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Your Company Name: Home Jewels by Mary Clare
Email Address/Web Page: stazzmc@msn.com
City & State: Nashua, NH
Type of Craft: First Jewelry Making, but now, Polymer Clay is taking over

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

Well, I was discussing the fact that bead buying, for my home based business, was getting too expensive. Especially the ones I wanted to buy. She told me I could make my own beads with this media called 'polymer clay'. It's the first I'd ever heard of it. I bought a couple of blocks and we got together and I was hooked. When I looked at some of the books out there, I realized just what all you can do with this media. I'm still realitivily new..... I'm still experimenting with the different brands of clay, let alone the different techniques. I love this 'stuff'.

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

Yes, quite a few actually. Donna Kato comes to mind. I learned her 'flower petal' technique and love doing that. I've seen Lisa Pavelka on The Carol Duvall Show and have learned some basics, and fun stuff, from her. And of course there is you, Dotty. Your book, and this website, has taught me so much. I wouldn't say this just becuz I'm in your website.... I just simply wouldn't say a thing. I gotta tell ya, I really need a teacher. I feel I've learned a majority on my own, and truly don't know if I'm doing some of the things right or not. You can't ask a book questions. Many things don't turn out (I, too, have a large discard box, but nobody wants my leftovers .. haha) and I have no idea why. It's hard to find a good teacher.

What is your specialty?

I'd say mostly jewelry making. I've started doing some figures and I love that also. In fact, I can see myself doing some serious figurines in the future.

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

Because this media allows you to do almost anything with it. The colors are vast & I can incorporate countless media with it, to complete a piece that's striking. At least, I think so.

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

Oh, my, no. Would I love to? Oh, my, yes. Some day.....

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

Oh, my, no. Would I love to? Oh, my, yes. (Deja vu???)

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

I hope to have a thriving business off the ground and flying. I've started one and work out of my home. But, due to uncontrollable circumstances, I've not been able to build up the business the way I would've hoped. It's slow going, but I'm still trying!

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

Don't give up!

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

Yes, the Massachusetts Polymer Clay Guild out of Burlington, Mass. I live in NH, but the closest one to my home (in NH) is over an hour away. So the nice folks in this Mass. guild said they'de love to have me. So there I am.

What brands of polymer clay do you prefer and why?

Kato Clay. It holds the color right out of the oven. It doesn't darken like the others. It works up beautifully in any technique I've ever tried with it. And Premo. I can buy this locally, where I have to buy Kato Clay over the Internet. Premo keeps it's shape and design, too. It darkens in the oven, tho.

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

I worked in the medical field.... Operating Rooms & ICU..... until a couple of years ago. Two back surgeries, hours of PT, and back braces couldn't keep me from going out on disability. I want to work, so I thought I could do something out of my home. Nothing pays well enough in the medical field I was in. Ya have to 'be there', if ya know what I mean. I had been making some jewelry before. I got rave reviews from my friends and family, so I went down that road. Then I found Polymer Clay. It's expanded my possibilites from 'Large' to 'Endless'. It's costly to start a business....... any business. That might be why it's taking so long to build it. I'm not gonna stop creating, tho!! It's too much fun!! I've enclosed a pic of myself with my trusty poot-hound, Tiffy. She's great company, especially in the 'bad' days.

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