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Your Company Name: Work At Home Crafts
Email Address/Web Page: julia_dodge@yahoo.com
City & State: Homosassa, FL
Type of Craft: Polymer clay

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

My boyfriend had a box of antique buttons he intended to sell and I wanted to preserve the images . Thats when I discovered the clay, Good Old Sculpy . I made impressions of each button and baked them as per package instructions. It took two boxes of clay to make all the molds and they are like new to this day. I did scortch some so the learning process came to me early. OOPS! Buy more clay... Then I met an online group of clayers New To Polymer Clay. I have been a member there ever since. They helped me assert my interest in the clays and taught me about the strengths, colors and using them in art and jewlry. I could go on and on but I will just say, next step I took was to join the Polymer Clay Central. I have been claying for just under two years. But I am sure I will do it for the rest of my life.

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

I will not forget a recent encounter with a webcam tutoral I was very fortunate to be invited to. Nora Jean Gatine. I had been to her web site many times and awed her fine work. It was so Kewl to clay along with her last Saturday evening. Oct. 18- 2003. Many others have inspired me and I bought many videos on clay techniques.

What is your specialty?

I have no specialty at this time, I want to try it all.

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

Polymer clay gives me oportunity to express many ways. I have been ill for several years now and can no longer do things where I excert body energy as dancing or loud music. Effects from a rear-end car accident that left me with much body and brain damage. I can sit with my clay and all the dreams and promise of a future without pain goes from my hands and comes out in my art work. Many times I do not think about what the clay is doing and it is the best stuff. When I try too hard I fail in the effect I was going for. Call it clay therapy. LOL

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

I have not published any books yet and I am considering doing some Childrens clay videos within this lifetime.

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

To answer this I will only say, 'In my dreams'.

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

Five years form now I am making my way to see St Peter and Gabrial at the gates of Heaven. I will ask St Peter, "Do you allow polymer clay in Heaven?" If he says No, I will inquire if they would reconcider and I have enough clay to share with all the Angels, I would like to teach them. I have been told my life expectancy is about that short and I am injoying every moment of it.

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

Yes, I have some pointers for new kids on the polymer block.
1. Don't cut yourself short on your first go round with the clay. It is the fun and learning that is important. Enjoy what you do.
2. Share what you learn with others. Giving of yourself is a much greater gift than any other.

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

New To Polyjmer Clay, Polymer Clay Central are the two groups I love being with. I can join others only I want to give the best I can to some rather than spred out and not be able to do as much.

What brands of polymer clay do you prefer and why?

The first one, Sculpy , way at the beginning of my experience was okay for awhile. Then I extended my horisons to wanting color and strength. Which let to the Skulpy 111, then Premo, Cernet, Fimo and I have yet to try the new Kato Clay.

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

My parents, Lydia & George Frohn kept me and my brother Fred quiet most of the time because we had Broncitius. Could not romp like kids need to do. I was always doing some sort of art work, coloring brown paper from grocery bag my mother made into albums for us. Being born in 1943 we didn't have much and white paper and coloring books from the store was out of the question. Most of my toys were from Good Will or found at yard sales or handed down. I was four years old and not much bigger than knee-high to a grasshopper with bright red hair, green eyes and always a smile. Mother always said I was a good girl and hardly ever complained. (I hated oatmeal tho.sometimes it was all there was to eat.)That Spring I was malled badly by a large dog named Ruffy. He had been shot by a farmer for killing chickens and he was so hurt and he attact me on the sidewalk of out home. The lady accross the street saw it and heard me scream, laying her broom to its back, she beat him off me and got me safely to my mother. I do not remember much after that but a long stay in a hospital and lots of bandages and then the treats and everything got better for my family. That Christmas there was new toys, pretty dresses for me, lots of food, and my dad got us a real house to life in, with rugs and curtains. Then 1952 my baby sister was born. I was nine years old and the night my dad left me and my brother so he could go to the delivery, I was raped by a stranger. No one could console my crying and my dad nearly committed murder on the man who hurt me. Thank God I got through all that. This is a book maybe I should write someday and have published, I will leave it here for now. The reat of my life has been much nicer, I promise. I am a widow with four grown sons and many grandkids. Also Chaplain of my Disabled American Veterans Auxiliry, Retired Security Guard - Pinkerton and now Polymer Clay Artist.

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