Clay : Joshua's Clay Creations
The Molding of a Young Mind
January 8, 2001 Interview with Joshua Burkhardt, Young Polymer Clay Artist
Meet Joshua Burkhardt, an eleven year-old clay artist and entrepreneur from Florida, USA. Since the age of nine Joshua has been creating professional looking clay sculptures for friends and family. His exceptional talent has led him to opening his own business named Joshua's Clay Creations, and he now creates clay sculptures for customer orders in his spare time.
Joshua has been featured in six newspapers and two magazines since December of 1998, and has taught two, four-hour workshops for the adults at the Santa Rosa Art Association. Currently he is in the process of getting his first "How-to Instructional" book printed, to teach those ages 7–70 to learn polymer clay sculpting.
On his Web site www.joshclay.com you can order from the online catalogue or contact him direct for custom-made requests. His site currently has several free clay projects for beginners, complete with detailed instructions, tips, and techniques for making them.
An Interview with Joshua Burkhardt
By Chris Dunmire
More About Joshua
By Cheryl Burkhardt (Joshua's Mom)
Joshua began sculpting with polymer clay at age nine. Showing an exceptional talent at such a young age, brought many reporters to our home for interviews. Joshua has been featured in six newspapers and two magazines since December of 1998. He was interviewed twice on Praise 95 Radio in Pensacola, Florida. Channel 5 News from Mobile, Alabama featured him on their "Faith Matters" segment in July of 2000. Channel 3 News from Pensacola, Florida recently featured him on their "Angels in our Midst" segment.
Joshua has taught two, four hour workshops for the adults at the Santa Rosa Art Association, and has also volunteered his time for many churches, ladies groups and the Home school League. Joshua is in the process of getting his first "How-to Instructional" book printed, to teach those ages 7 - 70 to learn polymer clay sculpting. At present, you will find free instructions on his website for "Pete R. Rabbit" and "Jake the Clown." Jake is a preview of one of the designs that will be featured in his book.
Joshua loves to share his talents with others and will be offering more free lessons on his web site to encourage both children and adults to be creative! Pablo Picasso said, "There's an artist in every child. The problem is remaining an artist after growing up." We want to encourage every child and adult to find some art medium to be creative with. Polymer clay is a wonderful choice for all ages!
Looking back over the last two years, how you feel about all of the exciting things that have happened in your life relating to Joshua's Clay Creations?
It's amazing to see what God has done in my life in the past two years with my talents and all the publicity through newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and workshops.
How many pieces have you created to-date?
I have a book with 379 signed and numbered sculptures listed in it that I have made since December of 1998. I have also made over 150 Christmas ornaments that were not numbered.
What is your favorite piece(s) to make?
My favorite sculptures to make are the custom orders, because each one is different.
What pieces are the easiest to teach others in your workshops?
It is best to teach simple designs to new students. I have taught dinosaurs, sheep, Nativities, clowns and Santa's.
Have you ever had a clay project "disaster" happen while making a sculpture for a customer? If so, what happened?
No, but we've had some pretty weird stuff happen to them while baking.
Can you create a clay sculpture of my cat if I give you a picture to look at?
What are some interesting tips about working with polymer clay that beginners should know?
Start with a simple design, so you don't get discouraged. Use toothpicks to hold pieces together. Roll everything into smooth, round balls before you shape them. Use your imagination and be creative.
I read in one of the newspaper articles that you are working on a "How-to" (make clay sculptures) book. Do you have any idea of when the book will be finished?
We're hoping the book will be finished by mid-Summer.
Beyond writing a book, what other goals or plans do you have for Joshua's Clay Creations?
Besides working with clay, what other things do you like to do?
Skateboarding, Biking, Skating, Swimming, Basketball and Skim-boarding at the beach.
Do you get tired of answering interview questions?
Yes. (To date, Joshua has given 13 interviews in the past 2 years.)
Describe yourself in three words.
Blessed by God!
Thank you for granting Creativity Portal an interview, Joshua. We definitely want an autographed copy of that book you are working on when it's all finished!
Visit www.joshclay.com to see Joshua's project gallery and the articles he's been featured in. You'll learn quite a bit about polymer clay sculpting as well. We guarantee that you'll find the whole experience encouraging and inspiring.
Book Review: Hangin' Around with Noah
Polymer Clay and Jute Designs by Cheryl and Joshua Burkhardt, 2001
"Hangin' Around with Noah is a 13-page, full-color instructional book on polymer clay. Joshua teaches you with step-by-step instructions and photos how to make Noah and 10 critters. There is no other book like it on the market, and one you won't want to be without!" joshclay.com
Hanging Around with Noah will make you want to go out and get some polymer clay to try your hand at these fun projects! Besides Noah, there is Rocky Raven, Bessie Cow, Cato Cat, Cocoa Moose, and Raymond Rabbit, plus a whole lot more cute critters to create. The book is also packed with helpful clay care tips and techniques to make your projects turn out like the professionals! Between projects you will be entertained by fun jokes and interesting tidbits relating to the animals featured in each project.
This book is delightfully designed, colorful, and engaging. Polymer clay enthusiasts of all ages will enjoy the simple presentation of each project and will find the instructions easy to follow. A book like this is a must for polymer clay crafters and would make a perfect gift for that special someone who loves having fun with clay!
The book can currently be purchased for under $10 U.S., an outstanding value for the quality content you get from Hangin' Around with Noah. All polymer clay designs are by Joshua Burkhardt. •