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Gretchen Amberg

Gretchen Amberg

Gretchen Amberg has traveled the winding path of media, starting with glass fusing, then metal clay, and on to several other types of media. She was first introduced to polymer clay in 2007, and it was love at first sight. Gretchen grew up in a household with two creative parents (although her father would argue that point where he is concerned). Going through her early school days with energetic and inspiring art teachers certainly helped her find her creative spirit. Her mom worked many years as a florist and was a serious quilter and basket weaver. Being around her mom definitely contributed to her love of color and interest in structure. Her dad and grandpa were model railroaders, so her association with that hobby contributed to her interest in mechanics. She sees herself as more of a “reverse engineer” than artist since she tends to start with a mental image of a final piece and then works backwards. Polymer clay is what she refers to as her “art therapy”; at her day job, she does her fair share of clay-related day dreaming (mostly during those wretchedly boring meetings). Gretchen finds that inspiration can pop up anywhere, and working in heavy industrial settings has increased her contemplation of mechanics as she builds her pieces. She has one piece of advice for anyone just starting out on his or her creative journey: “be nosey”—you never know what you’ll learn and how it can help you grow as an artist.