“Some of my earliest memories are of heading out into the woods and fields with a magnifying glass and a sack lunch. I spent days fascinated by my discoveries in the micro world. Today I engage with my work in a similar way. I love the challenge of creating a piece that, like nature, captivates from a distance as well as rewarding the viewer who takes a closer look.”
About the Artist
Marie Davis is a polymer clay artist living in Burlington, Vermont. Her studio is in Burlington’s vibrant South End Arts District. She can often be found walking along the railroad tracks to her studio, finding inspiration from anything Mother Nature puts in front of her.
Working in polymer clay for over twenty-five years, Marie is a pioneer in this medium. She has developed techniques to create finely detailed designs by layering multi-colored polymer clays. Her work is inspired by the deep detail found in nature and the whimsy of her nap-time dreams.
Marie creates jewelry, and has shown and sold her work in art fairs and craft festivals all over the country. She also builds larger-than-life sculptural pieces and smaller-than-life fantasy furniture.
Marie Davis was born with a crayon in her hand. As a child she entertained herself for hours with a LITE BRITE in a dark closet. At six years old, her family moved to a spiritual commune in rural Iowa where she was given lots of room for her creative self to flourish.
After studying ceramics in Iowa, Marie decided to travel around the country for a few years. Since a potter’s wheel and kiln are heavy and Marie likes to travel light, when introduced to polymer clay, or “fimo,” Marie discovered that she could work anywhere.
By age 26 Marie had walked across the United States protesting the Nuclear Arms race, lived on a reservation herding sheep and goats, planted trees in Georgia, picked apples in Vermont, raked blueberries in Maine, and worked in a small production pottery shop. She always found time to create art with any materials she could get her hands on. When she was ready to put down roots, Marie came to Vermont to set up shop.
About the material
Polymer clay is an acrylic-based material that comes in a multitude of colors. It can be layered to create highly detailed designs. Once cured by heat, it will hold its form.
Making jewelry, I prepare the clays by softening and mixing the colors, and then use a caning process similar to the millefiori technique used in glass. This involves rolling different colored clays into coils and layers to build a ‘cane’ or rod of my design. When it’s finished, I roll the cane down to the desired size, and slice off the pieces that become jewelry. The pieces are then fired, hardware attached, and they are ready to wear.
Larger pieces are mosaics made by creating each piece in polymer clay, then assembling these tiny pieces into larger-than-life objects inspired by nature; a moth, a sunflower, and more. I also use this technique in making other large mosaic pieces, my self-portrait being one example.
“Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
First Place, ‘Virgo Moth’
Art Hop, The Original Juried Show, Burlington, Vt. 2008
Third Place, ‘Sunpower’
23rd Annual Arts Alive Festival of Fine Art, Burlington, Vt. 2009
Middlebury College commission: to design and create decorative tiles for their Hillcrest building. 2006
1st Juried Art Award, Jewelry
21st Year, Meet Me Downtown, Boca Raton, Fl. 2003
Award of distinction, Jewelry
Deerfield Beach Festival of the Arts, Deerfield Beach, Fl. 2001
Award of distinction, Jewelry
Deerfield Beach Festival of the Arts, Deerfield Beach, Fl. 1998
~ South End Arts and Business Association ~ board member
~ Vermont Hand Crafters ~ member
~ Frog Hollow, Vermont State Craft Center ~ member
~Burlington Farmers’ Market ~ member
~Stowe Farmers’ Market ~ member