Monday, August 29, 2011

Meet Our Teachers...

Introducing: Peggy Houchin

How long have you been working with metal clay?
About 10 years now.

What did you do before that?
I primarily did pottery, made seed bead jewelry, loved to sew and made my own clothes. When I saw an ad for PMC in Ceramics Monthly, I was intrigued so I ordered some. When I received it, I was totally shocked and thought the rest of it was coming later in the mail. :) I was so used to large quantities of clay (25 to 50 lbs) that I wasn't sure what had happened. Then I realized the order was for 28 grams not pounds!

What other mediums do you work with?
I love anything to do with fiber, felting, knitting & spinning. I also work with polymer clay, and metalsmithing. I still sew occasionally.

How did you come to be a PMC Connection Senior Teacher?
Well, Patty Genack retired and Sherry Fotopolous recommended me. I had been interested prior to Patty retiring but since there was already a Sr. Teacher in Colorado, I needed to wait until 2007 for my big chance.

What do you think is the most exciting aspect of teaching?
I love seeing student's faces when they see their finished, polished pieces! I'm also very inspired by the work I see from my students!

Do you have a studio in your home? What does it look like?
Yes. I actually have 3 different studios. One of them is where I teach my classes and it is fairly neat, lots of equipment. The 2nd one is where I sew and do beadwork and it is very bright and beautiful (fairly organized). The one in the basement is not the neatest, but it works for me.

Do you teach at home or another venue?
Mostly at home, however, I have traveled and taught in Wyoming, Montana and various locations in the Colorado area (Denver, Colorado Springs). I've also taught at the PMC Guild conference in Purdue and Arrowmont in Tennessee.

Do you like to take classes yourself?
Oh my gosh. I want to be a professional class taker! I LOVE taking classes. Anything metal! Anything fiber.

Do you sell your work?
I usually have a Christmas home show and often sell my jewelry privately to friends and family. I was in about 3 local galleries, but decided to stop selling jewelry on consignment.

Where do you find inspiration?
Lots of places. I love seeing the changing colors in nature. I receive a lot of magazine subscriptions and love getting new books that spark my imagination.

What are you working on at the moment?
I have several silversmithing projects that I am working on for a couple of my customers. All have set stones.

Where has your work been published?
HGTV - That's Clever, Creative Jewelry Magazine, Beadwork, PolymerCafe magazine, and Mary Ann Devos' book – “Exceptional Works in Metal Clay & Glass".

Tell us about an artistic hero or influence.
Donna Kato. I've been able to attend several retreats with Donna Kato and she is an amazing artist and person! She is extremely talented and will share ANYTHING with you. She's always so giving and kind. I've always put her on a pedestal and wanted to be just like her!!

My father was very talented with his hands. He was deaf and could make anything! He used to make me these very elaborate stages and just about anything I wanted. All I had to do was explain an idea and he would create it for me (ok - now I'm crying).

Is there a new direction that you’d like to explore?
More metalsmithing and lapidary.

What else would you like to tell us about yourself?
I love being a Sr. Teacher and an artist.

Well, we're sure glad you're a Senior Instructor too, Peggy. Thanks for spending some time with us.

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