Name: Sherry Blythe
Age Group (under 15 is Pussy Willow; over 15 is Cherry Blossom): Cherry Blossom (but feel free to add old cherry seed as an age group lol)
Business Name: Novel Notions by Sherry
Art Medium: polymer clay
ALBH: How did you get into working with clay and making jewelry out of it?
SB: Jewelry making I’ve done for years as a hobby but one day my son brought me several packages of polymer clay he had and told me he thought since I was “artsy” I may find them fun. I purchased a book and from the day I opened the first package I was hooked! I have been self-taught through books and the internet, trial and error.
ALBH: Was the medium hard to learn?
SB: Some of the faux techniques are difficult and getting things just the way I want them took practice, practice, practice (and still causes me to discard some of what I make). The basics, however, are not hard and it’s a really fun medium even for hobbyists.
ALBH: How long have you been at this?
SB: Jewelry…about 6 years, polymer clay specifically….about 3 years
ALBH: As a buyer, how would I care for one of your pieces?
SB: Polymer clay is very light weight but extremely durable. Once cured it is resistant to breaking and water, but I recommend no continual or prolonged water exposure. Cleaning is as easy as a damp cloth. For silver plate wire or silver wire, you can use expensive silver polish, but a really easy method is to use a little toothpaste on a soft bristled brush to gently scrub, rinse, then dry thoroughly. Do not use gritty brands such as those containing baking soda as it can cause pitting and scratching. The same method can be used for copper unless you love the verdigris patina of old copper in which case…little to no cleaning.
ALBH: What does the word “Hippie” mean to you?
SB: A hippie to me is someone who not only can think outside the box, they refuse to be put IN a box, and actually are more likely to go around taking everyone’s box and recycling them!
ALBH: What advice do you have to offer other artists?
SB: Express yourself no matter what…even on the darkest, gloomiest days when you think no one cares and no one appreciates your efforts. Even on those days YOU do, and an artistic personality must not be stifled. And pump up the volume to whatever music makes your soul sing!
ALBH: How long does a typical piece take you to make?
SB: A new creation that I want to be able to duplicate can take several days because first I have to create the sketch, transfer it to clay, etch it in, bake then create a mold and bake that. Some of my molds such as the paw prints are extremely intricate. Once a mold or a process has been perfected, I can create a completed piece within a few hours, taking into account baking and cooling time.
ALBH: What do you do for fun, outside of your art?
SB: We love to spend time at playgrounds and parks, also swimming, the beach, anything going on in the community that is interesting. I would love to do more traveling and take every opportunity that presents itself. Reading….constantly.
ALBH: Why do you think your art is a good fit for A Little Bit Hippy? To me, A Little Bit Hippy is eclectic and “earthy”, fun with a kick of “making a statement”; I like to think that defines my art as well.