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Billy the Zen Demon

11/17/2015

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"Billy" | 14" t x 13" w x 14.5" d | Raku kiln fire clay, underglazes and clear coat | July/August 2013 | $750
This guy isn't sick, those aren't zits, he doesn't have the mumps... that's just how is skin is.  When he was a kid he used to feel bad about it.  But then he figured out that people paid more attention to what he acted like than what he looked like.  Maybe that's because he was kind of a mischievous little one?  He's still kind of a trickster.  He likes to steal cookies and never admit to it.  But only vegan cookies because he loves animals.  By the way, he never lies about anything important.  Only your snacks.  He meditates every day (zen style with his eyes open) and is actually quite wise and a good friend.  If you are looking to meditate more in your life - to make friends with your inner demons...  Billy might be the perfect demon to start with as a meditation pal.  He can sit in stillness for hours.
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What's your story about Billy?  What name and story come to mind when you look at him?  Her? How about your kids?  Show them these photos and ask them to tell you a story about this gnarly guy!  Tell me what you see in the comments below!

You can find Billy for sale in my 
Etsy online shop  or contact me directly to purchase from my studio in the NE Arts District of Minneapolis, MN.  

anjeemaicreations@gmail.com
612-888-4252 call/text

Oskina the book slug´╗┐

11/13/2015

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"Oskina" | 5"t x 2.5"w x 4.5"d | Mid-fire white stoneware, glazes | Oct 2015 | Artist: Anjee Mai Emerson | $70
This is Oskina.  Oskina is pretty much the reason we call anyone a "book worm" She's not really a book worm though, she's more of a slug.  Well, she IS a slug.  
She reads like 3 books a week. That's a lot of books in a week! I probably read like one book in two weeks if I'm lucky - more like one book a month.  She reads 3 three books a week.  She reads really fast and she loves all kinds of books: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Self-Help, History, Philosophy, you name it - She's down.

So yeah, she likes to read.  But that's not all.  She's an AMAZING dancer.  You would think without any legs maybe she couldn't really get down but you'd be surprised.  I mean, she can do some crazy flips and turns and slide around, you know?  Break dance stuff- out of control head spins. Yeah - you wouldn't guess really from a book worm, right?  But that's her other "thing" she likes to do.  

She's pretty quiet and she's very cute.  I mean look at her. She's also slimy.  She's very attentive, she's a very good listener.  She doesn't say much but when she does say something it's usually pretty profound. The kind of thing that makes you stop and say to yourself, "I should probably think about that." What's she reading right now?  She's reading We've Never Been Modern , a book by Bruno Latour, her favorite philosopher.  
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What's your story about Oskina?  What name and story come to mind when you look at her?  Him? How about your kids?  Show them these photos and ask them to tell you a story about this little slug!  Tell me what you see in the comments below!

You can find Oskina for sale in my
Etsy online shop

Skleeb is good people.

11/11/2015

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"Skleeb" | 9"t x 7"w x 8"d | Mid-fire white stoneware and raku clays | Low-fire glazes | Oct 2015 | Artist: Anjee Mai Emerson | $150
My art is about fueling Imagination, entering other worlds and telling stories about the creatures that live there!  

I'd like you to meet my new friend Skleeb.  Skleeb is a cool little tentacle-y guy; he kinda squiggles around the place.  His favorite snack is olives -black or green doesn't matter- kalamata? oh yesh.  He's pretty casual.  You know, you'll just find mostly tees and hoodies in his closet. He spends a lot of his free time playing old school video games like pac man and tetris.  He has a lot of friends that he hangs out with but only has a couple really close friends.   Most of his friends think he's a little bit weird but really quiet sweet.  He loves bugs.  His favorite bug is the box elder bug.  He has three at home: Mitsy, Baxter, and FooFoo Plinkmaster.  He's not much for dancing.  He's currently single!  ;)  He's got a lot of nervous energy.. he's always tugging and pulling things, tapping his tentacle on the floor - things like that.  I never thought about this before but, maybe he likes olives so much because they are easy to pick up with his tentacles?  
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So, what's your story?  What do you see when you look at Skleeb?  How about your kids?  What do they see?  Maybe he's a skateboarder?  He does have extra "legs" to push with!

Let me know in the comments below!  

Find  Skleeb  for sale in my 
Etsy shop

Making Jewelry with Polymer

7/7/2015

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While the true mastery of my skills lies within in the art of monster making, creating jewelry with polymer clay is also something I take quite a fancy to.. Some may suppose that making jewelry sounds really difficult, what with all the metal forging, making clasps and chains, not to mention the pre-work of mining for the right ores in deep foreign caves and mountains. But I usually skip all that when my schedule gets busy and I buy chains and other jewelry supplies at art stores like Michael's, leaving the forging to the experts. 


There are really only a few things needed to make a simple pendant from polymer clay. First obviously, is the clay. Then you will need an eye pin, a chain for the necklace, and some super glue (sometimes I use liquid clay instead of super glue, but that is something to be explained in a different blog). A needle nose plier is helpful and simple metal rings are also handy, but not necessary to attach the pendant to the chain.  
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Various metal rings 
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A simple metal chain with clasp
You can make any kind of pendant you want to attach to a necklace. You could go simple with a little heart shape made of red clay, or you can be elaborate with a miniature monster, detailed with precision instruments to show emotion and thought. A quick and easy slice of bacon made from clay also makes the perfect pendant for any occasion.

