A Simple Pear (whiterosesart.com)
A Simple Pear by Heather Miller

Title: A Simple Pear
Year: 2013
Size: 5″ x 7″ (excluding frame dimensions)

A Simple Pear is made of polymer clay mounted on a canvas board painted with acrylic paint.

The Story:

I’m writing this story in 2016, the piece was created in 2013 so I’ll do my best to remember.

A Simple Pear has an odd story behind it.  I was participating in the first Artomatic @ Frederick, MD back in 2011.  During one of my volunteer shifts, another artist was, um, regaling us with stories of her sales strategies.  I mostly zoned her out as she really just irritated me that day, but one thing she said struck me as funny.  She claimed she always displays pears at shows in Frederick because “pears sell well in Frederick.”  I don’t know why that struck me as funny, but it did.

Fast forward to the next Artomatic @ Frederick show two years later.  I was preparing work to bring and, as usual, I was trying to create at least a few new pieces (which I do for any Artomatic show).  For some reason that line about pears popped into my head just as I was heading down the road into “artist’s block.”  For the hell of it, or maybe because I couldn’t come up with anything better, I decided to test her assumption.

I grabbed a piece of paper & drew out a pear. I cut the pear out & traced it onto a piece of aluminum and onto one of my 5″ x 7″ canvas boards.  I painted the board.  While it dried I turned my attention to the clay.  I bake all my polymer clay on aluminum and then glue it in place.  I sculpted the piece inside of the traced pear pattern.  Before I baked it, I realized that I just didn’t like the way it looked.  Originally those curls were smooth.  I created a “hammered” look using a round smoothing tool (yes, I see the irony) and then baked it.

The stem of the pear is also make of polymer clay.  The marbled look comes from mixing various shades together.  Originally that started out solid brown, but after I saw it next to the ‘hammered’ pear clay, I realized I need to do something different.  Rather than used a single, smooth piece of clay for the stem, I rolled  long tube using a variety of colors, then cut it into segments that were carefully pressed together.

The piece didn’t sell at the show it was created for, Artomatic @ Frederick 2013.  It sold at the main Artomatic event in 2015 which, oddly enough, also took place in Maryland – technically in Hyattsville.  I ended up making a second piece after the first one sold so maybe that artist had some good advice after all, although apparently Maryland loves its pears, not just Frederick.*

*This is called specious reasoning.  I have no idea where the patrons who bought the two pieces reside.  There’s a fairly good chance it could have been D.C. or Virginia.  Even if they both lived in Maryland, it’s still specious reasoning.