Maureen Carlson’s Polymer Clay Characters

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Story Box #15

When I first started getting interested in polymer clay, it was because I wanted very badly to sculpt! Faces! There were a few artists that had been working in polymer for years and had published a few books. Maureen Carlson was one of them. I bought her book, Family and Friends in Polymer Clay, I loved this book.   Maureen is, and I believe always will be, a storyteller. Her newest work above is a tribute to her fabulous imagination and ability to engage you, the viewer, with the tapestry of her stories. Couple this with the color and texture of the clay and you have delightful, entertaining story to read in 3D. This Storybox might be my favorite work of hers to date.


Wee Folk

Maureen’s designs are about imagination and whimsy and the joy of recognizing a glint of understanding in the eyes of a wee clay creature. Wee Folk Creations is a company that specializes in designs, artwork and stories created by Maureen.

Wall Doll

Wall Doll

In 1999, Maureen and her husband Dan opened Maureen Carlson’s Center for Creative Arts, in Jordan, Minnesota, just 35 miles southwest of Minneapolis.  In this small town setting, perched on the edge of a small meandering creek, students and retreat participants have opportunities to learn, to share and to explore their creative interests.

All My Life's A Circle

All My Life's A Circle

On her website, Maureen has many galleries full of work from the beginning to today. The theme of her newest work is faces, which is why I am continually drawn to Maureen and her characters. I just love this “Circle” girl. She tells the story of herself, on herself as we all do if one looks close enough.

Be Still

Be Still

In keeping with a story telling, on her website she shares this about her sculpture, Be Still.

“My sculptures usually come from words and phrases that pair themselves with images. Such is the case with this piece.  I heard once that there is great value in being still, that action is not the only choice.  In fact, there might be great harm in doing something just to do it, or in being busy just to prove one’s worth. I paired that thought with these words that a student posted on the quotation wall at my retreat center: You can’t keep the birds from flying overhead but you don’t have to let them nest in your hair.”  You can read the rest of Maureen’s thoughts about Be Still here.

Talking Stick

Talking Stick

I asked Maureen if she had anything that she would like my readers to know. She answered, ”One of the things that I know about my work is that I still love my little whimsical wee folk at the same time that I’m thoroughly enjoying the process of making the newer pieces that tell stories and ask questions.  Haven’t gotten bored yet!”

“It’s been 30 years now that I’ve been making and marketing my characters and I’m still learning new things. So many things yet that I want to explore.”

Maureen continues to produce books and many other products to educate those of us who want to learn more about polymer clay. You can access all of Maureen’s products and information on her website, Maureen Carlson’s Center For Creative Arts.

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  1. Melissa says:

    I love Maureen Carlson – but I wish I could do hands like she can! I’ll have to go to Minnesota, I guess. :-)

  2. Alice says:

    Let go!!! But we have to wait until summer…….

  3. Maureen’s books are usually open somewhere on my work station. She is indeed a strong influence and inspiration for me. Her faces tell the story. She’s amazing.

  4. Alice says:

    Lynda, I agree her faces and her revolution keeps me coming back for more.

    You’re work is inspirational as well. You are an amazing figurative artist. Your Amelia Earhart is coming along and it’s wonderful of you to post your progress on you blog.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  5. Her work is so impressive. The faces, the colors. She is inspiring!

  6. Alice says:

    PJ, I agree. She has inspired me many times over the years. By the way, love the faces you’re doing and posting on your blog.

  7. [...] I finally was able to concentrate on polymer clay alone, I started two blogs, this one and The Figurative Artbeat. Maureen was kind enough to allow me to do an post on her and her fabulous work. It was the first [...]

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