Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Troll Tracks

Today's featured artist is a talented polymer clay sculptor. She makes polymer clay sculptures of babies, elves, and forest animals

I was involved with polymer clay way back when there was no internet and not many clay choices.I was a wildlife wood carver, looking for something less dusty and messy. I gave up on polymer clay for many years because it could not trust it not to crack. I carved wood animals for many years, but returned to polymer clay because nothing else will create the realism in human skin tones and because I found the clay I love to work with. I use Fimo brand soft in flesh tone for almost everything I do now.

My favorite thing to make is whatever I'm doing at the moment. I tend to keep coming back to babies, whether human, fantasy or animal. I'm starting to look into reborning also. I'm definitely headed in that direction.

Polymer clay is just the greatest medium for realistic skin tones and ease of use. It is not messy which is a plus and there are very few boundaries with clay. I can make babies or a dragon or a pendant all with a lump of clay.

My advice for anyone starting with clay is to go online and look at what people make. When you find something you really love, that is your inspiration. Take the idea and make your own version. Don't get discouraged because clay takes alot of prictice to learn how to mold and work with it. Plan to make more than one of the same thing. Have fun. I nearly gave up trying to make hands, but I had to learn to do it. What took me two hours now take me ten minutes. I've made hundreds of hands by now.

Check out this great link at http://www.polyclayplay.com/FreeProjects.htm
There are projects and inspiratiion galore over there as well as free tutorials.
And you can check out her etsy shop here: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6377456

Thanks, TrollTracks

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rained OUT

At the show last Saturday, it rained buckets. My canopy had pools in the fabric and my tablecloths were completely soaked. While trying to get some of the water off the top of the canopy, I inadvertently dumped a ton on myself. I packed everything up and left after that. Ugh.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sundance Children's Festival

I'm excited to participate in Sundance Ski Resort's annual Children's Festival this Saturday. I will have polymer clay jewelry, accessories, and even some toys for sale. I've attached the super-cute poster for the event below.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Feature on Artfire

My shop is being featured on the main page of Artfire this week! Here's a screen shot of part of the article

Check out the whole thing at Artfire.com. You can see my shop at http://aBitofColor.artfire.com

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Artist Feature

This week, my local paper featured my work in their arts and entertainment section. Here's an excerpt from the article:

BOUNTIFUL — Loving one art form doesn’t mean that a girl can’t have fun with another.

After the economy caused pottery sales to slow down considerably, local potter Tara Robertson started creating whimsical animal and flower jewelry with polymer clay. Those birds, bugs and flowers have expanded enough to earn Robertson feature artist status June 5-8 at ArtFire.com, and gives her the chance to explore her flights of fancy.

“Polymer clay comes in these bright, beautiful colors,” she said. “I try to use it to its advantage and make things that are bright and colorful.”

Robertson’s introduction to polymer clay came when she started teaching kids’ classes using the material, and found that it was the perfect thing to take along when the family went on vacation.

“It’s a really good way to keep my hands busy,” she said. “It’s not as if you can take a pottery wheel on vacation with you.”

The speed of polymer clay jewelry also appeals to Robertson, allowing her to see a design come to life much faster than with pottery.

“With the polymer clay you can go from start to finish in about a day, where with pottery it takes about a month,” she said. “It’s kind of instant gratification.”

That immediacy also allows Robertson to fold her work into playtime with her young daughter.

“She’ll just say ‘oh, let’s make birds,’” she said. “She’ll sit down and squish her clay, and I’ll work on my stuff.”

So far, Robertson is planning a future that holds both pottery and polymer clay jewelry. She’s planning on going back to school in the fall for ceramics, and this summer she’ll continue teaching mixed media and polymer clay jewelry classes at her home studio in Bountiful (e-mail trpottery@gmail.com for more info.)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tofu Nut Loaf

Today's featured artist makes great polymer clay robots with actual hardware as body parts. It's a fun and unique design and I'm loving it.

