Member Interviews


Betty Boopskathys711.etsy.com

Who inspires you?
My family inspires me to keep creating. I am a SAHM and have been supplementing our income with my work. I constantly see sources of inspiration from my kid’s cartoons and books, to flowers in our yard and things inside our home. Clients inspire me when thay ask me to make something I’ve never attempted before. I love the challenge of matching fabric, characters in a story, etc. My husband gives me honest criticism, as do my children. This also inspires me to keep working harder to get better.

What inspires you?
I love color! I am forever looking at all sorts of everyday items and things found in nature with colors that catch my eye. I recently based a set of beads on sunflowers, since my daughter and I plan to plant some this year. We also live near the water and the ocean colors, things on the beach, etc. put images in my head.

Children’s clothing is a big source of inspiration – again – the color. I love to match items for clients who want to accessorize and create the perfect outfit!

Squirrel, Piggy, Bunny

Where do you create?
I create in my basement studio. The entire family uses is too. We call it the “craft room” – the room that’s O.K. to get very messy. A small area is dedicated to my work and houses all of my stuff. I work mostly at night when the house is quiet and I am alone in “my cave” with my clay and my thoughts.

How long have you been working with polymer clay?
I have been working with polymer clay for over 15 years. I always loved to string beads, but quickly ran out of money. My parents (the artisitc gene runs in my blood!) bought me a book, “The New Clay”, by Nan Roche, that demonstrated how to make your own beads (as well as many other things) out of clay. I was instantly hooked! Don’t ask to see my first creations – they were awful! I persevered and loved the instant gratification when a good piece would emerge before my eyes. Not until just a few years ago did I begin selling online. Back when I had the time to commit, I entered craft shows and fairs. Family takes center stage now. After all, that’s who I do it for!

Beads

Kaleidoscope Egg Ornamentmadeinlowell.etsy.com

Who inspires you?
My mom inspires me, she is an artist and art was just an integral part of my childhood. We had a fat roll of brown paper that was as tall as I was! We could just tear off a length any time we liked, put it on the floor and draw big paper murals. She also mixed salt clay for us to make miniatures with.

What inspires you?
Shapes and the juxtaposition of colors. I’m fascinated by how colors appear to change according to how you arrange them next to each other. I also don’t mind saying I am influenced by what’s trendy and retro-looking! Learning new polymer clay techniques is very exciting. I’m never bored with the organic shapes of eggs.

Where do you create?
Making an EggRight now I create at home, but this summer I will be moving into a studio in a renovated mill nearby. It’s very exciting!

How long have you been working with polymer clay?
I have been working with Polymer clay since 1989. I still have some of my first beads and it’s amazing to see the evolution of my techniques. I taught classes through the nineties, that was fun too!

 

Mint Flowers Bead Necklace

Cutesis.etsy.com

Who inspires you?
Retro SwirlI was first inspired to work with polymer clay by Kathy, my good friend and a local Spokane artist. Kathy creates life-like polymer clay Santa’s. So, two years ago I went out and purchased my first block of clay intent on making my own Santa. The result was raw and somewhat flawed, but I was fascinated with this new medium. I am big on research, so googling up polymer clay artists on the internet introduced me to the versatility of clay. Donna Kato and Maggie Maggio have been my most recent inspirations as far as well-known clay artisans go. Although, I have to give credit to the unknown artist as well! I am equally inspired by many local artists and those whose talent has yet been undiscovered. I am so grateful that many clay artists are willing to share their artwork and more importantly, publish tutorials on the art of polymer clay. Reading books, magazines and tutorials then trying out different techniques keeps me busy beyond belief. More often than not, marveling at the end result. It is amazing how many different directions clay will take you; imagination is your only limitation.

What inspires you?
Father ChristmasLife in general inspires me. As I go about my day I am constantly aware of color, shapes, textures and the emotion evoked from everything visual. Staying in touch with my emotions, really examining what brings on a smile, a good feeling… Was it a color? A shape? How can I re-create that feeling with a work of art? Sometimes I need to reach out and touch an object, just to get the feel and imagine how to create that same feeling. I put my heart into all of my work and I would hope that my art brings with it some emotion to those who experience it.

Where do you create?
For so long I had a corner here, a table there, a space in the basement or the back of a closet to store my stuff. My kids grew up and all the sudden I had these extra rooms in the house! I recently converted my son’s old bedroom into my very own art studio! I’ve got great lighting with two large windows and morning sun, heaps of storage and workspace. I am in heaven! Summer months here in Spokane, you can find me in our outdoor room surrounded by the colors of summer flowers, which by the way are everywhere!

How long have you been working with polymer clay?
I am rather new to PC, picked it up two years ago for the first time but never really got serious about it until about 6 months ago. I joined Etsy in Nov. ’06, then began selling Mar. 2, 2007 ( http://www.cutesis.etsy.com ). I feel like I am in a student position right now, still learning and experimenting. I have so much to learn and so many things yet untried! It’s an exciting position to be in, I have so much to look forward to and don’t feel I will wear out my welcome to polymer clay any time soon!

Bamboo Shard

Necklace by BlockpartypressBlockpartypress.etsy.com

Who inspires you?
My two sons (4 & 7) inspire me everyday. They help remind me to look at the little things. They can get so excited about a cool rock or a bug. The things that adults often overlook. My youngest is an artist too and his uninhibited creativity inspires me to try new things and to remember that just about anything (and I do mean anything) can be made into art. He doesn’t worry about whether anybody will like his art, he just creates from the heart and he inspires me to do the same.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by just about everything around me. I am attracted to color, texture and contrast, so when looking for inspiration I tend to look at things through those elements. I am probably most inspired by nature. Trees, leaves, flowers, grass, wildlife, rocks etc. really get my creativity going.
Ring by Blockpartypress
Where do you create?
I have just recently upgraded from my kitchen counter to a small corner of my basement. I wasn’t expecting to have a lot of success with selling my art, so I didn’t have a specific place set aside until now. I have a little table and I am working on organizing everything. It’s not my dream studio, but it’s mine and I like it just fine.

