Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gera Chandler- aMused Studio

The first time Gera used polymer clay was in 1989 when she made a funky pair of dangly earrings to compliment a painting she had in an exhibition at art school. Her focus was on ceramics at that time so she set the packages of polymer clay aside. Gera's formal art studies paused when she had her children but when she found time for art again she discovered that the internet was populated with communities of artists willing to share ideas, techniques and encouragement and her art studies could continue from home. She spent several years focused upon papier mache, paper-making, book and gourd arts. One day she needed to drill a hole through a stone to add as an accent for a project she was working on. It came to mind to try to make a faux stone with polymer clay. The little exercise was an epiphany for her. She joined an online polymer clay group and was drawn into an innovative community of artists fascinated by this wonderfully adaptive medium that is making inroads in the art world. Polymer Clay has proven to be the perfect foundation medium for Gera's organic mixed media approach and she was soon using polymer clay for figurative sculpture, jewelry and vessel-building.
Polymer Clay is a synthetic material that fires at 275F. It is available in a myriad of mixable colours as well as a translucent version for 3 dimensional effects. It can be sculpted, stamped, carved and even turned on a lathe or potter's wheel. Adding inclusions results in amazing effects imitating natural materials such as jade, opal, turquoise or even rusted metal.
Gera has been a full time polymer clay artist since 1997 and her work is in collections in Canada, USA, Europe, Australia and Japan. She has been involved in juried shows including Sooke Fine Arts, Sidney Fine Arts and The International Polymer Clay Artists Association's Progress and Possibilities Exhibition in Baltimore.. Gera has developed a series of polymer clay workshops which she has taught in BC and Ontario. She belongs to The Crafts Council of British Columbia, The International Polymer Clay Artists Guild, The Vancouver Polymer Clay Artists Guild, The Islands Artisans Association and The Oak Bay Community Artists Society. Gera recently completed a series of courses in contemporary basket-making and is exploring possibilities with combining unexpected materials in three dimensions.