Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 - The Year of the Swirl-StoNZ

I have decided to set just one goal for 2018 – and that is to continue developing my Swirl-StoNZ.

Following my successful launch of Swirl-StoNZ by Claire on 1st December 2017, there are several aspects I want to research/develop further, but the main aim is to make it a viable little craft business.

Sadly, this means that my dot mosaics will take a back seat, at least for this year, apart from creating a couple of pieces for the New Zealand Mosaic Art exhibition in September 2018. I really need to focus on one thing and I feel it needs to be the Swirl-StoNZ if I want to continue riding the wave of interest created at the end of last year.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and creative New Year – for me it will definitely be a ‘Swirly New Year’.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Review of 2017

I made one of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2017 to 'be proud of my creative artwork' and I think I have managed to achieve this.

This year has resulted in some successful dot mosaic pieces but also the confirmation that as much as I love making them, the time involved does not make them viable to sell (apart from reproduced as greetings cards). So I think the dot mosaics will have to remain as a hobby.

I have also been developing my idea for Swirl-StoNZ, as a New Zealand made souvenir/gift in the lower cost bracket, so I can get back into doing some craft markets, which I have missed. After much practicing to master the technique, I had built up some stock and made some display panels ready to launch Swirl-StoNZ by Claire, at the Labour Day Art and Craft Market at Mission Bay, on 23 October 2017.

Disappointingly, this event was cancelled due to the bad weather so, I had to wait until the Christmas Art Markets at the Estuary Art Centre at the beginning of December. This was my first proper event selling and demonstrating how I make the Swirl-StoNZ (apart from selling a necklace and earrings set in an exhibition at the Estuary Art Centre and a few small pendants in their gallery shop).

The Christmas Art Markets turned out to be a big success, helped by a feature in the Hibiscus Matters local newspaper. The newspaper article had a photograph of a bowl of Glow-in-the-dark Swirl-StoNZ, which I had made for the Mission Bay event to attract children to my stall. These were so popular they sold out in the first hour. People came specifically because they had seen them in the newspaper. Consequently, I spent the next week making another batch of Glow-in-the-dark Swirl-StoNZ (discovering in the process that making my own glow-in-the-dark polymer clay was better than the manufacturers), so I could get them into the gallery shop before Christmas, for all those that were disappointed that they had sold out when they came to my stall at the Christmas Art Markets.

For years I have been trying to find something creative I can make that I can turn into a small craft business. I know, from the initial success, that I can build on the Swirl-StoNZ, with several branches on the idea to explore. So, 2018 will definitely be the Year of the Swirl-StoNZ for me.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Another feature in a local newspaper - The Rodney Times 12.12.2017

I was just about to throw out an old copy of the Rodney Times, when I thought I would flick through it. I was totally taken by surprise when I saw a photo of myself, demonstrating how I make my Swirl-StoNZ. It was taken at the Christmas Art Market at the Estuary Art Centre on Sunday 3 December. I had no idea the photo was being taken but it is good to see the crowd of onlookers fascinated by the process.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Here is my 2nd batch of Glow-in-the-dark Swirl-StoNZ

They will be packaged up and go to the Estuary Arts Centre 
in Orewa (NZ) on Tuesday morning (12 December).

Saturday, December 9, 2017

2nd batch of Glow-in-the-dark Swirl-StoNZ - even better!

I know a lot of people were disappointed that the glow-in-the-dark Swirl-StoNZ, featured in the local newspaper, were sold out when they came to the recent Christmas Art Markets at the Estuary Art Centre. These glow-in-the-dark (GITD) Swirl-StoNZ were so popular, they sold out within the first hour, mainly bought as 'stocking fillers'.

I have unsuccessfully tried to find some more suitable GITD polymer clay locally, as there is no time to order it from overseas and get more made before Christmas. So, I have been experimenting with making my own.

Thanks to Ginger Davis Allman of for her article about DIY glow-in-the-dark polymer clay. Luckily I had a small quantity of the GITD powder, which when mixed with translucent polymer clay makes it glow in the dark. It is actually brighter and longer lasting than the manufacturers versions of GITD polymer clay.

So this weekend, I am making a second batch of GITD Swirl-StoNZ, which will all go to the gallery shop at the Estuary Art Centre on Tuesday morning. I will definitely be ordering some more of this GITD powder, so I can make my own GITD polymer clay for use in the future.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Friday, November 24, 2017

Christmas Art Markets coming up

I will be there launching Swirl-StoNZ by Claire (plus a few other things) - refer to my previous post for details.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

A big 'swirly' weekend coming up

I was so disappointed last month when the Labour Day Art & Craft Market at Mission Bay was cancelled, due to the weather, as I had been working for months on the launch of ‘Swirl-StoNZ by Claire’ at this event.

However, a little bit of patience has paid off. I now have a three day event coming up, where I can introduce Swirl-StoNZ to the public. My display will be inside (so no weather issues) and I will be able to demonstrate as well as sell.

Come to the Christmas Art Markets at the Estuary Arts Centre, Orewa (north of Auckland) where I will be selling Swirl-StoNZ made into jewellery and other small gifts, as well as for ‘calming stones’. You can also watch me make them.

Dates and times as follows:

Friday 1 December, 4.00-8.30pm - Christmas Art Market to coincide with the opening night of the Cash and Carry Art Sale (I will also have four mosaic pieces in this exhibition).

Saturday 2 December, 11.00-3.30pm* - Swirl-StoNZ table will be manned although the Christmas Art market is not officially open today.

Sunday 3 December, 11.00-3.30pm* - Christmas Art Market

*I will be doing Swirl-StoNZ demos on the hour during Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Launch of Project Swirl-StoNZ - POSTPONED

It is with regret that I have taken the decision not to attend the market tomorrow, due to the weather forecast, as I was relying on cover from being under the trees (as I do not have a gazebo I can put up on my own). I was hoping to launch my latest creative venture: Swirl-StoNZ by Claire, including demonstrating how I make them, but cannot do this if there is any chance of water coming contact with the polymer clay when I am working with it. The weather forecast does not look good, at least a 90% chance of rain!
It is a big disappointment, after all these months of preparation, as I was really looking forward to this event. Now I will have to find another opportunity to launch my Swirl-StoNZ. It is likely to be at the Christmas Market at the Estuary Arts Centre, Orewa on Sunday 3 December (preview on the evening of 1 December) - see the 'EVENTS' tab for more information.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Project Swirl-StoNZ - The Launch

The Launch: Come to the Labour Day Art & Craft Market on the Selwyn Reserve at Mission Bay in Auckland, 10am - 4pm on Monday 23 October 2017, where I will be launching my latest creative venture: Swirl-StoNZ

I will be selling jewellery, charms, key-rings and decorative accessories, all made from my first batch of Swirl-StoNZ. Great souvenirs, as they are made by a local artist; give as a gift or keep as a memento of a special occasion; longer lasting than a greetings card to convey a message. They also feel nice to hold in your hand, just as they are, and make great 'calming stones' for both adults and children. You can also watch me make them.

Enter the FREE PRIZE draw and you could win a Swirl-StoNZ pendant - my stand should be in Row 1, closest to Tamaki Drive, under the trees.