Local maker Angie Taylor creates wearable art out of polymer clay

Angie Taylor was admiring a painting she’d made for her living room when she thought, “I wonder what this would look like as jewelry.”

The painting was marked by multi-colored geometric shapes on a triangle-shaped canvas—one of many abstract, acrylic paintings the self-taught artist has made in her free time.

After months of research on different materials, she recreated her geometric painting as fashionable polymer clay earrings.

Soon, the Covington native was making earrings for herself, coworkers and friends. Today, her handcrafted earrings are made of polymer clay and sterling silver. They read like wearable art, made in all shapes and colors. Influenced by nature and traveling, she pulls colors and shapes from her surroundings and transfers them into her pieces. Two-tiered purple earrings pay homage to a Wisteria tree outside her kitchen window. Tulip-shaped earrings are inspired by tulip fields in The Netherlands, which is on her travel bucket list.

She started making jewelry for fun, but this past February she decided to use her newfound skills to start a business: Southern Clay Co. Now, her jewelry is sold at Wanderlust by Abby and at pop-up events around town.

“I’ve always had this very different taste when it comes to accessories,” Taylor says. “All of the accessories I make are very fun, funky, statement pieces. I want you to feel unique when you wear them.”

By day, Taylor is a manager at Aveda Arts & Sciences Institute. After work, she crafts earrings at her living room desk. Her work station is small but organized. Her desktop is lined with cups of tools for cutting, trimming, measuring and carving. Underneath the desk, cubbies store colorful clay in every shade of the rainbow. She saves clay scraps to reuse in new designs or to blend for new colors. She uses kitchen tools like pasta makers and rolling pins to manipulate the clay.

“Clay kind of calms me down,” Taylor says. “When I come home and work on jewelry, it’s almost like a meditation.”

Taylor has always been an earring fanatic. When she was a child, she’d admire her grandmother’s large bold earrings. When she got older, she amassed her own collection of statement pieces. But that collection is surely even more special now that it includes her own work.

Taylor hopes to soon expand her line and explore other clay products like hair clips, wall art, necklaces and brooches.

“Whenever you wear my earrings, you’re making a statement,” Taylor says. “It sets you apart from your everyday south Louisiana girl.” southernclayco.com

This article was originally published in the August 2019 issue of 225 Magazine.