Meet Tamara Shea of blockpartypress.etsy.com, a creative polymer clay artist whose inspiration comes from colors, texture, contrast and nature. As I've looked through her etsy shop, I've enjoyed the bright colors, bold textures, huge variety (over 100 items to choose from!), and creative names like "State of Grace Pendant," "The Ants Go Marching Earrings," "Jungle Fever Ring," and "I See the Moon in the Tropics ACEO."
Tamara is a SAHM to 2 boys (7 & 4), living in Maryland, with her focus mainly on wearable art, accessories and ACEOs. She explains, "I utilize hand-carved stamps to create texture in polymer clay, and then I use paint to add color and distress them to further bring out the texture."
"This pendant is called The Journey Begins and is a dandelion seed beginning its journey to find fertile ground and start a new life. The carving was pretty simple, just a few lines and I tried to keep it as true to form as I could.
"The finishing is what makes it interesting. I used several shades of brown and green and layered them, then distressed them and finally added some copper over the top to add a metallic sheen.
"I would love to see this pendant given as a gift to a new graduate, a new mom or someone starting a new job, to commemorate the beginning of their journey. Where would you go if you were that seed with all the possibilities ahead of you? I think we should consider each day a journey and embrace the feeling of the infinite possibilities of the little dandelion seed."
A Charmed Life
Tamara created this stunning piece for the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy monthly challenge.
Tamara asks, "Have you ever wondered about the lives of trees?"
"As a seed you get to fly through the air, once you find the perfect piece of real estate (no closing costs) you set down your roots and start your upward climb. You get to sleep through the winter and wake to spring where you can show off your new spring colors. Your friends are birds, squirrels, butterflies and bees. A charmed life indeed."
Tamara says she loves to recycle boxes into shadow boxes (which has to do with saving trees) and wanted the tree to be coming out of the box portion of the shadow box with its roots and branches reaching out. She added the charms to represent the creatures that live in the trees as well as the leaves and blossoms. The charms are twofold: they are in fact charms which is clever with the title of the piece, and each one represents something special to the tree.
She goes on to explain, "Vintage sheet music in the background represents the sweet music of the birds that the trees wake to each morning and since the tree lives a charmed life, the sky is blue and the grass is forever green.
"A second meaning to this piece is about gratitude. As with most people, I tend to forget all the blessings that I have in life and only focus on the things that go wrong. A tree doesn't do this. It keeps reaching toward the sky no matter what happens to it. Have you ever seen trees who are curled or bent because of a strangling vine or another obstruction? They persevere despite the setbacks and obstacles. So the tree is a reminder that no matter what our struggles, we too live a charmed life."
Tamara says, "I love the way the piece turned out and I won't be adding it my Etsy shop. It will have a home in my kitchen where I can see it everyday and be reminded that I too live a charmed life."
See more of Tamara's art on her blog and in her etsy shop