Monday, May 23, 2011

Artist’s Journal: Meet Yvonne Yao

Editor’s note: Last month, PMCC launched our new series, Artist’s Journal. This post is the second installment and introduces you to our second blogger, Yvonne Yao.

Our Artist's Journal bloggers will join us for an in-depth look into their journeys with PMC. Some are beginners, some know their way around metal clay – and all are willing to share the good, the bad, and the ugly with all of us.

Meet our newest blogger, Yvonne Yao. . .

Love life. Trust the journey. Live the story – Your way.

Early this year I set my New Year’s resolutions to be: 1) earning the first net dollar on my newborn jewelry business and 2) making time for play and exploration within my craft to provide opportunities for the unexpected, so as to sweep away the boundaries I have a tendency to build up around me when I think too practically and plan too much. As luck would have it, the kick in the butt I needed to help me stick to my promise to myself came in the form of an invitation to be a guest blogger for PMC Connection. This was my chance to renew the short affair with PMC that had originally made me mad enough to believe I could start my own business, so of course I said-“Yes!”

Like a lot of handcrafted jewelry artists, I have always loved making things with my hands, but did not believe I could actually do it for a living. I sometimes wonder how I managed to miss the mark so persistently over the years, since it has been my joy and obsession ever since I was old enough to understand the importance of coloring within the lines. It took me six years of working a practical job in television (painting fences and lugging lights on home makeover shows), in fashion (overseeing product development and overseas manufacturing of apparel and accessories), and a lot of berating and encouragement from my husband---before I finally found the courage to believe in myself and take the final leap into starting my own home-based business, Yvonne Yao Jewelry. It took all this, even though the first seed of madness and curiosity was planted in 2009...

I first became fascinated with PMC when a friend of mine told me that I didn’t need to turn
my boyfriend’s apartment kitchen into a small forge, with money and space that I did not have. Instead, I could actually buy metal in clay form, shape and manipulate it to whatever design I wanted, and bake it in a kiln the size of a microwave—then Voila! I would have a piece of metal jewelry! I told her she was nuts, enrolled in a metal-smith course, and it was six more months before I found my way to my first PMC class with Lora Hart.

Since then, I have been repeatedly surprised by--and in awe of--the practicality, versatility, and beauty of PMC. I love that it is eco-friendly and low in wastage because it can be shaped, molded and carved into a design, only then to be melted down and recycled again into a new creation when its old form has lost its value. It is also a medium that easily allows an average income city dweller--like me--affordable and limitless creative possibilities as a hobbyist and artist, with minimal overhead, limited space, and basic tools that can mostly be found or collected around the home/craft/or hardware store.

So here I am, ready to relearn old skills and scheme up new ones, to get my hands dirty and color outside of the lines, and to blog about my PMC adventures--which I hope will surprise us both. I look with enthusiasm towards a chance to combine, layer, sculpt, carve, imprint, and paint to create stunning and beautiful things of delight! As Jennifer said, looking forward to sharing the good, bad, and the ugly--but most of all, the unexpected--with everyone!!

Yvonne Yao
Los Angeles, California

1 comment:

Lora Hart said...

Yay Yvonne! I'm really looking forward to being a fly on the windshield during your metal clay journey. I know you'll be an enticing explorer.