Joyce and I are members of the same doll club, The Central Texas Art Doll Sculptors, and I’ve admired her whimsical, “twinkle-in-her-eye” ornery style from the beginning. The first ADAA in 2011, I pressured Joyce to put some of her pieces into our Show and Tell and I oohed and awed over her miniature Halloween witch that was anything but witchy. Much to my surprise, Joyce gifted me her creation at the end of the event and it’s now a prized part of my October decorations.
Joyce is teaching two 1-day classes at ADAA 2015: Fireclipper Shrine and Stars in Her Eyes. Both are polymer clay classes with a bit extra!
When asked to introduce herself, Joyce states:
“I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, and creator of whimsical fantasy beings. My family is my heart and a huge source of encouragement and support for my artistic passion which is primarily sculpting. I feel very fortunate to have found and become a part of several polymer clay guilds and CTADS (Central Texas Art Doll Sculptors), a club of talented artists. In fact, my first teaching experience was an elf workshop for the North Texas Polymer Clay Guild, and I have had the honor of teaching and demoing at the other guilds. Last year, one of the guilds I belong to, The International Polymer Clay Association, held a contest. I entered in the sculpting section and one of my woodland elves won 1st place! An international contest!!! I’m still a little stunned.”
I am not the least surprised by Joyce’s accomplishments!
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: Describe what kind of dolls you create and what draws you to this type of sculpture? Do you focus on realistic figures, fantasy figures, cartoons, caricatures or some other unique type of figure?
Joyce: I will try to sculpt about anything but I’m really drawn to whimsical fantasy characters such as elves, dragons. pixies and angels. Creating a little unknown being is such fun because they can be whatever floats through your imagination. Purple elves, pink dragons, farming pixies or snails with butterfly wings! The pool of ideas are endless. On a side note, I have tried to make edgy, dark art dolls and they always turn out whimsical and lighthearted so I’ve learned that’s just not where my heart lies.
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: Where did you start your artistic journey? Did you always know you wanted to be an artist?
Joyce: I can’t remember a time when creating hasn’t been a part of my life. As a small child I wove pine needles into mats, dug clay out of the ground for sculpting my first heads. They dried in the sun and my kiln was a big flat rock. I’ve never run across an object that could not be turned into a craft/ art supply or tool. Did you know a couple of pencils make great knitting needles in a pinch? Years ago when I taught tole and decorative painting, my family would tease me and say, “Don’t leave anything in her reach.”, because it would end up painted. The sad part is – they were speaking the truth. They still have to watch their stuff! Don’t you just love mixed-media?
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: Are you a full time artist or do you have a day job other than your art?
Joyce: If by full time job ,you mean having the freedom to sculpt whenever the inspiration hits, well then, I’m full time. I’m also a full time grandmother of three of the most delightful, imaginative, inspirational kiddos I know. They pose for me, entertain me with their magical interpretive dancing and the plays they write and perform are mind boggling … no really, your mind is boggled after one of their plays but in a very good way. So both of my full time jobs go hand in hand. The grands provide ongoing inspiration with their unabashed glee and cuteness overload.
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: Where do you find artistic inspiration? Do you keep an idea book or journal?
Joyce: For me, ideas and inspiration are everywhere – nature, words, colors and quotes. In fact, one of my classes this year was inspired by a little saying “she has stars in her eyes”. I try to keep a sketch book with me so I can get an idea recorded before it drifts way. Sometimes the ideas are just words on the page, other times it’s an elaborate sketch. I have several books now filled with ideas. It’s fun to look back through them and see how many sketches I’ve sculpted. The sketch books also helps when I’m stuck because leafing through them always sparks my imagination and gets me back to work.
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: Describe your process for starting a new piece. Do you know exactly how your pieces will turn out before you start sculpting/painting or do you allow your creation to develop as you work?
Joyce: Sometimes I just grab a wad of clay and go for it. Other times the idea comes from a detailed sketch mapping out each step. I start a project usually following a sketch or have an idea in my head. Sometimes the little being comes out just as planned – other times they take on a life of their own and boss me around until they come out the way they want. Either way it’s always a hoot!
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: Describe a day in your studio, when you have no other obligations.
Joyce: I am blessed that I have a creative space knowing that I can walk out and close the door. For me the door is very important. When I get tired or stuck, I can walk away from the mess and not have to clean up and put things away. Then, when rested or the mood hits, I can walk through that door and pick up right where I left off.
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: My studio space has a door, but it has a LOT of paper hanging off of it on pants hangers so I can’t close it! Describe an idea that you have that is yet to be born. What is keeping you from starting?
Joyce: Time! I have more ideas than I could ever make in this lifetime. I’m not a fast sculptor – that’s just not me. I work best when I take on one project at a time and work on it till I feel it is complete.
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: What is your favorite part of teaching?
Joyce: Sharing creativity is so important for … wait for it …. more creativity. I enjoy the whole process of teaching and learn so much each time I have the opportunity. I try my best to come up with a piece that can be made differently from the original. This allows the students to go home and make another one and really make it their own. Then at the end of class it’s always a treat to see everyone’s dolls all lined up and see each person’s personality shine through.
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: Joyce, thanks so much for sharing with us at ADAA again this year! I can’t wait to see what your students come up with in your class.
Joyce is teaching two 1-day polymer clay + mixed media classes at ADAA 2015: Fireclipper Shrine and Stars in Her Eyes. See the supply lists and class descriptions on Joyce’s page under Workshops.