See? I ramble!

This is what I mean!

I start out trying to write a short introduction, and I end up with a wall of text that goes way in detail about something that hopefully stays a little on topic. Bear with me people!

More about me

What does Tanli stand for?

It’s actually an abbreviation of my name. Tanli is short for Tanja Lindqvist. Technically I suppose it should be Tanwa now, since I married and became a Wahlgren. But since the nickname is some 12 years old now, it has stuck.

So, who am I?

I’m a thirty-something woman who still believe I’m just over twenty years. I live outside Stockholm, Sweden, so English is not my first language.

My main interests have varied over the years. The only thing that has been a constant is my creative side, but most of the time it has been subdued by other interests. I have tried my hand at everything from comics and wall paintings to computer programming, linguistics, fast-food and childcare. My interests have ranged from science and astronomy to fantasy and web design.

My mind works so that I can be very focused on a specific subject, as long as I keep it alive. If my interest wavers, I can forget about a subject entirely for years. Sometimes the interest may pop up again, sometimes not. If I narrow it down to my creative interests, I have been into cross stitching, computer graphics, sewing, writing and painting. But when my life has gotten busy, those interests have been put on hold, sometimes never to return.

Of those, painting has been the one that has come back the most. I have a lot of materials, but the painting I make can be years apart. I can’t go and add a little every day. When I have an image in my mind I want it out as quickly as possible, preferably in one go. That’s why I work with acrylic paint. It dries quick enough for my patience. Most of my paintings are actually made over the course of one or two days. It’s not until these last years I have been trying to be a little patient and let the painting process take time.

I have tried sculpting in regular clay too. But I could never get my works to correspond to my standards and the image I had in my mind. The clay was either too stiff or dried up too early. And of course, I had to access to a proper kiln. I did try polymer clay too, way back when I was still in school, but my sculpting talent weren’t up to my own, often too high, standards. So I had pretty much gone over to painting, since three dimensional wasn’t my thing, I thought.

Then I rediscovered polymer clay. The material suits me just fine since it doesn’t dry up, so I can make changes. And it’s much more pliable than regular clay, so a lot easier to work with. And the colors! I have always loved bright colors! One of the best advantages is that I can use my own oven to cure it!

And this time, even I was pleased with the outcome, and so were others!

Polymer clay is now my main interest, and has been since 2009. This is the first time I have gotten my work out to the general public. The paintings I’ve made have usually been for family. But I also think that’s why this interest has stuck with me. People like what I make! I get positive feedback, and that keeps my interest constantly alive. And unlike the painting I am now ’claying’ a little each week. Yes, there have been dips of months in between, but the last year it has really turned into something constant. And I keep evolving. I love the possibilities that color blends, gradients and canes give me!

That I have now started with jewelry was actually completely economic. It’s easier to sell cheap pendants and necklaces than it is to sell more expensive and customized gift mugs. The amount of clay and tools I was buying didn’t justify the final income.

The problem is that I am a complete newbie when it comes to jewelry. I have never been interested in necklaces, bracelets, rings and stuff. I don’t even wear ear studs anymore. So, I’m in unknown territory, and I have no idea what people like or what is popular. So most of the times I make patterns just to experiment, and if I can make some of those experiments into jewelry and sell it, so much the better. But since I’m still experimenting and use techniques directly from tutorials, and my standards are still a little too high, my jewelry is priced accordingly, really only covering the material costs. But once I have a few techniques down and I have found my own style, then I’m ready to price accordingly as the craft it actually is.

Hello world!

Welcome to the English version of!

A short introduction:

The one writing and running this blog is me, Tanli, or Tee for short. I decided to name this blog Tanli Design, since it will mostly focus around my creative works. I work mostly with polymer clay, mainly Cernit clay. I also occasionally paint. My ’signature’ work is my animal mugs. The customer picks an animal and it’s my job to figure out a fitting way to position it around the handle of a coffee mug.

I’ve been claying since 2009 when I made my first mugs, but since fall of 2011 I’m also trying my hand at jewelry since that gives me more opportunity to experiment. And for some reason, my jewelry sales have now surpassed my mug sales!

This blog is a compliment to my Swedish portfolio, as a curtesy to all my international friends! I have been thinking a while about starting a more thorough blog than my current portfolio, which really is just that, it shows off my works. But the more I experiment with polymer clay, the more I want to document my findings. But since the polymer clay community in Sweden is practically non existant, as far as I can tell, I figured I might as well write it in English to reach a wider audience. And to stop my international friends from bugging me about translating the portfolio. 😉

The idea is that I will try to share my thoughts and ideas as I keep on experimenting. But the way my mind works will mean that I may occasionally go off on a ramble about something completely different, or go way in depth about something. If I find the time I may also dive back into my old portfolio and translate a few posts from there…