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My Story
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The Simple Gifts Collection

Folk Art Figures
by Trish Randal


Influenced by artists such as Sharon Sahl, Diana Brian
and Jean Earnhart, Trish began creating whimsical
characters in salt dough or baker's clay.  She remembers
that her first piece was an elf that took over two hours to
mold.  But, she also remembers the surprise and pleasure
of friends and family at the image she had created.  
Eventually she turned the making of these clay figures
into a business.  Her wish to make more detailed and
intricate figures led her to bread dough clay, a mixture of
white bread, glue and glycerin.  A medium traditionally
used for miniatures, Trish was one of the first to develop
techniques to make larger figures.  Each piece is hand-made, air-dried and sealed with
an epoxy resin.  Molds are never used.




Demonstrating at the
Shaker Woods Festival,
Columbiana, Ohio
Figures are sculpted from ball, log,
and cone shapes.
Molds are never used.
Trish Randal grew up on a small farm in Ohio.  Her earliest
childhood memories are "creating" with Mom at the kitchen
table.  Sewing doll clothes by the time she was 5 was the
beginning of a love affair of working with her hands.  Even
now, creating at the kitchen table is where she feels most at

Trish studied at Ohio University in Athens, and graduated with
a degree in education.  Teaching was the realization of a
childhood dream, but after a move to Columbus, Ohio she
discovered clay and found a new excitment.
Trish with Gracie, her
"Amazing Grace"
Trish has been working in the art world for more
than four decades, both as an instructor and an
artist.  She has received numerous awards for
her work, including "Craftsman of the Year"
award at the Shaker Woods Festival.
After drying for seven days the angels
get their wings!
Trish's intention as an artist is to create pieces that
celebrate the stories of our lives.  Her inspiration is
the knowledge that people are touched by a piece
that was created from her heart and hands.  Trish
says that "Christmas is a special time, knowing that
people are opening a package with something you
created inside.  It really doesn't get any better than
The final step - the figures are dipped
in a epoxy resin placed on a screen
until they become tacky and then hung
to cure for 24 hours.
Lately, Trish has been enjoying teaching creative
dough art workshops.  She believes that there is a
creative solution to every problem or at least a
creative way of dealing with it.  "The more we
exercise our creative muscles, the easier it is to
draw on that creativity in our everyday lives," says