Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How do I get there from here?

I’m going to be a bit retrospective here today. This time last year I had just gotten back from my first exposure to polymer clay in a classroom setting. I was so jazzed! Not only had I learned a lot from the teachers and students on the Polymer Paradise Cruise, I had made new friends and we were getting ready for our first polymer clay guild meeting!

I have grown so much as a polymer clay artisan over the past year and I have to give credit where credit is due. First of all, I started looking around for a way to sell my designs. In my younger days I did weekend craft shows with a wide range of items that I had painted. I knew I wasn’t really interested in going that route again, so as my brother likes to say, I decided to work smarter, not harder. I discovered Etsy and set up my shop, Harrison Hollow Designs. Then while researching about how to start a guild from scratch, I discovered PCAGOE, the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy. What a treasure trove of talented and sharing people! I have my friends at my local guild – the Central Mississippi Polymer Clay Guild – and my friends at my online guild! What more could a growing artist ask for!


Isn’t it great when you find yourself in the midst of artisans who jump right in there when you have a question and who share their tips and techniques? One of the polymer clay artists online who has been a great inspiration to me is Iris Mishly. As I mentioned earlier in this blog, my first love is caning and one of my first google searches took me to Iris’s Esty shop (http://irismishly.etsy.com/). I just love the way she combines canes in her designs. Iris also has a fantastic blog that is now one of my favorites (http://polymerionline.blogspot.com/).

I can't talk about caning without throwing out a great big thank you to Lynn Anne Schwarzenberg (http://www.riverpoetdesign.com/). I made some pretty pitiful canes before I had my first class with Lynn Anne. When I took the class with her on the cruise, I finally got it! I’ve still got a very long way to go but I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher!

A newer inspiration for me has been Toni Ransfield who recently joined PCAGOE. Toni’s flower canes (http://www.toninz.etsy.com/) are absolutely gorgeous! Another great caner is Angela Hickey of Polymer Clay Creations (http://www.polymerclaycreations.etsy.com/). I love the many different uses of canes Angela demonstrates in her Etsy store. Talk about eye candy!

With so many other techniques to learn and play with, I've gotten away from caning recently. But I've gotten back into the groove and will post some of my new canes in the next post.

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