Sometimes it takes a while to find your voice in art; to find your style.
After what I deemed a “failure” at not being able to sell my art doll necklaces I found myself making other jewelry items that I thought would sell; bracelets, pins, earrings.
I took a number of wonderful workshops with several pioneers in the polymer clay world.
- Kathleen Dustin who shared her image transfer technique and how to create depth of surface with translucent clay.
- Nan Roche who shared various surface techniques and her loop-in-loop and braiding technique.
- Gwen Gibson where I learned about more about image transfers and how to make necklace inro boxes and tile bracelets.
I loved each of these women’s style and art. They were sharing with their knowledge and very inspiring. Yet, after the workshops, when I’d put together a piece of jewelry something just didn’t click with me. I found the work tedious. I made too many mistakes. Or I just didn’t like the results.
Somewhere along the way I learned about handmade wine bottle stoppers. I bought a few components and gave it a try. Here was something relatively simple to put together where I was able to use various techniques in polymer clay and it caught my customer’s attention.
Something happened when I made the stoppers. I could make them with relative ease, I could make multiple pieces in designs that I enjoyed, and they were well received. With the wine bottle stoppers, I answered some important aspects in starting an art business: make something you like, make something that can be reproduced (if doing production work), and make something that satisfies a target market.
As much as I loved the art dolls, they would take a back seat for a while. The popularity and production of the wine bottle stoppers became a priority. I had found a voice, a style in my art that I had to follow. I would develop a line of functional art.