Friday, June 7, 2013

Making Your Mark

There are so many polymer artists out there these days, doing a lot of very innovative work. It's natural to worry that you can't make your mark in this eclectic and ever-changing marketplace, create something truly distinctive that's all your own. According to a trends and marketing expert, Seth Godin, you really have to keep innovation and uniqueness in your work, as more and more people are looking for just that.

I've been noticing that a growing number of people are making headpins and jewelry components out of polymer. I've made my own components for years, usually with embedded wire so I can string them easily in my larger jewelry pieces. It seems as more and more people are making their own jewelry, they are seeking unique and unusual components for necklaces, bracelets and earrings and enterprising artists are jumping in to fill the gap.

I liked much of the work I was seeing-- always dangerous because it leads me to think that whatever I design won't be that different. Silly me! The minute I sat down to work my hands just left my critical thoughts behind and my little headpins came out totally in my own style and completely different from anyone else's work.



So if indecision stymies you, just sit down and start playing. That's what art is all about-- letting your subconscious work through your hands. Let the ancient part of your brain do the thinking, the part that controls emotion and inspiration. With polymer clay, rolling and squeezing the clay, forming and molding it is very freeing and if you don't like what you've created, just recycle it and start over. Don't get precious with the results-- watch what the clay is doing and try to work with it. Also remember-- some days you're hot and some days you're not. Some days everything you do is brilliant and some days you need to just step away for awhile -- go garden or do something else completely different. “To everything there is a season...”



Fiddlehead pins – Polymer, watercolor crayons



Hidden Meanings -  Folded bead pendant, polymer, Pan Pastels


  1. I've long been a fan of your work, Christine. These are absolutely beautiful. I would know them as your work anywhere! As for the trend of making your own components, I think it's a reflection of a greater trend in all of artwork to be more invested in all aspects of the process, more DIY. People are seeing the creative possibilities in making their own components and I think it's great! There is endless room for each artist's individual expression and you illustrate this so well here. Keep 'em coming!

  2. what beautiful work you have done here! I too have been a fan for quite a while, and I love reading your notes. Thanks so much for sharing these!

  3. Excellent advice and excellent components!!!

  4. where you went with those headpins! I totally agree with the aspect of playing and not thinking too much when creating...let those feelings drive what you make instead of your thoughts...awesome!

  5. Christine, your take on using your own medium to make head pins is truly one-of-a-kind. As Ginger mentioned in her comment, I'd recognize these as your work immediately! You have always promoted the importance of letting your hands explore and play and to go with the flow, not trying to over-analyze. This is definitely something I need to strive towards even more, rather than over think designs in my head. :-) It is really neat to see the before and after - your head pins before color is added, and then the finished results incorporated in to a necklace!