Location

Tucson, Arizona
United States

About the Artist

Studying archaeology and geology gave Laura a love of the outdoors. After college, she spent nearly 10 years living overseas and traveling, being immersed in other cultures. Always fond of animals, she more recently became a birder—now having seen over 800 species. With these varied experiences, it's no surprise that Laura has worked with many creative media. Professionally, she spent 8 years hand-drawing maps and 16 years as a website designer. Creativity for fun included textile arts, jewelry design, and mosaics. In 2008, she discovered polymer clay thanks to Christi Friesen and Laurie Mika and was hooked.

Later, she studied traditional 2-D art media—receiving a Certification in Nature Art in 2019 from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Art Institute. She now teaches polymer clay classes there (currently on hiatus due to the shortage of clay). Her recent work is often low-relief, polymer clay and mixed media wall pieces. Laura belongs to the Tucson Polymer Clay Guild, the International Polymer Clay Association, and the Southern Arizona Arts Guild. Her work has been exhibited in juried, invitational, and solo shows at diverse venues across Arizona and as far afield as Germany. 

Websites

https://www.3larts.com

2021 Exhibition Images

Just Floating

Just Floating

7.5 x 9.5 x 0.75"

Polymer clay, acrylic paint

My entry into the "Sunset Suites" collaborative project organized by Philip Weigard shown at HKW in Berlin, Germany. I was excited to be a part of the project that challenged artists to use Philip's "Polymer Clay Sunset" tutorial as a starting point for their own creation. In addition, my piece was inspired by the work of nature artist Andrew Denman who sands down multi-colored layers of textured acrylic paint creating a mokume gane effect. The only paint I used was for shadows and highlights on the duck. The piece is thicker at the bottom than at the top to add to the sense of perspective. The bird is a Ruddy Duck and, yes, he does have a brilliant turquoise bill in the breeding season to attract the ladies.

Related Gallery

Two Dimensional Work

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 Duck with a turquoise bill, reflected on water with ripples

Avocet Reflects

Avocet Reflects

5 x 7 x 0.5"

Polymer clay

Before starting on "Just Floating" I did this small piece of mokume gane water as a test of colors and impressing tools. Although I liked it, I felt the water didn't have enough contrast, so I made changes for the larger piece. I later finished this one, creating contrast with the bird focal point, for a local show entitled "Reflections." American Avocets are one of my favorite birds. Despite their crazy long legs and funny, upturned beaks, they look so elegant and delicate.

Related Gallery

Two Dimensional Work

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 Black, white, and rust-colored bird with long legs and long beak, reflected in water with ripples

Western Tanager Portrait

Western Tanager Portrait

7 x 5 x 0.25"

Polymer clay with pastel powder & acrylic paint on a watercolor & colored pencil background

I enjoy combining polymer clay with traditional 2-D media. My goal is to create a seamless composition. This piece is the prototype for a class I teach at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Art Institute. These beautiful birds visit the Tucson area during the warmer months. They aren't common though, so it's always a treat to see one.

Related Gallery

Two Dimensional Work

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 Yellow, red, and black bird sitting on a branch

Back to the Map

2020 Exhibition Images

Monster Emerging

Monster Emerging

Polymer clay, wire mesh, acrylic paint, glitter, and oil pastels over acrylic ink painting on clayboard; 14 x 11"

This Gila Monster lizard used to visit our house. He was a little over a foot long and the piece is close to life-size. Gila Monsters have bumps all over their bodies. Each bump was individually cut out with a micro cutter, applied, and shaped by hand using custom tools I created from silicone molding material. There are over 2,000 bumps on the clay part of the lizard. The back half of the lizard and of the background are a 2-D acrylic ink painting with details scratched into the ink using an X-acto knife. I wanted to create the effect the lizard was coming out of the painting.

Related Gallery

Two Dimensional Work
Giant Hawkfish: Sea of Cortez

Giant Hawkfish: Sea of Cortez

Polymer clay, wire mesh, mica powder, Micron pen, gel pens, acrylic paint, oil paint, embossing powder, seed beads, microbeads, seashells, fossil coral, epoxy, wire, and MDF board; 8" x 10"

Hawkfish are so named because they perch on their fins on top of rocks waiting for prey. This fish is called Mero Chino (Chinese grouper) in Spanish because its markings look a bit like Chinese characters.

Related Gallery

Two Dimensional Work
Horny Toad

Horny Toad

Polymer clay, mica powder, pastel powders, acrylic paint, glass beads, glitter; 5.5" x 4" x 1";

The sculpture is approximately life-size, but the colors are a bit intensified. Most Regal Horned Lizards, their proper name, have more subtle coloring to blend into the sandy ground where they live. They do have the lighter spot on their heads, the lighter stripe down their backs, and the lighter spines on their sides. Their horns are not shiny though; that's my artistic license. These animals live in some of the driest areas of Arizona and eat mostly ants. I think they are adorable.

Related Gallery

Three Dimensional Work

Back to the 2020 Exhibition Map

IPCA2016 Horiz

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