Posted on June 4, 2012 in Featured Artists by Katie Oskin
We love showcasing artists, their talents, and their abilities on our blog. It is with joy that we introduce Lisa Ammerman to you today. Lisa is the creator and owner of APieceofLisa
Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
My name is Lisa Ammerman, and I have been creating things for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a small town in western Nebraska, the youngest of five children. My parents always encouraged my creativity. I moved to Omaha to attend college in 1984 and have lived here ever since. I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1989. I studied all areas of studio are before doing my thesis work in oil painting. I also did extensive work in letterpress printing and bookbinding. Upon graduation I discovered polymer clay and became completely hooked. Through the encouragement and support of my parents and my husband, David, I embarked on a career of making miniature figurines, Christmas ornaments, and jewelry pieces. In the last couple of years I’ve taken a new direction with my larger, whimsical characters. David and I celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary last fall. We were never blessed with children, but we have an old dog, Daisy, and a cat, Penny, that we love very much. When I’m not working with polymer clay, I enjoy making cards and paper crafts, handmade journals, and painting. I also love to read, I enjoy home improvement projects, and I really don’t mind cooking. On summer weekends you can often find me on a lake with my husband, bass fishing.
What’s the history of your store?
My etsy store, A Piece of Lisa, has a very short history,
as I only opened it about a year ago. I still feel like a newbie and am learning the ropes. I think it’s a great outlet for handmade items and it offers a great sense of community. I sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed by how bit it is! Because of some family commitments and the death of my father last summer I wasn’t about to work my store as hard as I would have liked, but I’m trying to focus a little harder this year. I have so many ideas spinning in my head I don’t often know where to start!
While my etsy shop is fairly new, I have been selling my work since 1990. I have exhibited and sold my work at hundreds of shows in Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa and South Dakota. I also have sold my work in local craft shops, but the economy hit those really hard and they have all closed. I still do about 6 shows a year—down from an average of 15 (and one year I did 36!)—but I am hoping to increase my internet presence.
What makes your store UNIQUE from all the other stores that sell a product similar to yours?
I’ve never seen anyone doing anything quite like them. I think every handmade shop on etsy is unique and has its own point of view. Polymer clay is such a wonderful medium because if offers such diversity. Part of what makes A Piece of Lisa unique is that I do larger pieces. I believe when people think of polymer clay figurines they think of miniatures much like the work I have done for that last 20 years. My whimsical characters tend to be 5-8 inches tall or more. I’ve taken inspiration from paper mache folk art pieces and vintage holiday decorations and translated that into polymer clay. I’ve given them my own personal sense of whimsy and cuteness. I pay close attention to detail. While nothing handmade can be perfect, I try to be very meticulous. I actually love tedious work! I think my limited edition Christmas ornaments are very unique.
Tell our readers about your favorite items that you make and list in your store.
It’s so hard to choose favorites! I enjoy my work so much, but I would have to say my larger whimsical figurines are my favorites, especially the frogs and bees. I also love Christmas, so all my ornaments are special to me, and I love my Christmas figurines (I have been working on some very cute Santas that will be released in a few weeks on etsy.) My miniatures take a back seat only because I have been doing them for so long. The change in my work has been exciting and rejuvenating for me.
What is the item you are the most proud of in your store?
Asking me to choose one piece is like asking my Mom to choose her favorite child! I love them all! But for this post I will choose my Queen Bee. She is one of my newest designs and I love her! One of the first pieces in my new style was a bee and I thought he was really cute. I have always enjoyed puns and plays on words, and one day, while in the shower no less, I thought “Why not a queen bee?” I had made the frog prince and thought it would be fun to add a queen bee to the royalty in my shop. I decided she should be a pageant queen, complete with jeweled tiara, velvet sash, and a bouquet of roses. She is also slightly larger than Buzzy bee, as the Queen is the biggest bee in the hive. I love adding things to my new work that isn’t polymer clay. I think it satisfies my interest in mixed media and collage work in a fun 3-dimensional way, and it adds that touch of whimsy that I love.
What kinds of services do you offer for custom orders, what are your policies regarding custom orders?
I have done lots of custom work over the years, particularly in my miniature style. I have several loyal clients who order special pieces for their children, nieces, nephews, and grandkids each year. I have done lots of sports figures, professions, wedding cake toppers, and super heroes. I enjoy the challenge of a custom order. I consider each request on a case by case basis. I’m always open to ideas! Most of my custom work has been in my miniature style, but my very first etsy sale was for two of my standing cats, and I was thrilled! Just convo me if you have an idea, and we can work out the details.
Where Can We Find You Online?
A Special Gift to all our readers from Lisa.
I include a little gift with each purchase from my etsy shop, always. Just a little token.
For a limited time, if you mention this blog feature in ‘notes to seller’ and also put in coupon code BLOG10, you will receive 10% off your purchase. This offer will expire on June 15, 2012.
Thanks for joining me today,
Would You Like To Be the Featured Artist for the Month?
Are you are a polymer clay artist? Would you like to be the featured artist for the month? If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, please go HERE and answer the questionnaire and email your responses to me. Artists are subject to approval and are featured on a first come, first serve basis.