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Virginia Soskin's Profile

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Come on in! I am Virginia Soskin. My work is ENTIRELY handmade by me alone; I do not have helpers designing, creating, finishing or shipping items, nor do I ship out designs to be manufactured. I state this up front because many buyers want truly handmade items by an individual artist, and Etsy is known as the place to find them.

I come from a creative family. My grandma painted toleware and primitive oil paintings. My uncle helped me paint my first painting out of doors. My childhood world revolved around crayons, yarn, fabric, and clay when I wasn't climbing trees or digging snow tunnels.

I remember being very dissatisfied with the tiny brushes that came with kiddie watercolor sets: "Mommy, I need bigger brushes and paper that doesn't get ripply!" My mother, a seamstress and quiltmaker, taught me to sew and quilt. She was…

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  • Female
  • Born on March 5
  • Joined October 22, 2008

Favorite materials

polymer clay, sterling silver, semiprecious stones and minerals, Swarovski crystal, found objects, ephemera

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About

Come on in! I am Virginia Soskin. My work is ENTIRELY handmade by me alone; I do not have helpers designing, creating, finishing or shipping items, nor do I ship out designs to be manufactured. I state this up front because many buyers want truly handmade items by an individual artist, and Etsy is known as the place to find them.

I come from a creative family. My grandma painted toleware and primitive oil paintings. My uncle helped me paint my first painting out of doors. My childhood world revolved around crayons, yarn, fabric, and clay when I wasn't climbing trees or digging snow tunnels.

I remember being very dissatisfied with the tiny brushes that came with kiddie watercolor sets: "Mommy, I need bigger brushes and paper that doesn't get ripply!" My mother, a seamstress and quiltmaker, taught me to sew and quilt. She was patient yet exacting. I remember her judging hand sewn dresses at a countywide 4-H event, pointing out to me their good and bad points. This taught me attention to detail, good design, and the high value of quality handwork. I highly value handmade over machine-made items and I prefer dealing directly with artists. Since you are on Etsy, you do too. Thank you!

My grandfather and Dad were in the printing business. Books and writing were precious. I am drawn to art that makes a statement. If you look at my jewelry, you'll see lettered messages appearing. Oh, there they are again! I can't seem to avoid it, but that is what makes my artwork personal, fun and sometimes wryly funny.

I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, and Master of Education in Art from Penn State. I loved teaching art to public school children! Then I became disabled with brittle bone disease and had to give up my teaching career -- a terrible wrench! My closeness to God was forged while fighting this chronic illness; you can see this spirituality in my rosaries, chaplets and Jewish-themed items. I learned that when God closes a door God always opens a window. As a homebody, I became a stitchery designer for Better Homes and Gardens cross stitch magazines and books before discovering polymer clay. I am feeling much better these days, by the way! It's my "Midlife Renaissance"!

Polymer clay is addictive. There is always a new technique to master, always something new to combine with it, like microglitter, ink or resin. Can you spot the influences of Gustav Klimt, Keith Haring, and Op art in my work? I'll bet you can!

At my church I'm a choir member, church librarian, and banner maker. I read a great deal -- 2 or 3 books a week -- theology, American history, literature, and biography. I am also interested in Russian history and folk art as well as the art of jeweler Peter Faberge. I recently took my first trip to St. Petersburg! What a dream of a trip!

My husband is a professor, and we have two grown children who are graduates of Harvard and Bard Colleges. We have three cats rescued from the Halifax Animal Shelter in Daytona Beach. They are our darlin' companions, and are sleeping on the bed next to me as I write this.

Thanks for stopping in!

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