Doodle Pippin

Doodle Pippin

Started in 2014 in a very small, kitchen table way, DoodlePippin is now fairly well established in Surrey, England. 

I'm very lucky to work from home,  in a light-filled studio at the end of a long semi-rural garden, surrounded by fruit trees and dotted with chickens. There's usually an enormous dog getting in the way, too.

In fact, the name DoodlePippin is a combination of my labra'doodle' dog and my mum's pet name for me as a child - Roodlepippin.

Polymer (polymer clay / Fimo)
Polymer is an oven-hardening artificial clay that comes in a myriad of intense colours including translucent and metallic shades. It is easily blended to whatever shade you desire, and once cured is tough and permanent.
It is naturally matte but can be sanded to a highly tactile satin finish, or buffed to a deep mirror shine.
 
Brand names include Fimo, Kato, Cernit, Pardo, Sculpey and many others. 
History: This wonderful material has been around since the 1950s. It was created in Germany, initially as a lighter, stronger alternative to the porcelain traditionally used for dolls' faces. By the 1970s it had become a child's modelling material (which is where I first came across it).
Perhaps because of its associations as a child's toy, people can be quite snobby and blinkered about polymer as a medium. 
And to be fair, there has been a lot of terribly amateurish (and downright tacky) stuff made over the past few decades. (Tho' you could probably say the same about metals, ceramics and paint!).
However the tide is turning and it is is now gathering recognition internationally as an astonishingly capable and versatile fine art medium. 
Over the past fifteen years, polymer artists have "borrowed" many techniques from a variety of other traditional disciplines, including metalwork (mokume gane), textiles (bargello and applique), screenprinting and glasswork (millefiori). The problem I find with polymer is too much possibility, rather than too little.
Sterling silver:
On its own, I find silver a tiny bit... umm...  boring. 
 
But that pared-back simplicity is the perfect foil to the richness and intensity of polymer.
I also love the fiery, elemental nature of working with silver - the flames, acids and hammering make a great contrast to the far more subtle 'hands on' techniques used with polymer.