Friday, 14 March 2014

Materials and Techniques - 'Clayful Impressions'

Finding out about different ways to craft is interesting. Each fortnight I have a chat with another crafter about the materials and techniques that they use. Today's guest is Debbie, who works with ceramics in her store, Clayful Impressions. Debbie is another EtsyKids member and is based in Murrieta, CA, United States.

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I started out wanting to be home with my children and still be able to work. I have worked as an Early Childhood Educator for many years with my degree in Art and Education. I always had my hands in art with work in murals, glass and gourds. I now have a ceramic shop specialising in personalised handprints for families to keep and cherish forever. I wanted there to be away to hold on to memories and when I discovered hand and footprints in ceramic clay, I just had to share with everyone else.

What materials and techniques do you like to use?

I started with imprints and then played with techniques to be able to offer the imprints to others all over the world. I have now perfected my technique and I am able to send these precious keepsakes to anyone who would like without stepping into my studio. I send out a mould kit for parents to print hand and foot in mould. I believe the best results are the pop out hand and footprints where the prints are raised above the plaque. The print is easier that you think and when it dries the mould is sent back to me where I create the magic. I transfer it to ceramic in a way that allows it to keep its detail. After the initial kiln bisque firing, glaze of your choice is painted and the plaque is kiln fired again. There is some shrinkage. Customers need to know that this is a timely process and takes up to eight weeks to return the item. I have many customers wanting a piece of work done just weeks before a holiday! Much time is due to transferring, etching, detailing, drying, cleaning, kiln firing twice, glaze painting and finishing with writing baby information on back, adding sheer white ribbon and securely packaging up to be sent out.

What challenges have you faced in the creative process?

Challenges I face are the same all working mothers deal with. Trying to be all to everyone and everything that comes my way. Recently I began taking care of my aging mother and it has been a challenge to accommodate her needs, my family and work, but my mother is such a blessing and I will always be there for her

What drives you to create?

My children are my inspiration for Clayful Impressions.

What is coming up next?

What I love from working in my shop is all the new creative ways to promote, create new photo images, advertise. I also love finding in my every day environment new ideas and solutions to bring to my shop. I never want to limit myself. I always have new ideas to try out.

All images provided by Debbie from Clayful Impressions.

More materials and techniques interviews are available for you to read. If you'd like to share your creative story, please let me know.