After deniseannett, I started thinking about other ways to collaborate with artists in a way that would get those involved more exposure to a wider audience. I started a thread on the "Etsy Ugly Cute" team forum with the intention of creating a collaborative project and lots of ideas were shared. One in particular was an idea inspired by designer custom toys. As you are probably aware, there is a huge community of artists taking the DIY Munny and Dunny's and painting or altering these toys to make them their own unique works of art. Since I have been creating my own small sculptures along this line, I suggested that I could make some of these available to team members so that they could paint them and offer them up for sale. It's an exciting prospect for us because of the overlap of art style, form and exposure to a new audience. They get to offer their clients a new object painted in their style while my collectors get to see a new artist's painting on a familiar sculpture.
Another thing that I am excited about is the fact that my sculptures are a more environmentally friendly alternative to the mainstream custom toys. Yea! After doing some research, I was put off by the materials that are commonly used- vinyl and resins. In order to paint that stuff you have to cover the resin with urethane based primers and frankly there's already enough plastic and vinyl filling up our landfills. So I did a lot of experimenting and eventually found a gypsum casting formulation that has been modified with acrylic fortifiers and yields a cast that is very durable, feels like porcelain and best of all it takes paint beautifully without a primer. (Using acrylic fortifiers is still not the ideal environmental solution, but is better than a solid plastic product.)
Just shipped out some pieces to team members today, so we are on our way. Hooray! Can't wait to see the results and will be sharing those images with you here ... soon - I hope!