Having been a professional artist for some years, I was introduced to beading as a craft in 2004, which I loved, and then Polymer Clay in about 2006. My first reaction was, “I am doing too many crafts as it is, I can’t do more!” but as I gradually saw all the amazing things you could do with clay I became hooked and now spend as much time creating with clay as I do painting.
I find that the inspirations that brought me to painting, nature and patterns, are the same that inspire my Polymer Clay, and making small flower/petal canes was my first breakthrough, when I realised the possibilities clay held for me. I was very lucky to have a friend who runs a beading shop who kindly took the first beads I made for sale, and I have not looked back since.
I began teaching Polymer Clay almost immediately to craft groups for free as I couldn’t wait to get others enthused, and then began teaching it professionally in 2009, as my experience progressed. I now teach regularly in my local area and am thrilled that I have ‘converted’ many people to the wonders of Polymer Clay. It is a medium for any age and any ability and whilst in my own work I tend towards intricate canework, I adore all the surface effects and amazing techniques that Polymer Clay artists around the UK and the rest of the world create, it truly is a wonderful medium to work in.
I have been a member of the guild for a few years now, and meeting with like minded enthusiasts (of all abilities) has been fantastic. The amount you learn, not just from the scheduled courses, but from just chatting and discussing techniques is amazing and I would thoroughly recommend joining the guild to everyone who enjoys working with Polymer Clay. For more pictures of my work, or to book on any of my workshops, go to my website, www.fionaabel-smith.co.uk , or contact me here .
Since joining the Guild, I have been lucky enough to have been asked to teach at their Lichfield venue a couple of times, and along with Angela Smith I now run the South Midlands Group of the Guild, details here .
Late 2017 and early 2018 I began uploading YouTube videos to my channel PolyOriginals, so have a look if you would like some ideas or tips.