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KELLY L. KENISTON

Your Company Name: KLK Beadworks
Email Address/Web Page: kelk@spamcop.net
City & State: Champaign, IL
Type of Craft:

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

I was just wandering around in a hobby shop -- a dangerous thing to do! I saw some Fimo and since it was around Christmas I got some red and green. Then I went to GEnie and checked around (dating myself there!) and found an interest group. Of course my first question to them was, "does this stuff airdry?"

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

There is one person, who I cannot find anymore on the web, who used to do some amazing work doing animal canes---lions, tigers, even manatee. I can't remember her name, shamefully. But once I found out that I was (then) 7 miles from The Clay Factory (when it was a walk-in store) I was really hooked on Marie Segal's stuff. (Howard's wasn't bad, either!) Nowdays, I am a Dewey/McMillan/Sarajane Helm fan, full time!

What is your specialty?

I used to say "making focus beads," but now I can only say, "the thing I'm currently working on." Right now I'm doing necklaces, but I'm not always connected with that part of my creativity, so I go with it while I can. Usually it's beads, and I love doing interference-banded beads, so if the muse is not plucking any particular string for me, that is a standby.

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

That's easy... it's so forgiving!!!

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

HA! I'm having a hard enough time just running in place...I don't have any aspirations to do a book. Articles, maybe, but books? No!

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

Does having an article in Lapidary Journal count? And having that article chosen for their Holiday How-To edition? That's about all, so far.

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

Just going on as I am. I'm somewhat superstitious about making assumptions and having expectations. As to five years from now...I'll soon be celebrating (?) my 59th birthday -- five years from now just being alive is hope enough!

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

Keep at it, and find a loyal friend who will tell you the truth about what you are doing. It's only by constructive criticism that we grow. I shudder at the stuff I thought was great 10 years ago, which is probably why I don't put a lot of my things forth with any self-aggrandizement. I'm always afraid of being the only participant in my parade.

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

The national guild, of course. My area is suffering from a lack of notice, PC-wise. We don't even have a local beadshop unless you count Michael's and HobbyLobby, which I definitely don't.

What brands of polymer clay do you prefer and why?

I love Premo, and Cernit as a close second because of their absolutely lovely colors, which really must be seen baked to be appreciated.

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

I do elder-care, and love it. In the past I've been a library tech specialist (at Stanford U. and in a county law library), an editor/proofreader for a specialty catalog, a pathology/autopsy lab secretary, and have owned my own process serving company. Polymer Clay work is really the "sun" around which my world rotates as I go about my other activities. It's my inspiration, and sometimes my refuge. And I love the people I've met!

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