Monday, January 20, 2014

Life Force, the energy that drives us.

“...To maintain a powerful life force, forget yourself, forget about living and dying, and bring your full attention into this moment...” ― H.E. Davey, Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation

Life Force - Polymer Clay on wood 16"X16" (40cmX40cm)

I believe that all that happens in our lives, all the experiences we encounter in our journey are there to help us grow, to become better human beings. Once we learn this, and accept it as such, we start thriving. The inspiration of this painting was born out of the necessity to reflect the beauty of this energy.

Ever since I started working full time on Polymer Clay I had been wanting to do one of my "Ciencias de la Vision"* paintings. It wasn't until last September '13 when I felt the need to do a painting that reflected life's energy & force, that it occurred to me this would be the perfect opportunity for me to explore this idea.

*Ciencias de la Vision, or Optical science, was a class I took while studying Graphic Design in Caracas, Venezuela. There, we studied and analyzed ways in which we could use the science behind the way we look at things, to our advantage as graphic designers.


Sketch book in hand, I started drawing modules, playing with positives and negatives, then designed a grid with a centric point & tested colors on the computer.


Once I was happy with the colors and could see & feel the energy flowing from the design, I painted the background on the wood with acrylics...


...and tested the modules on the board.


It was a long process that was interrupted many times due to client orders. One of my challenges was that I had designed this on paper, tested it on the computer, but when it came the time to make each one of these modules by hand, their odd shape made me think twice before feeling they were right.


“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”

― Nikola Tesla

 Working on this painting was an addictive experience! Up until this point my polymer clay work have been very figurative and even though I don't see myself drifting from that style, I'll definitely  further explore this concept with clay.

Love, Laugh & Clay!
Adriana
xox





Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year 2014

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday season!!!

As we kick off 2014, I can't help but feel I am in front of a blank canvas, ready to be painted! How exiting it is to start a new year! Full of possibilities, goals and dreams to work towards to, with its fresh and clean energy, with the wisdom & learned lessons of years past, we adventure ourselves with a big smile in our hearts, ready to make 2014 the best of all!


Live, Love, Laugh and Clay! :)

Adriana
xoxox


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Our Polymer Clay Catrina Nuestra Catrina Dia de los Muertos

As the Day of the Dead approached, I had to make time in between orders to finish my latest "Catrina Spirit", an Art pendant.


This is the third in my latest Art pendant series, "Spirit" in which the subject has something that complements its concept hanging from it.  In this case, Catrina has a raven, that holds 4 skulls.
 

Instead of doing my swirls and flowers with acrylics, as I always do, in this piece I used mostly polymer clay and original Swarovski crystals.


The original Catrina was the creation of the famous Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada. Since then, it has become a symbol of the Day of the Dead celebration.


The Mexican seeks for, strokes, teases, celebrates the death, sleeps with him. Perhaps he is tormented by the fear of him like the others, but he does not hide from him or conceals him. With patience, contempt or irony he looks him straight in the face.
- Octavio Paz

 As we remember those who are no longer among us, lets do so with grateful and loving hearts.

xox
Adriana

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Polymer Clay & Wood Nativity sets

Busy days at the studio! Writing articles, working on a few tutorials for next year, fulfilling and scheduling orders, and trying to finish our clay paintings!!! Somehow it seems time goes by too fast as soon as summer comes to an end.

Below you can see our famous Nativity set, one of our best sellers of the Holiday season.


Our Nativity sets are from our "Clay-Peg" line, made out of wood & professional quality polymer clay.  They can be customized and made to your liking.



If interested send us an email to info@claycatshop.com or visit our shop: https://www.claycat.etsy.com

Follow us in Facebook/ClayCatShop to see what we are working on, and get access to coupons and giveaways!

xox
Adriana





Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Day of the Dead Totem Pole

Are you ready for the Day of the Dead? Will you celebrate it?

I have been making "sugar" (clay) skulls as pendants, rings, hair clips, wedding dress accessories, cake toppers, etc, for all my clients who come to me with very cool skull ideas and requests, for as long as I've had my etsy store. I have loved making each one of them, believe me, they are as fun to make as they are to wear!, Yet, I must confess that this colorful tradition is sort of new for me. I am originally from Venezuela and over there we don't celebrate it.

As you can imagine, over the years I've grown curious about it, and needed to find about its origins and meanings. I researched, read, sketched, read some more, wrote some notes, continued working on my sketches, until I was satisfied and ready to create my latest sculpture: A "Day of the Dead Totem Pole" that would share my take on its origins.


A Day of the Dead Totem Pole? someone asked. Yes, I said, a Day of the Dead Totem pole.

Totem poles were originally carved out of wood, their meaning depended on who made them. They could recount legends, tribes lineages, or tell a story, and even when neither the Aztecs nor Mayans made them, it was the perfect way for me to show what I had learned about the Day of the Dead origins.





With my sketch ready, I began the clay process. As a base I used a bottle and attached it to the wood base. From then on, it was a matter of bringing my sketch to life. Piece by piece, taking care of all the little details.


