Karolina Söderberg is a polymer clay whimsical sculptor, artist, owner, and administrator at Hobbyrian. It’s my honor and joy to share her work and joy working with polymer clay.
About Karolina Söderberg:
I live in the North of Sweden- Timrå but born and raised in the south of Sweden- Gothenburg. I spent 4.5 years in Russia (so I also speak Russian.) I’m married to a very kind man and we have 2 kids, a boy 8 and a girl 9 almost 10. I work with polymer clay full time from our home. I’m not only making things from clay but I also sell the material itself.
What’s the History of Your Art & How You Got Where You Are Today?
I was just a kid in the early 80`when I came in contact with polymer clay. My friend’s older sister made the cutest miniature food from clay and I was intrigued. It took a few years and in the late ’80s, I bought my first packages of Cernit and I made a magnet. I still have it, it was an exact replica (besides colors) of a magnet that my friend’s sister made.
Then later on, for about 6 months I did not have a job and I clayed a lot. I made small figurines and glued them to clay pots. I painted and varnished them with the wrong paint and varnish so they were sticky 😊 This on and off with clay went on until 2009 when I was pregnant with my daughter, I had some complications (pelvic girdle pain) and I was in pain so I was stuck sitting on my sofa and brought my clay out and never put it away again.
I love that I can just make something else when I get bored with the direction of what I make. I do not need to buy new supplies. Clay is so versatile. In 2010 I thought that information about clay should be available in Swedish also, so I started my blog. After 5 years of blogging and claying about it, I was at a point where I legally either had to stop or start a business, I choose the latter. Then again, I wanted to make clay accessible to Sweden and Scandinavia I started to sell clay and tools in 2015. There were big stores selling clay but there was no specialized store. So now I ended up with 2 stores, one with clay and one with my creations.
2016 I started a clay event NPC, Nordic Poly Camp, as again there were none for us Scandinavians. It is sort of like clay took me where it wanted to be and I’m just tagging along. Now my biggest income is from the material and not my art but I still create as that is what it is all about. Creativity is so important for us all. At the moment my projects are mostly sculptures and cake toppers.
What Makes Your Art Unique?
I guess that what makes my art unique is me! 😊 I have a vivid and a bit of childish imagination still and, besides the cake toppers, I make what I “see” in my head. I don´t follow the trends. My animal sculptures are quite different from other art (I think at least) and my favorites to make. I`m also fascinated by mushrooms, they are sort of aliens in our world, like a small imaginative world by themselves.
My cake toppers are “just” cake toppers but with my personal cartoonish style. They are made to order and I don´t control the end product as much as I do when I create from within but I still enjoy making them and try to put my touch on the details.
Where is Your Art Created?
I create in our bedroom as we don´t have much space, I have an entire wall with desk space all for me (Mr. husband is very patient) and I also have the stock for my store in the same room (yep very patient).
EDITOR’S NOTE: A girl after my own heart. Look how clean and organized it is!
What is Your Favorite Thing To Do with Polymer Clay?
My animal sculptures, I don’t have a favorite technique but I almost exclusively use clay. I’m not really enjoying painting and powders and so on. My thing is clay.
What’s Your Process Like? Tell Us About It.
It is going to sound very out there but I “see” what I want to make. I have a picture in my head and I reveal it to others by making it in clay.
I actually made a piece I call “A window to my mind” that represents me. It is a colorful mushroom house that is the home for a very small and grey mouse. When he walks around in the forest the other animals may not even notice him, he is so small and grey. If they do notice him, they see only his greyness. Not a single one of them could know that he lives in the most colorful and fantastic house. He invites very few to his house and most see him as the grey little mouse. The mouse is me. I don´t look fancy, I´m quite plain but the mushroom house, that is my mind. Full of vivid color.
So, whenever I make something, I let others see a little bit of what goes on in there, in my mind, behind the plain exterior. Some of my sculptures have stories, some don’t. The ones that have stories are my favorites, we have a relationship, sort of.
Tell Us About Your Favorite Piece
My favorites are I think at the moment another mushroom I made that is “The beetle house” made from Gingers faux lampwork tutorial. A very shy beetle that nobody notices in the forest living in a grand mushroom.
And then Star, the elephant. She also has a story. To explain to my kids that no matter what other people say or no matter how many times they say something that is not true, it does not become true. For instance, if a classmate keeps saying “you are stupid” over and over again, it still is not true. Even if it is said hundreds of times.
So, I asked my kids. “If I say that the grass is purple, do you believe me?” The of-course don´t’s come flowing out. So I asked them, “but if I say it all day every day, then it will become purple?” Well of course not, words can´t change the color of grass, neither can words change the truth.
Star the elephant, she knows that she is a star but the other elephants try to tell her she is not. That is why there is a purple ring of grass but she does not believe in purple grass so it can´t touch her. The grass under her is green and will stay green as long as she does not believe in purple grass.
Who is Your Polymer Clay Idol?
At the moment I don´t know but I really like the work of Eva Thissen (don´t think she makes clay stuff anymore). I mostly like neat and precise work and that can be from any artist.
Where to Find Karolina Söderberg:
My store with my makes is at the moment almost empty, I do take orders for sculptures, cake toppers, jewelry. Mostly I get orders for cake toppers.
Do you want to see more Featured Artists? CLICK HERE.
Thanks for joining me today,
Until next time, Happy Claying my friends!