Meet the Maker - Cara Hayman

Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Today's Meet the Maker interview comes from Paper Scissors Stone guest - Cara Hayman aka CaraJane.  Cara makes the most stunningly intricate polymer jewellery - here is a little more about her and her work...

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
I’m a polymer clay artist and tutor living in Fishponds, Bristol with my husband and 2 children. I’ve worked as a research scientist and a primary school teacher but am now enjoying pursuing a more creative career. I started with polymer clay when I was 7 years old; making a tea set and miniature food for my Sindy doll. It was then a casual hobby until about 5 years ago when I came across some amazing polymer clay work on Flickr and got Donna Kato’s ‘The Art of Polymer Clay Millifiori techniques’ book – I’ve been totally hooked ever since!  The patterns in my jewellery are made from millifiori canes which are like sticks of rock with the pattern running throughout. I like to use a mix of different patterns on one pendant as it makes it much more interesting. I hand sand and polish most of my items so they not only look lovely and shiny but feel wonderful to touch too! 

Apart from creating things what else do you enjoy doing? 
I enjoy spending time with friends, especially creative ones. I like to listen to music and dance. I used to read a lot but now to relax I like to spend time looking at images of artwork on pinterest and flickr I also have a new found passion for making ice cream after I was given a posh ice cream maker for my birthday.

Where does your inspiration come from? 
I get a lot of inspiration from clothing. I pick up patterns and colours from fabrics. I love being able to make a piece of jewellery that matches my outfit completely! 

Describe your studio or workspace? 
It’s a mess! When I am feeling creative I have no time or inclination to stop and tidy up – I just go with the flow. I often end up working in a tiny little section of my huge workbench. I am in the middle of a reorganisation so the photograph of my workspace is how it is at the moment rather than a typical view. I wish it was a more calm serene spot but when I’m creating I don’t really notice anything other than the polymer clay in front of me anyway. My workspace is in the hub of our house, a room that opens up onto our dining room where we also spend a lot of time. On one side of the room is the shared family computer and storage for the children’s toys and games. On the other side is a long workbench with shelving above it where I keep all my polymer clay and tools. It seems hard to believe that I used to keep my polymer clay and tools in one shoe box! 

What is a typical work day for you? 
I’m not a creature of habit so every day is different. Some days I’m mixing up custom colours of polymer clay and making the patterned millifiori canes, other days I’m making jewellery or teaching others how to work with polymer clay. I spend more time than I would like dealing with admin work and emails as well as keeping up with all the social networks! 

What do you love most about what you do? 
I love teaching polymer clay because I love to share the magic. It’s wonderful to see the look on people’s faces when they cut into their first cane, the canes don’t look so great at the ends when you make them so people worry they aren’t any good until they trim off the end and see the true pattern inside. I struggled and learnt the basics on my own so it’s nice to be able to help people find their feet much more quickly with some expert guidance. 

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be? 
It’s great to peek into anyone else’s creative space. I find it fascinating looking at people tools and the things they surround themselves with when they are creating. If I had to pick one it would probably be Jennifer McCurdy who makes exquisite wheel thrown porcelain vessels. I’d love to watch her work and see what I could transfer from her techniques to my own polymer clay work! 

Which local artist/maker do you most admire? 
Bristol is a very creative city and there are loads of artists and makers I really admire. I particularly love the prints of Emily Ketteringham and Melanie Wickham and the gorgeous glass made by Robyn Coeteze and Jane Reeves

Tell us your current loves: 
* Shop – clayaround a specialist polymer clay online shop 
* Restaurant / Café – Acapella on the Wells Road
* Magazine- The Polymer Arts 
* Book – Steal like an Artist – Austin Kleon
* Designer / maker / artist –Sarah Shriver 
(hmm I am rather polymer clay obsessed!) 

If you were stranded in the wilds somewhere, what item would you need with you the most? 
Plenty of Gin and tonic – the quinine would protect me from Malaria of course!

Thank you Cara - such a great interview!

You can find Cara's gorgeous Millifiori jewellery for sale in our Paper Scissors Stone SUMMER shop.

Paper Scissors Stone
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus

Mon - Sat:  10am - 6pm
Sun:  11am - 5pm

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