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PATRICIA RIZZO

Your Company Name: Patricia's Angel Babies
Email Address/Web Page: firstimpress@earthlink.net
   http://home.earthlink.net/~firstimpress/
City & State: Glendale, California
Type of Craft: Polymer Clay

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

I discovered polymer clay a couple of years ago and have been using it that long.

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

Not clay artists. I'm really not familiar with too much clay work. My work up til now has been in painting and sketching. Clay is relatively new to me.

What is your specialty?

I started making roses and flowers and still do. Now, I like to form them to pieces of twisted driftwood...then bake the pieces and glue them back to the driftwood while they're still warm and pliable. I paint my clay instead of using colored clays because it allows for more detail and variations in the coloring.

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

It's 3 dimensional and best of all you get your hands into it and almost become a part of it.

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

Someday I may do some publishing, but right now I'm very busy working on the craft itself and enjoying every minute of it.

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

I haven't won any awards, but I've been chosen for some fundraising and that makes me happy to think that a few chapters of a giant organization put their faith in my abilities. Also, the list of dedicated angel stores I supply is growing and the number of boutiques as well.

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

I would dearly love to help other people who are in the position I was in when I started working with clay. I had lost a job of long standing and I was in my mid-fifties...where does one go? What does one do? I like to kid around and say that my clay angels saved my life..when, in fact, they did just that. I know there are others out there who are in the position I was and are feeling useless and unwanted. I would eventually like to expand my business and to teach it to others who are up in age, out of work, or simply trying to exist on social security. My technique is very simple...yet it seems to elude most people. I can teach it to almost anyone. So, that's where I hope to be five years from now. Perhaps heading a much larger business than I have now.

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

Get into it! You cannot learn simply by looking at other people's works...although that helps. Go out and buy a small square of any kind of polymer clay and just set out to do the simplest thing and let your imagination take over.

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

I'm basically a loner. Haven't had much time to enter into clay guilds or any other organizations. Right now, besides my clay work, I have a full-fledged website to take care of. It has already won some awards and is becoming more and more popular. I recommend a crash course in HTML to anyone interested in the Internet...its a fascinating language.

What brands of polymer clay do you prefer and why?

White clay of any type right now. I have some of the new clay that is being introduced early next year. It seems to be a real winner.

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

I am now in my late fifties. Worked all of my life in the secretarial field. Raised one son by myself, who is now 29 (she said proudly). I live alone...just me and my Himalayan cat, Angel. I welcome e-mail...contact with the outside human race. I love to put my two cents worth of expertise into the mix and discuss clay and clay projects. Besides the clay, I am an avid tatter and do small medallians while I watch TV at night. These medallians are sold to a business in Arkansas called "Ozark Originals" where they are put under glass that is edged with copper. These are sold as little window hangings. If you see some crosses or hearts under glass they probably came from me.
All in all, I keep busy. Socialize with some old, close friends, visit family in Arizona (where I hope to move someday). It's a far different life than the regimented daily routine of going out to a job, but it has a much greater feeling of accomplishment and just a job well done. In fact, to kind of thank everyone for the popularity of my angels, I started a monthly ongoing contest and draw three winners a month to receive the angel baby of their choice. I'm inviting everyone who reads this to come and enter.
Through sales and the contest entries I can tell you the toddler is my most popular piece, but all of them have their own importance in my life.

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