Creativity Without Limitation

Posted by on May 17, 2019 in Artists & Their Work, Selma Andrews | Comments Off on Creativity Without Limitation

When an injury limited Selma Andrews’ work in fiber, she shifted to polymer clay and continued her artistic career. Her bold polymer clay designs move in several directions…the ancient glass blowing technique of cane building and free form sculptural construction. 

Selma’s work is also available in the Charleston Craft Online Store.

How long have you been a member of Charleston Crafts Co-Op.

I have been a member of Charleston Crafts for about 14 years.  I can remember doing a craft show and being asked if I would like to join the co-operative.  We had just moved to Charleston and I was delighted when I was accepted.

Many artists have been ‘makers’ all of their lives? Have you always been creative and what mediums did you explore before moving to polymer clay?

I was working in fiber at the time I joined the gallery and made pillows, dolls, wall hangings and purses. After an accident to my wrist, I found it difficult to hold a needle. I had been playing with polymer clay to use as feet for my dolls, so I started making beads and pins.  I found that I could express myself with clay instead of fabric and my polymer looked similar to my fabric art.   I do get an occasional urge to grab a piece of fabric and make a small collage.

Your work encompasses several genre’s…jewelry, sculptural, framed art, ornaments. Do you have a favorite?

If I am having an artist block in making a cane, I can change to sculpture and suddenly an idea for a cane comes to me. There is a flow from one material to another during the creative process.

In the world of art mediums polymer clay is considered ‘the new kid on the block’. What facet makes you want to continue working with the material?

I find there are certain colors that are my favorite and mixing clay colors can give me an entirely new palette.  Polymer clay is such a wonderful and forgiving medium and I try to make each piece unique.

What is the most important tool in your studio?

The tool I find I really could not do without is a pasta machine for making sheets of clay.  

What advice or tip can you offer someone just starting to work in polymer clay?

Polymer clay is a very inexpensive medium to try. My tip for beginners is go to the library and check out a book on polymer clay.  All the information you need to get started can be found there.

Aside from the Charleston Crafts Co-Op, do you belong to any other artist organizations?

I am a member of the International Polymer Clay Guild and the Pittsburgh Polymer Play Guild. Pittsburgh has great polymer artists who  have been generous in sharing tips and techniques.

How do you see your work evolving in the next year?

The Polymer clay community has grown in the past few years and keeps evolving, so I try to keep up with the latest techniques and incorporate them in my work.   I experiment with new ideas and try to keep my work fresh and I hope interesting. I have a few new mermaids for the gallery, experimenting with both large and medium sizes.  I am a big bold jewelry person, but my daughter keeps telling me to make smaller items for everyone to wear. 

Do you participate in art shows? 

Since I am unable to keep a large inventory, I only participate in small local art shows and I have work in a gallery in Virginia.