A Quick Look Back at 2012 Challenges with Team Members

2012 has come and gone, 2013 is here! As artist it's always helpful to take a moment to look back and peer forward at the new year, or just reflect on what we'd like to accomplish. I asked some of our Etsy Metal Clay team members to share a little more about this.

One of our newest member Anna Siivonen quit her day job in 2012 to pursue art full-time. This transition is a scary prospect at best, and making that shift to relying on your work completely can be a bit overwhelming. Anna's biggest struggle hasn't been selling her work, but producing enough of it on her own to meet orders. Juggling that with making new work is even more difficult, but she's working on improving her designs and techniques to make the most out of her studio time. Stop by and check out more Anna's whimsical sculptural work see what new wonders she has in store for us all in over the next year: www.etsy.com/shop/annasiivonen

After taking a year off, Glenda J Camara-Skarie is coming back to the bench to engage in an entirely new medium: base metal clay. She dove head first into working with copper metal clay, and while she encountered a few difficulties she also discovered a new love. Here's her first ever copper piece and definitely not the last, as there's already a bracelet and earrings planned for the future. You can follow her work on Flikr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/adorilargento/

Lynn Cobb is well known for her delicate and beautiful silver blossoms, last year she even shared her technique for creating these amazing pieces in the Art Jewelry special Metal Clay edition. Her new project is finding a simplified way to create these flowers in silver clay by molding them instead of previous technique of slip painting. Here are both techniques side by side. You can find more of Lynn's work on here Etsy page:www.etsy.com/shop/lynncobb

When I think of Bird a Month, I think of Joy Funnell, here's one of her favorite pieces she made during last year's challenge. To me, creating a Bird a Month is a pretty hefty commitment, but she says she discovered that it's not as stimulating as doing a weekly challenge! So this year she's participating in a "Weekly Critter" challenge, she'll be marching out a new critter every week, watch on (http://www.flickr.com/photos/joyfunnell) and her blog (http://joyfunnell.blogspot.com)

Like many artists, Louise Hunter juggles both a full-time day job and jewelry design. I admire artists that can strike this balance, it's a difficult thing to manage, and this year she's even participating in a brooch a week challenge. She hopes this will get her into the studio and ask her to think outside of the box. See how this new project unfolds on Louise's blog: http://peculiarforest.blogspot.com

Last year Meenu Devrani took on the challenge of creating a large etched plaque (you can read more about this amazing project HERE .) As jewelry artists I think we all get very comfortable working on a small scale, crossing over to a project of this size would be intimidating, at best, for many of us. This didn't stop Meenu! By tackling this project Meenu said  it "….further affirmed the very reason I choose to engage in creative processes, to follow what is in my heart and embrace the failure and success alike." This is the kind of confidence only risk can buy, and she see's this willingness to be daring opening up her creative horizons in the years to come.

Another fabulous new addition to the team is Sophia Georgiopoulou, who's artistry with granulation is truly remarkable. She's been bridging the gap between metal clay and traditional granulation, and continues to push the boundaries of what's achievable. This piece, "Bombay Bunch Necklace", was created out of PMC gold which allowed her to make larger hollow forms to which the granulation could be attached and then fired together. This process also lead to the creation of her 2013 Niche Award Finalist piece "Chiaroscuro Necklace". We are delighted to welcome her to the team, and look forward to seeing more of how this process unfolds over the next year!

In January of 2012 I committed to share four processes a month. At the time I wouldn't have imagined how busy my year would become, or what kinds of time limitations I'd soon encounter. When I first started slipping behind on my posts, I battled with feelings of guilt for not keeping up. When Evelyn Dombokowski told me she learned she didn't like designing jewelry under pressure, and let her challenge go in October, I felt a great sense of relief. Afterall, she says, "there is no four a month police"! So true!! Evelyn took on the FAM (four a month) challenge where you create four pieces that fit into a series each month. She's worked at deadline driven jobs outside of jewelry, and found this wasn't something she wanted to carry over into her jewelry studio. She'll continue to take on challenges, it gets her to try out new designs and materials, but she'll no longer worry about keeping to a fixed schedule or meeting hard deadlines. The value of challenging herself is apparent in her FAM Flickr set, click to see more.

All in all, it seems 2012 was a great year for tackling all kinds of challenges, and 2013 will be as well. Looking back and peering forward with a few of the team members has taught me a lot about our individual creative processes. Whether trough personal or creative challenges we always come out the other side a little wiser and better equipped for all that lies ahead. Here's to another exciting year with the Etsy Metal Clay team!

-Wanaree Tanner

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful work...2013 will see the metal clay by the bay conference in San Diego...I wish you could all join us...visit http://www.metalclaybythebay.com for information.

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