Janette Walters is a native Californian who has wandered though a variety of jewelry-making techniques before achieving real creative satisfaction in polymer clay beads.
She studied drawing and lost wax casting techniques and even dabbled in polymer clay jewelry in the 1980's. Over the Last ten years she has made jewelry in paper and then in wire before discovering the current media of polymer clay in 2005. her wire work is heavily influenced by San Francisco based artist, Carol Parrish.
Janette uses a technique similar to millefiori glass work. A large version of the intended image is created with blocks of clay, and the resulting tableaux is then squeezed gently to produce a lone "cane" which has the image in its cross-section. Slice of this cane can cover beads of various shapes. Focal beads may receive additional ornaments or edging. Depending on the desired look polymer clay can receive a clear coat or hand buffing.
Janette has drawn inspiration form such artists as Sarah Shriver and Christi Friesen and from the colors of Tuscany and the temples of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. Geometric shapes and the natural forms of flowers and flame produce jewelry with visual interest. A life long love of horses also inspires some compelling canes.
The artist continues to experiment with daring color palettes. She finishes her jewelry with the fine touches it deserves, such as sterling silver and pewter findings, and pearl knotting provides security and architectural interest. Some pieces even have handmade clasps of wound or pounded wire.
Ultimately, jewelry is about sharing one's aesthetic. "A woman selects jewelry she like, but once she puts it on she no longer sees it," Janette explains. "She wears it to share something she like with the people around her."
In addition to her own creations, custom designs are a welcome challenge, and she accepts repair work as well in wire and knotted cord.
Janette is a member of the Pinole Artisans and a frequenter of the Polymer Clay Central website. She teaches classes in polymer clay technique and jewelry making.
Mrs. Walters has an Animal Science degree from UC Davis and works as a pharmaceutical research scientist in Richmond. She also serves as a Children's Ministry Coordinator for the Bay Area Christian Church. She live in Hercules with her husband, two children, and no surprise, a cat.