Phyllis Cahill Design

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Meet the Artist

  • About This Artist

    I’ve been an artist all my life, first a graphic designer and later a children’s book illustrator. The beauty of nature is my continual inspiration. I love the delicate colors and lines in flower petals, the veins and shapes of leaves and the spiraling tendrils of climbing vines. I’m also attracted to the Arts & Crafts movement, damask and vintage quilts. My work combines all these influences by featuring motifs from nature mixed with small, vintage patterns and soothing, muted colors.

  • Q&A With This Artist

    A: I hand-fabricate each piece of jewelry from copper or silver and polymer clay. I like the contrast between shiny and matte that these mediums allow. I use the Japanese mokumé gané technique where layers of different colored polymer clay are impressed with designs and then sliced to reveal a pattern. I also use translucent polymer clay which allows light to pass through it like thin porcelain.

    A: Frequently people say that my jewelry is beautiful and different, which is a lovely thing to hear. They recognize the silver and copper I've used, but often don't recognize that the other material is polymer. I came to jewelry-making with a background in graphic design and illustration. Finding a material that allowed me to realize my vision was a blessing. I can make practically anything I want with polymer and it’s tough and long-lasting.

    A: Using light-fast pigments, I hand-paint real watercolor polymer and seal it to last. Each piece is a like a small painting.

    A: Polymer clay has connected me to a world-wide community of polymer artists--people I'd never have gotten to know otherwise. We share a passion for the medium, swap tips and help one another thanks to the Internet.

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