Folksy Ltd

How have your products changed?

(Martine Brumwell) #1

I was looking at the first doll I made this morning and thinking how much I had adapted the design since then. Here’s that first doll and another that I made recently. How have your designs changed over the years?

(Christine E.) #2

That’s a huge improvement, Martine! I’m not saying the one on the left isn’t lovely, but I much prefer the face of the latest one and it looks so much more professional. My pewter work hasn’t changed much but I’ve got a bit fed up with doing it-it’s the finishing that gets me, all that treating and polishing. My sales have been so lousy this year that I’ve started making something completely different- little models out of clay. I had some polymer clay for my birthday so I’m enjoying playing with that. In fact I’m enjoying so much more than the pewter-making that I don’t really care whether anyone likes it or not!

(Emma) #3

I’m afraid I suffer with boredom! The thing that keeps me going creatively is constant challenge so what I’m doing now won’t represent my stuff in six months to a year. I can see a huge progression in my drawing over the years, I worked really hard to draw realistically, now I’m trying hard to get a stylised edge back again! As long as I’m enjoying what I do, and feeling I’m moving on creatively, everything else is secondary.

(Christine E.) #4

I can see you’re trying lots of different, new things, Emma, and they’re all lovely. I’m quite old so I’ve tried lots of different things in the past but got into a bit of a rut with the pewter when it started to sell. So perhaps I should be glad it’s not selling any more so I can move on!..I’m thinking of going back to painting and drawing as well.

(Liz Clark) #5

When I first started out sewing I was making toys like dolls and bears. I learnt how to sew on the job, and am still learning as I go! I don’t make toys anymore (the CE marking and Toy Safety legislation were too much of a headache and stifled my creativity) and have gone more arty which is much more to my taste and now I’m enjoying the creative side immensely. And of course learning new things (working with wire and clay, different textiles etc).

(Emma) #6

I honestly think doing lots of creative things all feeds into each other. Since I started doing more sculptural pieces in polymer clay it’s really helped my drawing because I’m thinking more in three dimensions. I guess sometimes if something sells it’s easy to find yourself stuck doing it. I guess I’m lucky because I don’t rely on it for income, I have a very supportive husband, so I’m perhaps more creatively free because I sell what I make, rather than make specifically to sell.

(Martine Brumwell) #7

I had a go with Polymer clay a couple of years ago. I got a book on polymer clay market stalls and made some deep framed shops for on the wall in my kitchen. The book is awesome and so easy to follow. The fruit and veg, cakes and bread etc looked so lifelike. The oranges even had segments inside. I enjoyed making them. Don’t know why I didn’t do any more really - maybe I will one day. I think the book was by Angie Storr or something like that - well worth the money. Totally amazing. Martine x

(Brenda Cumming) #8

Like a lot of crafters I have had a go at nearly all crafts, except sewing.
I started knitting when I was 6 and also did crochet…in the 60’s I was making dresses and selling them at work…and believe it or not, I could make one a day !! When I got married, I continued to crochet and sell to friends and neighbours and then when I had my kids, I swapped over to a knitting machine and would turn out 5 - 10 items a day. I did craft fairs and taught at adult education. When all the fleeces got imported from other countries I went back to crochet and designed and sold my exclusive jackets and at the same time machine knitted suits for Harrods and other west end stores. I then swapped over to salt dough and polymer clay and then turned my hand to card making until the world and his wife made cards making it difficult to compete. I made jewellery for a short time but found the components expensive to keep buying,so then I went over to needlefelting tiny dogs and teddies…(I did try sewing teddies but naaaah…pretty pathetic results). I then moved over to drawing cartoon greetings cards to order and would sit and paint them at craft fairs.
Back to crochet for a while and then discovered watercolour painting. I have been painting now since 2008 and can’t invisage me doing anything else…but who knows…

(Emma Higgins - Printmaker) #9

I’m enjoying this thread!
Looking back at my first lino print (the green tree) It’s obvious that I needed LOTS more practise. I also needed better tools and time to read my camera manual properly as I can see now that my old photos were terrible! I feel that I’m getting a tiny little bit better as I can print in more than one colour now (see my recent daffodils) but I’ve still got a very long way to go.
old print

recent print


(Joy Salt) #10

Here is the first frog I sold (privately, not on Folksy) in September 2008

and here is my latest …
Just generally ‘prettier’ :smiley: and with more indiviidual touches (like the curly eyebrows)

My photos are better too !

