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PATRICIA WELLER

Your Company Name: Morning Dove Designs
Email Address/Web Page: Druidwoman@aol.com
City & State: Olathe, Colorado
Type of Craft: Poly/stone/bead

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

I discovered P clay 14 yrs ago, and found it to be a great medium for children in my inner city craft classes. I made some mini pictures and played for awhile, then life swept me on to another medium. As so many of us, I did not realize the potential until finding Nans Book (blessings Nan!)soon after it came out. As I write this, there are only perhaps 5 other active Pclay artists within 200 miles. I realized very shortly after dragging my very old (still good) clay out of its cookie tin, that I had finally come home! I have been teaching & working in almost every tactile medium for 30 yrs. But the wild diversity of my dreams seemed to demand that I pull out a whole new workshop all to often. With Polymer I have found a way to enliven most all my visions, and more than I ever expected. Having one medium I could believe in allowed me to form Morning Dove Designs and toss my fate to the winds. I have had few days without joy since that time!

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

Tory Hughes has had the most impact on me. I find her centered flowing creativity so inspiring that it actually leaves me close to speechless ( a very rare event). Marie Segal has had the greatest personal influence on me with her joyful support and inspiration. I consider her my personal polymer Goddess, and I'm sure I'm not alone. I find myself wanting to mention others, yet so many keep coming to mind, and certainly I would neglect someone I cherish. The most exciting thing about Poly is the over- whelming variation which allows us all to share so freely, and then delight in what our inspiration has spawned in others as they take it in a new unique direction. I am, in some way, inspired by every artist I meet, so email me guys & gals! I hide in this beautiful, yet very isolated Mnt Valley and await any and all inspirational breezes from afar.

What is your specialty?

Specialty? Perhaps diversity? I love creating Masks, and tend toward a more primitive influence. But flowers are also a favorite. The Ivory, learned from Tory, has been a basic, but then the color wheel rules! Textures, adding natural elements such as stones, sea debris, beads...It just continues to move forward and what more could I ask? I have found that as my designs are all one of a kind, even on a small scale, most of my clients take as much delight as I in my personal evolution. My work has been mostly jewelry, but that is changing a lot, and I think next year's show prospectus will find me under mixed media.

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

Every artists dreams include creating an environment that will allow them the freedom to create. Over the last thirty years, I have begun many enterprises with this goal in mind. I did very well creating dried flower arrangements, and even developed a new way of tinting and preserving flowers, but as always happens, new dreams & visions began to fill my mind.. I would find myself clearing a new area (thankful always for the 7 bedroom victorian I call home) and dragging out the tools of another craft. It was not until I found polymer clay that I realized that this is not a handicap, but a great gift of imagination, With the wonderful versatility of polymer clay, I have found that not only can I interpret the dreams I have, but the medium itself is continually inspiring me to stretch it in always new directions. After 8 years, of working with clay almost every day, the notebook I keep of ideas I wish to try continues to expand. What more could an artist ask of a medium?

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

At some point perhaps my Author/Artist personas will join forces, but for now I can only embrace and thank those who have.

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

It has been my good fortune that almost all of my work has sold so quickly, I felt fortunate to have slides made. This years plans include submitting pieces to several shows, and developing a personal collection, so that I may take advantage of some of the great opportunities occuring in our delightful "new" medium.

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

My goals include entering shows on a National level, and attaining recognition in well known magazines. I've enjoyed the travel, with my children grown, yet the shows are demanding, and caring for my farm at the same time is a big job. Despite this I have strong resistance to mass producing. Any clues? please share them!

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

Create from your own joy! Be inspired, then close the book and begin. Never try and reproduce what you see! It has been done! Just let your own flow take you and to quote Tory "Nothing is a mistake!"

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

Yes! And until I connected online, the Polyinformer was my lifeline. I keep hoping to make it over hills (Continental Divide) to join with the Co. guild just starting, but it has been winter after all!

What brands of polymer clay do you prefer and why?

Everything and anything except sculpey, which is just too soft for my hot little hands.

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

I am a graduate of Co institute of Art, and have been working & teaching in the arts for 30 yrs. (Which doesn't make me old, just wise & seasoned!) My teaching has been mostly at inner city rec. centers. I have worked primarily in the tactile arts, everything from silver to pottery, weaving to dried flowers. I have also taken Earth breaks to do such wondrous things as organic farming, and forming a farmers market, working as therapist, forming a farmers market, working as therapist, and MY favorite soul food, working with developmentally disabled adults. I also worked as director of local teen center, and travelled as much as possible. I have also raised 8 children! Two natural, two adopted, 4 married into, and a passle of others that either came to the farm and forgot to go home, or I took in as a proctor parent. I am currently delighting in my recent freedom, brought on by those children evolving into fantastic adults, and find myself embracing many more wide and varied dreams each day.

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