My first thought when I saw this week's featured artist was that her work couldn't possibly be handmade! But no, it is just years of experience that allows Linda of Buttonwilloe to make incredible hand-sculpted figures out of clay. I am truly amazed at her talent and skill, which is why I am happy to have her as a featured artist!
What does it mean to you to "buy handmade"?
To me, it means someone has put their time, love and part of themselves into creating something very special. When an artist creates an original design, I like the term "heartmade", because original designs are often an extension of who we are and sometimes reflect our personality and lifestyle.
How long have you been active in your craft?
I started sculpting little figures and giving them as gifts when I got married in 1972. Early in the 1980's, I sold at my very first craft show in a friend's home.
What inspires your work?
The sweet face of a little baby. The purr of a kitten, and the happy tail of an excited puppy. Babies of any species in general...except creepy crawlies. I truly believe our talents and abilities are gifts from our loving God, and that we are all "precious in His sight." It's my hope that my little creations will bless your heart and make you smile.
Where do you sell your creations?
Since the early 1980's I've been selling at arts and crafts festivals in Southern California, where I live. You can check them out at www.sugarplumcrafts.com and www.Harvestfestival.com. I also do a craft fair in my hometown called Nutcracker Boutique. I sell online at www.buttonwilloe.artfire.com.
Are there any special accolades you have earned in your field?
In 2002, the Harvest Festival honored me with "best in show" at the Long Beach location. It was so exciting. The staff came to my booth, literally with bells and whistles, and presented me with a beautiful plaque that I have displayed in my booth ever since. I also received "most festive booth" and the "Heart of Sugar Plum" awards at Sugar Plum Festival. Last year Sugar Plum honored those of us who have been participating in their shows over 20 years. There were only six of us. It was a very sweet and memorable occasion.