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My background is in the sciences…computer circuit design, to be specific. Logical, analytical, technical, very deadline-driven…you get the idea. Over the years, exploring different art mediums has been a creative outlet to counter all that left-brained activity. Metalsmithing, glassblowing, enameling, copper etching, bookmaking, wet felting and more, until I discovered polymer clay in the summer of 2004. I loved working with metal, but the color options with polymer blew my mind. And bonus – I was lucky enough to find Clayville California, a local guild, and learned so much from the extraordinarily talented members. 

In 2005 I rented a video by Tory Hughes on Mokume Gane, and I was fascinated by the idea of adapting the metalsmithing technique into polymer. I was so inspired by what I was seeing that I stopped the video half-way through and ran to my studio to experiment. In fact, I was so addicted that I didn’t even go back and finish the video before I had to return it!  I began experimenting with color-mixing and translucent/opaque palettes, with layering options, metal leaf and inks, with the incredible fun of repurposing tools and creating my own. I will be forever grateful to Tory for her creative spirit, her willingness to share her knowledge, and for lighting the fire that continues to fascinate me today. 

As I continued to develop my own style of imprint mokume, it led me on a wonderful journey. Opportunities to teach both nationally and internationally, participating in shows and competitions, magazine and book features, and authoring my own book. I have met so many amazing people and had so many memorable experiences over the years, and I am looking forward to adding the Polymer Art Summit to that list. Here’s hoping that as we share the screen during the summit, you will be inspired and motivated to start (or continue!) your own mokume journey.

All my best!


About the Presenter

Julie Picarello

As an award-winning artist, international instructor and author of “Patterns in Polymer: Imprint & Accent Bead Techniques”, Julie’s work has been featured in a variety of print publications as well as Beads, Baubles & Jewels TV.

Julie’s wearable art reflects her love of color, symmetry and clean lines and she showcases the sophisticated depth and dimension of polymer with custom palettes, contrasting textures and her use of hardware and found objects.

Learn more about Julie

Registration Deadline Extended

Registration will be kept open until July 25. Only four spaces remain. We will maintain a waitlist if the event sells out.

Register at this link.