“There’s a mongrel koi in there. It’s the most dangerous of all goldfish” ~ Deuce Bigalow
Home has always been in the Dallas, Texas area where I live, work, play and share a studio with my wife, social director, and high school sweetheart, Judy. Our suburban home seems to be more of a rural country farm, with our koi pond, our cats – Samwise (aka Sam) and Maybelline, and a flock of bantam chickens.
Many years ago I came across some polymer clay sculptures in a southwest art gallery, and I was blown away by the color, pattern and detail of the figures. I started working with this medium back then and have been obsessed by polymer clay (fimo) ever since. As a self-taught artist, I have developed my own personal style and technique, after much practice and study of the contemporary master sculptors I most admire. This is a life-long learning process, and my style is ever evolving.
I primarily work with the millefiori technique. Millefiori (Italian for “thousand flowers”), also known as caning, is an old glassworks technique arranging different colored glass rods to make an image, heated and stretched, then sliced for a repeatable pattern. The properties of polymer clay work well with this technique. Imagine oil painting in 3-D.
Drawing my inspiration from animals, colors and patterns in nature, my process starts with a traditional clay sculpture, and after firing the figure I then apply the millefiori tile mosaic design. Next is finalizing the sculpture, fire again (occasionally multiple times), then go through a 10-12 step sanding and buffing process – all by hand and up to a 12,000 grit. (Yep, 12,000 – not a typo)
So, come on in, stay a while. Check out the gallery and current projects. Like us on Facebook and Instagram!
Henry & Judy at The Mongrel Koi