Tuesday, January 30, 2007

February Challenge

I know everybody has been patiently waiting for the challenges to begin. Well the wait is over. Drum roll please....... February's challenge is to create an item from polymer clay with the theme of Romance. Love is in the air as Valentines is fast approaching, so we thought we would use a little bit of that creative energy to challenge you to create something romantic. You can create anything, jewelry, a puppet, buttons, whatever your heart desires as long as it fits the theme and is made from polymer clay. Once you have completed your challenge item, you must send me a picture of it before midnight February 23. I will post all of the entries on the blog by February 26th and will open up the voting for other etsy sellers to pick the winner. The winner will be announce on March 1! The winner will receive some supplies sent in by missficklemedia.etsy.com and some donations from another sponsor to be named later in the month. Don't worry, it will definately be a prize worth winning! If you have any specific questions, please convo me! Now go get to work on your new masterpieces!

Don't forget to send me your donations for the voting winner! If you need my address, please convo me ASAP!

Tamara - blockpartypress.etsy.com

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Frustration...and cold fronts

Wow, could you feel the waves of frustration coming off me in my last post? Sometimes that is how I feel though. Good thing a cold front moved thru S. Florida. I went to a fabulous art & craft show today in Wellington, where I bought copper flowers for my backyard garden, a 1/2 lb chocolate chip cookie, and decided that I need a Red Kapok tree for my yard. When I get a yard of my own, that is. Kapok trees are from India (Surprise, surprise!!!) and have large red flowers that look like teacups. But they grow to 70 feet! Not something I want to train to grow in a pot.

On a funner note, the Guild founder, Ilysa, and I are going to meet in less than a month! A roadtrip she is taking in Feb. will bring her within 5 miles of my home, so we decided to have coffee and snap some group hug pictures. An awesome opportunity for online friends. So many of us will never meet, so this is just fantastic!!!

New Product I Found & Loved by ilysaart

Hi Everyone,
I just wanted to share a really cool product I found with you. It is from Tsukineko. It is a pigment ink that is pearlescent. It looks like Pearl-X without the mess. I fell in love with the ink and wanted to share with everyone. It is called Brilliance and it comes in a shape called Dew Drop, so it is easy to use. Make sure the color says pearlescent. I bought the pearlescent sky blue and pearlescent purple and they looked so awesome on stamped black clay that I had to share it with you. The ink is priced well so you can get a few colors. They also make an incredible color that is metallic, it is called Rocket Red Gold and it looks gold and red depending on how you are looking at it, sort of like the interference Pearl-X. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Who Owns an Idea?

My husband & I went to B&N Saturday night, where I did my fave thing (drank a green tea frappaccino while reading the newest mags) and talking with him about the art world. His conclusion, after we had a lovely discussion regarding "ownership" of new ideas in the clay world, is that the World of Polymer Clay is a Woman's World.
Now here's what we were talking about-
I really love Christie Friesen's work. And it makes me sick to my stomach too. I mean angry, nauseated, lie in the dark and cry kinda' sick. Because I stick gemstones into clay too. I make cute little critters too. And I bet I was doing it before she was doing it, too. (whaaaa)
BUT- because she was published first, and everyone knows who she is, she is perceived as "owning" the idea and the technique. Anyone else who ever makes polyclay critters with gemstones stuck in them is going to be accused of RIPPING OFF CF ORIGINALS. Now, my husband's take on this- if it were Men dominating this Art, there would be hefty competition. Men would be making critters with gems stuck in them and trying to outdo one another, to make them better, more, bigger...aaaahhh! But, because it's a Woman's Art (primarily) we can't be seen as stepping on one another's toes, can't "copy" an idea, can't compete. I actually experienced this kind of persecution at my local bead shop. I went in there, decked out in my own finery. Leaf earrings, bracelet, the whole 9 yards. This bead shop sells Klew focal beads. The lady behind the counter said "Oh, are you wearing Klew beads?" I said, "No, I'm wearing MY beads." She said, with a sneer, "Oh, well, they look like Klew beads." I said, "No, Klew actually covers her focal beads with leaf canes, which most polymer clay artists learn how to do when they are first learning caning, a popular technique. I actually use the leaves AS beads. And I have met Karen, she is very nice." The lady said "That's why your beads look like copies of hers."
UM, rude. And I would say something else, but I'm too nice and not rude enough to say it.
Why is there no room for healthy competition, for taking an idea and running with it, in your own direction... or taking an idea and improving on it, or doing it your own way? Polymer Clay is such a new artform that if you "invent" something it gets named after you. The Skinner Blend... now nothing against Judy, but gradients have been around for a long time. I live in fear- that my design will show up somewhere else first, someone who is better at marketing will write a book or article or be featured on TV, doing something that I do, on my own... Great, then I get to be accused of being a copying rip-off artist with no original ideas.

