Happy Anniversary to Me!

May 17, 2010 at 8:00 pm (Artist Musings)

Cigar Label Necklace

It wasn’t that long ago that somebody gave me a stack of cigar labels and asked me to make something. I had read about an image transfer technique using gin and polymer clay and decided to try it. My kitchen table gin transfer experiment produced less than stellar results, but as I went to crumble up the clay to throw it away, I realized that if the clay was pliable enough to crumble up, I could probably also wrap it around a bead. The end result was the first of many Cigar Label necklaces.

Trapeziste Necklace

Almost two years later, in February 2005, I was juried into the Artspace Artists Association (AAA). That May, five years ago this month, I moved into the building, which was the catalyst from me being a kitchen table crafter to becoming a professional artist.

When I moved into Artspace five years ago, I had no idea the impact that Artspace and the artists who worked within the four walls of the historic City Market building would have on me. In 2006, Artspace hosted my first solo exhibition, Transitory Treasures. For that exhibition, I collaborated with fellow Artspace artist Catherine Thornton to design the Trapeziste necklace. That was the first of several collaborative projects with Catherine, and two years later, that necklace won second place at The Coconut Grove Arts Festival in the mixed media category. In 2007, Artspace hosted  Beyond Neverland, for which I created a series of pieces inspired by J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. A year later, I exhibited my Out of the Box series in the Upfront Gallery, for which I created the Artspace Talisman, a piece inspired by the historic building in which I have worked for the last five years and the artists who work around me, who inspire me to get better and better everyday. 

Artspace Talisman

Not only does this month mark my fifth anniversary at Artspace, but also the first anniversary of this blog. I started the blog in April 2009 with a post called Constrained Chaos. Since then, the blog has been viewed over 4,000 times. Last November, over 500 of you visited this blog after Cynthia Tinapple published Van Hemert’s Ephemera on  Polymer Clay Daily. That day marked the busiest day on this blog. While a lot of you check in weekly to read my new post or to take a peek at the gallery (the blog’s home page and gallery page are the most visited pages), Fashion Focus: Couture for a Cause, Materials Messages I: Allure of Language, and Fashion Focus: The September Issue are consistently the most read posts.

Many of my artist friends use Facebook and have created art/fan pages. I too have a personal and fan page on Facebook, and see the value of using Facebook as well as Twitter in an overall marketing plan. However, after one year of blogging, I have to say that no marketing tool allows me to communicate more effectively with my target audience than the blog. Thanks for reading, and here’s to another good year.

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