This week’s Smoosher is Chris Newcomb, aka EagleHawk. Chris lives in Cypress, Texas (the 2nd largest state…;) ), with his wife (“the most wonderful woman I know” he says! Isn’t that sweet?) and two daughters. He is primarily a woodworker. Something I love from his Art Fire shop‘s Artisan Gallery is this wonderful decorative violin:
More representative of Chris’s work is this gorgeous little scrollsaw ornament, which he says is “perfect for little hands to hang on the tree.” Living as I do only a few miles from the North Pole, I had to include this one!
How does this work make Mr. Newcomb a Smoosher, you ask? Well, although Chris is relatively new to polymer clay, he has come up the great idea of inlaying some of his woodwork with polyclay, which has resulted in some very cute keychains.
Using wood and polymer clay together can be problematic, because of wood’s tendency to shrink and expand. It is nice to see someone experimenting with the combination, though, because there is wonderful potential for creating beautiful items. This is my favorite of Chris’s keychains – I love the combination of the poplar with the pearl polymer clay:
I hope you’ll have fun browsing at Chris’s Art Fire shop!
This week, the Smooshers spotlight lands on Jennifer, of Crafty Baby Hope.
Jennifer uses her Art Fire profits to fund treatments for secondary infertility – hence the name of her shop. You can read about her story at her blogs, Jewelry for Hope, which is where she shows her creative side, and A Look Into My Life which is her forum for discussing her hopeful, if frustrating, experiences with MTHFR, PCOS, and endometriosis…and an active little Boy Scout called “Boober.”
She does lovely wirework, as well as polymer clay work. I love this little bird’s nest pendant:
And this bracelet is just stunning:
Of the many adorable polymer clay items in her shop, I think my favorites are the “kawaii” things. I had to look up what that means – “kawaii” is the Japanese word for “cute” and refers to the culture of cuteness that has developed in Japan since the 1980s. This is the trend responsible for Hello Kitty and Pokemon, though even everyday items and food can be kawaii. Here are some of Jennifer’s kawaii items:
I hope you’ll take the time to visit Jennifer’s shop and blog. She is a strong lady with a lot of hope, and she makes really cute stuff!
This week, the guild spotlight is on Dori, of Sassy Clay Creations. Dori has perfected the trick of layering clay to build up lovely and fun textures on her jewelry and home decor items.
This mirror would cheer me up on the worst bad hair day!
I love this little glittery white bowl. Working with white clay is a HUGE challenge for me – mine always ends up mainly white with flecks and smears of other colors and fuzzy with dust. This little bowl shows Dori’s meticulousness and patience.
And just look at this pretty little pin! Reminds me of childhood vacations at the ocean. (Sigh – the nearest ocean to me now is the Arctic! Br!)
Dori’s blog is Sassy Clay Creations – check out the wonderful tutorial on making Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) from polymer clay. Her Art Fire shop is SassyClayCreations. I hope you’ll spend a little time browsing through her lovely products and admiring her creativity.
Thursdays are going to be my day for profiling my guild mates from the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild of Art Fire. I’m pleased to start this weekly feature off with my Guild Master – ColtPixy! (Her blog is over there >>> in the blogroll.)
ColtPixy is a multi-talented artist from Tennessee. She has worked in many different media over the years, including painting, stained glass and mosaics, and of course, polymer clay.
She seems to have never-ending energy, though she says it’s all due to coffee. I’m thinking I need to switch to her brand. 🙂
These are her latest creations – some of the most beautiful beetles I’ve ever seen!
She has a sense of humor, too, as you can see from these “Ticked Off Peas in a Pod.”
My daughter would kill for these miniatures, even if the mask is really a very cool little pendant!
I LOVE this pendant – it’s so simple and striking.
Ok, that’s all I’ll show you, but I hope you’ll go visit ColtPixy’s Art Fire shop or check out her Flickr pages to see all the lovely things (like amazing mica shift work and her fabulous “PixyStones”) that I couldn’t post today. Of course, you can also go to her blog or the blog she maintains beautifully for the Smooshers.
When I was a kid, my grandmother would often run her work- and age-roughened hand over my smooth young one and comment on the contrast. I loved when she did that, but it bothered me a bit, because I thought she wished her hands looked like mine. Her fingernails were thick and ripply, and her fingertips were grooved and rough, but I loved every wiggly blue vein and wrinkled brown age spot on those hands. My grandmother’s hands were a testament to a lifetime of industry. She was rarely idle – even in her final decade she would sit in her chair, with the TV cranked up, doing the mending for my family (and our neighbors).
It has ocurred to me recently, that perhaps Grandmom wasn’t really envious of my youthful smoothness, or even the fact that my life stretched before me, while hers was winding down. Maybe she was feeling the continuum of life. Maybe she was showing me her pride in me, and her love. Maybe she was trying to pass on her creativity (worked!) and her work ethic (failed miserably!) Or maybe she just liked how smooth my hands were.
My mother is the grandmom, now, and I’ve seen her pat my daughter’s hand the same way my grandmother did mine. Whether it has any deeper meaning or not, I love this little tradition. I’ll continue it, if I’m ever blessed with a grandchild of my own.
L to R: Girl, Mommy, Boy