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BARBARA SOSNA

Your Company Name: Beads By Barbara
Email Address/Web Page: sosna@worldnet.att.net
   http://www.home.att.net/~sosna
City & State: Austin, Texas
Type of Craft: Jewelry

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

Tory Hughes was invited to give a slide show to the Austin Bead Society  after Embellishment 3 years ago.  Her personality and work were enthralling.  It became my obsession.

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

Tory Hughes, Marie Segal, Klew, Laura Luska, Nan Roche and others. Kathleen D. and Cynthia T. are just astounding.  However, Tory is my primary guru.

What is your specialty?

Necklaces, earrings, and pins.

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

I began with making beaded garments with seed beads and have always been interested in jewelry.  I have studied art history and especially find myself drawn to ethnic cultures.  I was in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, West Africa.  It was a feast for the eyes for a color freak.  Polymer clay satisfies the same urge to play with color and form.  It is so "satisfying" as Tory would say.

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

No.

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

A necklace I call "Golden Bamboo" was featured in 1998 April Bead & Button magazine in the "Your Work" feature. The writeup was good but the photography did not do justice to the glowing color of the Premo blend that I used.

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

I plan to continue to be active in the local guild.  The members are very creative adn sharing.  I hope to continue to learn from leaders in the field and plan to attend a major polymer retreat yearly to advance my skills.

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

Join a local polymer guild or bead society.  Take classes.  Buy Tory Hughes video taped lessons and just follow her lead.  Experiment.  Buy fresh Premo from the Clay Factory.  Marie Segal and Howard were instrumental in developing this new clay.  It is great.

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

The NPCG and President of the Austin Polymer Clay Guild, which meets the 3rd Wednesday monthly at 6:30 at the North Loop Library on Howard Lane.

What brands of polymer clay do you prefer and why?

Premo ordered from Clay Factory.  It is so fresh that it is read to be put through the pasta maker.  The colors are wonderful. 

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

I am a community college instructor, will celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary in April, have 2 sons in college, and have always loved art.  I never thought I could be an artist but have studied art history for years.  With polymer clay, I feel that I can free that artist within.

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