How long have you been working with polymer clay?
I have been working with polymer clay for about 13 years. I found it while I was in college when I needed to fill my create urge between my studies. I started with making canes and jewelry and then used it to sculpt things and now I like to stamp impressions into it. Who knows what I will be doing with it next year. Polymer clay is so versatile that the possibilities are endless. Which is probably why I love it so much.

Ring by Blockpartypress

Nanjodogz.etsy.com

Who inspires me — I’d have to say my immediate family because they are always there to cheer me on and inspire me.
What Inspires me — I’d have to say nature inspires me, all animals but mostly dogs, my dog, all the dogs I’ve had in the past and will have in the future.
Where do I create — I have a little room in my condo that is devoted entirely to my craft, it’s called a sunroom because it’s really too small for a bedroom so it’s perfect for my office/studio space.
How Long have you been working with polymer clay? I’d say about two years now that I’ve been working with polymer clay, but have worked with arts/crafts all my life, but found a true love and passion for poly clay.

About Roz Petalz Studio…

My name is Kathy. I am a SAHM to 2 great kids – school teacher in a former life. I have been working with polymer clay for well over 12 years. I used to do the craft show circuit & sell in local boutiques. As life came calling, I began listing online. Here we are today – Roz Petalz Studio was born!

All of my beads are made from high quality polymer clay. Great care, detail and time are invested into each and every piece. NO PAINT, whatsoever is used. All of the designs and detailing you see are through manipulation of the clay, itself. Some pieces are finished with artist quality varathane gloss for added durability and to make the colors “come alive”. Every bead is handmade with the use of no molds. I sometimes used shaped cutters for lampwork designs and detailing. As with any handmade item, slight variations occur as a result.


Currently I specialize in loose beads & bottle caps for use in other artisan creations and jewelry pieces. Seasonal beads are lots of fun & I also enjoy the challenge of making made to match items ( for children’s clothing lines, etc.). I also make my own jewelry items and ornaments for occasional gift items. Seasonally I list them in myEtsy & Ebay stores.






Thank you for your interest in Roz Petalz Studio.
Contact me for a custom order price list anytime.

Kathy Swenning
kmbms@sbcglobal.net

Who Inspires You?

I am inspired by other artists who work with polymer, and other media. I am constantly combing the web to see what others are doing, what creative edges they are pushing. I love finding out about new techniques, what the Pioneers of Polymer Clay are doing with it. My favorite monthly passtime is to visit Barnes & Noble, order some tea, and sit with a stack of new magazines like PolmerCafe, ArtJewelry, Expressions, ArtDoll…and just see what is going on. I don’t believe we create in a vacuum, I don’t believe my ideas are new. I believe in collective consciousness between us, to take the same materials and our ideas and form them into whatever art speaks to our own soul, but always within the patterns of human existance. You know, what was old is new again…that type of thing.

What Inspires You?
Nature! I live (finally) in South Florida. Right now, I am sitting in my living room feeling a tropical breeze and looking out my back door at a dozen varieties of palm, a huge oak tree, flowering bushes, puffy clouds and a gorgeous clear blue sky. I have two cats, a dog, and a beautiful green and blue fish. I swim at a beach where we often see fish in the shallows…and collect a shell whenever I go. So it is no surprise to me that leaves and flowers make their way into my designs. And faces. I love the human body as well, such a perfect design, so interesting to look at. I enjoy dancing and moving, so I try to build movement into my designs. I have taken bellydance classes, and will be going to my first Salsa class tonight! I love absolutely anything having to do with India. The crazy color combinations, the celebration of the body, the music and dance. For a while I used to henna my own hands and feet. It got cumbersome, so I had a henna-style lotus tattooed on the inside of my right wrist.

Where do you create?
My “studio” is my dining room table handed down from my grandparents. My grandfather, who was my biggest patron but has left this earth, didn’t realize he was 50 years ahead of a trend when he whitewashed the wood. It has mellowed to an earthy beige, and it’s all weathered and beaten up but the top is polished smooth from years of use. My table sits in front of a window and near my computer, which I use a lot for various websites, including my own: studiobijou.com. I also manage this site and am involved with EJA – Eclectic Jewelry Artisans, which can be found at eeja.org. My husband is a graphic designer, so I have been fortunate to learn from him and have a fully functional computer graphics studio.

How Long Have you been Working with Polymer Clay?
Since I was a kid! I was given a box of white sculpey when I was very young. I remember making little figurines out of it. I played around with it but didn’t take it seriously. Then about 10 years ago, I decided to make a family tree as a gift for my Grandparents who had been married for 50 years. I made little portrait heads of everyone in the family and after they were opened up (at Christmas) we hung them on a little white tree. Everyone loved it! They could really see themselves in the faces I made. It was a great idea, but I suffer from the inability to effectively market myself, so it remained a gift and nothing more. Then a couple years ago, I got the idea to make a bracelet for my stepmom for Mother’s Day. I made leaf beads and strung them with Rose Quartz. It was beautiful. She showed it to her friends, who all ordered one, and then it just spiralled out of control! I started selling leaf bracelets as fast as I could make them. Then I opened my Etsy shop, and another shop on RubyLane.com. I find that my internet sales are slow though. People are very appreciative of my work up close, but don’t buy as quickly online. So I will be branching out into doing some shows soon. My husband has volunteered to help out with that, so I feel very lucky. He enjoys selling my work, even if he is sick of hearing me talk about it.