1.What got you involved in Polymer Clay?
My friend Bethany makes beautiful polymer clay pendants, and I wanted to get in on the fun, basically. I made pendants and beads for a while, and then started making robots. The robots pretty much took over at that point.

2.What is your favorite thing to make? Why?
Robots. They have character.

3.What makes polymer clay a better fit for your products than other mediums?
It's fun stuff, inexpensive, and easy to work with. There are entirely too many color choices, and the pearl clays are perfect for robots.

4.What is your best advice for someone starting out in polymer clay?
Play and have fun. Try out different techniques. It stinks if you overcook it.

Check out these awesome links:

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Random Question Time: What's your "Go Green" crafting tip?

Do you have one tip for people to incorporate being green into their everyday life?

I think that you don’t necessarily need to be a pack-rat to save materials from the landfill. When throwing something away, I like to ask myself if it’s something I can use in a project. I keep fabric, ribbons, cardboard, boxes and packaging (for shipping my ceramic art http://trpottery.etsy.com), and anything else that catches my eye. It's good for the pocketbook and the environment. If I can’t use it or don’t know someone who can, then I see if I can recycle it before just throwing it away.

What's your "Go Green" tip for busy crafters?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Today's featured artist is Julie Sweeney of Juliespace . I was struck by her unique take on polymer clay jewelry.

Julie says:

I really like trying out new crafts all the time and watching craft shows and reading craft books and cruising the craft stores, in other words I am a craftaholic. I came across polymer clay somehow this way. I started out in jewelry making and the idea of making my own beads to suit myself really appealed to me.

I like making pendants best. Now what type of technique do I like doing best? That is changing all the time. I love to experiment and I am still learning a lot about polymer clay. I do keep going back to making my mini-mosaic pendants. They are a lot of fun to do. I also do larger scale mosaics with stained glass and these mini-mosaic pieces were influenced by that.

What is so great about polymer clay is the many ways it can be used. The possibilities are endless. You are not limited to any style or technique. You do not need expensive equipment to work with it. Its colors are wonderful.

My advice for people new to polymer clay is have fun and don't expect everything to look just like out of a book. Keep practicing and experimenting.

Julies Links:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Artfire Cafe Mom Team Giveaway

My artfire team is having a giveaway and this time we're giving away my twiggy dangle earrings. To get in on the giveaway, check out the rules on the blog and add a comment to enter.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Go Head Over Heels

Today's featured artist is Laura Timmins of GoHeadOverHeels. She makes beautifully detailed polymer clay jewelry and the blend work she does is simply amazing. Also, like me, she likes to get her hands in the "other clay" making pottery.

What got you involved in Polymer Clay?

I come from a family full of artists and musicians and visual art has always been a part of my life. After my third daughter was born I was feeling stir crazy one day. I realized it was because I hadn't done anything artistic in a long, long time. I needed to do something but I didn't want bite off more than I could chew with three preschoolers underfoot. I found a community class offering about some sort of clay on three Saturday mornings – perfect! But I was so intrigued by the description of the class that I couldn't wait until it started. I found Nan Roche's book in the bookstore and had tried everything in it before my first class.

What is your favorite thing to make?

I really had to think about this question. This week my favorite thing to make is the new style of earrings I've been developing. Last week I was completely absorbed in a bracelet. This past summer I took a wheel thrown pottery class and went crazy making goblets and teapots. I can honestly say my favorite thing to make is whatever I'm making right now.

What makes polymer clay a better fit for your products than other mediums?

I love how quickly you can “sketch” an idea in polymer clay. I love that it can be both three dimensional and colored. I love the incredible detail you can get both with shape and pattern. I love that you can reuse it if your idea didn't work out. I love that there is hardly any clean up and you can leave everything out and it won't hurt it. So for me, it's not really about the products, but about how well it fits my personality.

What is your best advice for someone starting out in polymer clay?

