Today marks the beginning of a new blog feature – ‘Interview with the Artist’
We are very pleased and honored to begin this series with the absolutely amazing work of polymer clay artist Cheryl Harris of cherylsart.
Cherylsart: Beach Bead Series
Cheryl’s designs have been showcased in PolymerCAFE magazine and in Belle Armoire Jewelry. She has an extraordinary ability to transform polymer clay into beautifully dimensional beads, pendants, bookmarks, clay-covered vessels, and sculpture. With her rich palette of colors and her unique talent for adding exquisite detail to her creations, each of Cheryl’s pieces is truly a work of art!
Here’s a breath-taking example of Cheryl’s “way with clay”.
Cherylsart: Clay Vessel
Recently, Cheryl graciously agreed to an interview . . .
Were you creative as a child?
I have been into art since I was a toddler and scribbled in my mother’s books!
When did you first become interested in beads?
I made my own earrings when I was in high school. I’ve also been a portrait artist since I was in my teens, and I was more focused on that than any other art form. I really got into making beads when I moved to Tehachapi, CA and met Karen Lewis, aka Klew. I saw her polymer clay beads and I was fascinated with her canework. I watched her videos, bought books and searched online to learn to work with polymer clay. Almost eight years later I still love it.
You have an extraordinary ability for choosing shades and tones of color in your work. Have you always had such an incredible eye for color?
That’s one of the compliments I get most often- that I have a great eye for color. I don’t know exactly how or when that happened, but I’m thankful for it! But believe me, I do make bad color choices from time to time. That’s the stuff you don’t see! Being an artist is a constant process, a journey of experimentation, trial and error and the constant striving to push your creative boundaries and find new ways to express your talent.
Cherylsart: Beach View
Is it relaxing to work with clay?
It really is. I get frustrated doing beadwork, the needle and thread part of it, but making the beads is just plain fun. Even the process of mixing the clay and making the blends for the canes is a pleasant experience.
You also make lampwork beads, do you enjoy that as much as working with clay?
Lampworking is a completely different process. You can’t put a hot glass bead down and come back to it later. Once you’ve started melting the glass you’re committed to it till it’s finished. For me it’s not as relaxing but it’s more of a challenge, in large part because I’m still relatively new to it. I’m in the process I was in seven years ago with the clay- the learning curve. But I love it just as much and I see it being a permanent part of my creative life. I also do glass fusing and I have plans to begin making larger glass pieces such as dishes, wall hangings and kiln-formed bracelets. Oh, and precious metal clay. Guess I’d better get busy!
Cherylsart: Polymer Clay Pendant
From where do you derive inspiration for creating your art?
I get my inspiration from Nature. Flowers, plants, animals, the ocean, etc, etc! I love tropical and garden themes, and it shows in the things I make and the colors I use.
Do you keep any examples of your best work – just for yourself?
I sure do! Sometimes it’s something that has a tiny flaw which makes it unsuitable to sell, and sometimes it’s a bead that I just decide I can’t part with. It’s funny but I’ve had jewelry in my own collection that I’ll eventually sell to someone else. I’ve sold stuff right off my neck! I may as well be a walking advertisement for my own work!
To view more of cherylsart, please click here.