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Artist Bio - Petra
Polymer Clay Artist and Teacher

You can see more of Petra's work by visiting these web pages
Petra's Beads - dedication to my Mum
Petra's Gallery
Clickety Stix

Petra From a young age I wanted to be an artist. I discovered art and the joys of creativity while in high school and again in my first career choice as a jeweller. After working within the jewellery industry for 12 years I began a new journey in the field of antiques and collectibles. During this time I developed a love for modern and contemporary designs and am continuously influenced in my artwork today by the romance of the art deco period and those since.

BraceletsIn 1992 I rediscovered a medium I had used as a child and in doing so opened a new door that would lead me on the path I take today. Polymer clay is a truly modern medium and its versatility appeals to me. Many artists use it, across wide and varied genres. I have chosen it for my work as a bead maker and jewellery designer.

In the years since I first began working with polymer clay I have been fortunate enough to be able to travel the globe and meet many artists who are considered leaders in this medium and have also had the opportunities to learn from them. As my passion for this medium grew, so did my own knowledge and I now spend many hours passing this on to students in my polymer clay workshops around New Zealand and in other countries.

When I first began using polymer clay I felt quite alone in New Zealand not realising that so many other artists and crafters were also using the medium to create their own pieces of art. I found that there was a need for supplies and information and that resulted in my opening a polymer clay supply business. This allows both my right-sided creative brain and left sided logical brain to work in harmony. I'm generally more of a left sided person and the ability to combine both has been an added bonus and it has allowed my creative spirit to roam free.

My work has been published in polymer clay books and magazines, exhibited in galleries around New Zealand and is for sale in stores in the US and Australia as well as on the Internet. I have spoken to many interested groups around the world and have taught classes throughout New Zealand, Australia and the U.S.A.

In December of 2002, a fire almost destroyed my husband's business I found it difficult to create while dealing with the rebuilding of the business although I did continue teaching. Within the year I suffered the tragic loss of my mother and found that my creativeness had curled into a ball and taken a rest. Creativity returned I began to create again and took great joy in developing a new series of work entitled "In my Mothers garden"

In early 2006 I felt the need to take a break from all teaching and creative commitments to allow time for a reassessment of my life and the directions it was taking. Now in the later part of 2007 I am again becoming creative and looking forward to a bright and clayfilled future


Artist Timeline:



  • October - Tutor - Senz South, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • July - Became an accredited Art Clay silver tutor
  • January - Exhibitor - Quilt Symposium, Palmerston North, New Zealand


  • April - Tutor - Creative Fibre Festival, Hastings, New Zealand
  • April - Tutor - Quilt Symposium, Dunedin, New Zealand
  • November - Work Published in Creative Canes by Barbara McGuire


  • April - Invited tutor - Creative Fibre Festival, Ashburton, New Zealand
  • May - Invited tutor - Midland's branch of the British Polymer clay guild
  • May - guest tutor - Rainbow silks - England
  • September - Tutor at the Senz Event Auckland, New Zealand


  • Tutor at the Wanaka Autumn Art School.
  • Exhibitor Tutors exhibition Artworkz Wanaka
  • July - Invited tutor N.Z. machine knitters convergence Christchurch
  • August - Invited tutor at EOPCG - National Polymer Clay Guild conference, San Diego U.S.A.
  • September - Guest tutor at the Senz Event Hamilton New Zealand


  • Guest tutor at the Krafty Lady stamping event Melbourne Australia..
  • Tutor at the Wanaka Autumn Art School.
  • Exhibitor Tutors exhibition Artworkz Wanaka
  • Guest tutor at the Senz Event Hamilton New Zealand
  • Guest tutor at Melbourne Paper Arts Australia


  • Published article "A Clay voyage from down under" National Polymer Clay Guilds magazine the PolyInformer.
  • Winner Her business magazine "Best small business"
  • "Natures Tears" accepted and sold at the Cleveland living arts awards exhibition
  • Published in "Next" magazine


  • Guest speaker Llandrindod Wells, Wales Miniature group
  • Guest tutor at the Dayton Area Polymer Clay Guild Ohio U.S.A.
  • Guest speaker, Chicago Area Polymer Clay Guild
  • Published "Creating Functional and Decorative vessels in Polymer Clay" by Jacqueline Gikow.
  • Invited Beta tester for Kato Polymer clay


  • Published Miniatures Australasia.
  • Guest tutor New Zealand miniature enthusiasts' convention Wellington"


  • Published "Foundations in Polymer clay" by Barbara McGuire
  • Published British Polymer Clay Guilds magazine "Polynews"
  • Guest tutor Australian Miniature enthusiasts' convention


  • Exhibition Courtyard Pottery Christchurch
  • Pieces accepted for display in Fimozone polymer artist's gallery San Francisco, California
  • Beads accepted for sale B & B Beads, Seattle Washington
  • Pieces accepted for sale in "The Store" Ravensdale Polymer Convergence Washington


  • Exhibition "Threadz 'N' Beadz Marina Gallery Whangerai
  • Published first issue of the British Polymer Clay Guilds magazine "Polynews"


  • Winner 'First International Juried Exhibition of Polymer Clay Beads
  • Pieces accepted for sale Shepherdess Bead Store San Diego California
  • Published in Next Magazine.
  • Selected to be the contributing editorial artist for Dunkley's Craft Fairs.

Leaf Masks Polymer Clay is a modelling compound that can be moulded and manipulated in many ways. It is simple to use and requires very little outlay for the beginner. Because of this it is used "across the board' in many arts and crafts fields. Some examples include:


  • Sculpting - Doll makers, Animators, Television industry, Teddy bear makers
  • Fibre artists - Buttons and embellishments
  • Jewellery - beads, pendants, earrings
  • Book artists - Covers and embellishments
  • Miniaturists - food and accessories
  • Jewellery - beads, pendants, earrings
  • Rubber stampers and scrapbookers - embellishments

Leaf Masks Being a relatively new medium, many artists working with polymer clay have explored methods and techniques from other arts and crafts to stretch the boundaries of what can be achieved by using polymer clay. It has been carved, inlayed, layered, painted over, spliced and much more. With the constant developments within the industry, new types of polymer clays are always being developed and we now not only have the standard type but it also comes in a flexible form and liquid form allowing new directions for the creative mind. Popular techniques include:

  • Millefiori
  • Mokume Gane
  • Ghost Imaging
  • Photo transfer
  • Mould work

Mums Gardens My objective has been to introduce polymer clay and its uses to as many artists and crafters around New Zealand as I can. As a teacher in this medium, I offer many classes. Most of these classes are technique orientated, as polymer clay is a medium of many methods. Once a method is learnt it can be applied to the students chosen field easily and I always have completed pieces with me for the students to view and be inspired by.



Classes include:

  • Buttons, baubles and beads
  • Working with Shapelets and Stamplets
  • Techniques for the miniaturist
  • Millefiori A, B and then C
  • Working with metallic clays
  • Fabric techniques in Polymer clay

Visit Petra's Class Schedule page to see what is available in your area this year.

Website last updated December 2008

2005 - 2008 Petra
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