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HEIDI MAIERS

Your Company Name: Portraits in Clay
Email Address/Web Page: heidimaiers@cox.net
   http://portrait-sculpture.com
City & State: Mesa, AZ
Type of Craft: Portrait Sculpture

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

A few months ago, I received a commission to make a 2 inch portrait head for a toy company to be attached to a body someone else was making. They needed a material that could be shipped undamaged and that they could easily take a silicone rubber mold off of. A freind told me about polymer clays. It was the perfect material for what I needed.

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

Michelangelo was my first inspiration when I got to see his work up close and personal in 1976.

What is your specialty?

Portraits in ceramic clay and bronze.

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

It is perfect for jobs where a high degree of detail is required to make the original model from which to make a mold. Plasteline works too, but the great thing about polymer is that you can create a large armature, place polymer clay on it as a skin and bake it. You then have a solid surface to work on. This is especially beneficial when making pieces that have drapery, hair, or other design elements that stick out and are difficult to support. I love the smoothness of the surface that can be achieved after baking. Similar surfaces are very difficult to produce in ceramic or plasteline, so this is a great material when a smooth surface is what you are after.

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

I am in the process of writing an ebook that will be available for download from my site portrait-sculpture.com called "Portrait Sculpture Simplified". Expect it to be complete in the fall of 2003. Covers modeling, finishing, casting, patination of sculpture in ceramic, polymer, and bonded bronze.

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

I have never applied to a competition, but I appear in fine art shows in Scottsdale annually.

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

Hope to be sculpting full time someday. I work as a technical writer for a software company and am the sole supporter of my family.

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

Don't be afraid to experiment and try different things. I have been sculpting most of my life, and have just discovered this medium. It definitely has its usefulness where other materials are weak.

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

No

What brands of polymer clay do you prefer and why?

Started with Super Sculpy. Found it to be a bit too soft for my liking, so now I use Primo and stuff called Gray Compound. They are much firmer. I use regular sculpy for big jobs where high detail and a smooth surface is required.

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

Graduated in 1982 from the University of Oregon with a degree in Fine arts. My mom is a professional oil painter, so she was of some influence. Work full time and sculpt every spare minute I have.

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