In my totem pole, you can see from the top down, the Sun God, giver of life and light, represented with a skull face, underneath it, you can see the Eagle that for the Aztecs was the transformed Sun God that would fly to catch the stars, flying from east to west, always vigilant and victorious. Stone gods, with powerful expressions. Mighty warriors of the Aztec & Mayan empire, with many skulls among them, symbolizing all the human sacrifices. Temples, nopales, and more symbols of the mesoamerican culture. To the sugar skulls, placed among fruits and flowers of the traditional Day of the Dead altars.



My design made my heart smile, but in this sculpture, I wanted to share part of the mystery of  the dead through sound too.... So, after much thinking, I decided that bones was the perfect way to do so...  no, dont worry, I didnt put bones in it, I used rice, sand and rocks... but the idea behind it is kind of creepy-cool dont you think? 


video


My "Day of the Dead Totem pole" is my small tribute to this tradition, my art expression of its legacy.

Adriana
xox

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mermaid Moon

Childhood memories of endless summer days, tropical beaches, Siren tales, mystical nights, and a recent boat trip are some of the key elements that give life to our latest painting: Mermaid Moon.


My first step is always to create a sketch, and from there work on the background with acrylics. This time the sea turned out to be exactly what I had envisioned in my dreams, thus I could not cover it all with clay. 

As it often happens, once my hands start working the clay, it feels as if the clay takes life and guides my strokes. Mermaid Moon decided to look at the moon and its reflection instead of away from it, once she started to come alive.


The finished piece is full of little details that shimmer under the light. I applied metallic powders and used Premo effects to enhance this mystical piece. 


"Mermaid Moon" will be making her formal debut this coming August 7th at the Pleasanton's First Wednesday Art Block. Hope to see some of you there! :)

xoxo
Adriana

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mom & Babies in a Pod


Before I attended Synergy3 earlier this year, I designed a pendant that would portray myself as a creative person, a mother & an artist.

Ever since I wore it for the first time its been a huge hit. Every time I wear it, people stops me on the street to look at it and ask me where I got "such a cool pendant" :) 

So as a limited edition, I decided to create 3 more. Each one unique and with a personality of its own.

They are available for sale on ClayCat's etsy shop.






I hope you are all having a great week! 
xox

Adri



Saturday, March 30, 2013

Incredible Artists, Wonderful People: Charlene Lundgren


As many of you know, every few weeks I like to introduce you to some of my favorite people & artists, this month I have the honor of introducing to you, one of my new favorite emerging artists: Charlene Lundgren! :)

I had the pleasure of meeting Charlene through SF Etsy and the SF Etsy Annual Interview Swap! I couldn't be happier with my teammate! :) She is not only a fantastic and highly creative artist, with a rich background that translates into the diversity of beautiful pieces she makes, but also a wonderful person, full of life and great energy!
Besides being a talented artist, Charlene is happily married, has two wonderful children; Sandrena 21  & Ander 24. She also works as a registered nurse and finds time to play with her beautiful dogs.

Here is our interview:

1) Tell us about your background and how influences your work


I was born and raised initially in South Africa in the dark ages of Apartheid. My parents however were English and Swedish, and I feel I have always had a unique perspective on life given the richness and colors of my South African roots and the elegance of my English and Swedish descent.
My work is influenced by who I am; The colors and history of Africa, the lovely headdresses African men and women wore for special occasions and the desire for all people to get along. My creations are very eclectic.  I sew, I paint and embroider on silk, I crochet, I make bears and ethnic style dolls, and I make exotic fanciful theatrical head adornments that can be used for special occasions, weddings, or for Halloween.

2) Does your heart tends to lean towards one country more than another, or do you find yourself mixing the cultures in your art?


 
I have lived in the USA for 26 years now.  Although I like it here, I sometimes feel very much like a fish out of water. South Africans are a unique breed, having a unique sense of humor and culture. I also lived in London, Brussels Belgium,and West Berlin in 1979 before the wall came down. I spent 6 months living in Central France working for Club Med as a Costume Designer when I was 24. However I have lived in the USA and raised my children who are now 21 and 24 here and I think this is probably more my home than anywhere.
It was in Berlin where I worked as an au pair and lived with the former costume designer of the Burg Theatre in Vienna.  I had never been to art classes and she sent me to art classes and taught me the basics of costume design.  When I first came to the USA I went to college at worked in the theatre doing costume design.  I took this skill back to Europe and worked for the Club-Med in Paris and Pompadour designing and making costumes. I also worked on some shows in London.

3) You mentioned that you would like to open various etsy shops to display all of the things your love to create. Would you mind sharing what is it that you enjoy the most? why? 


My work is very theatrical and spiritual in nature. I love to dress up and wear costumes. I love to create things that have meaning. I am not a materialist so that is important to me. I always have. I Love fiber, and textures, and color. I love the intricacies of designing a gorgeous piece of clothing. But I haven’t had much time to do anything with raising two children and going to nursing school when they were little and then getting my Bachelors degree at age 51.
My silk Dreams:  I find very meditative and soothing. I start with a piece of plain white Charmeuse or Habotai Silk, upon which I create my design.  I then paint , quilt and embroider the design and back it with different sensuous  materials, silk, velvet, cotton, chenille,or flannel  I create Prayer shawls, scarves, baby blankets, spiritual shawls with inspirational messages on them.


