Marie Davis

Artist Statement: 
Some of my earliest memories are of heading out into the woods and fields with a magnifying glass and a sack lunch. I spent days fascinated by discoveries of the micro world. Today I’m drawn into my work in a similar way. I love the challenge of creating a piece that 'works' from a distance as well as up close; ideally rewarding the viewer who takes a closer look. My medium of choice is polymer clay. With its wide color palate and ability to create fine detail, I believe we are well matched.

After studying ceramics in Iowa, Marie traveled a lot. But a potter's wheel and kiln are heavy and she likes to travel light. When a friend introduced her to polymer clay, or "fimo," the portability problem was solved. Marie has focused on a "caning" technique, where rolls and layers of differently colored clay are fitted into long strips. These are then fitted into place like a long puzzle, a cane. Then she cuts the cane with a very sharp blade, revealing an intricate design on each side of the slice. Photo Essay: Caning with Polymer Clay Photographs by Amira Pualwan

1: Here’s an example of the colors I’ve started with and the colors I’ve mixed to use in this design.

2: A pasta maker is a great tool for blending colors and creating even layers.

3: Rolling coils is a good starting place on the way to making other shapes.

4: After rolling the dark green through pasta maker on a very thin setting, I am using it to make the outlines that define the leaves.

5: I then shape the leaf coil into a single leaf.

6: Here I’ve put three leaf coils together and am filling the gap with the green background color.

7: This is the face of the bundled leaf coil after I’ve rolled it down to the size I want to work with.

8: Once the leaf bundles are all rolled down to size, I stack them together to build the center of the cane.

9: The center is complete.

10: After rolling even layers of red, orange, and black, I layered them together to create the line pattern around the outside edge of the cane.

11: This shows how I’ve stacked the striped layers and placed them around the edge.

12: Now to make the corner pieces I’m wrapping layers around a center orange coil.

13: I’ve pinched the round coil into a square, so that it will fit into the open spaces at the corners of the cane.

14: After wrapping the whole cane in a thin layer of black the cane work is finished. When I slice into it the two faces are mirror images of each other.

15: The cane is then cut and baked into my desired shapes and, voila!

Artist Town: