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SANDI SELFRIDGE

Your Company Name: Sandi Selfridge Designs
Email Address/Web Page: dolly_mama@pacbell.net
City & State: Garden Grove, CA
Type of Craft: One of a kind dolls and whimsies

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

My daughter needed little people for her dollhouse. I looked for them in the shops and found the ones I really liked were very expensive. The less costly dolls were not what a girl her age would have enjoyed. I had made the furniture for the little (12 room) house and I thought I'd give the "people" a try. The woman who owned the hobby shop where I bought my supplies suggested I use polymer clay. At that time, 1979, plain uncolored polymer was all she could offer. Painting the pieces was not a problem as I had painted semi-professionaly since early teenage. The love affair with polymer clay started then and is still going strong.

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

I have been interested in art since early childhood. I was then and still am in awe of the great painters and sculptors in history.

What is your specialty?

If I must choose just one specialty it would have to be magical and fantasy characters such as wizards, witches, fairies and such. On the other hand, I really enjoy sculpting litle babies too.

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

What can I say? It feels good in my hands and can be used to create any three demensional object I choose. There's no limit to what can be fashioned from this wonderful material.

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

I havn't published a book yet. However, I have begun the task of outlining what I would like to write. I havn't decided on a name at this time.

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

In August, 1982, some of my polymer clay dollhouse inhabitants were featured in "Nutshell News",a magazine devoted to scale miniature work. I've been awarded ribbons at the Orange County Fair for entries which featured polymer work but, did not exclude other materials. I've recieved awards and won small contests in various places on the east ceast, west coast, and locations in between. I'm not good at keeping track of such things.

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

I try not to have expectations. Life has many corners to turn and obstacles to overcome. I try, and hope or the best. Five years from now I hope to be well, enjoying life and sharing the pleasures of creativity with others.

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

Go for it! Laugh and have fun with your art. Learn all you can and remember that mistakes are great for learning too..life's too short to stress out over goofs.

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

I am a charter member of the Orange County Polyner Clay Guild. I handle the challange and swap for our group, and am an auxiliary member of the Original Doll Artist Council of America.

What brands of polymer clay do you prefer and why?

I like Premo. The colors are beautiful, easily mixed when necessary and the clay is strong after it's baked.

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

Thirty six years ago I took an oil painting class which met for 3 hours, once a week for a period of ten weeks. I enjoyed that class tremendously. It was the only formal training I've ever had in any art except for a brief class in pottery and wheel throwing. I've painted in oils since my fourteenth birthday, when my mom and aunt gave me a few canvases, brushes and a basic set of paints. As I mentioned earlier, the first polymer clay experience was with scale dollhouse dolls and accessaries. One thing led to another and I began my own miniatures business. That lasted until 1983 when I developed MS. The desease cost me most of my sight for a few months. With some very good medical care and a load of medication I regained my vision. I designed and made minis again as soon as I felt comfortable working on them. I started doing larger dolls just for fun, but soon it was added to my business menu. I'm making little things too 'cause it's such fun. I'm greatful to my husband of 42 years for always supporting my sometimes very messy creative efforts.

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