Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Win FREE Stuff! Vote in the PCAGOE June Challenge

Ever wondered what a PCAGOE artist looked like? Come find out by voting in our June Self-portrait Challenge. PCAGOE (Polymer Clay Artist Guildof Etsy)is having it's monthly challenge and you can vote and be entered to win a polymer clay supply kit from our sponsor: http://www.polymerclayproductions.com/

Come check out the entries and vote by noon Etsy time on June 28th!http://pcagoe.com/

You too can be a winner!!!!!!!!!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Thankyou, Thankyou, Thankyou...

I had a wonderful time out at the Old Campground Craft Show in New Lenox. Even if the weather did play havoc with the crowds and vendors...I still enjoyed the experience. I will definitely be back at the next show there.

I wanted to thank all of the people who had visited my booth, you were all such a joy to chat with. Being an artist, you tend to be a harsh critic about your own work, however I received so many compliments on my work yesterday. Thank you. Words of encouragement are what make you go on to do what you do best..and I definitely enjoyed hearing them all.

Some guests were asking if I had a website. With that request I directed everyone either to this Blog or to my Etsy site. I will be updating my Etsy site with new items shortly. And as always, if you have and idea for a dragon or another subject, please don't hesitate to contact me. I always love doing custom designs.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Artist Interview - Lori Degenstien ...

I came across Lori's site while searching through Etsy. I was very impressed by not only her creativity but also her skill and execution. Lori's pendants are definitely something you should check out.

1.) Do you have any links you wish to display? (etsy, ebay, blog, etc)
Please display my Etsy store link: http://thecharmlady.etsy.com/ (My blog isn't up and running yet, but the link is http://thecharmlady.blogspot.com/)

2.) How would you describe your artistic background?
I've never really considered myself an artist. I just love to make stuff! My mom used to sit my sister and I down and let us do crafts so I guess that's where it all really started. Over the years I've done so many different things including crochet, knotted hemp jewelry,beaded jewelry, custom Italian photo charms ( I still do Italian charms from time to time) and now polymer clay.

3.) What brought you to using polymer clay?
I began experimenting with polymer clay about 10 years ago. I used to make myself all sorts of fantastic beads to use with my hemp jewelry.I had a hard time finding beads that would fit onto hemp twine so I decided to make my own! It wasn't until about 6 months ago that I got into the pendants and rings.

4.) How would you describe the item(s) you make? And what is the inspiration for these items?
I make clay pendants and rings using a transfer paper technique which bakes the images right into the clay. I am inspired by the colors and textures in nature, florals, paper and fabrics. Polymer clay is so versatile and wearing poly jewelry is such a great alternative to the typical jewelry you see in stores today.

5.) If you could give some advice to an up and coming poly artist,what would it be?
My advice to anyone just starting out with polymer clay would be to do a lot of research and definitely experiment with all the types of clays and techniques out there. It took a lot of trial and error for me to find all the materials that worked best together.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Clay Shaper Tool

Always looking for the latest and greatest claying tools in the claying world, I was briefly introduced to clay shapers in an instructional booklet. It was listed as one of those , “when you become really involved in it” kind of tools.

So, off I went to the stores to search out for this most excellent tool. I soon discovered that the Clay Shaper (originally double ended now single ended) is not easily available in regular craft stores in the suburban Chicago area. After a few phone calls and a few weeks of waiting I was finally able to obtain one from small art supply store by special order only. Which is a shame, because this brand of tool has so much to offer in the claying world.

Ok, enough of the “Ah Ha!“ moment and onto the facts. The Clay Shaper is manufactured by the Royal Sovereign Line of Products which is a part of West Design Products from the UK. It comes in a variety of sizes and shapes. It basically consists of a silicone tip attached to a handle similar to a paint brush. This company also produces a Colour Shaper which comes in 5 sizes and 3 types of firmness.

The clay shaper is available in the following shapes and is promoted by the companies website to do the following : Cup Chisel (Adjust contours and edges. Carve and remove clay) . Taper Point (Carve patterns through slips and glazes. Create clean linear strokes and make broad forceful marks). Flat Chisel(Apply and carve clay. Create flat even strokes) Cup round (Smooth throwing and scoring marks. Create soft edge strokes) Angle Chisel (Create expressive strokes. Work from thick to thin and make precise marks).
All versions are available in sizes 0,2,6,10,16.

I had purchased the #2 Taper Point for around $8 (US). Normally I’m a bargain shopper looking for the lowest cost possible, but let me tell you…this was $8 well spent. This little shaper works excellent for blending seams, poking of a variety of hole sizes, applying small pieces of clay where fingers are too big, blending liquid clay with color, application of liquid clay, shape contouring and a bunch more.

This is definitely one tool that is soon to become a series of tools in my work bin. I highly recommend it. And if you can find the original double ended version, grab it, because there are not too many left on the shelves or in dealers stock. The best places to find these tools are either through a special order at your local art supply store or through the internet. There are numerous websites that carry these items, however you may have to pay shipping.

Monday, June 18, 2007

New Features for Fellow Clayers

Along with artist interviews...I have added some more features that fellow clayers would be particularly interested.
To the right I have added "Clayers Links". There you will find links with subjects that run the gamut from setting up a table at a craft show to suppliers to local interests.

In the main column of this site, I will also be featuring "Tool Reviews". This will be a short little review of handy tools that can either be purchased, made or found. This ongoing review will address the issues of functionality, affordability and practicality in the world of claying tools.

And as always, if you have a link that you think other artists would love to see OR if you have a unique or unusual tool that you would like to share about..please drop me a line and I'll post it on the site.

Happy Claying!


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Coming Soon....

Polymer Clay Artist Interviews

I will be interviewing fellow "poly" artists and posting their stories here. This will be a wonderful way to meet some great talent in the cyber world. And what better way to meet someone then to pick their brains about their talent and skill?

I am currently contacting a few different people and working on what the heck I'll be asking them. This should be an interesting adventure, and I look forward to meeting all kinds of new faces.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Big Thankyou...

I would like to take a moment to thank the wonderful bunch of artists at PCAGOE. What a wonderful bunch of people and so very talented to. They are a great inspiration to me sparking not only design ideas in my head, but sparking the professional end of things as well. Thank you.

And, from time to time...it is my wish to interview a resident Etsy Polymer Clay Artist and put up their interview on this blog. It may be a monthly post, or perhaps bi-weekly, but in any case the post will be linked to several other lists, sites and blogs if possible.

So, if you know of a wonderful polymer clay artist that needs a little exposure on the web, please feel free to email me ..I would love to consider them for the post.
Also, like several other members..I will be including links to fellow members sites. I'm trying to add the links in my spare time..however, it's possible I may miss some. SO...if you would like your Blog or Website to appear to the right here.. --> Please contact me so I can update my list.

Posting will now appear here...

this is a test post for setup

Yeah....I made it here...

Please bear with me as I start to setup this new blog....I had experienced some problems with yahoo360 and decided to start anew here.


Thanks so much