Slye, Kira

When I was about 9 years old, my mother bought me a box of white sculpey clay. I made a little donkey out of it, then forgot about it for a while.

My mother was a crafter, making little things out of wood, glass, and dried flowers, and selling at church bazaars. She even got into a little shop full of crafters where they all rented a little space. I used to help her make things and assist at shows. It was fun, and I realized that I loved hanging out at shows and talking to people.

Fast forward to my college years, when I got my degree in Art Education. I knew then that I would hate the bureaucracy associated with public school teaching, but I went ahead and pursued the degree mostly because I knew the parts of teaching that I would love- the parts where you get to talk to people, show them something new. In my senior year, my grandparents would celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. For a gift, I created a family tree out of polymer clay. Everyone was represented by a little clay portrait head, and there was a white tree to hang them on. It was great- and it began a love affair with oven baked clays that would last the rest of my life.

I have been a teacher in public school - it was 50% wonderful, and 50% crap. Maybe 49/51. The wonderful part was the students- hanging with them, talking, showing them the ropes. You can probably guess the crap part, so I won't go into the gory details. It was pretty bad and if you get to know me, you will hear the stories. Suffice to say- I left after 4.5 years, got a huge tattoo, dyed my hair pink, and said Syonara. Onward and Upward, always. If something doesn't work, I try to drop it quickly and move on to find something that does.

In my artistic growth, the only other medium that has entranced me just as much is digital manipulation- the ability to digitally alter or add to photos and drawings, many times my own which have been scanned so I could play with them. Now, I tend to draw, scan, manipulate, and print out my digital creations so they can become the foundation of mixed-media paintings. My paintings often feature niches, holes, sculpted parts, quotes or lines from songs, faces, wings and birds.

I have travelled to four foreign countries: Italy, Ireland, Canada, Mexico... and lived in five states: New York, Massachusetts, Portland, Florida, and Texas. I am not done travelling, as Ukraine, Turkey, France, England, Austria, Japan and China are still on my list. I consider myself a Gypsy, with a strong wanderlust that is fueled strongly by my desire for new experiences and new people. I am ravenous for anything new and I am always interested in taking calculated risks that will lead me to new heights of awareness of the people and world around me.

I am a published Author, I have co-written a book with my business partner Ilysa Ginsburg which is available on Amazon and in many bookstores. It is a how-to book featuring making your own beads and jewelry out of polymer clay and mixed-media items. It shows our signature style, which tends to be bold, colorful and nature-inspired. View my Amazon Author page here, with more info and links to my books.

Address: Web: www.KyraByrd.com