(Martine Brumwell) #11

I love those daffodils Emma - they look so professional - it’s really interesting to see how people have developed their skills. However, there is something about that first frog Joy that is really cute - he’s got real character. Martine x

(Christine E.) #12

Teabreaks, you must be a similar vintage to me! I’ve tried just about everything too (except needle felting). I never got round to doing linocuts in two colours either. Well done on developing your craft, Emma. Love both the frogs, Joy! I haven’t used polymer clay since my girls were little, and I’m frankly finding it harder than I expected. It does have a tendency to squash as you’re working it (perhaps because I was given the “soft” version). I will persevere though!..

(Myfanwys Appliques) #13

I am loving this thread. I think creative people are always critical of their work and striving for perfection so our work is changing and impoving all the time. I like tea breaks have always made money using the skills I learnt at an early age. At sixteen I wore a crochet poncho, that I had made, into a local wool shop and ended up making ponchos to order. I went on to crochet dresses, tops even three wedding dresses including my own! Later on after having children I turned to knitting and sewing making and selling children’s clothes with my sister. Again like teabreaks we were hit when cheaper clothes were imported and more seconds shops opened up. I think after that my creativity dried up a little, too many hours spent working flat out to complete orders. I became a childminder then 10 years later I rediscovered my love of crochet and I am back where I started. Here are my first and latest offerings! I have changed from using acrylic to cotton and my photography still needs work but I am loving what I do.

Rosalind x

(Brenda Cumming) #14

Rosalind…loving that bottom flower spray…very pretty and very delicate…
My wedding dress was knitting on the knitting machine and I put crochet flowers all around it…it even went on display at the Ideal Home Exhibition !!
Like you I also crocheted a wedding dress for a lady…she liked it so much that she had the bridesmaid’s dress crocheted as well. When I think of it now, I come out in a cold sweat because I had NO PATTERN, she just described what she wanted…yikes !!!
I wouldn’t do commissions now…much happier to sit and paint. (my hands won’t let me crochet any more because I cannot grasp the yarn to give it tensions…and painting is so much easier…lol)
Coatimundi…sheesh…I forgot about the lino cutting…I did that as well…(managed to keep all my fingers)…I once did a lino cut of a man to go on the front page of a programme for a show…I was much braver in those days and accepted all challenges !!..

(Beverley Hartley) #15

Fab thread.

I haven’t been active on Folksy for long but I have ‘dabbled’ in many painting and printmaking media and offered it for sale. Every time I ‘changed’ I didn’t like my old stuff any more and wouldn’t show it, but now I’ve shaken off that attitude. Every piece of work (well, nearly every) is an honest representation of where I was artistically and is ‘a step in the journey’. So I look forward to being able to show changes when I’ve been on Folksy a bit longer (and have learned how to upload images…oh I see it -here goes)

A pastel from about 2006?

A linocut finished last week

(Brenda Cumming) #16

Lovely work Beverley, why not come and join us on the weekly art thread?

(Beverley Hartley) #17

Thanks Brenda,
I believe I’ve dropped in on that (very friendly) thread before, but I don’t yet have the time to be a regular. At the moment I’ve just finished a linocut edition and am catching up on paperwork, shopkeeping and the like before disappearing into the studio to start the next. It would be nice to visit the forums more often but to have the computer on in the studio is the ‘kiss of death’ when I should be trying to work out the next layer in a linocut.

(Martine Brumwell) #18

I love your work Beverley and I agree with you: each step along the way is a part of the journey and valuable for what it is and what it means at the time. Also, all of us learn so much as we work, adapting ideas and being inspired by new things. It’s lovely to hear of different people’s experiences. Martine x

(Christine E.) #19

Beautiful crochet work from Rosalind, and the linocuts are amazing, Beverley. The pastel drawing is fantastic, too. The effect of the light through the trees is so well done.

(Beverley Hartley) #20

Thanks MaisyMuffin and Coatimundi, I adore all the arts and crafts here. I have family and friends who sew, crochet and work with polymer clay (OK I don’t know any pewter artists). My ex-flatmate works with stained glass and I can’t throw a stick around here without hitting a painter or printmaker so I really appreciate the talent, experience and work involved.
My Mum wants to give me her old sewing machine once she’s had it reconditioned I really want it but I’m not pressing her. I have too many ‘things I want to do’ already.