My first real job was as a decorator at my friend’s donut shop. Then, I learned how to bake the donuts. After some time and a move to Toronto, I started working for a great company where I was hired as a muffin scooper. When I left years later I was making and decorating cakes. I was headed across the country to see what life had to offer over there and to my surprise Vancouver is where my baking skills really paid off. I worked for a very well-known dessert restaurant downtown in the city. I loved decorating cakes, theme cakes, wedding cakes! My creativity had a wonderful outlet and great people who nurtured it. The one thing I was missing unfortunately would take me away from this place for a long while, perhaps forever.
I never wanted to be a baker. It was something that I happened into and although I was happy and extremely grateful for all I had learned and experienced I also had this logical mind that loved math and science and was desperate to make a go of it perhaps working in research and development somewhere or maybe in design. Long story short – I graduated from BCIT as a Plastics Engineering Technologist in 2002 and worked in research and development for a few short years before my health declined and I made the decision to move back east to Ontario.
I believe that my previous schooling in science and engineering, and the years of being a cake decorator (which required a high level of artistic ability) gave me a real edge going in to this whole polymer clay thing.
In 2008 when I moved to Kingston, Ontario a dear friend of mine gave me a beautiful but somewhat mind bending pendant made from polymer clay. The way in which the artist had made it was fascinating to me because polymer canes are just like those logs of cookie dough with the picture running through their entire length! I had a hard time wrapping my head around the concept of 3-dimentional 2D images. So after watching a few hours of how-to videos on YouTube I was off to Michaels to buy what I needed to get started.
The first pendant I ever made was a horseshoe. I remember how difficult it was and I only got three good ones out of the cane; just a simple horseshoe or so I thought. Now I can make much more difficult designs and get many more “good” pieces out of a cane. Not only have I been working on my polymer cane skills but I’ve also been sculpting and working on my jewelry making skills. I’ve come a long way baby and I hope to just keep on practicing and improving.
Now, I work from home in Kingston Ontario where I live happily with my girlfriend of three years, Amanda, and our crazy petsJ I really enjoy my life as a polymer clay artist doing what I can to make a go of this artistic dream of mine.
*The trick to making polymer clay canes is the skill to think three dimensionally and the imagination to create it. Other than that it’s like I always say, “It’s as hard as it looks”.
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