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Shelley Wylie with Baby Tiger Cubs


How Polymer Clay UK and my claying story began...

I am a sculptor living on the South Coast of England in a beautiful sea-side town called Christchurch. When I was a little girl, my mum used to make me some miniature food for my Sindy dolls. I used to want the dolls to eat the same dinners as I did, so my poor mum spent hours making sure that they looked as realistic as possible. Bear in mind that this was before the days of YouTube and when polymer clay was a very new medium. My family have always been involved in crafts in one way or another, going back at least four generations. My mum gave me her old box of clay when I moved out of the family home. One day, my friend wanted some Olaf earrings to wear for Christmas. We looked in shops etc. but she couldn’t find what she wanted. I very stupidly said “I could probably make you a pair”, which I did and were sized no bigger than a 5 pence piece. This is where it all began. Now it is all over the house! My poor husband…

My inspiration comes from anything whimsical and fantasy based; I love unicorns, fairies, dragons etc. I think it stems from my upbringing, with a wonderful mother who gave me a magical and fantastic childhood. She was encouraging and supportive. Plus, she actively encouraged me to use my imagination on anything. Her love and inspiration is a constant light in my life and I will never be able to thank her enough for the role model she is to me and many others she meets.

A lot of people know me through my group "Polymer Clay UK & Ireland" on Facebook. This was a group designed to provide a specific place for people from the UK and Ireland to be able to communicate with each other for ANYTHING polymer clay based. Whether it be showing off their work/failures, offering advice or even just asking where the best place to buy clay.

However, it was a strong friendship formed with one of the most generous and talented clayers I know which bought me to start Polymer Clay Uk. Fiona Abel-Smith has been a huge support to me in my polymer clay journey and I will never stop being thankful for the friendship that I have with such a fabulous person. She introduced me to hers and Ange Smith’s polymer clay group in the South Midlands. The acceptance, the encouragement, the fun and most of all, the friendships, within that group were what drove me to start Polymer Clay UK. Without the support of this group and all the members within it, I would never have dreamt to have started my own business. They have opened my eyes to what a crafting family truly is and they are a constant source of my inspiration for any new products and ways to make things better for all my customers.

I welcome all of you to my story and invite you along to share the rest of it with me. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask and if I don’t know the answers, I am lucky enough to have an amazing group of clayers as friends who are very generous with their help.

Shelley x

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