Over the past two weeks, Karen from Karen's Clay & Paper, was on holidays. But, before she went, she received some Good News and I want to find out what it was and what it meant to her.
So, Karen has returned from her Spanish holiday, all refreshed and ready to go. So I caught up with her, when she came to do her Meet The Maker Spot. I needed to get her to teach me , How make Paw Prints in Clay, as a present for someone, plus I wanted all the gossip about her Karen's new Business opportunity.
So, Over a Cup of Hot Chocolate and Fluffy Marshmallows, I asked her all about herself and her future, here in Midtown Makers.
Bertie:- Hello Karen, Nice to meet you. Did you enjoy your Holiday?
Karen:- Hi Bertie, It's nice to meet you too. Oh! Yes I enjoyed my holiday, so much. Wish I was still there.
Bertie:- That's Good, So, tell me why did you decide to join Midtown Makers.
Karen: I came in one day, because the Window Display, caught my eye, when I was passing. I like how the shop was presented and was impressed by the possibilities to create a space that I could sell my Fairy Doors and Clay Sculptures. I also wanted to become part of the Makers Community, that had developed in Midtown Makers, where everybody was there to ask & answer my questions.
Bertie:- So, then you are glad, you joined?. So, give us a little insight into yourself and your business.
Karen:- Oh Yes, I have made lots of friends with the Crafters and enjoy seeing them, when I am in on my Meet The Makers Day. We all get a Laugh and a Catch Up.
My Crafting started about 16 years ago, when I found myself off work, due to illness. I needed something to occupy myself and my mind, as I wasn't used to sitting about doing nothing. I began with Cross Stitching and then moved onto Papercrafts.
I dappled a bit with Air Drying Clay, but found that Polymer clay was the medium that I loved working with.
I found that crafting, helped me focus on something else, than my illness, plus I felt that it gave me a purpose and then I found that I began to enjoy the elements of the different crafts and found that I was willing to pursue that path to a possible career.
During this transition, I found that working with Clay, particularly was very meditative and I feel it helped me as part of the healing process
Bertie :- So. it has been a journey to get where you are today, So while on that journey, who were the people who inspired you.
Karen :- I remember being a child and looking at the illustrations in some Children's Story books and loved the different characters and how they looked. I love Mythical and fantasy types of characters, so Fairy Doors & Houses were going to a define product for me.
Enid Blyton's book illustrations were one of my favorites and the stories brought these little people alive and I would spend time thinking about where they lived, how their little house looked like and I suppose when i grew up, there a little of that still distilled in me. When I was Ill, I came across Kathryn Sturrock from Karacter Krafts and I loved her stuff. It made me see the possibility of how I could create so many beautiful Items from Clay, as My Mother used to decorate Cakes and use some of Kathryn's Ideas. I then began experimenting with some of the moulds and Polymer Clay. Then. along came Katy Sue Designs, who began life as a Doll maker, but then branched out into paper crafts and then into food safe Silicone moulds which can be used for cakes & crafts. Her Items opened a wonderful world of different moulds from different designers, covering an almost endless range of ideas & creations. The inspiration, I get from their team is breathtaking and endless.
Another inspiration, would also be the imagination of my children and other children, which sometimes is so creatively amazing. The detail sometimes extremely detailed or just plain crazy, but inspiring all the same.
Bertie:- I love Enid Blyton books too, she had bears in her books, characters, like Bruiny from The Teddy Bear's Picnic or Tessie from Noddy. It's important to have people who inspire you, it means you can grow as you make.
What Mediums do you use, in your crafts?
Karen:- Air Dry Clay, Polymer Clay. I have favorite Brands that I like to use for different projects, as I think that some are better for some jobs that others. it might be because of the colour, texture or working capabilities. Liquid Clay for joining different pieces together for seamless joints. Also I use card, paper, MDF and I upcycle Old Books for my Fairy Houses & Bird Cages. I have also started creating pieces, using Old Teapots, Glass Jars & China Cups & Saucers. I also saw a castle using Plastic Bottles, who knows that could be something for another venture .
Bertie:- With the Ideas, you have just mentioned, I would gather that you have plans for 2017 and growing your business.?
Karen:- Well Bertie, Just before I went on Holidays, I was accepted as part of The Katy Sue Designs, Craft Design Team, which is a wonderful opportunity for me, as it keeps me up to date with all the latest trends and ideas. I also get to show my creations shown on their website and get to use their fantastic range of Crafting & Cake Making Items, from different designers. I would like later, next year to make this my Full Time career and become a Distributor for moulds, clay & inks as well as keep on creating my range of Cake Toppers, Fairy themed items and be able to have a pergola, here in Midtown Makers .
Bertie:- Congratulations, Well Done. It's great to hear that you have plans and I love the fact, that you want to progress to a pergola, here in Midtown Makers. So any Words of Wisdom for our readers.
Karen:- Not Really, But when I look at a finished commission, feel a certain pride with the finished item and i always hope that the person, who receives it loves it as much as I loved making it.
Now Bertie, Would you like to come and create something with some Clay and you can put your Famous Paw Print on it.
Thank You for the Hot Chocolate.
Bertie:- Thank you, Karen and Yes, I would love to make something Special for Bella