CLAIRE FAIRWEATHER - artist/designer

A naturally creative person with a strong flair for design, Claire originally trained as a landscape architect in the UK, but has always studied and practiced art, craft and design in some form. Gaining extensive experience during her lifetime, she has tried most types of painting media and many crafts, regularly selling her work through craft fairs, exhibitions and galleries. 

Since moving to New Zealand, in 2009, Claire has worked extensively with polymer clay. First using polymer clay to make 'Art-Brooches', Claire has gone on design other fashion accessories and one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces, sculptures and other decorative items as well as mosaic art with her own hand-made polymer clay tiles. Her signature mosaic style is using round tiles. 

Claire’s work is not limited to using polymer clay. She has recently started dot painting with acrylic paint, and enjoys experimenting with different media, to suit the creation at hand. Favourite themes include flowers, landscapes and seascapes, with colour and texture featuring strongly in her work.

She has won several international awards: ‘Best in Sculpture’ (2014), 'Functional Containers' (2017) and 'Wearable Jewelry' (2017), all at the International Polymer Clay Awards. Claire also won 1st Prize in the 3D category in the national New Zealand Mosaic Art exhibition (2018), along with several awards with regional art centres/shows (2012, 2016, 2018, 2019). 

Keen to promote the versatility of polymer clay as a creative leisure, hobby and fine art medium, Claire has given illustrated talks, demonstrations and workshops. Now living in the south-east Coromandel town of Whangamata, she is an active member of the local Arts Collective, exhibiting and selling her work through exhibitions and at local markets.

AWARDS (NZ/International)
Merit Award in 3D Category - 2019 Estuary Arts Centre Members Merit Awards
People's Choice Award - 2018 Members Merit Awards Exhibition, Lake House Arts Centre
1st Prize in 3-Dimensional category - New Zealand National Mosaic Art Exhibition 2018
Juror's Choice in 'Functional Containers' - 2017 International Polymer Clay Awards
Juror's Choice in 'Wearable Jewelry' - 2017 International Polymer Clay Awards
'People's Choice' - 2016 Puhoi Art Show
'Best in Sculpture' - 2014 International Polymer Clay Awards
'People's Choice' - 2012 Members Merit Awards Exhibition, Lake House Arts Centre

ART/CRAFT/DESIGN QUALIFICATIONS - all taken in the United Kingdom

Sept 2008 - Paper Embellishment for Jewellery and Other Creative Uses (2 day course) at West Dean College, West Sussex, UK. Tutor: Helyne Jennings

Jan 2008 - Glass Fusing for Beginners (2 days) at West Yorkshire Print Workshop, Mirfield, West Yorkshire, UK. Tutor: Liz Danby

2006? - Learning to Love Acrylics (1 day) at Arundel, West Sussex, UK. Tutor: ?

Feb 2005 - Enamelling (2 day course) at Higham Hall, Cumbria, UK. Tutor: ?

June 2002 – Introduction to Mosaics (2 day course) at West Dean College, West Sussex, UK. Tutor: Jo Letchford

Oct 1997 – Introduction to Glass Painting (7 day course) at Flatford Mill, Suffolk, UK. Tutor: Paul Quail

1996 – Stained Glass (1 term evening class) at Rother Valley College, South Yorkshire, UK.

June 1996 – Introduction to Stained Glass (2 days) at West Dean College, West Sussex, UK. Tutor: Paul San Casciani

1987 – MA in Landscape Design (Pass) at the University of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK

1986 – Diploma in Landscape Design (Pass) at the University of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK

1984 – BSc (Hons) in Landscape Design and Plant Science (Class 1) at the University of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK

1981 – A level Art (Grade A) - school

1979 – O level Art (Grade B) - school


mixed media
water colour

pen and ink

polymer clay
air drying clay

polymer clay
ceramic and glass

painting (craft)
painting (fired)
stained – traditional lead came and copper foil

paper embellishment
greetings cards
photo mounts
rubber stamping

fabric painting
covered photo frames

thermoplastic (Friendly Plastic)
picture framing
furniture restoration
house decorating (all aspects)
garden design and construction