Summer Ross is a polymer clay artist, owner and designer at The Wispy Realm. She has been one of our dedicated moderators for over a year now at our FaceBook group, where she heads up our Finished Fridays. It’s been a joy to watch her grow and progress in her polymer clay sculpting skills. I’m so honored to have her here today and to share her art with each of you.
About me…. My name is Summer Ross and I’m a little of everything creative, a touch of fae, a glimpse of otherworldly, and even a mother. I spend a great deal of time with fantasy going on in my head, I write it, I draw it (though not always well lol) and I sculpt it. I have two girls and am a soon to be grandmother in April 2020. I’m very short, legally midget size (lol), but that doesn’t stop me from anything. I also can’t cook to save my life. The oven and me are not friends (Lol) Probably why I bake clay in it instead of food.
What’s the History of Your Art & How You Got Where You Are Today?
I started crafting regularly when I had a bout of cluster migraines that lasted nearly 9 months. I couldn’t read, watch TV, listen to music, or hardly even go anywhere. I needed an outlet to help me focus on something other than the pain in my head and I turned to crafting.
I started with wire work first, and moved into other crafts, which lead me to clay sculptures. Crafting is one of the few things I can do when my head doesn’t work right. Claying helps me get through it and gives me something positive to focus on. At first, I just made small laying dragons, and slowly I started branching out wanting to work more on faces, hands, feet, etc… of more humanoid creatures. This year I’m moving into dolls.
What Makes Your Art Unique?
Every artist, no matter the medium, puts their own unique energy and love into what they make. What separates mine from others is how passionate I am about creating and giving. I create for the enjoyment, even though it is a job, and it can be seen in every small expression of dragon, goblin, gnome, or elf I create. They all shine with their own energy and I have a strong belief Fae are all around us, just waiting to be seen, that my sculptures are a way for others to see the magical balance of Fae.
Where is Your Art Created?
I have an office area I work in, with about a 4ft wood table. I tend to spread out though when I get busy and any surface in the upstairs that is flat and workable becomes my workstation lol. I have a 4ft folding table I’ll even pull out in the living room if I want to be outside of my enclosed office. I’ll even work from a TV tray stand.
What is Your Favorite Thing To Do with Polymer Clay?
My favorite thing to do with polymer clay? I really enjoy creating goblin style creatures. They don’t have to have exact proportions to still look right. They are Fae, magic in material form, so they are not expected to be as “pretty” or elegant as a fairy or elf might be. It’s ok if their fingers are too long or their toes stick out of their shoes. It works for them and I feel more freedom to actually create.
What’s Your Process Like? Tell Us About It.
I kind of just zone out. I’ve heard people tell me I get so involved that they feel like I’m connected to a muse who is working through me.
I’ll think “hey I’ll create a goblin today” and pretty soon I have a head, without really knowing how I finished it or how long I’ve been working. Sometimes the head won’t have hands or feet or body until a later date- because I zone out on what I’m doing and that part hasn’t come yet. Then other times I’ve practiced making things like dragons so much I do it from habit, until it’s time to make sure everything is clean and in its correct space on the body. It’s meditative and often times calming to just smoosh, smooth, and repeat.
Tell Us About Your Favorite Piece.
Favorite pieces, wow what a tough thing to choose. I have loved every piece I have created. I made an altered clock water dragon that I really enjoyed, mixing media was super fun, though time consuming. I also created a 7inch poseable goblin as a manifestation of a tarot card called “Ace of Wands” in an artist trade. Which was both challenging and fun.
One item I recently made that I am super proud of is witch hats. I was inspired by a fellow artist, Elvenspun, I’m in a few groups with her and she made these super cute lacey hats that I thought were amazing. So I went on Pinterest- and we all know what happens on Pinterest- an endless time loop of being sucked deeper and deeper into the red Pinterest world. But anyway, I looked at more witch hats until I felt comfortable enough to start creating my own. And they turned out really cool. It took me some time to figure out how big to make them and what kind of things to add to them to create neat effects, but I found I enjoyed painting them using a dry brush technique. And poof, like magic, my witch hats were born.
Who is Your Polymer Clay Idol?
Truth be told, I have 2: First is Apryl Jensen for her beautiful and elegant fairies. She has a great teaching style and I ordered her monthly sculpt boxes any time I can afford to get them. She is the first person I learned to do more realistic faces from.
Second is Becca Gollins with Dragons and Beasties because her dragons are what inspired me to start creating dragons right from the start of my clay adventure. She is also so very nice, she was so patient with me when I would message her to tell her how much I loved her work and she even wanted to see my work and gave me tips to help.
But really there are a ton of amazing polymer clay artists I admire, so so many! These two artists are just the ones who really pushed me forward to where I am now.
Where to Find Summer
Etsy * Facebook * YouTube
I am just starting to use my etsy store this year for 2020. I mostly sell my items in my Facebook group, Mystic Bazaar, and I do special VIP sales for my members and long time customers where I create a handful of small sculptures and sell them for only 15.00 plus shipping.
I do take custom orders, but mostly during the holidays. I’m more likely to take a custom order from a repeat customer than anyone else to be honest. Customs can be difficult and in my experience are much better to achieve when you have a trusting relationship with a customer.
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Thanks for joining me today,
Until next time, Happy Claying my friends!