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Millefiori Inspired Simple Earrings

Millefiori Inspired Simple Earrings

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Sarah Nelson Shriver, Simple Earrings of polymer clay, beads with 14k gold-filled ear wires.

The terms millefiori and caning refer to ancient glass working technique most recognizable in Venetian and African trade beads. These terms have been borrowed to also describe a similar process in a relatively new medium of polymer which hardens when baked. Images are constructed from different colored polymer "clays" which form, and run throughout the length of a cane. The images are revealed each time the cane is cut in cross section, just like slicing a jelly roll. Extruding the cane by hand condenses the image proportionately and since the grain of the polymer is so fine it retains much of its graphic detail and integrity. I am inspired greatly by interlocking patterns in older textiles where the weavers have used primary design elements to convey themes of balance, direction, and interconnection. I try to let similar themes develop and emerge as I combine the canes in an infinite number of variations based on regular patterns.

Sarah Nelson Shriver is an accomplished polymer clay artist. She received her bachelor’s degree in art from the University of California, Davis. Since 1989 she has been working out of her home/studio using the millefiori or caning technique to make buttons, beads and jewelry from FIMO brand polymer clay. Her background in textiles is evident in her designs, which were described in an Ornament magazine review as "meticulous, delicate and elegant.

Sarah has been recognized as a pioneer and master of her craft and has participated in a number of polymer clay exhibits. Her work has sold at various craft galleries and fairs both in the Bay Area and across the United States.