You ask a child who they are and they generally respond with their name. You ask an adult who they are and they will tell you they are a mother, a wife, a banker, an artist, etc. We define ourselves by the roles we play and/or by our occupations, but that doesn’t really express who we are. With that being said…..
My name is Chris Dembinski. I am a wife and a mother and a grandmother. We have three beautiful children. A grown daughter, who has blessed us with two grandbabies, and two sons still at home.
I am a self-taught artist, which is one of those things that people say that isn’t entirely accurate. Self-taught implies that not only does one have no formal training, but that they learned how to do something completely on their own, which isn’t true. I don’t have a degree in fine art. In fact, the last “formal” art class I took was a required art class in 7th grade. College classes were practical things like business law and accounting. Learning about polymer clay was done though magazine articles, books and later the internet. Those magazine articles, books, tutorials were all written by someone. Those many someones were who taught me. Not to say that there hasn’t been experimenting and moments of self discovery along the way.
I have tried just about every art/craft and have the leftover supplies to prove it. It was during a class by a local art teacher on making Christmas ornaments in 1991, that I first discovered polymer clay. I loved the feel of it in my hands, the beautiful colors it came in and the fact that it could be anything you wanted it to be. More than twenty years later and I’m still in love with it.
Crafts by Chris was established in 1995 (my creativity obviously didn’t extend to business names). I started selling at local arts/crafts shows and in couple small shops. I began selling on eBay in 2004 and starting in 2007 on Etsy.
While my style is somewhat eclectic (I find inspiration in just about everything), most of my designs break down into two categories, floral or geometric shapes. I’m not sure what that says about me personally. Floral designs may suggest that I’m a romantic, sentimental, a nature lover…all of which are true. Geometric shapes and patterns are a little tougher to figure out. Maybe a need for order and routine in a life that is often chaotic.
There isn’t any underlying statement that I’m trying to make with my work, I just create what I like. If my designs speak to someone, create a mood or feeling, spark a memory or make someone smile, then I’ve accomplished my goal. These days, my work is more about sharing my knowledge, sparking creativity, and hopefully inspiring someone along the way.
My geometric beads tutorial was first published in Polymer Cafe Magazine (Summer 2006).
You’ll find my regular “Let’s Talk Colour” (don’t you just love the accent) article and polymer clay color recipe cards in the following issues of From Polymer To Art magazine.