Friday, January 20, 2017

Polymer Clay at Shake Rag Alley

Polymer Clay is one of the most fascinating and versatile craft mediums around. Artists use it to make items ranging from jewelry to sculpture and even use it to create bas relief on canvas. Polymer clay artists are equally versatile and very creative, making sophisticated and magical works with a media that was originally manufactured as a children's toy. Now you can see works in Polymer Clay exhibited in art museums and in a permanent collection at the Racine Art Museum.

We are lucky to have three nationally known and two regional artists teaching workshops this year. Click on their names to read their bios and link to their workshops.

Kate Church from Nova Scotia, describes her work as "Combining the line and form of sculpture with the playful animation of puppetry. I began to teach others what I have taught myself: a method and approach to building sculptural character. Fueled by the enthusiasm of the students, I facilitate everything from discovering a new art form to finding the confidence to tackle a career."
Kate will be teaching "Building Sculptural Character" in September.  She will show YOU how to have fun building unique character, sculpting with polymer clay and cloth over lively wire armatures, producing a figure with a unique life of its own. 

Maureen Carlson
from Jordan Minnesota, has been working with polymer clay since 1979, creating her charming and magical "Wee Folk" as well as creating a business providing books, videos, and push molds for other aspiring doll makers. She has a talent for story telling and inspiring the imagination, as well as a talent for teaching techniques.
Maureen will be teaching two classes with us in August: Stackables: A Mixed Media Figurative Sculpture, and Sculpted-Character Walking Stick. In the Stackable class you will get to use some of Maureen's famous push molds, and in Walking Stick you will learn to sculpt a face from scratch.

Carol Simmons, from Colorado Springs,  is well known for her intricately detailed work and outstanding use of color. She has taught for 15 years and has a piece in the permanent collection of the Racine Art Museum. She trained as a botanist and ecologist, and her approach to teaching color and design is very clear and logical. Carol will be teaching her technique for Mokume Gane in October. You will learn much about color, and make your own impression plate for the technique. She also has a very informative blog sharing a lot about her techniques and resources.

Kim Geiser is our neighbor from northeast Wisconsin. She is adept in illustration, mixed media,assemblage, polymer clay, jewelry making and more. Kim has published work in dozens of books and magazines and currently has a book deal with North Light books for her first book (January 2017), and you can watch her in Northeast Wisconsin on “Good Day Wisconsin” Fox 11 where she shares thrifty craft ideas. Kim will be teaching polymer clay pendents in August as part of the Art Adventure retreat.

Cheryl Smeja, from here in Mineral Point, is one of the original group of founders of Shake Rag Alley. She made a living selling sculpted leather masks and wall art, and then retired from production craft to pursue all the other crafts she has been interested in, and to help build the art center. She works on curriculum, the web site, and other internet marketing. Her workshop combines skills with wire, polymer clay, and resin.

If you have never worked with polymer clay, or if it has been a while, we hope you'll give it a try. With such a versatile product there is something here for everyone.

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