Hello Kathleen, your work is really great, I love it !
I want to ask you this since the first time I saw your work: are the purses wearable 😀 ?
Definitely, my purses are wearable. I would have to say, “Why would I make a purse that’s not wearable”, but then I suppose there are large sculptures of purses?
Sorry about that 🙂 …please, tell us something about you.
How did you start working with polymer clay?
I have been making things since I was a little girl. I got my university degree in Math, but at the time my mother said, “I think you should go into art.” When I was 28, I realized my mother had been right and went back to university and got a Master of Fine Arts degree in ceramic sculpture and became a professional artist while starting a family (2 daughters and now 3 grandchildren). About 10 years later, my husband got a job overseas (in Turkey) and I couldn’t bring my studio equipment with me, so I took a whole bunch of polymer clay which I’d already started playing with. After we moved back to the US, I never went back to ceramics.
Are you inspired by nature?
Yes, from my website, isn’t it obvious? I am doing a new series of purses, now however, that are based on my world travels and are inspired by tribal and ethnic designs.
How did you get the idea for the purses?
I saw jewelry and sculptures in general, but this is really interesting. I think because of my past work in ceramic pottery, I have always liked the idea of vessels. Because polymer clay is flexible and lightweight, an idea for a vessel you can carry around with you popped into my head late one night. That was about 20 years ago.
How do you make them? Share a few tricks with us.
It’s pretty complicated and not easily described in a paragraph. But, first I make an interior mold in my desired shape out of crumpled up aluminum foil with scrap polymer clay covering it. Then I bake it. Second, I cover the mold with a sheet of colored polymer clay, bake it, then cut it off at the point where the opening of the purse will be. Third, I cover this shell with thin layers of colors and patterns I have made ahead of time and bake it again. I do this 2 o3 three more times until it is the design I’m going for. Then I sand it, and put in the mechanism that holds the cord.
Each purse has it’s own design challenges and I’d like to share a few tricks, but there aren’t any. It’s hard work, I start from scratch, and it’s all done the long, tedious way.
What do you like to create most from all accessories?
I just like to create accessories that enhance the wearers life when she opens this wonderful container to answer her phone or put on her lipstick.
Do you also make custom orders?
No, I don’t, although there’s a price for everything, so I suppose if someone were willing to pay me enough, I’d design a purse just for them.
It was a pleasure knowing you.