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Your Company Name:
Email Address/Web Page: elcruisr@bellsouth.net
City & State: Central Florida
Type of Craft: Polymer Clay Realism

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

In 1990 when Fimo clay was all the rage, everyone was making beads. I went along a different vein and kept seeing 3D pictures in my mind. 'Herons in the grass', 'Underwater Reefs' ect... It took me about another year to get up the courage and start working with clay, but I finally did and have been hooked ever since!

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

Not by name but I have been inspired to continually go beyond my present skills. I try to put more life into each piece and really work toward making it 'speak'.

What is your specialty?

Realistic Animal Portraits, small pictures and elaborate scenes of nature. I have done one city skyline and plan on more in the future. The one outstanding part of my work is that every bit of detail is clay, I never use paints or molds.

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

I tried several different mediums over the years ie; Scrimshaw, Scratchborad, Water Color Markers and Pen&Ink. But I find Polymer Clay the best and most rewarding of all because of its soft texture, numerous shades of colors and its durability

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

I have a tutorial that is sort of self-published. It has over 200 digital pictures and spans ten designs that teach 28 techniques. Unfortunately, I'm not doing much with it right now. I've sold a few copies on my own but have not pursued anything further. I've tried a couple of publishing houses but not much has come of it.

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

I've been in a few shows and have sold a lot of pieces but I'm afraid the only award I've won yet is an honorable mention. Many people enjoy my work but I think the judges are looking for something else. I think Polymer Clay remains in a class of its own. I just had a piece entered in the Kentucky Museum of Art and was really excited to see a show that was dedicated to Polymer Clay alone. We need more of these shows to get this wonderful medium out more.

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

At this time I am building a personal exhibit that will be used solely for fund-raising. I want to help people who don't have insurance and can't pay thier medical bills. Also I would like to purchase equipment for the disabled to help them enjoy life more such as computer software to allow people with Cerebral Palsy communicate. It's going to take awhile to put together but I'm focused. The best part of all is that I get to keep my creations. I really pour my soul into each piece and it was very hard to let them go. I also want the exhibit in order to bring joy to people.

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

I would say to use your imagination. You never know what's inside of you!

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

At this time I belong to the Central Florida Orlando Clay Group. I don't get to go too often but I enjoy the group very much.

What brands of polymer clay do you prefer and why?

I prefer Premo because of its soft texture and durability. I occasionally use Sculpey and a touch of Fimo at times.

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

My husband and I have been married almost 23 years. I have a son 27 & daughter 25 from a previous marriage, my daughter will be having her first child in august! An interesting side note is that we lived on a sailboat for 12 years and my son now owns the boat. Being in Central Florida there's no water to speak of and we yearn for the water life. We will be getting another boat in the future to be sure!

As for art, My mother paints and several of my brothers are also artistically inclined. I never had any type of formal training aside from a bit of occasional help from fellow artists' concerning colors and placement.

At this time my heart is very content in pursuing the exhibit goal but I would like to start entering a few contests in the near future.

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