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Lynn D. Troldahl Hershberger
Artist's Statement:
Kazoo

I dabbled in many three-dimensional media until I discovered Polymer Clay in January, 1991. Since then, I have concentrated on visually expressing myself exclusively in Polymer Clay. Polymer Clay is called clay in the sense of its malleability, as in modeling clay. It is technically a member of the Polyvinyl Chloride polymer family. The clay is durable and flexible, although it will break if under extreme strain.

I became attracted to working with Polymer Clay primarily because of its color range and creative flexibility. The colors stay very close to their original hue after curing, so I can maintain control over the end result during the creative process. All of my work also glows in the dark, something that delights the young person inside us all.

The colored images I create are not painted or "glazed." The color is inherent in the material. The patterns are created using three-dimensional techniques borrowed from media such as glassworking (millefiore) and metalsmithing (mokume gane). Because the clay is cured at under 300F, I am able to incorporate many "found" items into my sculptural and wall pieces. I particularly enjoyed the "Mad Hatter Teapot" sculpture I created by applying Polymer Clay on an old, chipped teapot which had a beautiful shape. I now am making wall pieces by applying the clay to sheets of glass.

Most work now being done in Polymer Clay is still in the area of sculpting small figures and miniatures, jewelry and beadmaking. It is somewhat unusual for an artist to approach this medium the way I do. Though I am a bit isolated in mid-Michigan, I stay connected with other serious Polymer Clay artists through the Polymer Clay Guild. I was also very fortunate to be able to study with Nan Roche, Author of "The New Clay," in August of 1992. (Thank you, Nan, for being my "Mother of Invention.") That learning experience was pivotal in my approach to the creative uses of the clay. In addition, I have mentors in Traverse City, MI (Pamela Dueweke) and Escondido, CA (Marie Segal). Without these three women, my work would not be where it is today.

The Internet has also been a useful source of information on my medium. I am part of a small group of innovative Polymer Clay artists, who now correspond through electronic mail. This "Art Cafe' on the Internet" group shares ideas on current projects and experimental techniques. It is my dream to start making larger and larger wall pieces with this medium. I am learning from my Art Cafe' peers about the strength and construction issues they have experienced. I expect this can help me have better success as I continue to approach unknown territory.

I don't know where all this will lead. I do find it exciting to be a pioneer, and I am happy to be on this road.

Lynn

Lynn D. Troldahl Hershberger

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Write to me! Lynn@Colorjoy.com
Last Update: Dec. 2006