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Makin's Clay® Design Team

We are proud to introduce the 2019 Makin's Clay® Design Team!  

STEPH ACKERMAN - My name is Steph Ackerman and I live in New York with my husband, our son, and one very photogenic pup. I have been creating in some form for as long as I can remember. I love the creative process, am very versatile and love to create an assortment of projects from canvas wall hangings, to tags and  cards to mixed media projects and more. My day is not complete if I haven’t spent some time in my craft room. I have a dedicated studio where I play and create. I  also teach a wide variety of paper crafting and tool related classes in my studio and my local craft stores and I encourage my students to play with their products and tools. I believe that only by playing can you unlock your potential and the potential of the products you are working with. You have no idea what you can create if you don’t take time to play and explore.

I am a CHA Designer Member, have the pleasure of being on a number of design teams and have had my work  published in a number of magazines.  I am thrilled to be a part of the Makin's Clay® Design Team.


CYNTHIA GOUGIAN - Cynthia Gougian is a voracious creator!   She is also an avid learner who has spent years developing technical expertise in many mediums, as well as mastery of the elements and principles of design. Cynthia found her artistic journey so positive and exhilarating that she began sharing knowledge with others. She soon discovered that she had a passion for helping folks along their artistic path. Cynthia delights in creating accessible, easy to understand, step by step craft tutorials.  Cynthia’s tutorials have been appeared in Making Jewelry Magazine, and in the online art retreat Polymer Clay Adventure 2019.  She is a member of several design teams, and the creative force behind the online school, Complete and Utter Mess! Inspired Mixed Media Tutorials! She also enjoys teaching craft classes to adults and children in her adopted home town of Athens, Ga. where she lives with her loving man, and a good dog!

BEA GROB - I'm a Mixed Media Artist and formerly handweaver from Switzerland. Color was, and is, always the reason for me to work, whether with threads, on canvas, with paper and what not. I have passed several Fibre and Art related educations, but also commercial school or the latest addition Educations for Educators Level 1.

I'm also the president of the association Handwerkkunst, which runs every year one of the biggest Art & Craft shows in Switzerland with about 60 to 70 artists in a old Knightshouse.

NANCY NICKEL - I live in Saskatchewan, Canada, with my husband of 30+ years! We have lots of fun together in our empty nest! I've always been creative, and have never met a craft I didn't enjoy. Although paper-crafting took over about eight years ago, I do still like to dabble in other things...when I find the time. I'm very excited to be joining the Makin's Clay® DT! The fact that I can now incorporate my clay play into my paper-crafting projects makes me very happy. All the fabulous tools and products available from Makin's Clay® also inspire me to want to get back to some fun jewelry making! I look forward to sharing my process with you!

NAOMI SCARPARO - Hi, my name is Naomi Scarparo and I live in Perth, Western Australia (no there... are no Kangaroos bouncing around in my back yard) with my husband and two cheeky children, who keep me on my toes.

I have always loved art, even as a very young child. Have always had a pencil in my hand drawing and colouring with my Derwent pencils.

My love of art grew and throughout school, art of course was my favourite subject. High School opened my eyes to the art and fantasy world (when our school had a visit from local medieval time artists). I was the "Oddball" who loved the fantasy world and I was always in the art room... painting, sketching and, when I could get my hands on it, clay.

It was only by chance at my local craft store... I spotted Polymer Clay. Three years ago now and I have loved this medium ever since. I love how it can let me bring my imagination and fantasy to life. I love things with a touch of whimsical, enchantment and magic from the fantasy world of our imaginations. I sculpt Fairy Doors, Fairy Gardens, Fantasy Figurines and scenes, as well as Whimsical Jewellery. There is no end to my expanding creativity and looking forward to helping you expand yours.

PANARILI - My name is Natalja Ivankova, but I go under PANARILI (the shortening for my family members Pavel, NAtalja, Richard and LIza, and in the Filipino it means „individual“). I am a Belarussian big city girl living in Slovakia in the Low Tatras, almost in the middle of nowhere. We are running a family hotel business here. I am a graduated translator and enterpretor, speak 3 languages fluently (English, Slovak, Russian), plus have passive knowledge of German and Belarussian. I am married and have two children, favourite job and hobby (guess what is it! Lol)  I have been lucky to cooperate with several magazines, and continue cooperating – which makes me even happier. My tutorials have been published in Polymer Cafe (also the front page of the last edition) (USA), Polymer Clay in Russia (RU), Passion For Poloymer and Polymer Clay Universe (USA), Vse o rukodelii (UKR), Lukoshko Idej (BY), Masterica (BY), and Handmade (UKR).

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