sarah’s studio.jpg

Working from my backyard studio for the last 18 years has given me a life that I’m better suited for than any other life I can imagine. When I’m not out in the studio making beads and jewelry out of polymer clay, I’m often in my garden or on the road selling and teaching. I sell my work at about 8 shows a year and teach at about 8 venues a year throughout the United States and recently in Israel and Europe too.

I began making beads in 1987 after recognizing the glass techniques used by early polymer clay artist, Martha Breen . I used a lot of bold graphic patterns often in black and ivory because I liked the way they mimicked the look and feel of scrimshaw. I was influenced by repeat patterns that I saw in African, Asian and European textiles, and I began cutting apart and mirroring the images building more and more complex canes. In 1997 when Judith Skinner shared her color blending techniques I was able to get a more painterly feeling from the canes and I discovered a whole new language in color.


I work intuitively and often use textiles and paintings for sources of inspiration. I will look closely at a painting to try to see the color relationships that the artist has used before reinterpreting these relationships into blended sheets of clay. I layer the sheets of blended clay to create a large blocks of colors from which the cane will be constructed.
I usually build my canes around 6-8 lbs in weight and 4-5 inches in diameter. Before I begin to build, I do a series of detailed drawings to figure out both the color schemes and the placement of the graphics, sometimes taking a very long time to mix and remix sheets of color blends.  I compose the cane from the blocks of color thinking of them as pieces of a 3-D puzzle. After the cane is constructed, I generally cut it apart into many smaller canes that use different parts of the image and modifying each one by “kaleidoscoping” or mirroring the canes until I have a series of different but related canes. I like working with numbers and patterns and I love knowing that I can generate an infinite array of intricate patterns through this process.



18 Responses to “About The Artist”

  1. 1 Christine Kozicke September 10, 2007 at 11:49 am

    Hi Sarah,

    Love your work…love your video. Was wondering….I have the video in vhs….could I have it made into a dvd with your permission….my tape player is eating tapes. Yours is much too valuable to be used as player food.

    I am looking forward to more of your blog. You are truly a talented artist. You are meant to be a teacher…you are so good at it.

    Thank you for sharing yourself with us.


  2. 2 Mary Fassler ( September 10, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    Hi Sarah,
    How fun it is to see that you have a blog!
    I love reading about your amazing talent. I wore one of your pieces just the other day.
    Keep up your notes in cyberspace!

  3. 3 Mary Fassler (Sacramento) September 10, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    Hi Sarah,
    What a fun surprise to find your blog! Nice job.
    I wore one of your pieces just the other day and thought of you.
    It’s nice to see the outside studio where you create your “miracles”.

  4. 4 Nancy Travers September 10, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    Yeah Sarah! regards, nt

  5. 5 polkadotcreations September 10, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    Congratulations on the new blog, Sarah! I took a class with you in New Jersey last March and I loved it. I’m looking forward to seeing what you have to say and, especially, taking a look at any new work you’d like to show off. I’m a big fan. –Lisa

  6. 6 Amanda September 10, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    Thank you for sharing that, I love the look of your studio!

  7. 7 Sherry Bailey September 10, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    Nice beginning to blogdom, Sarah! I have a pair of your early ivory and black fish skeleton earrings — I fell in love with the motif when I rediscovered polymer clay in Nan Roche’s New Clay book, and I was thrilled to pieces to get the chance to own something from that line! (I think from the first Ravensdale.) You are my cane idol! Always inspiring, both your work and your personality! Thanks for that!

  8. 8 myra katz September 10, 2007 at 5:31 pm

    Very happy to see you here.

  9. 9 Sheri Williamson September 10, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    Welcome to blogging, Sarah! Looking forward to hearing about the creative things you’re doing.

  10. 10 Denise September 11, 2007 at 2:25 am

    I look forward to reading more blogs from you. Your color palette and use of patterns are magical and inspirational!!!

  11. 11 Shannon September 11, 2007 at 2:31 am

    This is the first I’ve seen any of your work, and I just wanted to tell you how beautiful I think your canes are! I’ve never seemed to have the patience for canes, or maybe they’re just not my thing. LOL Anyway, I hope to see more from you on your blog!

  12. 12 Kathleen Anderson September 11, 2007 at 2:32 am

    Hi Sarah,

    Glad to see you’ve begun this blog. Surely your students and admirers are peaked by your new beginning. For me, I can hardly wait for your next entries.

    We met at Ravensdale last year. I’m the African American woman who ordered your Intricate Kaleidoscope Cane vhs and took your Celtic knot class. Still, I’m up late, working with clay; it has me in a way not other medium has. I love, love, love it. This year I’ve started to do craft/art shows. Although the going is slow people’s response to my work is encouraging.

    Recently Peg Gerard, a PC artist featured in 400 Polymer Clay Designs, relocated to my home town, Amherst, MA! We met each other one Saturday morning while I was doing a artist market in our community. We were excited to meet each other. We will probably do some joint exhibits and other collaborative efforts. One of which I hope will be starting a guild or at least organizing workshops. Would you be interested in, willing, able, have time to come to Massachusetts(again) to do a workshop/retreat? It may be premature to ask although with your show/teaching schedule this might be a good time to begin a conversation.

    Again, I’m excited to see your blog. Happy writing!

    Kathleen Anderson

  13. 13 Erin Johnson September 11, 2007 at 10:13 am

    Hi Sarah,

    I was quite excited when I found out my favourite polymer clay artist had started a blog. Your video has been an inspiration to me here in Oz where my clay buddies are spread far and wide and teachers are even rarer.

  14. 14 Iris Mishly September 12, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    Congratulation on your new blog 🙂 welcome to the bloggers family!
    Iris Mishly

  15. 15 Trina September 12, 2007 at 8:11 pm

    Nice to see you here. Another resource to keep me out of my studio! LOL I’m going to have to get up an hour earlier to keep up with all of you.

  16. 16 Illaya Brown September 14, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    Congratulations Sarah, your blog will be inspiring to us who adore your work.


  17. 17 Illaya Brown September 14, 2007 at 12:17 pm


    I see fairies dancing near your studio, what a delightful place to create.

    I can see myself with an arrangement like this. What a wonderful way to stretch and get ready to play with clay after a gentle stroll to the studio snipping blossoms and pulling a few weeds.

  18. 18 Bettina September 17, 2007 at 5:41 am

    Congratulations on your blog Sarah – looking forward to reading lots of great stuff…
    If everything goes as intended, we’ll meet again at the Synergy conference – YES!!! I’LL BE TRAVELLING TO MARYLAND! I’m so excited about that.

    I hope you’re well
    take care

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