Barbara Claas always had an interest in art, but has no formal art training. She has enrolled in several continuing education courses in jewelry and mixed material since moving to Cleveland in 1998.
Claas states, “My mother and a grandfather I never met were not artists, but drew well. As a child in Germany, I liked to draw and I remember puzzling with my mother over how to make my cat drawings truly look like cats. Working as a neurobiologist, I particularly enjoyed creating illustrations of fish and frogs and experimental set-ups for scientific publications. In my free time, I experimented in knitting, quilting, Fimo polymer clay, air-brush drawing, and photography. Although inspired by nature, I particularly like finding abstract patterns like weathered pine trunks or twigs collected in a stream, and I enjoy turning natural materials and human artifacts into jewelry or art, which led to the current series of flowers created from plastic bottles and caps that litter our streets.”