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VALERIE FOSTER

Your Company Name:
Email Address/Web Page: dcgal007@netzero.net
City & State: Arvada, CO
Type of Craft: Polyclay pens, jewelry, figurines

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

I first discovered it in 1989 and have been using it since then. I started out using bread dough (salt, flour, and water)and sculpted with that for six years. Then I found Sculpey (the bulk white one-pound box)and jumped into using polymer clay. It was so much easier to work with than bread dough. A few years later I discovered the colored packages and started using them.

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

I would say Donna Kato, Barbara McGuire, and Maureen Carlson. I have been collecting books on polymer clay for years and have a pretty extensive library of them, so I've been influenced by a number clay artists over the years.

What is your specialty?

I first started out making animal and people figurines. I made some Nativity sets for Christmas gifts. I also made several Noah's Ark sets and sold those, along with some of the other figurines. I got into designing my own jewelry for a while. Then I saw Donna Kato on the Carol Duvall show instructing how to make polymer clay pens, which inspired me to start making them. I love pens myself, and know that a lot of people are "pen lovers" like me. Also, it was a way to make something beautiful and also very functional out of the clay. I've been successful at selling my pens by personal order, and am able to make a good profit on them, since they don't require much in materials or in the time to make them. So those are the items I've been selling out of clay for the past few years.

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

It's an incredible art medium, and seems to have no limits to its uses. Clay artists are finding new ways to use it all the time, plus now there is also the liquid polymer clay to add to the mix. Also, I like to make projects that can be finished in a day, or a few hours. I like the instant gratification the clay provides -- to have a finished piece within hours is great!

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

No. I have considered writing a book, but haven't pursued that yet.

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

No. That would be a dream of mine, but no, it hasn't happened yet.

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

I hope to continue to get better at creating with the clay, and also to find more ways to sell my work. My goal is also to find ways to use the clay and handmade paper in my creations, to incorporate the two together, in collage works and other works. I make my own handmade paper, that is another area of interest of mine.

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

My advice would be to just jump in and use and experiment with the clay, and to not be intimidated by it. Taking classes is helpful, but I've never taken any classes yet, and I've been working with it for 14 years. Books have been my "teachers" in working with the clay, and there are so, so many excellent books about polymer clay out there now there is no reason not to jump in and try working with polymer clay. So just do it, and have fun, and most likely, they'll get addicted like most of us have.

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

No, not yet.

What brands of polymer clay do you prefer and why?

I've always used Sculpey III so far. Recently I bought some Kato polyclay, and look forward to trying that.

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

I am single and a Chiropractor by profession. Working with clay, and arts and crafts in general, has provided a way for me to use the "other side of my brain", and it's something I love and enjoy doing. It's a great stress reliever too. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my passion and interest in polymer clay with others. I love your website and visit it often. Keep up the great work!!!

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