Dramatic Red Heart Pendant from laurali

Large Red Heart Pendant:

Item 5281453

Hand-sculpted from polymer clay and ready to wear...Great Valentine's Day gift.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Roz Petalz Studio - KathyS711

About Roz Petalz Studio…

My name is Kathy. I am a SAHM to 2 great kids - school teacher in a former life. I have been working with polymer clay for well over 12 years. I used to do the craft show circuit & sell in local boutiques. As life came calling, I began listing online. Here we are today - Roz Petalz Studio was born!

All of my beads are made from high quality polymer clay. Great care, detail and time are invested into each and every piece. NO PAINT, whatsoever is used. All of the designs and detailing you see are through manipulation of the clay, itself. Some pieces are finished with artist quality varathane gloss for added durability and to make the colors “come alive”. Every bead is handmade with the use of no molds. I sometimes used shaped cutters for lampwork designs and detailing. As with any handmade item, slight variations occur as a result.

Currently I specialize in loose beads & bottle caps for use in other artisan creations and jewelry pieces. Seasonal beads are lots of fun & I also enjoy the challenge of making made to match items ( for children's clothing lines, etc.). I also make my own jewelry items and ornaments for occasional gift items. Seasonally I list them in myEtsy & Ebay stores.

Thank you for your interest in Roz Petalz Studio.
Contact me for a custom order price list anytime.

Kathy Swenning

Two new pendants from laurali

Two new peace sign pendants. The first is an orange sign against a purple batik pattern:

Item 5270089

The second is an Irish green against a rainbow swirl:

Item 5270334

Both are on sale and come ready to wear.

A feature on Etsy.com is the treasury, where members can put together a "wish list" of items they like. Check out what one of our members listed here:

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Studio Bijou, aka Kira Slye

Who Inspires You?
I am inspired by other artists who work with polymer, and other media. I am constantly combing the web to see what others are doing, what creative edges they are pushing. I love finding out about new techniques, what the Pioneers of Polymer Clay are doing with it. My favorite monthly passtime is to visit Barnes & Noble, order some tea, and sit with a stack of new magazines like PolmerCafe, ArtJewelry, Expressions, ArtDoll...and just see what is going on. I don't believe we create in a vacuum, I don't believe my ideas are new. I believe in collective consciousness between us, to take the same materials and our ideas and form them into whatever art speaks to our own soul, but always within the patterns of human existance. You know, what was old is new again...that type of thing.

What Inspires You?
Nature! I live (finally) in South Florida. Right now, I am sitting in my living room feeling a tropical breeze and looking out my back door at a dozen varieties of palm, a huge oak tree, flowering bushes, puffy clouds and a gorgeous clear blue sky. I have two cats, a dog, and a beautiful green and blue fish. I swim at a beach where we often see fish in the shallows...and collect a shell whenever I go. So it is no surprise to me that leaves and flowers make their way into my designs. And faces. I love the human body as well, such a perfect design, so interesting to look at. I enjoy dancing and moving, so I try to build movement into my designs. I have taken bellydance classes, and will be going to my first Salsa class tonight! I love absolutely anything having to do with India. The crazy color combinations, the celebration of the body, the music and dance. For a while I used to henna my own hands and feet. It got cumbersome, so I had a henna-style lotus tattooed on the inside of my right wrist.

Where do you create?
My "studio" is my dining room table handed down from my grandparents. My grandfather, who was my biggest patron but has left this earth, didn't realize he was 50 years ahead of a trend when he whitewashed the wood. It has mellowed to an earthy beige, and it's all weathered and beaten up but the top is polished smooth from years of use. My table sits in front of a window and near my computer, which I use a lot for various websites, including my own: studiobijou.com. I also manage this site and am involved with EJA - Eclectic Jewelry Artisans, which can be found at eeja.org. My husband is a graphic designer, so I have been fortunate to learn from him and have a fully functional computer graphics studio.

How Long Have you been Working with Polymer Clay?
Since I was a kid! I was given a box of white sculpey when I was very young. I remember making little figurines out of it. I played around with it but didn't take it seriously. Then about 10 years ago, I decided to make a family tree as a gift for my Grandparents who had been married for 50 years. I made little portrait heads of everyone in the family and after they were opened up (at Christmas) we hung them on a little white tree. Everyone loved it! They could really see themselves in the faces I made. It was a great idea, but I suffer from the inability to effectively market myself, so it remained a gift and nothing more. Then a couple years ago, I got the idea to make a bracelet for my stepmom for Mother's Day. I made leaf beads and strung them with Rose Quartz. It was beautiful. She showed it to her friends, who all ordered one, and then it just spiralled out of control! I started selling leaf bracelets as fast as I could make them. Then I opened my Etsy shop, and another shop on RubyLane.com. I find that my internet sales are slow though. People are very appreciative of my work up close, but don't buy as quickly online. So I will be branching out into doing some shows soon. My husband has volunteered to help out with that, so I feel very lucky. He enjoys selling my work, even if he is sick of hearing me talk about it.

Member Gallery #3

Click pictures to visit individual member's shops!

Member Gallery #2

Click pictures to visit individual member's shops!

About Our Guild