Saturday, November 26, 2011

Crochet Hook Mania

Lately, I have been covering lots of crochet hooks. They are my best seller on Etsy. The idea is to make the handle thicker so it is easier to work with. Crocheters like them a lot, and the possibilities for beautiful designs are endless.

Usually I use my own cane work, but recently a customer requested hooks with Silly Milly designs by Layl McDill. I have been a great fan of Layl's work for years, and I took a class with her at her studio once where I learned her method of cane making. This is the cane I made.

Even though I had seen her canes in person before, when they arrived at  my house I was blown away. The details and the bright colors are simply amazing and a feast for the eye. I could not stop smiling and started on my project right away. I feel very privileged to be able to work with these canes, they are simply precious.

Here are pictures of the Wizard of Oz series which will soon be available in my store (these are all sold already ;)):

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Angel Cane

My newest cane for the holiday season. Slice and bake it, make your own buttons, beads, ornaments, cover items, for example crochet hooks (in the last picture), altoid tins, pocket mirrors - be creative! Available here:

Little Angel on Etsy 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Nice Mention

Someone wrote a nice little blurb about me. Thank you, Marie!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Terra Nova at the Racine Art Museum

Living in Wisconsin has its perks. Not only do we have wonderful fall foliage, but the Racine Art Museum is within driving distance for me. My husband and I took a day trip on our anniversary. It was well worth it.

The museum is a very modern sleek building full of light near Lake Michigan right on Main Street. Two other exhibits downstairs were also very inviting and interesting, but my goal was the upstairs. This is going to be a very subjective account of my impression of the Terra Nova exhibit and not meant to be an art criticism in any way. For those not familiar, Terra Nova is the first exhibit of its kind solely dedicated to the art and craft of polymer clay.

Even though the square footage was relatively small, the architecture was light and airy. This made the room seem very spacious. We spent about three hours all in all (with a lunch break) and I still did not want to leave. It was a spectacular experience. With only three other art lovers in the building, we had the playground to ourselves.

Entering from the elevator side, to the right and counter clockwise the show started out with the furniture display by Bishoff and Syron. This work was new to me and gave a whole new meaning to the word "veneer". The "do not touch" sign had to be ignored for a split second. Wink

The work of a chosen group of featured artists called "boundary breakers" was displayed in several show cases in the middle of the u-shaped room and on the walls. Supplemented with that, there were showcases and wall displays with one or two pieces by other artists from the museum's own and private collections.

It was absolutely spectacular to see works of so many wonderful artists in person. Even the best photography I have seen does not do them justice. The depth and the texture, the scale and the dimensionality cannot be conveyed in photos. The layers and shiny finish of Dustin's purses (not to be touched behind glass), the matte sheen of Dever's installations, the tiny detail in many of the beads and mosaics, the contrast of colors and textures, all this was a feast to behold.

Naturally, I have my favorites and preferences which will be different for every visitor, and there is certainly something for every taste. Some pieces I found a bit over the top but I certainly could appreciate them as art in their own right. Some work I simply did not understand. For example, I am not sure why PC would be the medium of choice in a picture which could just as well be painted.  The exhibit certainly served its function of attempting to expand my horizon.

Some of the smaller pieces like brooches were especially appealing to me because of their simpler shapes and focus on surface treatment - I find less is often more. Meanwhile, I would have liked to have seen a little less jewelry (there were so many necklaces!) and more sculptural work. I found the choice of artists a bit arbitrary and was missing some boundary breaking names I think should have been in the collection. I also wished I could have seen more work of those who only had one or two pieces represented. It must be hard to be a curator.

I learned how refined PC can be, and how the attention to the smallest detail is of the essence. I learned even more how free and boundless the medium is, how it can be combined with other materials, how it can be whimsical or serious, gaudy or precious, and most of all unexpected.

If you can't make it to Racine, I do recommend to get the book.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My First Craft Show!

On August 15th, 2010 I did my first craft show with my polymer clay work, and the first one in well over 20 years. I am so glad I did it! When I made Ceramics, I was usually miserable at shows because my high end artful but not very practical work would not sell very well. I vowed never to do craft shows again when I moved from Europe to the US.

That was then! I decided to do this one for several reasons:
1. I had LOTS of stuff made in the last year.
2. This show was inside (at least 2/3 of it), and a table was provided.
3. It was organized by an etsy seller, and promoted by the Wisconsin Etsy Street team.
4. It was in Madison, a very progressive and hip city, and close enough for me to drive.
5. It was a one day show that had been held for 6 years, and the fees were affordable.
6. It was juried.

So there I was, realizing I was about 20 years (if not more) older than most of the young entrepreneurs around me. Feeling right at home and fitting right in! Most of the participants were etsy sellers. Lovely folks who put great care in their work and presentation. Products ranged from knitted, crocheted, sewn items and clothing to soaps and body care, cards, paper goods, pillows, wall art, candles and lots of awesome jewelry. Amazing what you can do with old silverware! I was surprised to be the only polymer clay artist there, and my window clings were also unique and a great seller.

I want to give a shout out to Naomi Richardson, the organizer, who did an outstanding job. The show was so well advertised that people were standing in line to get in at 10am on a Sunday! Goody bags were handed out to the first 100 visitors. Vendors had contributed items to those bags (I did). There was a steady stream of visitors of all ages all day long.

I could not have done it without my husband who helped hauling stuff up and down the stairs, parked the car while I was setting up, and he also talked to the customers. Needless to say, I had a great time, was happy with my sales and learned a lot. I hope I'll be accepted again for the one in December!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

April PCAGOE Challenge

Were did March go?
When am I ever going to get my act together and get this Blog going?
How do people find the time?

Well, just for good measure, here is the April PCAGOE challenge for your viewing pleasure:

Friday, January 29, 2010

February PCAGOE challenge

I am not participating this month, but you can win one of my pen sets just for voting!

The Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE Team) sponsors a monthly challenge for its member artists. The theme for February is "Gemstones and Flowers Associated With Your Birth Month." Please visit and vote for your top 3 favorite entries beginning Feb. 1 through Feb. 7, 2010. Five lucky voters, chosen at random, will also win a beautiful polymer clay prize created by one of our talented members.