Jayne has been around the polymer clay world for quite some time. Her work is fun, has a touch of whimsy, is intricate in her detailed expressions of animals and critters inside her canes … and let’s be honest, it’s just plain gorgeous. I’m blessed to own several pairs of Jayne’s earrings and a brooch and wear each with pride. Jayne is a lovely person inside and out and it’s my joy to have her here with us today.
About Jayne Dwyer:
I live with my husband and newly adopted cat in an old farmhouse here in Damariscotta, Maine. I have three children, all grown up, who live nearby. I’ve always created something. Fostering a creative practice feels as natural as breathing air to me. When my business first started, I was a recently divorced single mother with two young boys. Being my own boss, both financially and artistically, helped me to rediscover my freedom and reminded me of the many things I am capable of. While the business side of entrepreneurship was a steep learning curve, it was also one I was eager to tackle. It felt more exciting than daunting. I knew that if I could pull this off, it would hold the key for a better future.
In the beginning, I was living in a one-bedroom apartment on a back road with my children, when I finally purchased a single 2-ounce package of copper-toned polymer clay. At first, I made collage barrettes with textured clay mixed in with pieces of anything I could find. Soon after, I mustered the courage to bring them to a local shop, where they began to sell! As a mother who had been working tirelessly to hold everything together for my family and me, this was the flood of hope and encouragement that I needed to keep going. In keeping with the name of my business name, my first big success as a polymer artist was with miniature hand sculpted coastal scenes of Maine, each with their own little moon- although the moons were no longer made of paper.
What’s the History of Your Art & How You Got Where You Are Today?
I have always been a creator, but I have also always been an explorer. I love taking one small idea and trying it in every way possible. With the sculpted scenes, I made 5,000 before I just couldn’t make another. Finally, my love of birds and flowers pulled me into caning. I had my fair share of trial and error, but I was encouraged by my customers every step of the way. Many of my first customers still follow me, and I am deeply grateful to them. My first bird cane was this blue jay. It weighed 3 lbs, and somehow I wrestled it into submission. The big reveal cut was sheer magic!
What Makes Your Art Unique?
While I mostly work on a small scale, here are a few of my larger projects from years past. These pieces live in our home, and will probably go to the kids one day. A two-dollar yard sale antique table refurbished and topped with poppies, and my Pemaquid Lighthouse Pandemic Project.
Where is Your Art Created?
My studio is extremely simple. I don’t have many bells or whistles. I work at a wooden table topped with a sheet of glass, with a kitchen aid mini stand mixer with a pasta rolling attachment, a few small hand tools, my Lucy slicer (Thanks Ron Lehocky!), and a ton of Premo, Souffle, and Kato clay. My table sits in front of a window facing our backyard and woods, so I get to bird watch while I cane!
What’s Your Process Like? Tell Us About It.
I have been caning for 25 years now, and time has flown by. I am still obsessed with building big blocks and reducing them down into tiny, detailed images. I am very inspired by watercolor paintings. The way the colors are blended is something that I have worked to replicate in my own work, despite the divide in mediums. For me, there is a huge world still to discover in caning. Having a simple format like the one I use allows me ample time to play with the thousands of images left to try. Each new cane feels like discovering a whole new world under a microscope. The anticipation of building an image when you won’t know whether or not it will be a success until you finally slice it open keeps the practice just as thrilling as it was when I first began. I’ve continued to work towards mastering my craft and look back with fondness at who I was then, versus who I am now, both artistically and personally.