Joan Israel

Joan Israel

From a young age, I have always been fascinated by creativity and art. I channeled my own creativity into my studies at the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan and later, went on to graduate from Pratt Institute, majoring in advertising design.

Having worked a lifetime in The Arts in a variety of media (textile design, painting, photography, ceramics), I discovered such joy, working with polymer clay about twelve years ago. I had been working with ceramics when I saw a polymer clay demonstration. I was drawn in by the colors and the simplicity of the clay. I joined the New York Polymer Clay Guild where I met others who knew so much about working with polymer clay. Workshops were available, taught by very accomplished artists. The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn!

And I learned a myriad of techniques from these talented artists! Mokume Gane is a Japanese technique of thinly slicing stacks of colored clay to reveal an interesting pattern while Faux Surfacing is used to imitate gemstones! I especially love creating canes, arranging different colors in a roll and slicing into pieces, much like a sushi chef!

I began decorating various bottles, realizing how many different sizes and shapes were available. Liquor bottles added to the variety and my ideas kept flowing!

I added canvases and jewelry to my repertoire and never lack for something to decorate! I find the polymer clay very seductive; you just want to make things with it!

I joined other guilds, notably the Long Beach Art League, Artists Craftsmen of New York, and most recently, I was invited to join the National League of American Pen Women.

What I love most about working with polymer clay is the thought process involved in creating something new. I am forced to think how the clay will work with other surfaces, how it can be built up, or how it will adhere to something else. For me, it is about utilizing my brain and keeping it active. At (almost) 80 years old, I want to keep my brain cells busy!

<Pussy Cat, Polymer clay over glass bottle>


Joan Israel
Mixed Media (Polymer on Canvas)