Sunday, January 6, 2008

Pen Pals or Puppy Pals - Pen sets made from Polymer Clay

Many of you might know me as the Pen Lady on the Carol Duvall Show. Some of my most popular segments featured whimsical characters - with a twist....I turned them into functional pen and pen holder sets.

The idea came about one day while I was working at my shop at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. It's a theme park set back in time to the 1800's. We all had to dress in period style clothing, which meant, yes....I wore the granny dresses was in costume everyday (wasn't so bad really). Our job was to show how to make "hand made" things. I saw thousands and thousands of people literally every day. (Lots of stories there!)

My shop was located on the porch of the Apple Butter shop. There I made whimsical characters and my most popular sports characters. I tried to have a variety of things that were in the $5 and under category so that kids could take home a cute souvenier of their day at "the city". Among these items, I sold decorated ink pens. I would make cute little canes and decorate the pens with smiley faces, lady bugs, sunflowers and who knows what else. Sometimes it was just a bunch of colors of clay that I twisted together and called them Tye Dye...

I was in the process of defining my "look" I guess you might say with my characters. I really wanted to add expression to my characters instead of them looking like a lifeless bump on a log. In order to do this, I studied caracature and cartooning books. I was always fascinated with caracture artists because they could draw so fast, make someone look at least somewhat like themselves with exaggerated features and bring out their funny side. I noticed that cartooning and caracatures always exaggerated at least one feature of the person or whatever it was they were drawing. I applied the ink when I turned the ink pen sideways...guess what??? My mind saw a looooooooonng really loooonnnngggg body dachshund. I quickly threw together a prototype, then tweeked it a little and VIOLA.... a dachshund...with a "bum" of a cap! I couldnt make them fast enough. One led to another...and to another and to another. The park guests absolutely loved them. So I expanded my doggie styles and made a variety of breeds.

Eventually, I started putting together more caracature characters (say that 3 times...) so they evolved from decorated pens, to doggie pens sideways...well to all those pen sets I put in the POLYPENS book. WHo knew these would be on the Carol Duvall show too???

And that - my clay friends - is the inside story of how the Darling Dachshund pens were inspired and created or as Paul Harvey says..." And now you know?....The REST OF THE STORY --- GoodDAY!"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Those are very cute pens! I will have to check out your store next time I'm up that way! I usually just go to the Branson shows and that's it.

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