Once you have decided what you want to make, all you have is follow these steps:

1. Craft your pendant from polymer clay. 
2. Once the pendant has been crafted, an eye pin will need to be inserted at the top. This is where the pendant will hang from the necklace. 
3. After the eye pin is inserted you can then bake your pendant per package instructions (275 degrees for fifteen minutes per 1/4 inch of clay). 
4. Once the pendant is finished and cooled, you can pull the eye pin out, add a dab of super glue, replace it, then let it dry.
5. Then you use the pliers to open the small metal ring (called a "jump ring") and attach it to the necklace. Squeeze shut with the pliers and your necklace is finished. 

Below I have pictured a deliciously crafted bacon pendant necklace for your viewing pleasure. 
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Thank you for reading! Feel free to leave any questions or comments. I would also love it if you posted pictures of your own handmade pendants, or even suggestions for pendants you would like to see in my shop! Have a happy clay day!

Claying Around With Friends!

6/23/2015

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This morning my studio was full of ten year old girls with eager little curious hands and lots of creativity. It was awesome. They were here yesterday and they'll be here tomorrow too. We have three hours to create and mold and bring to life all sorts of amazing little things like boxes and light switch plates and earrings. Each girl has her own sense of creativity and I get to watch as unicorns and monsters and flaming softballs are formed onto heart shaped boxes. S'mores, toilet monsters, and rainbows are made into post earrings or dangly earrings that these girls get to keep forever, along with the memories. 

Later in the day I have a camp with just two girls and when asked what they want to do they are content to just sit and make monsters for three hours. Really, what could be better than that?

I love being able to spend time with these little individuals and hearing the funny things they say. I love learning from them too. They make things out of clay that I never would have thought of doing myself and it's great knowing that even as a master monster maker, there are still tricks to the trade that I can learn from a ten year old, like adding legs to the bottom of a box so that it stands apart from all the rest. Literally. 

These summer camps are generally a three hour period of mildly structured clay time where kids can come and choose from a variety of things to do. Typically I'll get a feel for what they're in the mood for when they come in and there's usually a group agreement on a certain project, like making boxes or earrings. Sometimes they will really just sit and build and together we just make monsters until it's time for them to go home. They get to keep all their creations and I get to make stuff too and at the end of the day I'm pretty certain we all have a sense of achievement knowing we did something really super cool. 



Polymer Clay!

6/16/2015

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I've noticed that most successful people that do what I do have successful blogs so I have recently decided to jump on the successful bandwagon and start a blog of my own, which will hopefully also become successful. This blog will not be my own space for sharing my innermost thoughts and feelings of the universe and myself within and all the juicy tidbits of my personal life. That belongs in my diary hidden under my mattress locked with a secret key I keep buried in the yard. This blog is for everyone who loves all things artsy and fantastic and fun and creative! In this blog I will have ideas, instructions, information about shows, and even short stories about some of the monsters living in my studio. 

So let us jump right in and let me tell you about polymer clay. It sounds fancy and you may not be able to pronounce it, but really all it is is awesome. It's made from polymer polyvinyl chloride, or PVC and typically doesn't have any "clay" in it, but because it can be molded and then baked to a hardened "monsterific" perfection, it can be called clay. Its much better than saying, "Hey, I made a really cool monster out of Polymer polyvinyl chloride today!"

Polymer clay is a great way for anyone to play with clay, from the beginning child with wandering chubby fingers, to the accomplished adult with skill and determination. Why is it so great? Here's a few reasons:
1. Polymer clay does not dry out. (It can get a little crumbly and less moldable, but most of the time a little kneading is all it takes to make it fantastic again.) So those little chubby fingers can leave the unfinished glob of creativity on the table forever and it will remain ready to mold again, if said chubby fingers ever remember it. (Though the packaging says the age limit is 8 and up, so most beginning sculptors would probably prefer other kinds of "easier to mold" clays and "doh's")
2. Polymer clay bakes in any household oven on a low temperature for a short period of time and that's all it takes to create a forever work of art. 
3. It's easy to use, comes in a million color varieties and is super incredibly fun to play with. 


There are also a million things you can do with polymer clay. My path of creativity has led me to the world of monster making, but it doesn't stop there. With polymer you can hand build any kind of sculpture you can think of. You can also make jewelry, picture frames, light switch plates, wall hangings, and a whole bunch of other things I can't think of right now can be made from polymer clay. It's definitely may favorite thing to do of all time. 


So here's a question for all you internet people out there: What do you want to see me make out of polymer clay? Put your comments where the comments go and see if your suggestion comes to life! And don't forget to check back on my blog regularly to learn more about clay and to just see what's going on in my artsy fartsy life. 


Thanks for reading!   

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I am Anjee Mai and I love clay. I love to make monsters and smiles all day long. :) 

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