Like any art material, it takes practice to learn a skill. Try to focus on one skill at a time while you are learning. There are so many beautiful and enticing techniques available it is tempting to try to sample everything and as a result, not master anything.

What links would you like added to this article?


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Springtime Designs

Today's featured artist is Marilyn Jensen of Springtime Designs. She makes one-of-a-kind Dogs out of polymer clay.

1.What got you involved in Polymer Clay?
I enjoy sculpting. Polymer clay is easy to obtain and easy to work with.

2.What is your favorite thing to make? Why?
Dogs are my favorite subject. I just love dogs!

3.What makes polymer clay a better fit for your products than other mediums?
With Polymer Clay, I can get a smooth sculpt with lots of detail. Polymer clay doesn't shrink, so my embellishments stay in proportion to the piece. Polymer clay doesn't require high-temperature firing in a kiln, so my embellishments won't burn up :-)
4.What is your best advice for someone starting out in polymer clay?
Practice, practice, practice! Take classes if possible -- you can always learn something new.

Here's Marilyn's Link:

Friday, April 3, 2009

Blatant Self-Promotion

I stayed up late last night thinking about where my daughter should go to preschool next year and arrived at one conclusion. Preschool is expensive. Help me save up for it by purchasing from my smoke-fired jewelry shop today for 30% off.

Just type "Preschool$" in the notes to sender and wait for a revised invoice.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Brand Spanking New Necklace Design

Although I like making representative work, I seem to find myself migrating towards abstract designs lately in all the mediums that I work with. Here's my new abstract necklace design.

I'd love to know what you think.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Today's featured artist is Shing Yin Khor, a Los Angeles area artist and designer.

1.What got you involved in Polymer Clay?
I was at a craft store and was curious and I liked all of the pretty colours. Turns out I'm quite easily amused.

2.What is your favorite thing to make? Why?
Little alien monsters! It feels like I'm imbuing lumps of clay with a real personality.

3.What makes polymer clay a better fit for your products than other mediums?
It's the least messy, and most convenient medium for me. I also sculpt with real clay, but I can't do that while watching my boyfriend play video games.

4.What is your best advice for someone starting out in polymer clay?
Don't eat it. Preheat your oven.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

What do you want to do with your art/craft, but because of external factors, can't?

I had a major disappointment this week. My "real" job--aside from taking care of my little one and teaching classes (I really have a lot on my plate) is being a potter. I have a studio in my garage and producing work there eats up as much time as I can possibly give it. (You can see my pottery at http://trpottery.etsy.com) Eventually, I'd like to be able to teach at the college level and give workshops in clay and such. To do this, I need a Master in Fine Arts. I decided this year that now was the time to finally go back to school. My little one is older now and can go to preschool for longer periods of time. I applied, sent in all my stuff and confidently waited to hear that I had gotten in.
This week, I got the letter informing me that I did not get in. Now I'm at a brick wall. To advance my work to the next level, I really need some more technical training, and to teach, I need the degree. Whatever I do needs to be financially viable, and also needs to be the best decision for my daughter. So I'm looking at jobs, going back to school part-time, teaching more, etc.

How about you? What would you like to do, but because of outside circumstances, need to set aside for a while?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Today's featured artist is Ana of Momochas. She makes beautifully intricate mixed media jewelry with (of course) polymer clay as a main ingredient.

Ana says:
I discovered polymer clay casually. One day I went with my sister to a little craft store and the variety of colors of the polymer clay caught our eyes. My sister wanted to make some adornments for the kitchen and we decided to give it a try . From that moment we fell in love with this material.

I love to mix polymer clay with different elements, specially lace. I love the romantic and misterious feel that a delicate and beautiful lace can give to a piece. Now I´m trying with my sister another materials combinations like wood an other natural components.

Polymer clay fits me like a glove. From my point of view, it´s a versatil material with endless posibilities. I love the chance to experiment with colors and different finishes, besides it´s very easy to use and suits completely differents styles.