Crowning Glories:  In July of last year, I broke my ankle, which allowed me sometime off work to create.
I decided to make one beautiful thing everyday, and I made these exotic headpieces.  I would get an idea in my head and just disappear I made over 70 head-pieces in 3 weeks. I sewed, I glued, I painted and I beaded. This fulfills my creative and theatrical need. I made hats, wedding crowns and theatrical head wear of which some were very reminiscent of my youth in South Africa.

Wedding crown:
This is a Princess Bride Wedding crown that I made for a lovely young Bride named Rachel who commissioned this from me.



Wrap Rascals: The truth is I love to do many different things. My grandmother taught me to crochet and I think of her every time I crochet a hat or a scarf.  But I try to put my own touch, a theatrical touch to everything I make. I call these creations.
 


Bare souls and Bottled Souls: 

I love to make Bears – a dear friend gave me a bear he made and it got me going. But that is another ETSY store. I have not found the time or place to create bears since I opened my Etsy store.  I hope to open another store towards the end of this year.
 I also make dolls called bottled souls, in the spirit of African Tradition of making dolls out of used bottles and recycled pieces such as old socks.
  4) when you create art, do you create it following your soul or do you create with the end user in mind? 



Intrinsically I feel this intense spiritual need to create things that have meaning that inspire the purchaser, or receiver to live a fuller life. I married a Jewish man, and when my children had their Bar/Batmistzvahs, I took it upon myself to make their prayer shawls.  I painted on silk, and embroidered them, and filled them with symbolism for their  own characters and for them to live fuller meaningful lives. I embroidered Hebrew letters that had hopes and wishes for their future. I even tied the Tzitzit – and the praises were overwhelming I realized I had to make something out of this to touch all people.
I created the name – ‘Mindful Presents’ for my shop because I want people to give from the heart. To be in the present and to give mindfully.

5) Do you find any challenges as an artist?

Yes I do.  I am brand new to all of this. I used to make things for people.  I was inspired by the receiver and now I have to imagine people who might benefit from my work.  It is much harder when you don’t know who the gift is intended for.
 Aside from my education in Berlin and my theatrical background I have had no formal training, and although I think of myself as quite computer literate, social media has taken off and left me with a lot to learn. I need to create my own website.  It is hard work to network and work as a Registered Nurse in Critical Care, and keep up with all the new ways to promote oneself. I also have to be in the right space and time and sometimes with the kind of work that I do, I am just not in the space to create and have to wait for the inspiration.

6) Where do you find your inspiration?

My inspiration is either theatrical or based in my early roots or from nature depending on what I make.
My inspiration i is also spiritual. I hope deeply to have people wear my creations and feel that they were made from the heart. I hope to inspire, and remind people they are beautiful, remind them to breathe, to live life fully.  I am inspired by the person for whom the item is intended.  I am inspired by love, by the seasons, by fun.  I am inspired by the desire to live life to the fullest and not be afraid of what people might think of you.  Some people would never wear my crazy creations on their heads, but life is short
Please check out my store for my latest collection of Easter Bonnets made out of …… Placemats…  Yes – Colorful  Placemats inspired me….
I am always looking for fun ways to create things and As a nurse I see people suffering from many conditions that they did not cause themselves, and I would like people to feel special. I see pain and suffering around me every day at work,  I am also so very much aware of how short life is, and how we have to make the best of it.  So even if my work is considered ‘ a little out there’ I want people to give themselves license to express themselves freely.

Friday, February 22, 2013

ClayCatShop's New Website

As many of you know, we have been working on the re-design of our website almost non-stop for the past few weeks, and now that is finally ready, we want to celebrate with you!


What better way than to throw a giveaway, discounts and freebies? :) Yeeesss! we think so too! :)

Exited? we are too! Visit us daily at http://www.claycatshop.com for offers and giveaways until the end of the month!


Look for "Latest News from our Studio" where we will post all the details! Invite your friends, to visit, to follow us in FB and Twitter, blog about us, and we will reward you and your friend! :)

We love what we do! and its a pleasure, to have you all to share our love and passion for clay!

Visit our new site, explore it, and let us know what you think! :)
xox

Adriana & ClayCatShop Team



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cake Toppers: First Holy Communion

As we dive into March, we start receiving orders for custom & personalized First Communion cake and cupcake toppers.



 We make them as “Clay-Peg toppers” (To learn about prices and sizes, visit: www.etsy.com  or www.claycatshop.com) Using wood-pegs as our base and personalizing them with clay and acrylics. These are a fun and sweet mini-portrait of your child, a great way to preserve memories.




This year I decided to explore an idea, and turn a simple cup-cake topper into a rosary keepsake box. We love the result! What do you think?


To order please send us an email.  We would need pictures or very accurate descriptions of your child and dress/attire, wanted-by date and any other details you might think are important.

xox
Adriana