Monday, February 23, 2009

Mai McKemy

Today's featured artist is Mai McKemy of 4TheSparrowsNest. She makes unique jewelry and accessories in woodland inspired themes. Like me, she has a background with ceramic clay.

1.What got you involved in Polymer Clay?
I fell in love with polymer clay at the early age of 10 (I'm 24 now.)
I began by making little chubby glowi in the dark fimo stars to
plasti-tak to my ceiling, since I had a space theme in my room.
I soon fell in love with dollhouses and began to create miniature
food. I've always loved details and spent many hours crafting
tiny glazed hams, shrimp platters, cakes, and baskets of fruit.
I rediscovered the medium after college, when I no longer had
access to kilns to fire real ceramic clay. However, the lure and
appeal of clay did not diminish, and I found myself returning to
polymer clay. I wanted to take it in a new direction, and soon
found myself elevating it to jewelry status.

2.What is your favorite thing to make? Why?

I adore creating jewelry and accessories in woodland themes.

I would say earrings and necklace pendants are my favorites.
Bird, tree, and nature related imagery dominate my work.
I love the imitative potential that polymer clay has, and
find myself delighting in creating surfaces that look like
antique ivory, carved wood--or anything other than what
material actually is. I love the challenge of taking the
medium above and beyond its typical capabilities.

3.What makes polymer clay a better fit for your
than other mediums?

The immediate availability, affordability, convenience,
and my many years of practice manipulating the material
contribute to using it as my medium of choice. It is
delightfully responsive to picking up details and is easily
molded, cast, carved, sculpted, embossed, and antiqued.

4.What is your best advice for someone starting
out in polymer

Check out some polymer clay technique books from your
library, or pick up a few at a craft store. There are
different ways to work with the medium.
Experiment with many
different techniques and decided
which ones fit you the best.
Research other polymer clay
artists and get inspired--find out
what it is about the
material that you love. If you know WHY
you love it,
and WHAT you want to do with it, you will really

make headway on making a niche for yourself in the
world of
polymer clay.

Here are some of Mai's favorite polymer clay links:

Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy
or (search for polymer clay to find more
amazing works by artists!)

The Glass Attic is THE BEST online resource for ALL
techniques relating to polymer clay.
It is a collection of
advice, tips, and experimentation of other artists and
is exhaustive
in its depth. You can find out anything
relating to polymer clay here and will learn a LOT.

Thank-you Mai!

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