Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Featured Exhibitor: Hopelark


Lauren Elisa makes amazing clay figurines, fairy houses, and all kinds of clay embellished products.  Her work is full of vibrant colors and joy!


Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Lauren Elisa, and I work with polymer clays to make all kinds of gifts and home décor. I love the versatility and bright colors of polymer clays. I’ve used clay to bring color and joy to pens, glassware, crochet hooks, keychains, wall art, and candleholders. My favorite products are my cuties, little cartoon-style figurines that bring delight to kids and grown-ups alike. I also love the fairy houses, these intricately detailed houses sculpted around a 4oz jam jar, so the roof twists off for a secret hiding place.

What’s the latest thing you’ve been working on?

I’m currently working on a large mosaic of individually sculpted square inch tiles. I’m utilizing some of the concepts I’ve learned in zentangle, using many different small patterns to create a larger picture. I can’t wait to be able to exhibit the piece at a show!

Will you be featuring any special holiday items?

One of my most popular pieces is my nativity set. I originally made it just for my daughter. I think a nativity set that is safe for kids to play with is a great way for them to become familiar with the Christmas story, so I intended to buy one for my little one. I was disappointed that all the sets I could find had a baby Jesus with blue eyes and blonde hair. My set features six different skin tones, including a black angel and brown Jesus. Adults love the rich colors and intricate details; kids love that the set is sturdy enough for enthusiastic play.

What do your customers love most about your products?

I try to put joy into everything that I make, and I think my customers really respond to that. My pieces are full of color, and combine geometric and organic patterns to create a feeling of stability. The images I use are intricate and easily accessible. When customers see my work, they respond with delighted surprise. I love hearing children call to their parents to “come look at this!”


What do you think sets your designs apart from others?

A lot of artwork is about making sense of pain, and that is an awesome way to deal with pain and communicate to others that they aren’t alone. I’ve done that kind of artwork in other mediums like drawing and poetry, but my clay work is about joy and fun. It’s about reconnecting with the playful imagination we remember from childhood. I want my work to go into people’s homes as a source of joy, a reminder that life can be simple and lovely.

What has been your favorite moment since creating your business?

A woman at a show once asked me if I would make a clay-embellished goblet in the style of her mother’s porcelain urn. I guess the urn had somehow become lost to her, but she had a picture of it. Working from that picture, I tried to get as close to the original as I could using blending and caning techniques. After I shipped it, I got a message from the woman that she’d cried when she opened my box. She said, “It’s like I have a little bit of my mother back.”

What advice do you have for other creators?  

Make lots of things.  Make as many things as you possibly can.  Pretend everything you make is amazing until everything you make is amazing.  Is it important?  Is it great?  Will anyone buy it?  It doesn't matter, just keep making things.  Keep making things like crazy and you'll find your voice, and what you have to say is important.  Keep making things and you'll hone your skills until what you make is great.  If you end up making something important and great, people will want to buy it.  


Check out more Hopelark products online, and be sure to stop by their booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 1-3, 2019 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!




Posted by Admin at 3:24 PM  ⁙  1 COMMENTS

CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors
Rhonda Olson  ⁙  Thursday September 12, 2019 @ 5:51 PM

I knew Lauren when she was 5 and just beginning to use clay to express her unique creativity. It is incredible to see how she has given wings to that passion and brought so many people joy in the process. I’m happy to have the Nativity set that my 11 grandkids can handle and enjoy.