07 April 2021

Featured Artist: April 2021

The April edition of pcPolyzine features polymer clay artist, Olga Ledneva!

Olga Ledneva is a polymer clay artist who lives in south of Russia in a city located on the banks of the Volga-Volgograd River. Volgograd is more commonly known by its former name, Stalingrad. She creates designer polymer clay jewelry as well as teaches master classes in Russia and Europe.

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

pcPolyzine: How did you get into polymer clay?
Olga: In 2011, I first learned about polymer clay. I began to browse free lessons on the internet and studied the work of masters from different countries. Over time, I discovered the limitless possibilities of this material. The more I learned new things, the more interested and fascinated I became.

pcPolyzine: How long have you been working with polymer clay?
Olga: I first picked up clay in 2011. I experimented with techniques, using already known methods and trying to add something of my own to the design and technology. Polymer art was my hobby. In 2013, I accidentally saw a post on one of the Russian social networks, in which it was proposed to take part in a competition organized by a Belgian manufacturer of polymer clay. I took second place. From that moment on, my attitude towards clay changed. I started to spend more time modeling. And, over time, creativity became my job.

pcPolyzine: How do you come up with an idea for a project  do you plan it or just start working?
Olga: I almost always work without a sketch. Even if there's a certain sketch in my head, it rarely coincides with the finished product. In my case, more often than not, creativity is a spontaneous and uncontrollable process that leads to unpredictable results. Therefore, each piece of jewelry is unique and unrepeatable. For this reason, I do not make copies of my jewelry. 

pcPolyzine: What inspires you to create pieces in polymer clay?
Olga: I like the organic style in jewelry and often use techniques in my works: imitation of stone, wood, and other natural materials. Naturally, I find inspiration in nature. I am also pushed for new design ideas by craftsmen in ceramics, wood, leather, and fabrics. Sometimes in everyday life there are things that can also lead to the creation of unusual textures. For example: wallpaper or a frame-baguette for a picture, a doorknob, the sole of a shoe, etc. So it is enough to have observation and attentiveness, and then the creative path will be inexhaustible. 
pcPolyzine: What's your favorite piece or project you've made in polymer clay?
Olga: I put a piece of my soul into each of my works, but there are works that are really dear to me and convey my inner world and emotions. I can neither sell nor donate such jewelry. They remain in my personal collection. Since I am constantly striving for improvement and my style changes over time, I leave some of my work, knowing that I will never do something like this again. And, that jewelry also remains for my own history.

pcPolyzine: What are your favorite (or most important) tools you use when working with clay?
Olga: I use a very limited range of tools. Everyone who constantly attends my lessons knows that I invariably present in my arsenal: a pasta machine, an end knife blade, a rolling pin, talcum powder, and a notebook. And I always work on a sheet of white paper. 

pcPolyzine: Do you have any advice for new artists to polymer clay?
Olga: I advise my students to listen to themselves and not be afraid to make a mistake. I have often observed in my practice that it is from unsuccessful design that brilliant ideas are obtained. You need to learn to trust your intuition and not be afraid to experiment. Then everything will work out.

pcPolyzine: Any final thoughts for our readers?
Olga: Since childhood, I was fond of drawing and also loved to sew and knit a little. Creativity has always been present in my life. But, since then, as I got carried away with modeling from polymer clay, my life has become more colorful and varied. Clay gives me an endless charge of energy and the opportunity for self-expression and improvement. And I am glad that thanks to the internet, people from all over the world can learn, be inspired, share, and communicate with like-minded people. Attending polymer events, I observe how people who are obsessed with the same hobby enjoy these meetings, communicating, and absorbing new knowledge and experiences. I am very happy to have the opportunity to share my ideas and skills. I wish you all inspiration and inexhaustible creative impulse!

pcPolyzine: Olga, your jewelry is absolutely gorgeous. We are excited to share your work with the pcPolyzine community. Thank you for taking time to share with us!

To connect with Olga and see more of her work, check her out on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and through her Etsy store

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