Lyrae Perry

I grew up in Big Bear Lake, a small resort town in So. California.  I now live in the hill country of Texas.  Where ever I live, I am happiest being close to nature and driving the back roads.

I began painting in oil seriously in 1976.  In the early 1980’s, I began studying watercolor/gouache techniques.  The primary focus of my art at that time was local California wildlife and that passion grew to include species from all over the world.  I raised exotic birds for over 45 years and it was a natural for me to become a specialist in painting avian species.  I still enjoy painting wildlife in a realistic style, but I enjoy all types of art. 

Prior to 1975, I was a mixed media artist and enjoyed working in clay as well.   For many years I focused on various crafts, working with anything from paper mache’ to plastics and metal.  That kind of work is as much engineering as it is art.  Working with mixed media forces you to learn when you can put things together---not just how.  Mixed media requires time and patience. 

Exploring the varied works of the polymer clay artists was inspiring and exciting.   I had some training in jewelry making when I lived in Laguna Beach through school, so I felt confident enough to jump in and began experimenting with polymer clay in 2014.  I still consider myself a student of this media, and I continue to take classes from the masters.   My polymer clay work is definitely a mixed media art, and while it may not look like it, I have to engineer many of the pieces I create. 

My “Shards” collections are created by sheeting clay for a base.  Then I add colored and textured clay in a mosaic fashion.  Beads, metal findings, gold, copper and silver leaf are often added to the mosaic sheets.  The next step is to begin creative and careful cutting to form the earrings and necklace pieces that look best together.  Polymer clay is baked and is resilient and safe to wear.  Many of my earrings have their own “charms” added for balance and interest.  I love what I do and have a lot of fun creating these mini art works.  It’s not unusual for me to get up at 7:30 am to start working in my studio and go to bed at 3:30 am! 

I find inspiration for my art everywhere and I particularly like the designs of ancient cultures.  While I’m not copying those designs precisely, the cultural inspiration for color and design still shines through my art jewelry.