Monday, June 4, 2007

Etsy artist feature - DC design

The number of talented artists on Etsy numbers in the hundreds. But every now and then you find a shop that will stand out in your mind. One such shop for me is DC designs. She has such defined style that I am able to easily spot her work and I always enjoy her creations. She was kind enough to answer some questions below!

A little about myself and my background:
By day I teach five year-olds to read and write and share and count and be happy while I'm in my disguise of Mrs. Culberson, kindergarten teacher. But at night, I whip off my teacher facade and become a mad claying artist and frenzied beader. But seriously: I often hear, "Oh that's so cool! Did you make it?" Then I often get asked by friends why I spend my spare time playing with clay and stringing up beads. When I was a kid I could always be found coloring, painting, drawing, etc. In middle school (man I'm old now!) we had a great art program and I got really into watercolors, pencil sketching, and pen and ink drawing. My freshman year of high school I learned to hate what had always been my favorite class. That's right by the end of my freshman year I hated art class. What brought me to this most unfortunate fate? Hmmmm maybe it was the hours spent copying transparencies of line drawings and not EVER creating anything your own. Hmmmmm maybe it was the guy who sat next to me and would roll joints under the table (first time I ever saw a drug, sheltered child that I was). Or maybe it was the guy who sat on the other side of me and would look at nasty magazines with freakishly strange people in them and try to get me to look at them. (He was scary!) Maybe it was the teacher who would walk in flip on the overhead say draw this and sit back at her desk to file her NAILS the whole class period. Anyway, I abandoned art classes! Sad eh? I kept drawing and painting on my own but then I got a boyfriend, a job , a new boyfriend, a car, etc. went to college and was very practical. Never thought twice about taking an art class. Fell in love with kindergarten switched to be an education major and boom there you go. Soooo when did I start claying? Why did I start claying? I needed something fun, I needed a creative outlet, I needed that wonderful feeling that a six year old gets when they open up a brand new 245 count box of crayons! I needed to do something I love for no other sake then to just do it. I stumbled upon polymer clay quite accidentally and became hooked. It started out as a great stress reliever. Then I got into jewelry and I'm now hooked on beading. Beading is a very zen thing. Working with clay is exciting and fast paced. Beading is very meditative and allows me to just enjoy not thinking as I concentrate on the patterns of the beads. It is an escape. The mother of one of my teacher buddies owned a piece of a co-op craft store. They encouraged me to put some of my work in the little shop. Three sets sold and yay! DC Designs was born. What was once a hobby and stress relieving activity has now become a part-time second job that I absolutely adore.

What inspires me:
I'm inspired mostly by nature, color and of course words. Sometimes a piece is inspired by a word or a saying that I think of such as my pocket mirrors. I thought of the "If only you knew how beautiful you really are" saying and then tried to think of what I could put it on. My tweet tweets and wave necklaces sort of came about by just messing with the clay. Tweet Tweet just kind of emerged one day when I had a little lump of clay left over after making a batch of leaves. i'm also inspired by materials. I try to pair materials that might be surprising to find together like wood beads and Swarvoski crystals.

Favorite Artists:
My favorite artists from the polymer clay world are Kathleen Dustin, Meredith Dittmar, Lisa Pavelka, and Sarajane Helm, I also love the claywork of my friend Heather Powers who is also on Etsy now. One of her flower canes inspired my Perfect Wave Necklace.

Best/Worst job
I have to say that the best job I ever had was bagging groceries while in high school. Its how I met the hubby of almost nine years. But I do love teaching kindergarten and making jewelry and other tidbits from clay. My worst job had to be waiting tables downtown on the riverwalk. The money was great but drunk tourists are not fun at all when you are trying to carry giant trays loaded with platters of bbq across a crowd.

Be sure to also check out her blog and her website, both equally awesome.


Heather Powers said...

yeah Denise!

Amanda Bonura said...

Congratulations Denise! So proud of you, I love your work!

Patty Barnes said...

Hey Denise! You've been hiding your light at the Guild meetings!! What Denise hasn't shared with everyone is that she is also the very capable webmaster for the San Antonio Polymer Clay Guild and we are really proud of her!! Patty