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Steven Travis

Your Company Name: N/A
Email Address/Web Page: travisstudio@earthlink.net
   www.travisstudio.com
City & State: N/A
Type of Craft: Polymer Clay

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

Polymer clay has been an off and on companion of mine for 2 or 3 decades. At first I didn’t have very much respect for it, viewing the material as glorified play-doh. Fortunately that’s my attitude of the past.

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

Artists who I deeply admire are too plentiful to mention them all. Perhaps the ‘big boys’ and ‘big girls’ would be: Rembrandt (for his painterly qualities), Chagall (for his floating colorful world), Becker (for her psychological honesty), Rodin (for the life he gives the bronze),etc... Ethnic arts are also a rich source of inspiration.

What is your specialty?

My specialty has always involved inventing a culture, even when I was a child playing in the backyard. I made temples and houses from yard rubble, and painted them with lively poster colors. I still love to make cities in clay and fill them with the appropriate artifacts even though I’m grown up and supposedly mature.

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

Polymer clay enjoys being handled. It likes to play with you during the sculpting process. Perhaps this is why a pleasing toy-like quality is so natural to achieve. The ease of sculpting this material with its charged colors make it an ideal medium for my love of both sculpting and painting simultaneously. The nature of polymer clay is to sculpt with color.

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?

No

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

When I make pieces in polymer clay, I focus on taking advantage of its elastic qualities, its bright colors, its infinite detail via canes, the luscious fresh folds of a draped sheet, etc... It’s like a teacher to me, and in the future, I hope to continually define my direction through the generous versatility that the clay offers.

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

Advice for those new to polymer clay: 1) Get a book or two on polymer clay that pertains to your interest. I went to amazon.com where descriptions of the books are reviewed by clients. 2) If you can afford it, buy an assortment of tools that pertain to your project... such as a pasta machine, small wooden and/or metal sculpting tools, etc. The books will direct you with your list, and you might also want to speak with experienced fellow crafters. 3) Making beads can be a wonderful initiation into creating beautiful objects.

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

No

What brands of polymer clay do you prefer and why?

love Sculpey Prémo. It’s flexible after baking and strong. My little figures used to break if you were to breathe on them. Then Sculpey modernized their Prémo formula, and now I can throw them against the wall and surprise visitors. I’m also starting to warm up to Femo. It’s harder to condition but certain colors, such as the yellows, stand up to the heat well. I need to experiment more with the array of clays available. Each one has its own special quality.

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

I love animals and have an african gray parrot who is very proud of her bright red tail. Much of my time is spent learning languages. I speak French and have an elementary knowledge of Japanese. My family has been very inspirational and supportive to me. I feel lucky to have grown up in an artistic atmosphere.

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