Sunday, April 12, 2009

Featured Artist - Mai of 4Thesparrowsnest

Recently on Etsy’s front page comes Mai (pronounced May, like the month) of 4thesparrowsnest. She delights in creating beautiful, functional treasures that brighten up everyday life. Newly married, she studied art at Appalachian State University in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. She’s an avid crafter, and has a fervent appreciation for all things handmade–especially felt, unique jewelry, and pottery.

She says, “I find myself most intrigued by nature and the beauty and humor that can be found in it, and I love to translate what I see into whimsical narratives. Allowing the little melodramas of animals to unfold captivates my inner story-teller and brings me to what I love most–the process of creating.I ADORE birds of all kinds, and love to play with woodland/forest themes. I enjoy working in different styles, utilizing a diverse spectrum of materials. I really enjoy switching between jewelry and felt; it keeps my thoughts and ideas fresh and keeps me from getting bored with one particular medium. While working with felt, I often get new ideas for jewelry, and vice versa.”

“My process for my polymer clay creations involves a mix of hand-shaping and constructing, as well as mold/casting techniques. I find sources for molds in many places, and many of my molds are custom created by me (meaning I created or significantly altered the original item myself.) Even after a piece is cast, I always alter it further by sanding, carving, antiquing, and gently polishing. All of my felt frames are crafted using my own hand-drawn patterns. They are embroidered and assembled in a very time lengthy process. If you would like to know more about my creation process, feel free to contact me.

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A Little About Me

I'm retired from Stony Brook Hospital (administrative), and since then have been exploring the wonderful medium of polymer clay. I have two children, and two grandchildren, 5 years old and two years old. They are truly a joy. I am married to the same guy for 41 years. He's supportive of my art and teaching. I'm a Law and Order Junkie and love all books by James Patterson, the Eagles music and Billy Joel.

Proud member of the Polymer Clay Artist Guild of Etsy

Since May of 2007 I have been a member of the Polymer Clay Artist Guild of Etsy. Etsy is an online marketplace for buying and selling all things handmade. The website, which launched in 2005, has an online community that includes tutorials, downloads, blogs, and a variety of articles on the latest in handmade artistry. In 2006, started by Ilysa Bierer, the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE) was formed. Today 87 members strong, PCAGOE provides a forum for polymer clay artists to showcase new and exciting techniques, discuss designs and materials, problem solve, and even encourages friendly competition with a monthly challenge. The Guild has supported with the artistry, time and consideration of its members, many different charities. This past spring, tiny clay decorated Bottles of Hope were designed by many members to be donated to cancer patients at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Massachusetts.