23 May 2014

My award arrived today

Here is a quick 'selfie' with my award, which arrived in the post today. I will have to take some better photos later. It will find a home in my tiny studio and hopefully inspire me to create more great things with polymer clay.
Thank you IPCA for arranging the competition and the jurors for selecting my sculpture as a winning finalist.
Also, a big thank you to CreativeNZ for the grant funding, which enabled me to attend the EuroSynergy Conference where the awards were announced.

10 May 2014

A mention on The Daily Polymer Arts Blog

My name appeared in the following post on The Daily Polymer Arts Blog:
http://www.thepolymerarts.com/blog/and-the-winners-are/ stating who won the different category awards and 'Best in Show' in the 2014 International Polymer Clay Awards.

07 May 2014

PRESS RELEASE: Local artist wins international award

Local polymer clay artist, Claire Fairweather, from Browns Bay has won ‘Best in Category for Sculpture’ in the 2014 International Polymer Clay Awards. It was for her three part sculpture titled ‘Spring Trio’.
“I am absolutely thrilled to have received this award” says Claire, “it is the first time I have entered an international competition, so to have received world-wide recognition will be a tremendous boost for my polymer clay art and teaching career”.
Thanks to funding from CreativeNZ, to cover travel costs, Claire was able to attend EuroSynergy (an international polymer clay conference) where the awards were announced. She was the only person from New Zealand at the conference, which had representatives from 29 different countries.
Claire has created a wide range of polymer clay artwork, which was shown in a successful exhibition last month at Beach Café in Browns Bay. If you want to try your hand at this very versatile creative medium, Claire will be teaching introduction and advanced polymer clay classes at Glaze Ltd on the North Shore, more details can be found at http://www.glaze.co.nz/craft-art-classes/polymer-clay-classes.html


05 May 2014

04 May 2014

EuroSynergy 2014 - a short summary

EuroSynergy is over and I now start my long journey home. All the presentations were really interesting and useful but I was particularly inspired after the seminars ‘Working with polymer on a large scale’ by Bonnie Bishoff and ‘Polymer lab: new approaches to age-old techniques’ by Daniel Torres and Natalie Garcia de Leaniz. I think they will both greatly help with my forthcoming ideas for illuminated sculpture using translucent polymer clay. It was also great to put real faces to the names I only knew of online; being able to talk to fellow polymer clay artists, sharing knowledge and experiences was so helpful. I met a lot of lovely talented, creative people and feel like I am leaving behind a whole group of new friends.
At the opening night speech I got a special mention, as the person who had travelled the furthest. There were a record 29 different countries represented out of the 146 attendees at the conference and this was the first time that New Zealand had a presence. I think most people got to know me (as the lady with the list), as I took every opportunity to introduce myself to as many people as could, where appropriate giving out the silver fern lapel pins I had made, as small tokens of friendship. They proved quite useful for pinning the conference identity badges to our clothes, as the neck string that they came on was too long and interfered with the necklaces and pendants that many of the attendees were wearing.

When the winners of the 2014 International Polymer Clay Awards were announced, I was thrilled to get a Best of Category for Sculpture award, for ‘Spring Trio’. Particularly when the jurors were: Cynthia Tinapple (founder of the Polymer Clay Daily blog), Christine Knoke (Director of Exhibitions & Chief Curator, the Mingei International Museum) and Christine Dumont (founder of the Europe-based community website Voila!). Unfortunately the actual statuette awards were not brought to the conference (for customs reasons?), so I do not have it yet, they will be posted out to us. All the 2014 International Polymer Clay Awards winners can be seen here http://polymerclaydaily.com/progress-possibilities-2014-winners/ 
The small artwork ‘NZ Kiwi’ that I created for the auction, held at the Gala Dinner on the last night, went to Judy Belcher for €80 (approximately NZ$130). I was pleased that it raised a reasonable amount, as I am not a famous name (yet), and also that it went to a prominent figure in the polymer clay world.

'NZ Kiwi' being auctioned at the Gala Dinner
Now that I can call myself an ‘international award winning’ polymer clay artist, I feel I have reached the point where I can stop trying everything as I teach myself new techniques (not that I will ever stop learning). This next phase in my polymer work will focus on the ideas I have had for a while, for illuminated sculpture using translucent polymer clay. I will need to do a lot of experimentation as I develop what I hope will become my signature style.
Once again, I express my thanks to CreativeNZ, for the grant funding that enabled me to attend EuroSynergy. I feel so inspired now, I just need to find some time to put into action my own creations and also to continue to raise awareness of polymer clay as a creative medium here in New Zealand.