Laurie Mika

ENCINITAS, CALIFORNIA
JOINED: October, 2022

My Website

“Like an alchemist tinkering with a modern medium, I try to push the boundaries of polymer clay with its ability to mimic gold leaf and brocade, silvered tin and vintage lace.”

Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong century. I think I may have been quite happy as a scribe illuminating manuscripts in the middle ages! Like an alchemist tinkering with a modern medium, I try to push the boundaries of polymer clay with its ability to mimic gold leaf and brocade, silvered tin and vintage lace. With a background in painting, I was seduced by polymer clay in the late 1990’s and have never looked back. It is the endless possibilities with this medium that continues to fuel my obsession. I have found polymer to be the perfect material to marry with other mediums (and I think I have tried them all!) to create my own brand of mixed-media mosaics, assemblage, collage and more recently, clay appliqué. My work is often narrative in content weaving together past eras and cultural influences in a way that transcends time periods and borders. Inspired by my lifelong passion for travel, my work synthesizes the disparate influences from Medieval Europe to Colonial Latin America and Mexico. The highly embellished, jewel-like surfaces in my work are inspired by Medieval alchemy and early Renaissance art yet retain a secular and contemporary aesthetic with a little bit of Mexican folk art thrown in for good measure. As an example, during the COVID lockdown I began a series of pandemic related pieces and have since been focusing on works imbued with social meaning like the piece titled “Flowers for Uvalde”. My work with polymer has been an ever-constant evolutionary journey filled with unexpected twists and turns.

Examples of My Work

Travel

Trying to see all the wonders of the world. Next up is Antarctica.

Book

My own book, Mixed Media Mosaics published by North Light Books in 2007

College

Spent my first two years in Nairobi, Kenya

Color

All time fav is Golden’s Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold

Family

I lucked out with a wonderful one including my “sherpa” husband, four children and two grandkids (so far)

What other non-artist jobs have you had?

Pretty sure I might be the only person who can say they worked in an incense factory! Brother Francis Incense, So Cal., circa 1970. (yes, that shows my age!)

If you could choose a superpower, what would it be and why?

Flying for sure-I used to do that when I was three or four years old to dust the light bulbs on the ceiling in our home but somehow lost that superpower!

Why do you create?

Aside from globetrotting, there is no other place I would rather be than in my studio creating. It brings me indescribable joy and fulfillment. Creating has always been a part of me and I am happiest when I feed that part of my being.
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