Polymer Clay Jewellery
Fiona Herbst is a jewellery designer/maker who works almost exclusively with polymer-clay. Polymer-clay is a man made clay baked in a conventional oven which offers the maker an abundance of colours and variability. She uses fine art and original design taking a minimalist approach that plays with colour, texture, structure and design.
Fiona Herbst lives with her husband and her menagerie of animals in the townland of Portlean, a picturesque rural location in Co. Donegal, Ireland. She has four children.
Art and creativity has always been part of Fiona’s life. Both her parents and grandparents were collectors of fine art. Fiona states that “although I always wanted to go to art college I was directed towards a more ‘sensible’ choice of career, my other interest – social work”.
But art was never put aside. In college she discovered polymer clay. “Creativity was my form of relaxation. I would knit, sketch, paint, write and then I discovered polymer clay. At first I started making brooches and earrings for friends and family and this led me to selling from a billboard on the streets of Belfast. My sales contributed to my much needed entertainment expenses during the hard times of student life”.
When starting her career as a social worker Fiona retired from making jewellery to sell. But about 8 years ago when Fiona was asked to contribute something for a school fair, she remembered her old box of polymer clay and in this moment she rediscovered her passion for working with clay.
With the fair being a resounding success and her children older, Fiona decided that the time had come to try a change of career. Her mantra is that when life throws opportunity in your path, it is up to you to pick it up and go!
“I call myself a polymer clay artist specialising in jewellery. I see each piece as a work of art. My work is all about experimenting and creating with colour . Colour makes a statement, creates a mood and allows you to express yourself, to be playful, daring and imaginative”.
Fiona attends regular workshops by international artists to keep herself current and up to date with the latest techniques. Her work has been featured in Polymerclay Daily. She is a member of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, the Irish Polymer Clay Guild and the International Polymer Clay Association .
“What I love most about working with polymer clay is its great flexibility. You can literally do anything. I often start with one intention and end up with something quite different and more often different is even better than what was intended. My inspiration surrounds me living in this beautiful county along the renowned Wild Atlantic Way, a place of not only astounding beauty but rich in culture and history, providing the artist with a never ending pallet of inspiration”.