For my second blog post, I thought I’d talk about some of the people who’ve inspired me and supported me all this while. Consider this the equivalent of my Oscar speech if you will! Okay, I know deciding to write and share blog posts isn’t quite the same as winning an award, but still! I wouldn’t have taken the plunge if it wasn’t for a whole bunch of people, so here goes.
The people who’ve had the most influence on me and have been my biggest supporters: my parents! They’ve spent years admiring my “art”, patiently buying whatever supplies I wanted and showing off my creations to friends and family! Most of my experiments while growing up were with paint and paper (ahh if only I’d discovered polymer clay then!). They’re not the type to praise my work to my face, so I usually don’t get anything beyond a “Oh that’s nice” reaction. But both of them take the pictures I send and show it to countless friends and relatives and make sure to report back oohs and aahs that the pictures get.
Another big thank you should definitely go to my cousin Anu, who waxes rhaspodic over every clay piece I make and happily wears a bunch of my jewelry. She’s also my unofficial and unpaid publicist! I’ve had a few friends of hers come to me for jewelry from me after her glowing recommendation.
Now there are also a bunch of people who’ve inspired me and helped me in various ways within the polymer clay community. One of the things you’ll hear often about clayers is that there are lots of generous helpful people out there willing to share their knowledge. I cannot stress how true that is. One the main reasons I’ve been too lazy to attend my local guild meetings is because there’s so much information exhanged online via email, Facebook groups and so on. I’ll go into specific tutorials and techniques in separate posts, but I do want to talk about a couple of people in particular.
First one has to be Ginger Davis Allman. Ginger is an amazing artist who has a super helpful blog called The Blue Bottle Tree. Her site is a great resource for beginners and she has a number of in-depth product review and compatibilty tests that are really worth looking into. I stumbled onto her website one day and fell in love with her translucent clay pieces. I bought a couple of her tutorials to try out and that started a couple of super long email threads.
Over time I’ve bought all her tutorials and have loved every one of them. Her tutorials are impeccably formatted and very well laid out. There are also lots of pictures with clear instructions. I’ve learnt so much through all of them and made some lovely things.
Apart from her (immense!) prowess as an artist, Ginger is also one of the nicest people I’ve talked to. She’s super responsive and so warm and encouraging! It’s a great feeling to have the person who developed the technique say nice things about your work.
Another person who I admire very much is Lynda Moseley of Diva Designs Inc. Her work is simply spectacular (take a look at her Flickr stream for some eye candy)! She has an excellent eye for color and all her pieces has a beautiful finish. I have her Masterful Faux tutorial and Controlled Marbling tutorial. Both are unique and interesting, but I love the results of the marbling technique. She gave me lots of tips and suggestions on working and experimenting with translucent clay and color. I went off and tried some red pieces (my favorite color!) and blue pieces and fell in love! Even more fun, the results from combining scraps from the two color ways!
I’ve made several pieces since, and I really like that the pieces are not quite the same even if I started with similar shades. Below are some of my favorites. These are fairly thin clay pieces coated with UV resin on both sides for added strength and bling. They’re still light enough to dangle happily and let light through.
Another great resource: I have been following Cindy Leitz for a while now. I finally signed up for a membership a few months ago and haven’t regretted it. Cindy has tons of information here, as well as many product reviews. She covers a variety of techniques in her paid tutorials. My favorite so far has been the Reptile hollow beads tutorial. The mokume gane technique really shines (no pun intended!) with mica clay. She shows how to make a smooth and lightweight hollow bead. I made this pendant using this technique. I’ve been asked multiple times about it, the mica particles practically dance in bright light! Her Batik tutorial is fun as well!
There are lots of more people I’ve talked to and who’s work I admire. There’s so much information and inspiration out there via Pinterest and Flickr. If I’m ever in a creative rut, I just go to my Pinterest board and look through all the stuff I’ve saved and always find something cool to do. The board I have is mostly tutorials and how-tos, but I do plan to create a new one for inspirations!
P.S: My first two blog posts have been published in quick succession because I have so much more to share! I hope to maintain at least a weekly cadence. So stick around!