Featured Member: Artisan Clay

Shop: www.artisanclay.etsy.com

Blog: www.artisanclay.blogspot.com

How did you get started in your chosen craft?
Oh boy…. I think that I was very lucky that the ladies in my life noticed my need to create early. I can remember sitting at my Babcia’s (grandmother’s) house at 5 years old being taught to braid, chain crochet and French braid by my grandmother and great Aunt all in one crazy information hungry session. I can’t remember much from my childhood, but that is a big one for me. After that I progressed to a bead loom at 8 years old and the craft store was my toy store from then on. I have always had a fascination with clay, and always wanted to work with it but it took landing my first good paying job to finally dedicate the cash to set up my own pottery studio. I read so many books, joined a potter’s group, asked endless questions and finally taught myself the craft. Combining clay and jewelry… That was only natural.

How do you make your craft or Etsy store eco-friendly?
I have decided to use recycled industrial waste glass from manufacturing in my clay work. Recycled Local gift boxes, packaging, papers, I just try to make the best decisions as they come.

Where do you get your ideas/inspiration?
Where does the inspiration come from anyway? Sometimes it’s a curse, keeping me up at night with some vague vision of impossibility, taunting me until I work out the technique or invent a tool to make it a reality. But then when I do finally work it out, days, weeks, sometimes years later, it’s the blessing I have been dreaming of. I don’t know where the inspiration comes from. I am forever struggling to slow it down long enough to finish some of what I have already started. I hope it never ever stops!

Which piece in your shop is your current favorite?
Hmmm, that’s tricky.

I really like my Sophisticated by Nature Necklace -
Sophisticated by Nature, oh yeah! Classic navy blue meets weekend walks in the woods.
Another good one is Spring Green and Turquoise Cabochon Stoneware clay and Recycled glass
This one shows my main style of clay work, done just about as clean, lightweight and high quality as I have ever done

What are you currently working on?
This week a movie about Jack the Ripper set me off on a blood red and black kick. Before that, I was all about Autumn colors and throwing my beads into open flames… I have been really having fun firing my beads with wood fires and in primitive methods. I have a group outdoor firing with my potter’s group in a couple of weeks and there will be more open flames happening there. I think I will be making some big pieces for that since something has me wanting to make really large “high fashion” pendants lately. Whatever comes of it, it is sure to be fun J

What do you do when you are not crafting?
I have been out hunting for wild mushrooms a lot lately and trying to learn about native and wild food that grows in my area. I am certainly not the best organic gardener out there, but with every year I try to learn more. My husband and two daughters certainly keep me moving. Teaching the kids to read and the honesty and question everything approach to parenting can lead to some uncomfortable times and always keeps me learning myself and always on my toes.