To pursue hand-made…

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I've sanded this dragonfly to a smooth finish as you see, then painted it a copper color!
I’ve sanded this dragonfly to a smooth finish as you can see and painted a copper color!
Plaster dragonfly out of it's clay mold and is ready to be sanded.
This plaster dragonfly is out of it’s clay mold and is ready to be sanded.

When I think about this past year one thing that comes to mind~ learning experience! It was about a year ago that I decided to pursue a craft/art fair… and not as a customer but as a participating artist. I set my mind to it and began creating! Working in my basement night after night when it was quiet and all were tucked in bed became the norm! I could express myself thru the art that I created and loved the possibility of a challenge!

I first began working with plaster and making my own mold with modeling clay. I create different shapes with the clay, such as a dragonfly, then mix dry plaster with water until it’s a smooth consistency (think cook & serve pudding!). Then I pour the plaster “pudding” into my mold and carefully press in a metal hook I shape with wire (this is what you’d hang the dragonfly with once finished). After the plaster dries I take the piece out of the mold and let it air dry… BUT keep in mind air-drying means about 2 weeks for the plaster to dry completely… Finally I can sand the plaster (a lot ) with low grit sandpaper then high grit to achieve a smooth finish. Once all that is done, I paint! I use only 1 color on my plaster pieces because I feel it allows the shape to stand out (& I like the simple beauty of one color). It also allows for timeless look rather than a…ok am going to say it…cheesy look!

All of this means a lot of time spent making… I don’t have anyone helping me or designing for me. It is just me! Hand-made is often overlooked because there are so many big-box, easy in and out stores around us. So many of these stores can quickly fulfill our food, home goods and clothing needs~ all in one stop!! With hand-made you get the feel of heart and soul.. at least with my work! I beleive that if you buy something, you should love it!
Although I do still create some plaster pieces and do custom orders, I also enjoy working with metal, mainly sterling silver. It is an elegant material that is fun to work with. Another reason I love sterling is because it’s nickel-free… and this means it is hypoallergenic! Therefore, sterling silver (.925) is comfortable for those who have sensitive skin…and when it comes to jewelry, comfort is just as important as beauty!

To see some of my work take a look at my etsy shop.. Sunshine On Water!


2 thoughts on “To pursue hand-made…

    KBenskin said:
    February 5, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Thanks for visiting my blog, I love your heart earrings! I can relate to being the only one creating, I am a one woman band myself. I have not tried working with plaster, but have fallen in love with paper clay. I look forward to reading your posts! 🙂

      petunia106 responded:
      February 5, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      Thanks Krista! It is hard work being the maker & marketer for yourself, I just keep on perservering. I found you on etsy today, love the name of your shop/blog.. it’s great! Have a good week and good to find you on here!

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