When Margaret Swartout retired from her veterinary practice to care for her husband, she took the opportunity to focus on the watercolors she loved. She had always enjoyed capturing the finest of details in her artwork, taking extra time, for example, to portray the fine lines and textures found on the underside of flower petals and leaves. In taking a PMC® class with Yvonne Padilla and CeCe Wire, Margaret discovered she could transfer this incredible detail to metal forms and a new world opened before her.
She says, laughing, that jewelry keeps her sane. She loves the ability to work with colorful stones in her PMC pieces and is continually working to improve her control over the clay to an ever greater degree. While participating in the first Rio In Motion event, Margaret took classes in wax-carving from Kate Wolf and enameling from our own Phil Scott. The wax carving helped her make molds she can “squish clay into” and got her that much closer to reaching her ultimate goal of casting in metal. The enameling class, she told me, with her eyes shining, brought back the vibrant colors of her watercolor days, putting some color into her metal clay work.
It all brings Margaret back to the encouragement she received from her mother since she was small, and that her beloved husband has been giving her for 43 years: If you believe you can, you can!