Sarajane Helm began making dolls and dressing them when she was a very young girl…the skills learned in drawing and sewing for dolls translated into a love of character and costume. She studied theater arts at Barat College and theatrical design at Ohio State University.
Since 1978, she has designed and sold dolls and wearable art in many forms, utilizing her skills with fabric and fibers, polymer clay, paper and multimedia works. She designs rubber stamps and textile prints, dyes and embellishes fabrics, draws paper dolls and coloring books and designs web sites. Her work appears in magazine articles for Bead & Button, Jewelry Crafts, DOLLS, Lapidary Journal and others. In addition to serving as the Polymer Clay Editorial Advisor for Belle Armoire Magazine, she writes a bi-monthly column that appears there on the business of selling wearable art. A monthly online column titled Polymer Clay At Work and Play is featured at BeadBugle.com
Her books Create A Polymer Clay Impression and Celebrations With Polymer Clay continue to be well received and respected as being both beautiful and brimming with information. Adapting Quilt Patterns To Polymer Clay is the title of her new book. It is co-authored with Judith Skinner, who’s “Skinner Blend” technique has changed the look of polymer clay art throughout the world.
Sarajane is a founding member of the San Diego Polymer Clay Guild, and of the Rocky Mountain Polymer Clay Guild (which is now three groups– the Rocky Mountain Polymer Clay Guild is in Ft. Collins, Colorado, Denver has the Mile High Polymer Clay Guild and the Pikes Peak Polymer Clay Guild in Colorado Springs).
She works to explore and promote the many possibilities of the medium and to nurture creativity in others. She served recently as Vice President of Membership for the National Polymer Clay Guild and continues to help organize an annual polymer clay retreat with the Rocky Mountains Polymer Clay Network.
In addition to these PC groups, Sarajane is a member of the Rocky Mountain Bead Society. She and her husband collaborate on their larger pieces, and the entire family gets involved in the pursuit of business and art. Together they have created mosaic pieces for private collections, for gallery sales and for the benefit of local community organizations such as the Humane Society and the Symphony Orchestra’s “Art of Music” fundraiser.
As part of the Artist In Residence program in 2005, Sarajane worked with hundreds of local elementary school children to create a polymer clay installation and promote the use of creative skills. By continuing to educate herself and sharing what she knows with others throughout the years, Sarajane has acquired many skills that she enjoys honing through use. She travels throughout the United States to instruct people of many ages and skill levels in classes and seminars on subjects including fabric decoration, maskmaking and costuming, dolls and miniature making, beads making and use, and about polymer clay in all its many potential applications.