Polymer Clay Polyzine - December 2000 - Down Under
G’Day from Down Under!
by Jenny Dowde
G’day everyone! Welcome to Polyzine #2! There’s nothing to report
guild-wise from either Australia or New Zealand this month, but I
have some workshop dates for February 2001 in case any Down Under
clayer is keen to learn how to make a doll with Shirley Dougan.
They are as follows:
Saturday 3rd Feb at Beaufort (Vic) - Pirate Captain.
Saturday 11th Feb at Blairgowrie (Vic) - Pirate Captain.
Saturday 17th Feb at Blairgowrie (Vic) - Pirate Captain.
Saturday & Sunday 24th Feb at Yarram (Vic) - Pirate
Monday 25th Feb at Yarram (Vic) - Pirate Captain.
If you are in the areas mentioned and would like to attend, you
Shirley. HURRY, because Shirley’s workshops fill up almost
before the dates are published!
ARTIST OF THE
The “Artist of The Month” is Petra from
New Zealand. I first made contact with Petra a couple of years
ago when I requested one of her catalogues. Now we “speak”
several times a week via email, ICQ or Instant Messenger, (don’t
ya just LOVE the Internet?) sharing ideas on how to find all the
polymer clay artists we know MUST exist in Australia and New
Zealand, and on how best to promote this wonderful medium Down
My love for polymer clay began in
1992 when I decided I needed an alternative income to being a
second hand dealer. My first child was due and shifting heavy
furniture around while pregnant just didn’t seem a good
option. After visiting a local craft show and watching Jewel
Lewis make millefiori canes I decided that I would like to try
this. A book and three blocks of polymer clay later I had my
first Millefiori cane completed, and I was hooked!
In 1993, I read a small article in a magazine and discovered
that there was to be the “First International Juried
exhibition of Polymer Clay beads”. Because I wasn’t too sure
where I was heading clay wise and we had just built a lovely
studio that just begged to be “used”, I thought I would enter
and to my continuing surprise and delight I was selected as
one of the 12 artists classed as award winning entries.
During a trip to the US in 1996, I discovered that we here in
Australasia were really missing out. The things that American
clayers were using to add to or embellish their clay was
mind-boggling, and I decided then that we needed a clay
supplier in Australasia who could answer questions and supply
the products that people would need in the future.
And so, Zigzag Polymer Clay
Supplies was born. My business is dedicated to supplying
the polymer clay artist with their every need. My next step
was to create a Guild for clayers in New Zealand. The NZPCG
which has members from New Zealand, Australia and the USA.
Last but by no means least, I decided that the Down Under
clayers needed their very own polymer clay list, and ANZACS
was born. Today we boast a tiny membership of 35, but we are
growing, albeit slowly, with two new members joining up as
this is being written.
In 1998 my family and I moved into a bigger home with a huge
backyard for the children to play in and a four-car-garage
which was destined to become my playground and my haven: “The
Polymer Palace”. Here I can teach at least eight people at a
time, have a well-ordered studio and a well-stocked shop, plus
display my pride and joy, my “Gallery of Polymer Clay Art” by
artists from around the world.
It is my ambition to promote polymer clay in Australasia, not
just for ZigZag’s sake but for the benefit of all clayers Down
Under, and to that end a few of my fellow clayers and I have
decided that we should have a Polymer Clay Retreat! Plans are
already afoot to hold this in early 2002, in Christchurch, New
Zealand. Stay tuned!
While Petra indulges her clay creativity in a number of
areas, including miniature Tiffany lamps, stamping and card
making and experimenting with translucents, her trademark is
the beautiful beads she makes. Below are some pictures of
her earlier work. You can see her more recent work at The Polymer Palace.