My advice for the people who starts would be to experiment, mix, try anything you can imagine. Don´t be afraid to the result. Work until you are completely satisfied with the piece. And above all, enjoy the process of creating, the illusion is the most important part of the work.That´s the main and the most special material you want to transmit with your creations. The final point is to make a special piece that becomes special too for the person who is going to wear it.

Her links:
Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6116826
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/momochas/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/momochas

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Today's featured artist is Tessa Ann. She makes colorful and unique buttons from polymer clay that are perfect for scrapbooking embellishments.

Tessa Ann says:
I started working with polymer clay about 5 years ago when I spotted the squishy colorful packages in my local craft store. I thought it would be fun to play around with. I started by making buttons for my own scrapbooking projects. I received so many compliments and encouragement to sell my buttons that I decided to open my little Etsy shop :)

My favorite thing to make with polymer clay is my signature handmade buttons. Their versatility lends to so many creative options. I started creating my buttons to be used as scrapbooking embellishments, but after hundreds of buttons have been used in various sewing projects, I realize how versatile this medium is.

The versatility of polymer clay makes it a perfect medium for my buttons. I don't need fancy equipment to make a beautiful product. They are light-weight, yet durable.........and you definitely have not seen these funky buttons around your craft store shelves!

If you are just starting out working with polymer clay..... Simple. Have fun with it! Remember being little and playing with Play-do and how much joy it brought. Do the same, just play....no expectations, just let your creativity be your guide. Start small and go from there!

Links: (My shop) www.tessaann.etsy.com and my (Creative Blog) www.tessaann.blogspot.com

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Random Question Time: Tips for Moms

What is your best tip for moms who create art/crafts and run a business from home?

What works for me:
Naptime and/or preschool time is sacred. Whenever my little one is away or sleeping, I try to drop everything and get to work. This gives me a solid chunk of time to concentrate on my work and to get things done. Now that my daughter is getting older, I’ve also had her start doing activities with me. If I need to work on polymer clay while she’s up, I’ll give her a big chunk to make her own things out of. When I need to work in my ceramic studio, I bring her along. She loves taking a bucket of water and a sponge and sponging things down. This often ends up making a bigger mess than before with water and clay everywhere, but we’re both happy.

Please join in the conversation and add your best tips in the post section.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Purple Cactus Studio

Today's featured artist is Laurence of Purple Cactus Studio. She is part of a dynamic duo that makes unique jewelry for their Etsy shop.

Laurence says:

I first started working with polymer clay about 5 yrs ago. I was creating jewelry but wanted to make the pieces more unique. I decided to create my own beads! Polymer clay was a great discovery! The product is so versatile and the palette endless. For me polymer clay is instant gratification...from the moment you start blending colors and creating texture to the final stages of buffing, each step is satisfying and exciting! I think that for someone first starting out, it is a good idea to learn the basic techniques of polymer clay. Blending the colors, making gradients, learning basic canework and sanding...These are good building blocks. From there just have fun! There are all kinds of polymer clay artists, from jewelers to sculptors! Check out American Style Magazine...the new April 2009 issue features an entire article on various polymer clay artists!

One of her favorite French artists can be found here http://mamezellecat.canalblog.com/

One her favorite pieces is this one:


Monday, March 9, 2009

Flower Pins

I'm still playing around with the idea of using upcycled jeans in designs--I tend to get pretty obsessive when I try new things. I found some pin-backs that I had previously been using with ceramic pins in one of my drawers this past week and decided that pins from recycled jeans would be awesome too. I pulled out the old scissors, some denim, felt, tulle, and of course, polymer clay, and whipped up some new creations. I improved and expanded on my flower shapes by creating some templates on cardstock and I like the new combinations that have come out of that.

Here are some of the newbies:

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spirited Woodland

Today's featured artist is Roxie from Spirited Woodland.

