03 January 2022

Featured Artist: January 2022

 The January 2022 edition of pcPolyzine features polymer clay artist, Ericka Steele!

Ericka Steele is an artist of many mediums. From digital art pieces to sculptures, she does it all! She has been creating for as long as she can remember and has always loved sculpture the most. She uses nature and video games as the inspiration for her creations. Ericka's favorite thing to sculpt are her personal renditions of the druid animal forms from World of Warcraft, particularly the druid bears.

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

pcPolyzine: How did you get into polymer clay?
Ericka: I randomly picked up a box of discounted polymer clay at the craft store just to try it out. Since then, I've tried various brands of polymer clay, my two favorites are Super Sculpey Medium and Cosclay.

pcPolyzine: How long have you been working with polymer clay?
Ericka: When I was a child I started off using oil-based modeling clay, it wasn't until about 2012 that I started to work with polymer clays. I did this on and off for about 4 years, it wasn't until 2016 that I really started to focus more on polymer clay sculpture work.

pcPolyzine: How do you come up with an idea for a projectdo you plan it or just start working?
Ericka A lot of my projects are fan art based, occasionally I'll sculpt a creature of my own design that started off as a drawing. To begin a sculpture, I make a quick 3 minute sketch to get a basic idea down.

pcPolyzine: What inspires you to create pieces in polymer clay?
Ericka I pull inspiration from a variety of video games I enjoy playing as well as nature.
pcPolyzine: What's your favorite piece or project you've made in polymer clay?
Ericka: My favorite piece to date is a large detailed bust named "Creed". He was a client custom order of their original character. The sculpture is made of Cosclay and took 29 hours to complete, roughly 20 hours of sculpting and 9 hours of detailing. His approximate dimensions are 10"L x 11"W x 12"H (19"H with stand) and is the largest sculpture I have ever made.

pcPolyzine: Does your work have a theme or message?
Ericka Most of my work is fantasy and fan art based.

pcPolyzine: What are your favorite (or most important) tools you use when working with clay?
Ericka My hands, more than half of my time sculpting is done using my hands. I like to be able to feel the sculpture in my hands to determine exactly how much clay I need to add or remove. I do have a few select metal tools that are my favorite as well as a rubber dental tool I was gifted by a fellow sculptor. I also really like my Never-Knead clay press—it really helps to condition my clay without putting stress on my hands. 

pcPolyzine: Do you have any advice for new artists to polymer clay?
Ericka: Foil is your friend! Use it to bulk out your pieces. Also, never give up! Everyone starts somewhere.

pcPolyzine: Ericka, your sculptures are beautiful and full of detail. We are excited to share your work with the pcPolyzine community. Thank you for taking time to share with us!

To connect with Ericka and see more of her work, check her out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on her website.

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