Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Handmade Life

Fellow Boston Handmade'r, Mimi Kirchner, has been featured on Etsy's Handmade Life! I absolutely adore Mimi's dolls and really enjoyed a peek into her process and inspiration! You can see more of her dolls in her Etsy shop. And be sure to follow her fantastic blog!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Outside the Box

I'm artistically curious. I love to get a glimpse of the process behind the finished product, and one of the best ways to do that is to take a workshop. One of the first things I did when I left my corporate job a few years ago was to take a mixed media class at the Museum of Fine Arts here in Boston. I had already discovered polymer at that point and had no intention of pursuing wood block printing, pen and ink drawing or mono printing, but I wanted to get my head around how it was done. Workshops also give me a healthy respect for fellow artists and crafstpeople - only when you try your own hand at something do you realize just how much talent, practice and vision is involved in the creative process.

I also take workshops in my medium of choice - polymer clay. I love watching the masters at work and I get something out of each and every class I take. Sometimes the class is an epiphany - Maggie Maggio's color class completely changed the way I approach my work. Usually, though, it's not so much the technique, but one or two details that influence and inspire me. From Kathleen Dustin I learned that there is rarely a mistake that can't be fixed. Louise Fischer Cozzi taught me to just relax and be joyful in my work, and Seth Savarick taught me the importance of flawless craftsmanship. I also love meeting fellow polymer aficionados at these classes. I met Melanie West at my first workshop and we have gone on to take several workshops together - she has helped me enormously in making the transition from hobbyist to artist.

The picture is of a Japanese style inro box that I learned how to make in Seth Savarick's class. Vessels are lots of fun and a pleasant break from jewelry. So think outside the box and have fun - take a class!