use. There are those who we have educated along the way only
to arrive at the show the next day to find an artist in wood
or fiber has taken our categories awards! We just keep on keepin on!
It is frustrating however to compete with artists in such different
medium when in painting and photography & glass the artists
are equally categorized. We have actually met some milestones
for other polymer clay artists to come. In November of 1996
We were juried in to exhibit at "FESTIVAL OF THE MASTERS"
at Walt Disney World. I am led to believe we were among
the first polymer clay artists in mixed media to ever exhibit
in this shows history. We have also taken other smaller awards
at other shows we have been at. But no reward is greater to
us than for us to be invited to do a show good or bad
for this time we have is for us to show others that this
medium is up and , coming and watch out!
What are your expectations for the future? Where do you hope to be 5 years from now?
Juan and I plan to exhibit at shows and gallerys for as long
as possible . To be around people, opinions, & Media, that
is the best place we can be to represent this new medium &
show other artists that we deserve to be juried in & we work
just as hard as all of the others that are there. I Believe
extra credit should be given to those who are actually trying
to pioneer a medium . We are devoting double time to not only
developing this medium but exploring our inspirations and, dreams.
Do you have any advice for the beginning polymer clay enthusiasts?
I would love to be able to teach other upcoming polymer clay
artists so they don't have to go through the hard times Juan
and I have . "When there were no Books!" and , all the clay
you could buy was old stale fimo and horrible colors of sculpey
because no stores sold enough to order more. We started out
actually only being able to purchase $20-$50 dollars in supplies
and now we spend 2,000 dollars on supplies every couple of weeks. My best advice would be to take full advantage of all the
classes, books, videos & wonderful Clays, & call us if
you ever have any questions . We are certainly in the business
of promoting this medium.
Are you a member of any Polymer Clay group,or any other craft
uan and Kathryn Cukier are proud Members of the National Guild. We are presently not members of any local guilds ,Orlando
has not established one yet. Since We travel four days out
of every week to shows our remainder days go to preparing
for the next show and family time. Its a hard life but you'
have to love it . Our kids get to see so much wonderful art
and, they are very proud of what we do.
What brands of polymer clay do you prefer and why?
We started using fimo and, because we know the limiations of
the clay we have begun to work on the limitations of what
we can actually do with the clay.
Last and most important can you tell us all about you? Your family, your
First and, Foremost our art and life would have gotten to the
place it has without all of our hard work and love for each other.
As hard as it is to work with someone the ending artwork never
ceases to amaze us. Our children spend a great deal of time
with us because we are able to set our own schedules.
It is a rewarding and enjoyable life ! Sincerely J&K Cukier
See Juan and Kathryn's Photo Gallery Page!
Leave Your Interview!