As a child, Marilyn Olivia Clayton (MOC) could be found sketching, creating cartoons, beading rings with her cousin Karen, painting, knitting, crocheting, rug hooking and so on.
During her 32-year career as a Registered Nurse, Marilyn used art as a creative outlet and as a healing therapy.
A search for miniatures for a miniature garden led to Marilyn’s exploration of polymer clay as a medium for creating miniature pieces for gifts and eventually to making beads and then of course classes to learn how to put them together and so it began in earnest.
From classes in Polymer clay to jewellery making classes at her second home, Iguana Beads, in Cambridge; where Marilyn met two of her major influences, Deb Benninger of InDividual by Design (A phenomonal creator, and teacher of wire weaving), and Pearl Blay, blogger at the Beading Gem, and fabulous teacher of a variety of metal and beaded media.
Marilyn’s daughter in law, Sarah, a talented artist herself, pointed her to the popular art of mala making which connected her to the gemstones, to which she felt an immediate affinity. By the time she made family, friends, customers, including a native women’s group over a hundred malas, she was a pro at stringing beads and began identifying the healing properties of the crystals(gemstones) she was working with.
From there workshops with the Kims! Kim Krompf of KW Studio the wonderful world of metal smithing; and Kim Kool of The Hive Encaustic studio where she began her exploration of the versatile, and mixed media world of encaustic painting. Both use torches! Insert child-like excitement! And the ability to tell stories and create to her heart’s content.
In 2016 Marilyn began to sell her jewellery creations under the name “One of a Kind Jewellery and Crafts”. She attended craft shows and had a website to sell her wares. In 2018 she began to show and sell her jewellery at the Fenelon Falls Station Gallery and continues as one of the artist cooperatives’ members at this time. The Gallery is open from mid-May to September each year and is a historical train station and wonderful backdrop for up to 20 artists’ beautiful wares.
In 2021 Marilyn retired from nursing and decided it was time to focus on the left side of her brain and move to the north country where she could enjoy her family and artistic pursuits in the fresh air and relative simplicity of a tiny town on the southern tip of Algonquin Park. This 115 year-old school house seemed uniquely suitable for a home base and workshop.
This seemed a fitting time to launch her jewellery and encaustic/mixed media art with a rebranding and so 8th MOC Designs was born. 8th because of her position in her large family of 10 children and MOC of course, for her initials.