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Celebrating Australian Artist Wendy Moore

Wendy Moore

Breathing Colours is a community of artists. One of our favourite jewellery and mixed media artists is Canberra-based Wendy Moore, who this week was awarded an OAM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

I met Wendy at a class at Roz Eberhard’s Eclectic Studio many, many moons ago. Wendy & a colleague were teaching us to use fine strands of polymer clay to make jewellery. Wendy excelled as a teacher that day. She was forever inspiring, encouraging and patient.

Although well known as an artist and teacher Wendy was recognised for her service to the international community of Nepal via the Friends of Samunnat, an organisation that Wendy founded to support female victims of violence in that country.

Since its inception in 2006 she has been providing local women with training and support to make and sell polymer jewellery with the funds raised to provide legal, accommodation, education, and health support for Nepali women.

You can read more about Wendy and her work in Nepal via this excellent article published on the SBS website.

Wendy describes herself as a creator and connector, an artist and a teacher. “Ultimately, all I do is about celebrating beauty and connecting people to their innate creative voice. I know that hearing and responding to that voice transforms and empowers”

You can find out more about Wendy’s art and teaching on her website After the Monsoon.

For Wendy ‘After the Monsoon’ is also “a celebration of waking up and having another chance to live a compassionate and mindful life” Wendy chose ‘After the Monsoon’ as the title of her business because “During the monsoon, Nepal is a sea of swirling colour. Mud laden rivers surge, gutters gush, lightning cracks, thunder crashes and sweat flows.”

“After the monsoon, the world is aglow. Greens of such intensity they nearly hurt your eyes. Colour abounds – vermillion, magenta, violet, scarlet and glowing yellows. This vibrant fertility is my metaphor for abundant generosity. It feeds my passion for colour and nourishes my art and my teaching”.

I am delighted to have a limited range of Wendy’s creations available via our website including this intriguing piece where Wendy uses a multitude of techniques to create the components and then a number of design skills to create this lariat.

Wendy uses a variety of Polymer clay canes in the lariat. Canes are generally comprised of simple patterns that when combined form a quilt-like display of colours and designs.

Wendy’s jewellery truly is wearable art.

Wendy uses canes to shape beads that are like petals, flowers, leaves and buds. She uses canes to create a variety of patterns on beads – dots, swirls, stripes, swirled stripes and more.

These images help us to understand how Wendy Moore makes her more complex polymer clay pieces. The picture on the cuff is actually a slice of a cane. A cane is a combination of blocks of polymer arranged to create a design that runs along the entire length of a block.

Canes can be simple or complex and you can learn more about how they are made HERE or watch this video.


Wendy makes individual canes to represent different elements of the picture, for example, various canes for the different fields and other canes for leaves. These are then combined to create the larger picture- a mega cane - like the picture on the left. Once the cane is complete Wendy then pushes, smoothes, and pulls the cane until it is the size she wants.  If she does this slowly and carefully, the design will be maintained all along the block even when it is made very small. Then she carefully cuts slice of the design which can then can be made into a cuff, neck piece or earrings.

 

This beautifully crafted cuff celebrates the tradition of Nepali people taking the load off their backs and resting under a tree. So, polymer jewellery provides us with a glimpse into the lives of people in Nepal, the beauty of the country and the skills of the artist as a story teller as well as a creator of wearable art.