It seems that we typically either use polymer clay to make a shape that we decorate or we use polymer clay to decorate another structure. Hee-ang Kim takes a completely different approach with her bioform jewelry and sculptures that remind us of the gills of mushrooms.
Polymer clay is absolutely integral to these designs, but the clay is not sculpted and shaped in the usual way. Fabricated in a rich, yet muted color palette, small half-round wafers of polymer are attached to a base to create undulating and organic shapes.
I think it’s worthy to note that Hee-ang extensively uses the material of polymer clay but isn’t bound by the styles we usually see expressed with the this medium. She’s using the material to execute her vision, rather than letting the material determine the design.
Hee-ang’s work takes advantage of the idea of theme and variation. You’ll see the same basic premise materialized in a many variations of colors, and combined with a variety of materials. Each piece is a continuing iteration built on a previous one. By sticking with a simple premise, she can concentrate on and explore the various compositions that are possible with the same materials. This allows her to focus on the design aspects of creation instead of the technical ones.
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Hee-ang has developed a strong voice that is instantly recognizable and yet allows for growth and evolution. The material’s qualities are absolutely part of the design, but do not limit it.