I started my first business around the age of ten I think. It might have been later than that, but I remember walking to the local Ben Franklin Arts store for years to buy supplies because I was too young to drive.
I didn’t do very well with it, because, well, at the time, $8 on a piece of jewelry sounded like quite a lot of money to me, it wasn’t proportional to how my products looked. In other words, my perceived value didn’t match my price tag. I was making some cool stuff even back then, and the other reason that I think it didn’t sell well is that very few people expect to see a 14 year old manning (or womanning in my case) a booth at an art show, and then taking credit for the creation of all of the pretty items in said booth.
Looking back now (cause I still have a big box of crap that didn’t sell and gods only know why I move it from place to place…) I can see the beginnings of good ideas, and here and there, there are some fabulously cool pieces. But my style wasn’t organized in any way. I leapt in this direction, then that direction, running hither and thither and making anything that I had a creative thought in my little (and sometimes ADHD) head about. So my portfolio (if I can really even call it that) of work from my first jewelry business is a mish mosh of random-ness that puts the chaos theory to shame.
One of the main components in my work from that period though, is polymer clay. I made barrettes covered in roses, and shaded work that fooled the eye. I made wonky looking face canes, and some kind of nice flower canes, and so on and so forth. I guess I was putting my time in so that when I cycled back around to it, I had already worked out a lot of the kinks. Kind of like this quote:
I have a polymer clay artist I collaborate with, and trust me, if she had a web presence, there would be a link here… (All of the photos of pieces thus far have been our collaborative stuff, fyi.) Since her work isn’t online, I’ll just have to gas about her on my blog. Anyway, her stuff rocks, which makes our stuff rock, and I’ve been in complete and total awe of her work since I met her. But she is a full time Rennie, and her studio isn’t always with her… in fact, she won’t be getting back to her studio for another two months.
I think the noise I heard at the end of my phone call with her was opportunity knocking. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to get some of her/our stuff in stock again. It sells like crazy, and for good reason!
But I need stock now. And while I love her work, my own style differs slightly, which is good because I don’t want to be too similar to someone else’s work stylistically.
So I rummaged around for my collection of polymer clay stuff (tools, clay and the various detritus one collects anytime one picks up a new skill or hobby, and, well, if there’s one area of stuff that I’m hardcore about keeping and not tossing, it’s “art stuff”.
And then I got playing. Here’s one of the preliminary pieces from this week… (Yes, I know the photos is crappy. I took it with my phone.) Feedback?