I stumbled across Steffi and her company Poly Pattern recently. I'd love for you to know what she does because it's funky, unique and all the materials that she uses are vegan.
Scroll down to see what Steffi has to say about Poly Patterned.
Don’t Be Beige, Be Bright
Hello everyone. My name is Steffi Hendriksen, I am 26 years old, and I live in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, UK. I have an artist’s studio there, which gives me the space to be a polymer clay, which I'm hugely passionate about. I am also crazy about being a jewellery artist and designer.
I graduated from Northumbria University back in 2011, where I studied fine art. Soon after graduating I realised that my real passion was making jewellery. I always knew that I wanted to create and make work, and as an artist I feel compelled to create, feed my passion and share my creations, and inspirations with others.
“If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.”
One afternoon, whilst browsing the net I stumbled across an artist medium called polymer clay, which is essentially a type of modelling clay which has similar properties to plasticine. It can be moulded into any shape you desire, and hardened by placing it in an oven. The temperature needed and the time needed to harden the clay varies according to the brand of clay used, but is usually around 15 to 20 minutes for the clay to bake and solidify.
I like to work with “Fimo Soft” polymer clay as I find it is the most manageable and malleable for me. Fimo clay is made by a German company called Staedtler, and is recognised all over the world as a leading brand. After I found this material, I was hooked! It is so diverse and easy to use, that the possibilities are endless, and I’m forever creating and experimenting. The colours are really captivating, and the repetitive notions of twisting, rolling, turning and folding reveals intricate patterns, bursts of colour, and for me, lots of moments of excitement.
This is how my handmade jewellery business “Poly Patterned” was born. I didn't always intend on making a business from my art, but that's how it's worked out.
So you’re probably wondering how do you get from a block of clay, to something so intricate and detailed? Well you pick the colours that contrast each other, and really make each other pop out. You then take the clay out of the packet and begin to work the clay in your hands, pressing, rolling, squeezing until the clay feels warm and soft, and you can twist and roll the clay without it breaking into small pieces. Once the clay is conditioned enough you roll out it into different sheets, cutting and rolling, and stacking or twisting the colours into each other. There is no right or wrong way to work the polymer clay, but each and every movement you make determines how your finished design or pattern looks. I don't follow any particular techniques to accomplish a pattern. The way in which I like to work is quite abstract and quick, I like how forgiving the clay is, and how original your designs can be.
All my jewellery collections are one of kind pieces and they have been made by hand with no final design in mind. I let my imagination and the artistic process do its job to create something rather quirky and unique. I allow my work to take on a persona of its own and let the pieces speak for themselves as individuals.
Two years ago I began the adventure of setting up my own handmade jewellery business, in the hope of selling my handmade creations, by attending several fairs throughout the North East, regularly trading at Durham Market on a Saturday, and selling through my site and an online shop.
I have yet to conquer online. However, I have had my jewellery collections in a few shops and galleries, whilst I continue to work on achieving my dream of being a successful artist, selling my jewellery and making a steady income, along with making customers happy and creating an ever-growing collection of Polymer Clay. I want to be working with clay for many years to come and to continue having fun with it.