I have been an overly creative person for as long as I can remember. Recently my grandma showed me a “portfolio” of business cards I had made her when I was the ripe old age of 10. She was making scarves at that point, so I took it upon myself to make her several different business card designs so she could pick her favourite and sell her scarves. You could say that my creative gene runs down this side of the family – my mum’s side. All avid sewers from the early 90s, I grew up surrounded by lengths of fabric and colours and was always wearing homemade clothes.
As I got older, that creative streak stayed with me but the time I had to be creative got less and less. At the age of 21, I started a full-time law degree and full-time work – law and creativity (in my mind anyway) aren’t a good fit. But I stuck at it.
My current business was something I stumbled upon by accident. I was looking for an “escape” from the grind of constant work and study. So, one day whilst scrolling through Pinterest and came across air dry clay bowls. After a few weeks, a lot of airdry clay bowls and a little bit of research, I came across polymer clay. This is where it really started to take off.
Working with polymer clay has been a constant development. I have learnt how to do certain aspects of my craft all by myself. In the early stages, most people in the polymer clay world didn’t share their secrets, so I had to figure it out on my own. This is the main reason behind me making videos, so I can share what I do with people who may be trying to figure it out.
One of my favourite parts of the creative process is creating my slabs – the patterns and colours on clay that make the jewellery what they are. I get a lot of colour inspiration from Pinterest and do all the design and craft myself. I love the reactions I get when I have a finished product on my socials. I know that I’ve design something good when the number of likes go up.
I also love the feedback people give me when they get my products and wear my products in public. It is a great sense of satisfaction that I don’t get from anything else. It’s the excitement, the smiles and the “I MUST HAVE THIS” comments that go far to making me a happy girl.
Natalie Hanlon is 23 and from Newcastle, Australia. She now lives in the country’s capital, Canberra, with her partner of 3 years. Natalie is a government lawyer but has a very creative mind and is excited to collaborate with Lets Curate more. Follow her on Instagram – @frankeedesigns.