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.