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Barbara Fajardo

Your Company Name: Desert Designs by Barbara
Email Address/Web Page: rubarb04@hotmail.com
   www.rubarbdesertdesigns.com
City & State: New Mexico
Type of Craft: Polymer Clay Beads

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

In January of 2000 (when I hit "The Big 4-0) I was looking for a class for a friend and I to take and came across a class at my local community college called "Making Fimo Beads." It was a super basic class. So...let's see that would make it 6+ years now!

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

I was lucky enough to practically be neighbors with Victoria Hughes. My youngest son attended a mid school right across from her home/studio. I took some classes where we met once or twice a week for a month or so. This was after I had been working with clay for a few years already, but I had never met or stood next to a PC Goddess! She's an incredible artist and just a cool person. Not long after that, Tory hosted Sarah and I was able to take a week-end workshop with her. I even got to be her chauffeur! Wow, talk about inspiration! That weekend I will remember forever. I would say Sarah and Tory have inspired me for sure. Another favorite of mine that I feel I can totally identify with is Karen Lewis. Her work is magnificent. Someday I will make it out to Tehachapi and meet her. Or maybe in Santa Fe, when the Bead Expo comes back to my neck of the woods!

What is your specialty?

I haven't gotten tired yet of my Swirl Lentils. I've been making these since I first started out. Back then they were pretty unique. I think Laura Timmins and I might have been the only artists that were really specializing in the swirl lentil shape at that time. Now everyone does them...which is great! It only pushes me on to make mine even more different and to keep them evolving. I'm also obsessed with simple canes made into very complicated looking tesselations. I like making tile pendants, with black leather looking frames, which I call Desert s'Tiles.

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

Oh...it's got to be the colors available. And be able to mix my own color. I'm all about color in my work. Also what other medium can allow you to express yourself in so many ways. PC is so amazingly versatile!

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

No, no books yet...but keep watching!

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

Let's see...no, not really any awards. But I was just juried into Bead Dreams 2006 and I submitted some photos of my work to the NPCG's The Evolution of PC 2006...so, well see ;o)

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

I hope to be traveling to guilds and meeting up with some wonderful friends that I've made on-line. I definately see teaching in my future. And doing more high end shows. Maybe a few more tutorials added to my website. A book would be nice, too.

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

Just practice and have fun playing with clay! Try to focus on a few techniques and see where they take you.

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

I belong to the New Mexico Polymer Clay Guild as well as the National PC Guild.

What brands of polymer clay do you prefer and why?

Premo for it's ease of use and the colors available. Kato clay is my current favorite for Tesselation Canes. It's nice and firm and easy to reduce.

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

I have been married to Rudy for almost 19 years now. We have two teenage sons and I have 3 dogs. I feel that my artistic talent has come from my Dad as he still paints at 83 and was owner of the Art Center in Albuquerque since 1965. I took lots of classes at his art school, so I was exposed to the beauty of art and expression at an early age. The store is still in the family, but it is now a custom framing shop. I love what I do with my clay and I'm so thankful that "it" found me!

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