Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Endeavors

So I was invited to include some of my "wares" in one of our local shops in town. It's sort of a crafty, vintage, antiques kind of shop with a decidedly down home kind of flavor. Although my tastes tend more towards the whimsical and weird,  I'm hoping I can bridge the gap through my love of folk art. Folk art is really the essence of whimsical marrying the practicality of "down home".  Thankfully I'm starting with a rather small space at the shop, only a bookshelf, but in my mind's eye that bookshelf grew to the size of an entertainment center.  I'm very happy at Etsy, so I really didn't want to take many items off of the site. That meant I would be very busy creating.

For awhile I've been wanting to incorporate items into my sculptures, but that's not the greatest idea when working with clay that needs to be fired in a kiln.  I decided to look into paper mache, which I have dabbled in, but not really explored it very thoroughly. I had made paper mache pinatas and bowls, but never sculptures.  I found this very cool recipe :  Paper Mache Clay and then sort of went from there.  I've ended up modifying the recipe a bit. The flour in the recipe is entirely too attractive to my dog, who showed me he would stop at nothing to eat the folk art sheep I was making.  As with all forms of art, cats tend to be my special animal that I just naturally gravitate towards making.

I'm really excited about exploring this recycled  medium that will enable me to make larger and more creative sculptures.  My ceramic kiln is all of 8 inches squared so it's been very limiting to my creative process.  I still plan to create more ceramic pieces, but now I have an additional outlet.

I also created some muslin soft sculpture folk art for the shop. I'm especially pleased with the cabbage.  I looked at a lot of folk art carrots, but didn't see any cabbages so I came up with my own way of doing it, and I'm thrilled with the results.  All the muslin creations were made with patterns I made or some were made without a pattern, I just sewed the shaped I wanted and then cut it out.  After the sewing, I stuffed the pieces (using a bamboo fiber fill) and then painted them with acrylic paints.

The two bottom shelves of my "area" are filled with little vintage treasures I've found or had. When I shop for vintage stuff it's really hard for me to part with it, because I usually buy because I love it.  It will be hard to part with the little wooden purse, but I'm totally Ok about the boxer.
The duck bookends are kind of cool, they feel like solid brass and have a nice feel to them.

Here is my new little area in "The Whatnot Shop" :

As worried as I was about filling the shelves, I actually brought home items that would not fit.  Now, I get a bit of breathing room and I can return to working on my new cats for Etsy:


  1. I love that purse, too! I know exactly how you felt - worrying that you didn't have enough to fill you area, but it looks great!

  2. What a great post about your studio and the shop! You are truly talented!

  3. AWESOME!!! Those cats are cool!!!

  4. Brilliant - I bet you''ll be going back to refill really soon :-)

  5. Congratulations! It looks great! Those cats are perfect!

  6. I love love love your cats!!! My favorite is the darker one and I really like the way you put the flowers on there!

  7. Great blog! Love your cat sculptures especially! You'll do well at that store, I thnk. All the best to you!


  8. Congrats- and here's hoping it brings you many sales! I LOVE your cats- they have so much purrrsonality ( sorry I couldn't resist)