Archive for the ‘Featured Member interviews’ Category

Featured Artist - 4TheSparrowsNest

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Recently on Etsy’s front page comes Mai (pronounced May, like the month) of 4thesparrowsnest.  She  delights in creating beautiful, functional treasures that brighten up everyday life.  Newly married, she studied art at Appalachian State University in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina.   She’s an avid crafter, and  has a fervent appreciation for all things handmade–especially felt, unique jewelry, and pottery.

She says, “I find myself most intrigued by nature and the beauty and humor that can be found in it, and I love to translate what I see into whimsical narratives. Allowing the little melodramas of animals to unfold captivates my inner story-teller and brings me to what I love most–the process of creating. I ADORE birds of all kinds, and love to play with woodland/forest themes. I enjoy working in different styles, utilizing a diverse spectrum of materials. I really enjoy switching between jewelry and felt; it keeps my thoughts and ideas fresh and keeps me from getting bored with one particular medium. While working with felt, I often get new ideas for jewelry, and vice versa.”


“My process for my polymer clay creations involves a mix of hand-shaping and constructing, as well as mold/casting techniques. I find sources for molds in many places, and many of my molds are custom created by me (meaning I created or significantly altered the original item myself.) Even after a piece is cast, I always alter it further by sanding, carving, antiquing, and gently polishing. All of my felt frames are crafted using my own hand-drawn patterns. They are embroidered and assembled in a very time lengthy process. If you would like to know more about my creation process, feel free to contact me.


From her feedback:

“I sort of can’t believe these are mine. they are so perfect and wonderful and i will never use another plain bobby pin again. super speedy shipping, perfect packaged with the tiniest sweetest note. just a completely fantastic purchase! thank you!”

Featured Artist - Maria Psaltis

Friday, March 20th, 2009


Sydney Australia is the home of Maria Psaltis of Oneandonly. She is a wife and the mother of four children.  She is also involved as a youth worker.  She loves polymer clay and thinks it is a wonderful medium to work with.

She says, “It has taken me some time to nurture and share my creativity with the world. Like so many people, women in particular, nurturing children, relationships and mortgages were a priority. But here I am now in my glorious 40’s indulging in what has always been a 3334950924_2f9e42c045_mpassion for me, Art.” I have dabbled in so many art forms and media over the years, which now I can see has helped me to evolve into an artist that can explore the use of many media to assist in my creations.”




She works with varied materials, for example, adding polymer clay mokume gane beads to the leather rose below to create this3350219914_1f14abca76_m exquisite necklace.

Another passion for Maria has been working as a youth worker.  She loves working with young people and hopes to continue this work through Art. Maria believes that introducing young people to creation can often be the beginning of many things. 

Featured Artist - BDbear

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

From Willow Grove, Pennsylvania comes Barbara Poland-Waters of XO Candles and Clay.

Barbara first experimented with polymer clay back in the
mid-90s, but didn’t really enjoy working with it untilil_75x75_5268744
early 2004 when she learned how versatile the medium could
be.  She started out trying one or two tutorials, covering
boxes and tins, and gradually went on to making beads and
other jewelry.

She says, “I find it to be a wonderful medium that allows for so much creativity because of the many different uses for it. It can mimic items like glass, wood, gemstones and more. You can finish it with a glaze or sand and buff it until shiny. “Barbara makes beautiful polymer clay handles for silverware as in the picture on the right.

She took a hiatus from claying in 2007, due to her pregnancy and caring for a newborn, but now tries to get in some claying time each day in spite of her duties as
SAHM to her 18 month-old.  She currently focuses on making mosaic and letter tiles, which she creates with all different textures and various coloring materials and tops
off with Kato liquid for a glass-like shine.


She hopes to branch out into other projects as soon as her son lets her play with clay for more than 15 minutes at a time. Barbara has a great collection of letter tiles for scrapbooking (just one way they can be used) in her Etsy store.


From her feedback: “Thank you so much! They are perfect! Exquisitely crafted, fine attention to detail, lovely colour transitions. I love the silvery sheen too. My daughter will love them–I want my own set now too!”

Featured Artist - Creativewriting

Friday, February 27th, 2009

One of our newest members and one of three gentlemen in our Guild is Keith Henning.  Keith’s beautiful pens are elegant, classy and have a definite masculine quality. Although he does have one pink one in his Etsy shop I have my eye on.  He also makes tie tacks for the discerning GQ man.


He has been been making polymer clay pens for a little over a year and considers himself a rookie in the field.  Making pens is something he stumbled upon in his search for a hobby.  He  changed jobs several years ago and came into a situation where he was no longer working weekends and nights (the normal chef life).  With new found time on his hands, he  needed to find a hobby. His  first choice was woodworking.  He says, “The intrigue of power tools growling away in the garage and the man verses wood excitement kept my interest for a few years.  During one of my many trips to man world (the Woodcraft store) I saw a demo on pen turning.  Suddenly I felt the need to make pens.  They were smaller, more intimate, and everyone needs a good one.  The first problem I had was no lathe.  A lathe is essential when trying to turn something (duh) and not having one wasn’t going to break my spirit.  It would have been easier to go buy one, but it was the premise of trying to figure out how to make a pen without a lathe that drove me to polymer. ”

  il_155x125_54176525“Wood has many constraints and I wanted to make pens that were only limited to my creativity and imagination.  I grew up around polymer clay and usually helped my mom kneed it when her hands were tired, thank god for reformulation and pasta machines, and I was curious if it was durable enough to make pens.  In my research I came across a few kit pens, but mostly Bic style pens covered with clay.  As I delved deeper into the world of PC I started to see different techniques and uses than what I remembered as a kid.  Faux effects, mica shifts, caning and that was only the beginning - I was hooked.  So here I am making pens and having a ball.  The power tools and memories of man-world are gathering dust, except for a few (tools not memories) I still use for my pens.”

  il_75x75_45674364 He now scans the newspapers for clay sales and hangs out at Michael’s - just like the rest of us.