I loved clay in school... I still have some of the pieces I made (a really long time ago).... I think it's a great medium, and love that I can take a block of clay and mold it into a completely different shape.

This was my favorite piece for a while...


My advice is - don't be afraid of trying new ideas --- think out of the box... you can make impressions in clay with usual items... think textures! Don't be afraid to mix colors either.

This is my favorite polymer clay site...


I also use a lot of polymer in my cabinets for one of a kind details...


Thanks, Roxie!

Spring Spectacular Boutique

This Spring, I will be participating in several local boutiques (trying to save money for grad school). The Spring Spectacular Boutique in Salt Lake City will feature my smoke-fired ceramic jewelry, as well as my polymer clay work. I've attached the official flier below.

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Spring Spectacular Boutique

Saturday, April 11, 2009

10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

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Courtyard by Marriott

10701 S. Holiday Park Drive

Sandy, Utah 84070

High quality vendors & crafters!

Raffle & door prizes!

Participating Retailers

a Bit of Color

Bead for Life

Chic Boutique Jeans

Close To My Heart

Elv Stitches

Full Give

Handmade Cards

Lia Sophia

Lily Pond Soaps

Little Keepsakes

My Daisy Diva

My Shoe Shoppe

Purse Party, Inc.

Salt City Design


Smoky Pendants

Tastefully Simple

The Cupcake Goddess

Tomboy Tools

Tweedy Baby

Tweedy Lane

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Random Question time

Today's random question:

• If there is a new craft you could learn, what would it be and why?
I would love to learn how to use PMC (Precious Metal Clay). I'm already into all things squishy, so this seems a logical extension for me. I'm also geeking out that it can be squished and sculpted, but fired to fine silver.

The photo is one of my students in class playing around with ceramic clay.

What about you? What do you want to learn?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Penguins Plunder

Today's featured artist is Penguin's Plunder. A Utah local like me, she makes adorable and unique polymer clay charms.

1.What got you involved in Polymer Clay?

My mom. She's very crafty and she wanted me to find something I liked to do. Somehow we stumbled into polymer clay and I've been playing with it on and off for years.

2.What is your favorite thing to make?
I love animals and little clay people. Why? Well I started out making small clay people, so one of my favorite things to do is to take that and run with it. I've started to do fan art of anime and video game characters. Also I have a passion for animals, and I like to give each one their own little personalities as I make them. I can't do that when I try to make other things, really.

3.What makes polymer clay a better fit for your products than other mediums?
I just started making products from clay. I loved playing with it and decided to make charms that people might enjoy. It's not like I could make these out of plastic or something.

4.What is your best advice for someone starting out in polymer clay?
Keep at it. My stuff was TERRIBLE when I first started. ^_^ see?? LOL. But the more you use it the better you get. Also don't be afraid to browse forums and look for advice. You can find it in very unlikely places.

Here are some great links:
Artfire shop: http://penguinsplunder.artfire.com
Blog: http://penguinsplunder.blogspot.com/
Deviantart: http://latuna6.deviantart.com/
Etsy shop: http://penguinsplunder.etsy.com

Friday, February 27, 2009

New Easter Gift Sets

The Easter Egg Hunt has always been an integral part of my celebration. I always wondered what I would get inside of the brightly colored plastic eggs. As I've grown older and had my own daughter participate in Easter Egg hunts, I've been particularly amused to watch her reaction to the candy-filled finds. Last year, during the actual hunt, she ignored the eggs altogether and opted to pick up sticks. Later, when she realized that the other kids eggs contained candy, she became more enthusiastic.

For every major holiday, I try to come up with new products that I can make to give to my daughter's teachers (I used to be in education--Heaven knows teachers deserve all the appreciation they can get). With Easter and Eggs and Egg hunts in mind, I created these little gems. They are little colorful egg post earrings that I can package in a plastic Easter egg with fake plastic grass. An upside of the design is I can also call it recycling because I've collected the plastic eggs over the years (didn't want to just throw them away).