Today I would like to feature Michelle form Creative Critters on Artfire!
Michelle says the name Creative Critters fits her perfectly since she adores animals of all types. She currently has two cats- Cedric the 11 year old tabby and the 3 month old kitten they named Calcifer (ball of fire). Her love of animals is reflected in her work whether its stuffed animals, sculpted animals or jewelry featuring animals. She is a self taught artist. She sculpts in polymer clay, knits stuffed animals, catnip toys and accessories, sews doll clothes, makes OOAK teddy bears and WOW plushies, and makes jewelry. When she's not crafting, she enjoys being outdoors in the fresh air.
I've been making things since I was a very young child, and truly fell in love with sculpting in high school when I had my first ceramics class. I discovered polymer clay in my early 20's, and this allowed me to sculpt without needing a kiln, since you can bake polymer clay in a home oven. I learned to sew from my grandmother, and after much trial and error, taught myself how to read a pattern, and even create my own. My best friend taught me how to knit several years ago. I find knitting to be very soothing and relaxing. I'm always creating something, and often have several projects going at once.
Is there any particular artist or person in your life who inspires you?
I have to say that Maureen Carlson and Katherine Dewey are two of my favorite polymer clay artists, and I've learned a great deal from their books. My older brother, who passed away a few years ago, is the inspiration for my plush World of Warcraft characters. He and my mother and my youngest brother played the game, and once I was introduced to their world, I really enjoyed the characters. I also have to add that my Polymer Clay Smoosher guild is a great source of inspiration and support.
What are your favorite materials to work with and why?
Polymer clay is one of my favorite materials to work with because of it's versatility. You can make just about anything from polymer clay. I love all the different colors available, and the fact that you can mix the colors. Polymer clay just feels so natural to me- there's a certain magic to it. You take this unformed lump of clay and sometimes the sculpture seems to almost form on it's own. I also love working with plush fur fabric (that's the animal lover in me!). The teddy bears I've created from some of this fur have so much personality, and are an absolute joy to hold.
Is there anything that you do that you think sets your creations apart from others?
Most of my work is one of a kind, and all of it is created one piece at a time, by hand. There's a huge variety of different items in my shop, since I have many different interests and skills. Sometimes I don't even know where some of my ideas come from, but I really enjoy the entire creative process. I truly love what I do, and I hope that comes through in my work.
Anything else you would like my readers to know about (sales, coupons, etc)?
I enjoy creating custom orders, so people can contact me through my ArtFire shop if they'd like me to create something special for them. I can also be found on Facebook, JoAnn.com, Flickr, MySpace, deviantArt, YouTube, and CreativeCrittersblog.
You can find Michelle's creations at CreativeCritters