We're starting a new series on our team blog interviewing other Etsy artists in our online community. It's a fun way to get to know who's out there and to spread the word to BUY HANDMADE!
The first interview in our series is with Christina of Christina's Studio. You may know her Etsy username as cbarjcrafts. Christina is a fellow North Carolinian from Statesville.
She opened her Etsy shop in September of 2007. Her specialty is sculpted caricature (of sorts) of mostly pets and domestic type animals. She says she enjoys clay because it gives her the instant gratification of dimension.I asked her how she chose her shop name and she said, "Ha! The shop's original name, C bar J Crafts, was a combination of my brother's and my initials...No offense to my bro, but I shoulda thought that one through a little more!"
I wanted to know more about Christy's process in creating a piece. She chose her favorite sculpture and took me through the creative process.Christy says:
As of late, my favorite piece has been one title "Sunday Kind Of Love".
What inspired the “birth” of this item? I'm a big jazz and french bulldog fan and really wanted to do a larger piece with two bullies name Ella and Louis. I couldn't quite decide how to set it up until one day while listening to Etta James sing, 'Sunday Kind of Love' this little scenario popped into my head...and know Ella and Louis now reside in Michigan.
What is your favorite part of the process of creating your item? You know, it really varies. Sometimes I think that sculpting the pieces and watching them come to life is the most awesome part and I worry that when I go to paint them that I won't be able to do it justice. Other times I'm so frustrated during the sculpting process that I'm excited to lay down the paint and see what I'm able to accomplish with color.
Please briefly describe a workday in your “studio” and how you created this item--
Hmmm...well it usually starts off with me turning on some good tunes and then I sit down with a lump of clay in front of me. For the bullies above, I referenced several different photos and played around trying to come up with the most flattering and bully-like positions. Depending on what I'm doing the sculpting process can take anywhere from 2 to 8 hours. Creating fur texture and facial details are the most time consuming.
The actual 'firing' doesn't take incredibly long because polymer clay doesn't require a kiln, so unless I'm really stressed about it, I try to at least begin the painting process the same day. For frustrating coat patterns like calico and brindle or those with lots of specific markings, I may wait until the next day. Painting can take 30 minutes to 3 hours. When I'm finally finished, I do the dance of joy, clean up my ever increasing MESS, and walk in and out of the room to see the piece in different places and angles...in case I need to fix something or add to it.
If this item is part of a special line that you do, has there been an evolution in your process? For example, if we were to compare the first one you made to this one, what differences would there be, if any?
Oh my word, there's a WORLD of difference from my first pieces to what I'm doing now, and I hope that by the end of this year there will be a greater difference- be it in styling or in the execution. If I were to pick one thing that stands out obviously, it would definitely be the eyes.