Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


Artist Demo, Art Exhibit and An Interview

Artist Demonstration

On Sunday, June 13, I am demonstrating how I create my artwork in polymer clay at Fruitlands Museum as part of Fruitlands 2010 Artisan Series.

I will show you how I create my Klimt and Craze Collage patterns as seen on my business card cases, perfume pens and wine bottle stoppers. I will also demonstrate how I sculpt both my primitive and more realistic spirit messenger heads. To help me explain the sculpting process, I put together this storyboard.

Head Sculpt Storyboard

The demonstration runs from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm

I will also have free mini-bookmarks for people who stop by and a listing of my current workshops.

Art Exhibit

Sunday will be a full day. After my artist demonstration, I head over to the Nashoba Valley Winery for my art guild’s artist reception. The Bolton Artisans Guild has a new exhibit, Summer Dreams, on display at the winery. Summer Dreams captures the colors and memories of summer in the several mediums, including photography, fiber, polymer clay, paper, watercolor, and jewelry. The exhibit runs June 6 to July 5, 2010. The artist reception is Sunday, June 13, 3:30-5:00 pm. Light snacks and a wine tasting will be provided.

An Interview

Last Monday, I was interviewed by the Bolton Common for their Uncommon Conversation feature article. The interview appeared in this week’s edition and is available to read online here.


Birds of a Feather BS

These lovely birds of a feather may not typically flock together but they certainly do in my studio.

One of my goals this year is to move away from my traditional cylindrical shaped bottle stoppers and introduce sculpted stoppers.  In doing this I address my deep desire to create more sculpted art and to have more fun in the studio. I also feel more aligned with my one year vision.

Each bird is hand sculpted which means each bird is unique as the message from my hands to the clay changes day to day.  Some days I work the clay harder.  Some days the body is more egg shaped. Some days the bird is chubby and on other days he is small.

This new trio of birds includes a crow, a bluebird, and a cardinal.  Each is available for purchase individually or in a set of three. A descriptive card on each bird’s symbolism is included.

The Crow

The Crow

In Native American culture, the crow is symbolic of being easy-going, romantic, soft-spoken, patient, and intuitive in relationships, idealistic and diplomatic.

The Bluebird

The Bluebird

The bluebird symbolizes happiness sought.  The origin of “Bluebird of Happiness” is from a 1909 play, “l’Oiseau bleu.”

The Cardinal

The Cardinal

The Cardinal represents passion, warmth, and vibrancy that is available to us.  The cardinal tells us to step into our natural confidence and to lead with grace and nobility.

Bird Trio

Bird Trio


Tuesday’s Business: If You Can’t Fix It…

One of the most liberating pieces of advice I’ve received came during a workshop with Dayle Doroshow.  As Dayle was demonstrating a process she said “And if you can’t fix it…feature it.”

How is that for a freeing motto?

How often have you made a mistake somewhere during the process of your creating?  You look at what just happened and, perhaps after an expletive or two, you might claim defeat and toss the piece into the trash or add it to the pile of “I’ll fix it later” pieces.

Depending on the extent of the goof-up, you might be able to squish the clay and start over.  Works on canvas can be repainted or get another layer of gesso.

But sometimes the goof up isn’t evident until the piece is finished.  This happens to me periodically when making my wine bottle stoppers.  The wood core is covered and all the edges sealed.  Into the oven it goes and after it is cured and removed from the oven, then I see it…the dreaded air bubble.


Air bubbles on the stoppers typically result when the clay did not make adequate (that is, secure) contact with the wood core.  When they appear, it is usually near a seam making the bottle stopper look like it has a wart.


Sometimes the air bubble can be removed and possibly repaired.  More often than not, that isn’t the case and the stopper gets tossed into a pile for some reuse project.  However, the other day the muse practically knocked me over with an idea.


Froggies or other creatures as embellishments to hide the offending stopper wart, er bubble.  The structural integrity of the bottle stopper remains intact and now the stopper has even more personality.

Froggie creature pair

Froggie creature pair

Froggie Creature

Froggie Creature

Another instance where I’ve had to apply the “If you can’t fix it…feature it” motto happened to some pyramid shaped Santas.  Originally flat on the bottom, I decided to give Santa a lift and added a pair of boots.  Most of the updated Santas were fine but a few were a little tipsy.  This is often part of the challenge when working with a triangular shape that is balanced on two feet instead of three.  (Yes, creating a three-legged Santa did cross my mind.)

My first idea was to give Santa a devil tail or perhaps attach a bag of goodies that had spilled its contents.  Instead, I came up with this:

Santa on Skis

Santa on Skis

Santa needed a quicker way to get around the North Pole.  So he slapped on some skinny boards and started cruising around.  Wouldn’t you know it, he got distracted by some elves building a snowman and found himself entangled in a set of Christmas lights.  But he stayed upright the entire time!

Santa Front

Santa Front


So if you can’t fix it…feature it, work with it, adapt it, hide it, manipulate it; try not to toss it.  See if you can re-invent it.

If you have a piece of art that you’ve reworked from its original design, send me the link and I’ll be happy to share it here.

And thank you Dayle for this great piece of advice.


Two Glasses of Wine Theory

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 glasses of wine theory…

A professor stood before his philosophy class with some items on his desk in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.

Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous ‘YES.’

The professor then produced two glasses of wine from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

‘Now,’ said the professor, as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things; your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions; things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car.

The sand is everything else; the small stuff.

If you put the sand into the jar first’, he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the good things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Play with your children.

Take time to get medical checkups.

Take your partner out to dinner.

Play another 18 holes.

Do one more run down the ski slope.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.

Take care of the golf balls first; the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.’

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the wine represented.

The professor smiled.. ‘I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of glasses of wine with a friend.’