The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

Yvonne Padilla


When I was a kid I was all about arts and crafts projects. I was always making stuff. I wove friendship bracelets constantly. I made earrings out of anything I could attach to an ear wire. But the thing I loved the most was playing with clay. I was all about the Play-Doh. Then I discovered how to MAKE it myself! I can’t begin to describe the joy my little 8-year-old self felt when I realized that I could make the thing I loved the most. Just salt, flour, water, and a bit of food coloring and I kept myself eternally entertained. My parents kept a constant supply of ingredients around for me to make dough on demand (thanks Mom and Dad!). I never dreamed that my salt dough-making days would influence the rest of my life.

I've been with Rio Grande since 1996, and I've worked in a variety of departments here (formerly of Tech Support, currently in Marketing). One of the best things about my job is that I get to geek out on jewelry supplies all day. It's my job to talk about making jewelry. I also get to teach jewelry-making classes and test new products as we get them in. When I started working here back in the mid-90's, a new product called PMC® had just been introduced. I got my hands on a pack as soon as I could, and in no time I was hooked. It swept me back to when I was a kid making stuff with my Play-Doh. I got my Rio Rewards PMC certification in 2002 and have been teaching metal clay classes ever since.

In the fall of 2007, I received a package of BRONZclay™, and WOW! It was love at first sight. Working with it felt like a full circle journey from my Play-Doh days. I loved it so much that I decided to write a book about it (check out Bronze Metal Clay). I feel like a proud mama every time I see it.

I'm still amazed every day at how fortunate I am to have such a great career. All thanks to a tub of Play-Doh!

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