Penni Jo Couch's Profile

About

Master sculptor, Designer, and Teacher
Artist Statement:

From childhood, I have loved art and have spent decades creating beautiful and intricate things. Since 1981, after discovering the oven baked clay called Fimo, I have been ‘playing in clay’ better known as sculpting. This new clay was a pleasure to use and the results are consistently delightful. Eventually I settled in on using this clay to make miniatures, doll house accessories, 1/12th scale hobby horses, carousel horses, children and teddy bears. I also began teaching classes at miniature conventions and was on the steering committees of two Miniature Conventions held here in Oklahoma City.
The teddy bears grew to be my favorite line to sculpt and I soon began to expand the look of the tiny bears, putting them in settings and active poses, clothing them in costumes from many time frames. Southern…

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  • Female
  • Born on August 23
  • Joined June 13, 2007

Favorite materials

pardo, fimo, kato, premo, pmc, silver, wire, polymer clay, fabric

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About

Master sculptor, Designer, and Teacher
Artist Statement:

From childhood, I have loved art and have spent decades creating beautiful and intricate things. Since 1981, after discovering the oven baked clay called Fimo, I have been ‘playing in clay’ better known as sculpting. This new clay was a pleasure to use and the results are consistently delightful. Eventually I settled in on using this clay to make miniatures, doll house accessories, 1/12th scale hobby horses, carousel horses, children and teddy bears. I also began teaching classes at miniature conventions and was on the steering committees of two Miniature Conventions held here in Oklahoma City.
The teddy bears grew to be my favorite line to sculpt and I soon began to expand the look of the tiny bears, putting them in settings and active poses, clothing them in costumes from many time frames. Southern and Summer Belle are from the Civil war period. Puddle Jumper is from the 50’s, Smokey’s Nephew is from the 60’s, and Gotta Try Again is from the 40’s. Eventually the teddy bears gained a following and evolved into the PenniBears, my own signature line.
In 1989, after seeing my work, Gary Clinton, president and CEO of United Design Corporation in Noble OK, called me and offered me a position as a designer/sculptor. UDC was the only company in the nation where the products were designed by sculptors, not by illustrators. I first started on the “Itty Bitty Critters” line, updating and adding to this line. UDC produced the PenniBears as a signature line of limited edition figurines. As an artist with a collectible line, I often traveled to the International Collectors Exposition in South Bend Indiana to sign my figurines.
I continued to expand my abilities as a designer/sculptor and eventually branched out into nearly every line UDC offered, including the “Winnie the Pooh” miniatures requested by Disney. I have designed and sculpted a wide range of sizes from a line called “Micro Critters” that were under 1/2 inch tall all the way to large garden anges, one over 28 inches tall. My designs have been sold worldwide in scores of catalogs.
In 1991, working with another staff sculptor/designer, we created something very new, highly d­etailed resin photo frames. The line “Fancy Frames” grew into the "Frame-o-logy" line and was hugely successful. Many companies worldwide began to follow suit to make highly sculpted resin frames.
I also was instrumental in the creation of the UDC Angel lines. In the mid 80’s I designed and sculpted two large angels for the benefit of the Starlight Foundation. I am the creator of the charming Stone Critter Boxes. The first Gargoyle designs are part of my portfolio as well as designing for the Stone Garden line creating beautiful outdoor designs.
In 2004, United Design was sold and and moved out of town. I stayed in Moore and started a home based design company, Penni Jo’s Design Group, Inc. During this time I designed many spiritual, and home decor designs for several companies. Designing went from sculpting to illustrating and art direction. I employed two part time artists to assist in the work.
In February of 2008, I retired and closed my studio. My focus has turned away from commercial projects to fine art and continuing designs for Best Flexible Molds. The sculpting with polymer clay and drawings will reflect the fine art training I have received. I continue to grow, learn and expand my artistic talents by taking classes, studying techniques and reading. A part of each day is dedicated either to new sculpts for molds, drawings for rubber stamps, sketches for new jewelry or learning and refining a new technique.
2005 because I did not want to sculpt two identical pieces for earrings, I made a mold on one that I'd sculpted. It was such fun, I sculpted some more jewelry parts, made another mold and wore the resulting earrings to church. The reception of the jewelry was so encouraging, I sold some molds to the ladies and made a new mold for more jewelry. From this humble beginning Best Flexible Molds was born and continues to grow being marketed in five countries and here on Etsy.
In 2006 Angela Mabray and I started the Central Oklahoma Polymer Clay Guild, affiliated with the International Polymer Clay Association, a non profit guild, that meets monthly . I teach classes at guild and support the polymer clay events.
In 2010 Joe and I, along with friends Jane & Ruth, began an annual retreat occurring each April the OK Poly-Clay Twister Retreat. The Safari themed retreat is three days long and we bring in a nationally known teacher, have demonstrations and free Make & Take events.
In April of 2013 PolymerCAFE magazine published an artist Bio of my career and a Calla Lily 'how to' step by step article I'd written.
We continue to develop new designs and grow Best Flexible Molds, teach, travel and write tutorials.

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