Growing up I was in awe of my father, a cabinet maker, as I watched him take a plain piece of wood and create a beautiful piece of furniture, finely polished and fitted with joints as smooth as glass. The smells of fresh cut wood and varnish were intoxicating to this small boy and I watched and learned under my father's patient tutelege. Thus began my love for creating things with my hands and exploring the world of art and craft combined. Dentistry made good use of my hands and my artistic skills in restoring broken teeth and creating beautiful smiles. However, there was more that I wanted to discover yet lacked the time as I focused on raising a family and making a living.
Well, after 39 years in dentistry the time is now. I fill my days in exploration of different mediums; wood, metal, stained glass, precious metal clay, polymer clay and others yet undiscovered. I enjoy the process as much or more than the product that emerges. The possibilities are endless and I'm excited to finally explore "My Creative Side".
Stephen T. Bender
Trust that little voice in your head that says: "Wouldn't it be interesting if......" And then do it!
I have been having fun learning the "ins" and "outs' of this interesting medium. Polymer clay is, as the name implies, a pliable, blendable, polymer compound. What makes it special is its versatility. It comes in dozens of colors, and can be blended together like paints to make limitless color combinations. The clay's pliability and ductility allow one to use techniques from glasswork, textile arts and sculpture. When fired, the clay gets hard enough to make durable yet lightweight objects that can be finished in various ways to obtain textures from glassy to stonelike. A perfect medium for making beads, pendants, earrings and necklaces.