Tere Perry, polymer clay artisan and miniaturist, got her start in clay at a young age...a very young age! One of the things she remembers most from elementary school was the time spent doing art projects, especially working with clay.
The clay of that time was the oil based, non-hardening type which always frustrated Tere in her attempts to make a lasting sculpture. "My first real sculpture was done in about the third grade, of this great little lion. I was so proud of him, and put him in my closet to keep him. Well, you can imagine how flat and squished that clay lion was when I got him out the next time!"
From then on, it was a quest to find a clay that would be durable and permanent when the sculptures were finished. Tere's first creative endeavor with polymer clay was in the 1970's in high school, when she used the original white Sculpey, the only color that had been produced at that time. "I loved the fact that I could bake this clay and make something that would last. The only problem was the fact that it was white, and paint didn't adhere well to it." Those first polyclay pieces were to be the beginning of a life-long love of polymer clay and all things small.
After high school, Tere went on to study art in college. Her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Sam Houston State University had a specialization in advertising and graphic design, but also covered all of the other fine art classes including ceramics, sculpture and 3-D design. These basics in translating an object from what one sees into a piece of three-dimensional art have helped Tere in her current ventures in art.
As a miniaturist, Tere has sculpted most anything that a collector would put in a dollhouse or miniature room, from foods in the kitchen to frogs in the yard. Using today’s wide range of colors of polymer clay, she is able to reproduce real life objects in scale miniature down to the most minute detail. With her miniature rooms fully furnished, Tere took the next logical step and started to sculpt dolls to populate her tiny scenes. This allowed her to create the perfect doll for each scene and not have to use the mass produced unrealistic dollhouse dolls available at hobby stores. “I create miniature scenes in such detail that the viewer will feel they can step into the scene. I needed to have my dolls look just as realistic as the other items in the small scale rooms.” Using polymer clay in a complete range of flesh tones, Tere is able to create dolls that are a snapshot in time, a split-second of motion captured in clay. “I’m reproducing the real world, one tiny little piece at a time!”
Tere is a member and current President of Texas Association of Original Doll Artists, member of Society of American Miniaturists and NUTS miniatures club, and past member and Regional Coordinator of National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts.