Friday, October 8, 2010

"A Day in the Life" with Michelle”

Okay, do you have your cup-o-joe?  It’s that time of the week again.  I’m so excited to share with you this week because I have purchased from this shop and I was just dying to know how she creates such beautiful pieces.  So get ready, it’s time to take a journey to:

A Day in the Life with Michelle,
owner of IRCrafty

Click on the banner to go visit her shop

Duuuuuude:  How long have you been creating items from Polymer Clay?  

Michelle:  I have been working with Polymer Clay for 10 or so years.  I started by making little figurines and then discovered a Millefiori technique (little flowers).  I began up-cycling Altoids Tins by embellishing with Polymer Clay about 5 years ago, however, the Millefiori technique I'm currently using, I have only been using for a little over 1 year. 

Sample of a cane
Duuuuuude:  Michelle, I’m not that familiar with the terms “Millefiori” and “canes”.  Can you give us just a little background on this?

Michelle:  Millefiori or “caning” originates from an ancient Venetian glass-blowing technique where long rods of glass were made with tiny flowers going through the entire length. It is Italian for “A thousand flowers”.  Polymer Clay artists have adapted this technique for use with clay.   

Duuuuuude:  What inspired you to start creating these?

Michelle:  I cover many things with clay.... Pens, votive candles... if it can be baked, I've most likely covered it.  I carry my daily dose of vitamins around in my purse in an empty Altoids Tin.  On one of those days where I had a creative spark, I decided to cover it with clay to make it a little prettier.  I have to admit, it didn't turn out quite a nice as I had hoped.  With practice, I was able to make them nice enough to begin giving them as gifts.
Beautiful Trinket box

Duuuuuude:  Tell us a little bit about your process for creating

Michelle:  I start a project by pulling out all of my canes and decide on a color combination.  I pick a coordinating background color and then slice paper thin flowers off of the canes and place them onto the background.  This part just kinds of develops as I go along.  I create a sort of "Fabric Sheet" of the clay and flowers.  That sheet gets draped over whatever item is to be covered.  Or I roll them into beads and then bake them.  After all is cooled, I wet sand the pieces with 5 decreasing grades of sandpaper until they are smooth and shiny. 

Duuuuuude:  Where do you typically get your supplies?  

Michelle:  I get my clay from a variety of places, depending where I can get the best price.  Mostly craft shops, but there are a couple of brands of clay that I can only get online and I only get those for certain applications.
The Altoids tins I get from many friends and family members that collect them for me

The IRCrafty Studio
Duuuuuude:  Where do you get your ideas for your items?  

Michelle:  I try to carry my camera wherever I go and snap pictures of flowers in nature.  Then I try to duplicate the colors in the canes that I create. 

Duuuuuude:  Where do you sell your items?

Michelle:  I have done a couple of craft fairs but mostly in my Etsy Shop.

Duuuuuude:  Anything else you'd like us to know?

Puffy Heart Bead

Michelle:  I am also in the process of making more of a variety of polymer clay beads.  I'm not sure if I am going to develop them into jewelry pieces or sell the beads for others to create jewelry. 

Thanks Michelle, I truly enjoyed getting to know your “craft” a little better.
Click logo to visit shop
Don’t forget to check out her shop at:  --------------> 

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.


Peppercorns said...

Great post duuuude. Michelle (ircrafty) is one of my favorite people and artists. She is so talented and her work is beautiful. Really enjoyed reading your interview.

VintageEmbellishment said...

I really love the interviews DUUUUDE!

I too have purchased from ircrafty, I am the proud owner of a puffy heart....her work is beautiful and the quality of my little heart exceeded expectations! I plan on wearing it at an Antique show the fall :)

jj said...

I loooove Michelle's work. It is just beautiful and it is so cool to see what she does to make them.

Me said...

Thanks ladies for the wonderful comments. Jules, thanks for the opportunity to be featured. You guys rock!

goodgosh said...

What a nice surprise to find out it's Michelle today! I LOVE the boxes and always want to sit and just touch them all. :)
I love all your work, you know that.

A Collective Journal said...

Love your work Michelle - thank YOU for participating. It's always fun to get to know someone and their work a little better!