There are moments in time when the sheer rightness of art stops you cold.  There is an indrawn breath, an exhale of delight…the urge to savor and extend the perfection of the moment. Whether natural or manufactured, large or small, complex or simple…it speaks directly to your heart with a sense of joyful recognition.  Creating mixed media pieces provides me with the opportunity to create such moments for myself.  The primitive power and strength of metal and the sophisticated depth and dimension of polymer clay are to me a perfect union.  With polymer, there is an endless evolution in the exploration of color, texture and shape…and endless opportunities for “moments of rightness”.

My background is in the computer industry, where for over 20 years I have designed integrated circuits with computer-aided design tools.  I truly enjoy the work, as it appeals to my analytical nature - I am a Virgo, after all!  Lucky enough to take a three year sabbatical from computer design between 2005~2008, I had the freedom to explore and focus on artistic pursuits more fully.

I've taken classes in glass blowing, glass fusing, lampwork beads, wire working, bookmaking, metal etching, silversmithing and more.  I first learned about polymer clay in 2004 and found I was more passionate about this medium than any other.  My focus so far has been on using polymer clay for jewelry, and I've found that the combinations of shape, color and texture lend themselves to unique wearable art.  My designs reflect my love of color, symmetry and clean lines, yet also allow for a bit of whimsy with incorporation of metal tubing, hardware, semi-precious gemstones and vintage found objects.

I've also found that the design process is two-fold for me.  There is the physical step of rendering...the color, pattern, form etc.  But there is also the – for lack of a better term – spiritual aspect.  The joy and fulfillment of creating flows from my hands into each and every piece I make.  I like to think that as they are worn, they become secret talismans...transferring that same sense of joy to the wearer.

~ Julie Picarello

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