Sherry Goshon is new to the ADAA family, but what an addition she is! She is teaching three 1-day classes: What’s to a Head (Friday, July 25th), The Illusion of Costuming with Paper (Saturday, July 26th), and Fun with Wire, Paper and Cloth (Sunday, July 26th). You can see more of Sherry’s work on her website.
Sherry has taught extensively and had her work exhibited in many venues. She is a past member of ODACA, and has been published in multiple magazines and was invited to create an ornament for the United States White House Christmas tree. Sherry is a self-taught artist with a flair for the dramatic. You only have to see her Facebook Feed to see how she is driven by her creative energy to come up with new characters in cloth and clay. I asked Sherry to send me her bio, and it is so perfect that I’m sharing part of of it with you here, unedited (except for formatting).
If you know or have know anyone that is at heart an artist, then you will understand the futility of trying to offer an accurate description that captures the essence of an artist’s soul. It would be as easy to capture a snowflake in the palm of your hand and describe the wings that give it flight.
To best understand Sherry, look into the eyes of her dolls, for these are the windows of her soul. AT home with any medium, Sherry is one of the gifted (or cursed) few that prefers to sculpt in cloth, however, with great desire to have the faces become more real, she now sculpts her dolls faces of polymer clay and puts fabric over them to keep that warm soft feel of cloth. Cloth offers such a wide rang of colors, patterns and textures; cloth seems to be the only medium capable of keeping Up with Sherry’s many personalities. Yet whichever personality is reflected in any given creation the end result is always the same. For every doll she creates, however whimsical serious or carefree, still expresses an innocent beauty that reflects the true Nature of Sherry’s soul.
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: Hi Sherry, what kind of dolls do you create and what draws you to this type of sculpture?
Sherry: Gosh I love all dolls. I started with pure cloth ones and now do all sorts from sweet to crazy wild as it depends on my mood or what I’m into at the time. I still love doing children dolls and just finished a series of limited edition Alice in wonderland dolls for The Toy Shoppe which has been great fun. My dolls are somewhere between realistic and fantasy…not really either.
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: Where did you start your artistic journey?
Sherry: I have always loved dolls and my g’ma made clothes for my dolls and taught me to sew. I was not a good student. I always wanted to make porcelain dolls but they were so expensive to make and I played with cloth and created a few dolls, awww so many years ago, and then when I could afford to make porcelain dolls I realized I loved fabric. So even though my dolls have clay faces their bodies are cloth. I make much nicer cloth hands then clay and they don’t break.
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: Did you always know you wanted to be an artist?
Sherry: I guess I was always an artist just didn’t realize it, LOL, did color in my gma’s fire place, you know, all the white mortar, well, it was red when I was finished, and I might have painted the bathroom walls with nail polish. Yeppers, red again! I always drew faces on my notebooks and always loved to doodle.
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: Are you a full time artist or do you have a day job other than your art?
Sherry: I’m a full time artist and I have sold wholesale since the very beginning oh like over 25 years. No leap! LOL, just one of those things that happened, way too long a story but anyone can always ask and I will share LOL. Let’s say lousy husband, and two kids to support! LOL! No, not Jeff (my current husband), he is the wind beneath my wings. He believes in me when I don’t believe in me!
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: Where do you find artistic inspiration?
Sherry: Everywhere! And I love to decorate and our trends and colors for decorating flow over in to art, even though you aren’t suppose to buy art to match your home we still are drawn to styles, etc.
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: Do you keep an idea book or journal?
Sherry: Noper, I don’t. I have pages here and there and notes and some journaling when I was applying for ODACA, etc., but not in years.
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?
Sherry: I have NO clue! Well, unless I’m doing some work for a shop, etc., and they ask, but then I still have no clue where they will lead to…
However it all starts with a head. That tells me what kind of body and I then sort of start, and add layers, etc., as I go. I love color and love fabric and so that is part of the inspiration of who the next one will be. Or at least it gets me started.
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: Do you believe you have a muse? If so, how does your muse express his/herself?
Sherry: A muse… well there is definitely something that guides me…and something that is stubborn and sometimes won’t guide me at all! LOL! Buying new fabric always bring my color muse out to play LOL!
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: Describe a day in your studio
Sherry: I’m a third shift kind of girl and usually work on something everyday. Since it’s full time sometimes its paper work or filling patterns orders, etc, but once I get to play, it’s wonderful! I usually get going around 2 in the afternoon… and so often work ‘til 4am.
Once I have begun, my mind spins, and I think of all the stuff I have and go digging. I’ve been downstairs for a while with back troubles, so I’m at the coffee table with carts with wheels, and have to make lists of what to look at when I go up to my studio. I so miss it, as it’s such an escape from everything! LOL!
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: Describe an idea that you have that is yet to be born. What is keeping you from starting?
Sherry: Oh, I have a new head, and she has been screaming at me! But I have been doing lots for The Toy Shoppe, and all my creations for them are limited editions of 5 and so I get orders for more of different ones and have to “work”. Then coming off Christmas we sold over 200 ornaments with them, so that was crazy. But I do take creative breaks and that is how THE head was born. I’m so excited I see lots of antique laces, etc., and then I do have another doll that needs clothing.
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: Do you participate in a regular art gathering, crit group, or other face to face meeting for the purpose of discussing your sculpture or creating it?
Sherry: No I don’t, I’m a hermit, LOL, my bad. I prefer to be home and doing my thing. I, from time to time, do get to sneak away to a class. However, since I teach retreats with my bestie (sis), Jean Bernard, that is my outing like 4 times a year, LOL. And, of course, coming here to ADAA is a treat to see people and visit and I get filled with people and ideas and back home to my ZONE!
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: What advice would you give someone thinking of trying to start up or find such a group?
Sherry: It takes time and energy… and being able to deal with all sorts of peoples personalities. I’ve been part of many different groups, etc. And they are wonderful, but for me it doesn’t work, all though when I teach for a club I’m a bit jealous at all the fun they have!
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: Last question! What is your favorite part of teaching?
Sherry: Awww, seeing people’s faces when they create! It’s so awesome to guide and see peoples artistic ability come out that they just know isn’t there. It’s incredibly fulfilling…
Amy, AnLiNa Designs: Thanks Sherry!
Sherry still has space in her classes, and if you are an aspiring sculptor or have had a bit of experience, Sherry’s classes offer something for you, regardless of where you are in your artistic journey!