Thursday, May 6, 2010

Today's Featured Artist - Motherload Toad Factory

Today's featured artist is Robyn Martin of Motherload Toad Factory

How long have you been in business?
Most of my life, which has been long and full. I have three grown children and eight beautiful grandchildren. Next year, I will have been married (YES! To the same patient man!) 50 Years!! I come from a long line of very eccentric, creative women, who are born blessed with the ability to create almost anything. Having no formal training I am not restricted to as to how to make things I just follow my own "inner-artist."

I have owned two Gift Stores, taught an children's extended learning class "Letting your Inner-Artist Out," and professionally painted several murals.

This is part of a 25'X8' wall:

This is me working on a mural in a local Country Club Restaurant, and faux painting their walls. I rarely paint murals now...ladders and I do not get along!

I have been known to paint on almost anything.......Yes, it's a potty!

How did you get started?
I really got inspired in first grade when my teacher entered a finger painting of mine in the County Fair and it not only won first prize but was sold.
What is involved in making your craft?
 Not much thought just a "glimmer" of an idea. Generally, I have several things in the process of being created. Because most of my creations require extensive drying time...I just move on to the next item...Unfortunately, I sometimes forget to get back to some of these things and they have to wait a while for completion. I draft the pattern, sew, sculpt and paint my soft-sculpture items. Some have an inner armature to allow them to stand.  I now am fascinated with soft sculpture mainly crows and other birds, who knows what next week will bring? Several dolls have been waiting to get completed. 
This is the latest: Malachite and Magenta Magpie

AND the Crow Family Pineapple Luau

What is your favorite thing to make?

My real love is paper mache. I have always loved this medium. I make my own paper mach pulp from scratch using my "secret formula." The largest project was a float for a local parade. I paper mached my husbands entire pick-up truck into a blue-eyed, giant green  dinosaur...and then rode on top holding reins made of ribbon. The next year the truck became a covered wagon pulled by a giant Monarch Butterfly...the following year my husband sold his truck!! Now, I mainly create smaller, decorative items like pumpkins and pineapples but I am tempted whenever I see a pick-up truck!

Do you have set hours to work?

No! I am inclined to be a night-owl.....I do work? (what's that?) in my studio several hours every day.

What are your future plans for your business?

I rarely plan anything....wonderful things just happen!

What does handcrafting mean to you?

I am an Artist, always have been and always will be---handcrafting IS me!
Where do you sell your crafts at?
And also a boutique I help organize and run every year locally.
The Gold Dust Boutique at the Mace Meadow Golf and Country Club in Pioneer,CA-- Nov. 5th-6th

Some of Robyn's adorable animal patterns.