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Polymer clay artist: Layl McDill

Fish Flyer

Polymer clay artist: Layl McDill
Website: Clay Squared to Infinity

When I first started using polymer clay in 1993 I only used it as an embellishment to my fabric and mixed media sculptures but it wasn’t long before I began working only in polymer clay. I am mainly obsessed with the millefiore technique because it is always challenging and exciting. I build pictures in colored clay that are about the size of a large paint can. The colors go all the way through and you can see the picture on each end. I then stretch this “cane” out until everything is about the diameter of a quarter. I call my millefiore canes “Silly Millies” and enjoy the idea that they become parts of other arts creations. I sell them to people all over the world so I love the idea of my fanciful slices of clay ending up on all kinds of things.

Giraffe millefiore

I have been working full time as an artist since graduating from Columbus College of Art and Design in 1993. My degree was in illustration but I ended up mainly selling my work at art's festivals and galleries. I love to travel all over the country and set up my fanciful world of polymer clay creations. I also love to demonstrate the technique and watch people’s jaws drop when they realize how it works. Creating canes is always like magic and I love sharing it with my customers and collectors.

She Checked Her Compass

I love to create sculptures that have multi layers in the way the piece is viewed and perceived. The visual effect comes from the tiny pieces of millefiore that cover a sculpture- at first you see the over all sculpture but as you look closer you see images making up other patterns- skunks, turtles, fish, cats, bugs and so on- you feel like you can never see it all. I also try to achieve multi layers in meaning and story by using symbolism that can be either personal or universal. Every time you come to a piece I hope that you see and experience something new.

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Unknown said…
Layl is an amazing artist and is an inspiration to her fellow Polymer Clay guild members in Minnesota!
M. Holland
Cyndi L said…
Her work just astounds me!
Anonymous said…
Layl's work is fabulous! I saw one of her pieces and joined the Polymer Clay Guild of Minnesota and began making my own polymer art.

Sara K
I would love to see Layl's work in person. The detail is amazing and much is missed by only seeing a photo. It would also be fun to meet someone with such a personality that she could create such fun and delightful works of art!
The silly Millies are incredible!

Layl's other pieces remind me of a quite famous Mexican clay and jewelry artist, Sergio Bustamante.

So much whimsy; such unusual combinations of elements. I definitely will be looking for more of Layle's work.
Grace said…
Layl is the reason I now play with clay and it has become my passion. After meeting her at a bead convention I took several of her classes and fell in love with the medium and with her! Thanks Layl for bringing me into this wonderful world of clay!
Anonymous said…
I came across you by accident and couldn't believe what I saw. We have similar dreams. Your man on a fish is wonderful!! Hope you can go to my blog and see mermaid on a fish project! Heather at