01 October 2020

Featured Artist: October 2020

 The October edition of pcPolyzine features polymer clay artist, Caroline Casswell!

Caroline Casswell is an artist based in the United Kingdom. She is a self-taught artist who started at a very young age. Caroline's mother provided a vast array of materials such as paints, clay, paper and glue, and sewing materials for her to play with as a child. Her first passion was mosaic, which she continues with today and sometimes incorporates polymer clay into. 
Caroline describes herself as always enjoying experimenting and she loves to make connections and crossovers between different artistic disciplines. She's never happier than when a new project comes together! 

We wanted to learn more about Caroline and here's what she shared with us:

pcPolyzine: How did you get into polymer clay?
Caroline:  As a child, I played with polymer clay, but in a very limited way. Then, just at the right moment in 2009, my brother gifted me a box of Fimo clay in a huge color range. This kicked off my clay interest again and my polymer clay journey began in earnest.

pcPolyzine: How long have you been working with polymer clay?
Caroline:  Since re-discovering polymer clay in 2009, I have attended polymer events, workshops, and joined a local support group. These have been great places to glean techniques and ideas from some very generous artists, and the learning never stops. In the last few years, I have also set up workshops to pass some of my skills onto others. I also plan to film some tutorials over the next few months. 

pcPolyzine: How do you come up with an idea for a project  do you plan it or just start working?
Caroline: Sometimes I plan a project, but a spark of an idea can come from a variety of places—Pinterest, Facebook, and of course magazines—where I set myself the task to be inspired by something on every page. This could be a word, a color, or even a shape. For me, this process has very interesting results and not all of them develop into anything concrete, but it is a great exercise for the mind.

pcPolyzine: What inspires you to create pieces in polymer clay?
Caroline: I am constantly inspired by other artists in the medium, often stunned by their creativity and realize that the possibilities seem to be vast, fantastic, and endless. The "family" of polymer clay artists is very supportive and encouraging, so inspiration is never far away.

pcPolyzine: What's your favorite piece or project you've made in polymer clay?
Caroline: My favorite piece is often the latest piece I have made. Although, there are a few breakthroughs occasionally—I started making miniature pictures from scrap clay which was an experiment that worked! My "chain" necklaces were another experiment that I had been mulling over for a while and was so pleased by the result. Recently, I started playing with the idea of necklaces using "Morse code" in the beads—it's fun to wear an affirmation or a message! I also enjoy making my "In the Mix" adjustable necklaces with each bead being unique.

pcPolyzine: What are your favorite (or most important) tools you use when working with clay?
Caroline: The basic tools that are essential are my pasta machine, knife, rolling pin, cutters, and drill with many other "things" that I've collected over the years. These things are from all sorts of unexpected places and become "old friends". A few years ago, there was a fire in my studio and I lost many of these "friends"—it was quite traumatic. However, very kind, fellow polymer artist (who I did not know at the time), sent me a fantastic kit to help me out—that's what the polymer community is like!

pcPolyzine: Do you have any advice for new artists to polymer clay?
Caroline: I would tell beginners not to compare your work to others. Learn new skills from experts, but then try and use the ideas in a different way. Join a local group, buy tutorials and books, then put them away and play.

pcPolyzine: Any final thoughts for our readers?
Caroline: I am so pleased that I came across polymer clay, as every day can be a new color—no boredom possible!

pcPolyzine: Caroline, all of your art and jewelry is beautiful. We are excited to share your work with the pcPolyzine community. Thank you for taking time to share with us!

To connect with Caroline and see more of her work, check her out on FacebookInstagram, and through her website.

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