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Posted on July 6, 2016 in Featured Artists by Katie
It is my pleasure today to introduce you to this wonderful lady. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching alongside her at The Polymer Clay Adventure where she has taught some fabulous techniques incorporating her signature tribal and earth-like styles. Shannon’s unique style has saw literally jaw-dropping results. It’s my honor and joy to host her here today.
I’ve been married for over 18 years and am the mother to an incredible 15 year old daughter that I home school! My sweet husband is my biggest fan and encourages me in every way. A few little things you might not know about me would be that I’m an organic farmer, a collector of ancient artifacts, and am mildly obsessed with bugs, lol! I live in the beautiful city of historic Charleston, SC- actually on a farm just outside the city! We love raising wholesome foods and learning lots of ways to cook different things. Health is an important part of my life and I love to work out and find ways to keep my family moving, we kayak and hike whenever we can!
It all started as a messy accident-quite literally! Many years ago when my daughter was little she had a collection of Sculpey clay. I opened a craft cupboard and it spilled all over the floor like a rainbow of squishy color! As I was fussing about the messy way my daughter had stashed the clay in the cupboard I began picking up the remnants and ideas seemed to pour from my head! I grabbed some of scraps, sat down at my table, and the incredible journey began! It all started when I wore a pair of little squiggle earrings that I made to my local grocery store- I got 3 orders that day and I haven’t looked back since!
Every artist in the world has something individualistic about what they do. I believe that it’s not only the way art looks, but what goes into each piece that makes it unique. How does the work showcase the artist themselves? My work represents a real life struggle- a neuromuscular disease that struck me at 30 years of age. Every time I create it calls on my strength and my diligence, I’m so grateful that my hands have been spared so far! When I design something I know that it comes from a part of me that is gracious and whole and unbroken- my heart. I think that this is what makes it unique- most people have no idea that I struggle, but that’s ok with me, because I know I’ve overcome.
I do have my own studio! It’s actually in the middle of a massive makeover with custom cabinets, fancy lighting and it’s own office! I create mostly on ceramic tiles and bake my pieces on that as well.
I’m a surface technique junkie! I absolutely love that polymer clay can become almost anything in the world with a little imagination and a lot of exploration! Creating things like dripping rust, or cracking ceramics is something I am pretty obsessed with!
It sounds silly, but I dream about my work. I have entire designs that come to me at night while I’m sleeping, and I wake the next morning to make them. Many times I’ll draw out the design and build the “bones” of the structure, in a similar way to how a seamstress creates a pattern. However, there are sooo many days that I just walk in having no idea what I’m making and my hands do the rest!
I had the chance to create something very simple and very special last year for a little girl. This necklace was my favorite and it had nothing to do with the necklace itself, but everything to do with the story. I received a call from a father who had been desperately searching for a very specific design his 8 year old daughter wanted. She had seen a necklace on her favorite character in a movie and pleaded with him for it. He couldn’t find anyone who had one like it, but was pointed to me for a custom design. We spoke on the phone at least 3 times as I designed the necklace and sent pictures to him of it. He was one of the most kind and joyful people I had ever spoken to. He was so excited to give his little girl what she wanted! The piece was finally finished and he presented it to his daughter. Only a few weeks later this father passed away from cancer. He never told me he was sick, never complained once, and was happy every time we spoke. I found out just a few days after his death that this necklace was the last thing he wanted to give to his daughter before he died. This necklace was to remember him by. I felt so incredibly blessed to be a part of something that he gave his sweet little girl!
“Larry” is my studio mascot. He’s fiercely kind though he looks a little menacing! He was created using my Rustic Raku Technique and another blend of Raku techniques. He didn’t begin with the idea of a mascot in mind….he just appeared! Larry always has nice things to say, he compliments my work, and NEVER fusses over the incredible messes I make. He doesn’t mind sitting in the window and staring out into the studio as I toil away on my work. Every studio needs a Larry!
Well, this is a tough one!!! I admire so many of my fellow artists that it’s hard to name just one. Kathleen Dustin has always inspired me. I like her blend of business and art- I’m a big believer in running the business side of what I do and I think Kathleen has so many accomplishments that reach all over the world.
I absolutely take orders online and I teach online! My website is the place to go for ALL this info including links to my jewelry, my teaching site on Polymer Clay Adventure, my blog, as well as my own tutorials. Check out www.charlestonclayjewelry.com for everything you need to know about what I do!
Shannon’s class at the Polymer Clay Adventure has already been released … but it’s NOT too late to join us. If you join now you can get ALL 22 classes and view them during the duration of 2016 & throughout 2017 as well. If you’ve never been to an online retreat, this one is very special! Be sure to come and join us.
Are you are a polymer clay artist? Would you like to be the featured artist for the month? If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, please go HERE and answer the questionnaire and email your responses to me. Artists are subject to approval and are featured on a first come, first serve basis.