Sunday, July 12, 2009


Every artist/crafts person who creates likes to know what the trends are, especially if they are busy in their studio working. I rarely get a chance to get out and visit shows so besides using my imagination and skill, I have to rely on the Internet to inform me of what the latest trends are.

Trends are important to follow and no matter what your craft is, you can find a way to make your product fit the trend.

For instance, recycling or "going green" is a very social and cultural movement right now, especially with younger consumers. Working with polymer clay makes it a bit difficult to have a green craft, since the product is a man made "plastic" clay, but I have tried to incorporate broken pieces into collage. I also use as much of the clay as possible, even when it turns a mushy gray, I try to find some way to be creative with it.

The first time I really tried to consciously recycle my clay, I glued several broken clay babies together, in a monstrous heap. There were feet and heads and bodies all intertwined together. It was grotesque. I thought a little paint might help so I spray painted it black (there's an environmentally sound idea) It was so hideous, I threw it away. But, my heart was in the right place.

Following that idea of green crafting, I save interesting packaging, labels, tea bag boxes, colorful papers and ribbons to use on artist trading cards and collage. I also recycle bags and tissue for shipping. I live in a very small home, so it's a challenge. But, I'm trying to work that "trend" into something marketable.

Since most trends last 5 to 10 years, it's worth it for me to explore recycling into my creations.

Going green is just one trend. Here's a website that lists trends for 2009 and 10. Professional Crafters. This is a site worth bookmarking!

I found a great series of articles from The Artful Crafter. The series is called, The Trend is Your Friend. The writer shares great tips for finding trends, making them work for you, and differentiating your work, so that it stands out from the crowd.

Of course, all trends involve color, and that's my favorite part. When I did a search on color trends, I found sites for hair color trends (yes! Burgundy is still in!), fashion color trends (rapture rose and warm olive), car color trends (Blues and Greens for next year), and web site color trends (check them out).

When it comes to deciding what the color trends are for crafts, it would depend on what your product is. If it is home decor, then, naturally, you would follow home decor color trends. Do you make Jewelry or design clothing? Then obviously you would be interested in following the color trends of the fashion industry.

Even if you make holiday crafts like Christmas or Halloween, it's smart to follow those trends. Halloween trends have gone from cute and whimsical to vintage, retro and primitive. Although Christmas colors can be red and green or blue and silver, purple has started to grow in popularity.

Don't be afraid to follow a trend. It's not about copying or be unoriginal, it's about staying up to date and fresh. Don't stay stuck in a rut, making the same things you made 10 years ago. I know a woman who's craft display table looks the same now as it did when I met her, and that was 15 years ago. She uses fabric, ribbons and materials that she bought 15 years ago. Although I talked about being environmentally conscious, sometimes an artist has to have current materials to work with, or else take those old supplies and collage them, paint over them, stain them, transform them into something innovative and "trendy"!

I have been working with polymer clay since 1982 and there are some things I still make that I've made from the beginning. Teddy bears and bunny rabbits, little dolls, Christmas and Halloween ornaments, etc. However, I'm forever experimenting with other products and ideas, incorporating them into my clay. Sometimes it's a disaster, other times the out come is wonderful. When I noticed that cupcakes were popular, you better believe that a LOT of my clay babies were sitting on cupcakes, holding cupcakes or eating cupcakes. In fact, Polyform Products just purchased a few of my designs, one being cupcakes!

To get you started on your quest for the latest trends, here are a few more links.

Beautiful Website of Color Trends

Craft Trends

Handmade Trends

Scrapbooking Trends

Jewelry Trends

Remember Friendly Plastic? Website

I hope this article inspires you to pay attention to trends and to become more innovative with your crafting materials. Remember this. Trends fade in and out, but good workmanship and pride in what you do never does.

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