"It's not about creating a product quickly, it's about creating something unique and constantly improving technically."
Hello Astrid! It’s been a while since we published your artwork on the cover of the Polymer Week Magazine, and now you are a part of our event. Thank you for joining us! Where the idea to portray plants as lively and real as possible came to your mind?
Hi! This is the direction in which my work has developed in recent years. Mixing the colors more and more perfectly and developing more and more complicated canes with very fine patterns. Plants are perfect for this. I love sitting in the studio for hours and tinkering with the details.
For a philodendron, the class I am going to teach at the event, I spent several days thinking of color recipes alone, then made six canes using the same colors and different building techniques to figure out how to create the desired effect. It's not about creating a product quickly, it's about creating something unique and constantly improving technically.
We could not agree more. Would you like to tell us about what students in your classes will learn from you?
The class is suitable for anyone who is interested in extraordinary cane work and also finds it exciting to dive into the world of polymer clay miniatures. The miniature philodendron we will make is wonderfully detailed and delicate, and I developed it as an exclusive class, especially for the students of Polymer Week 2023.
You will learn how to mix the natural ver green tones, build the detailed cane which involves various techniques and make a complete miniature including all the details such as aerial roots, flower pot, and potting soil.
That is going to be such an amazing class! How did you choose the right material for such creations?
I have tested myself through various clay brands and mixed the different brands in terms of transparency, strength, flexibility, and availability depending on what I use them for.
My leaves are extremely thin and need to be very flexible and strong. I attach great importance to the best materials and professional workmanship. I think that if you put so much time into creating something, you should make it last a very long time.
What is your experience with people who might know polymer clay, but have not realized your miniatures are from the same material?
Most people in Germany know "Fimo" from their childhood and remember lumpy brooches and small animals that they kneaded with their parents. That was also my first contact with the material in the 80s.
In my experience most people outside the community don't immediately understand what material my miniatures are made of and even if they do, they often don't understand how the miniatures are technically made. It often requires some explanation that the patterns in the clay are made with the cane technique and are not painted on.
Speaking of the working environment, on your Instagram, you share your beautiful studio space, how does it feel to create in such place?
It's a great privilege to have a place like this just to work and create, and I've worked hard for it. I keep adapting the studio to my current projects. I now have professional tools and equipment, but I would like to say that polymer clay is perfect for being creative with limited space and simple tools.
As you live in Germany, does the local culture inspire you somehow? How is the scene of contemporary art there?
I live in the Ruhr area, a region in western Germany that has been shaped by structural change in recent years. After the closure of the mining and steel industries, the region left many vacant buildings that are being converted into cultural sites. In this way, it is developing into a cultural metropolis that opens up many opportunities for young, emerging artists and offers a great network. The art scene is young, diverse, and well connected and I love working here.
You began your artistic career at the Academy of Fine Arts in Münster, how did that change your view on art itself?
My studies at the academy and the university have had a great influence on my view of artistic work. It is a very free study that puts the development of your own artistic positions first. In addition, you learn scientific work and art history. You gain your first exhibition experience and can make important contacts.
But I also have a critical view of the art world and its marketing. I'm happy to see that many young artists can present themselves in a self-determined manner and are no longer dependent on a few decision-makers.
Being very active on social media, would you say that in today’s world, it is necessary to reach people and possible customers of your art?
Presenting yourself on social media should be a personal choice. For me personally, it was the right decision to do this and let my work develop organically on social media.
It is a wonderful opportunity to present your art worldwide and to network with other artists and creatives. The huge community opens up endless possibilities and also reaches potential customers worldwide.
It’s true that we found you on the Internet as well! And now you are one of the teachers of the Polymer Week 2023. Are you looking forward to it?
I'm so excited to finally meet so many people from the community in person and to be a part of this great event. I am also very happy to be able to teach such a great and advanced class.