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Your Company Name: Angels To Cherish
Email Address/Web Page: maewatson@webtv.net
City & State: Hanover, IN
Type of Craft: thimble miniature dolls

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

My three nephews ( Ramont, Marquis, & TY ) received Sculpey III modeling kits for Christmas 6 1/2 years ago. The kits contained clay, a tool, & instructions. I watched the boys making their first "masterpieces", you know the usual...snakes...bugs...alien creatures! All with dinosaur beginnings! I was HOOKED after that!

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

Maureen Carlson!! She puts joy. inspiration, & creativity into clay arts. When I first started out sculpting dolls, I went through it seemed like one diaster after another! Bodies falling over in the oven...faces I'd worked on for hours with deep cracks in them...oh yes & the smoke alarm going off more than I want to admit! Those were desperate times for me & I did a desperate thing! I Called Maureen & I guess she heard the frustration in my voice. Because ...as terribly busy as I know she is..Maureen talked with me & patiently surmised what was going wrong & what I needed to do to correct it! She is a very kind & talented artist..whom I owe a lot of thanks to...because without her advice/support I would have gave up on clay after the first "crispey dollie experience!"

What is your specialty?

DOLLS..I love making little girl dolls...doing everyday things..playing with their "dollies".gardening...reading..etc. I also create fairies & angels..another favorite. Mostly the dolls I do are one of a kind. I started out sculpting large dolls..but that evolved into the dolls I create today..Miniatures...using ordinary sewing thimbles as a base.Every time I remove a finished doll from the oven & see that little face smiling back at me ...it's like she's saying..."I've been waiting so long to be born..What took you so long!"

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

A lot of things..the wide range of colors..that it's easy to mold into whatever I want or am trying to artisticly express. You know that feeling you get when someonewho doesn't do clay "OOh"s & "AWW's & says "I wish I was as talented as you are!" Everyone has a God given gift inside of us...all you've got to do is find it!

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

No..not yet..But that is definitely one of my goals to start on by the end of this year.

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

I've entered some of my dolls in our local 4-H Fair & won about a dozen second place ribbons & 1 first place. One of my earlier dolls was shown two years ago on WAVE 3 NEWS in Louisville,Ky., by John Belski..& I ocassionally receive little notes of encouragment from him. For the past 3 years I've sold my dolls @ Hanover College's Christmas Craft Fair in Hanover,In. But the most honorable thing for me was being commishioned by Polyform Products to create two ethnic dolls for the company collection...& have them on display at the annual Toy Fair in New York City!

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

Currently, I'm working on commishion doll orders from two different companies.My dream/goal/hope for the future is to berecognized for the dolls that I create ...possibly working with a prominent doll manufacturer enabling me to get my dolls to the farthest corners of the world!

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

Yes! Work with the clay as often as you can. Continue to strive to learn & never be afraid to try something new. Don't be afraid t reach out for help when you needit...or just when you need another "clay" person to talk to. But..above all...HAVE FUN!! Because it shows in your work..when you love what you do.

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

No..not presently..but would like to find a guild close to my hometown. I recently submitted some of my dolls to be offered for sale at THE POLYMER CLAY SHOPPE online. "Sleepytime" thimble doll is my favorite.

What brands of polymer clay do you prefer and why?

I started out using Sculpey III & still do. I'm also using Fimo now...Presently I want to try Cernit & Transparent Liquid Sculpey to experiment with on making fairie & angel wings.

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

I live in a small town,,& love small town living. It's been two years since my Dad past away..but some days it's still painful. I wrote a poem dedicated to Dad ( Leon Daniel Watson) & it was chosen to be published by Poetry.Com (ANGELS TOOK MY DADDY HOME). I retired from Madison St. Hospital after 12 years as a PaIV/QMA ( and after a semitractor trailer rear ended me..& the only part of my truck that wasn't crushed was the front of the cab where I was sitting!) I have a very spoiled blue parraket "Baby Bluez" whose favorite show is the WHEEL OF FORTUNE & he throws a fit if I don't turn it to "his" show..no matter what I'm watching at the time. And all the while he's saying "tisk tisk tisk (sound the wheel makes when it's spun) The Wheel" over & over until HE gets tired of doing it!

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