Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Off the Deep End

No, I'm not talking about the side of the gene pool my family evolved from. In fact those of you that have actually met me know very well the shallow end is most likely where the Waddells got their start. I'm actually referring to the studio name of the folks I'm about to introduce to you.

The handsome couple to the right are Mary-Anne and Bill Collins. Since we've last crossed paths they've added a most precious young man to their clan. Meet six-month-old Aidan! It seems Aidan is already an "old-timer" living the life of carnie folk! If I'm not mistaken, Artsplosure was his 8th festival this season having already visited the state of Florida earlier in the spring. Let me repeat: Aidan is 6-months-old!

Talk about jealous! I truly wish me and Joan could ourselves have a "do-over" and have the opportunity to travel with Jessie during those early years. Unfortunately hindsight is 20/20 and so telling you about the Collins family will have to suffice.

Mary-Anne is the artist of the family. This is her tenth year of working full-time at her craft. Bill joined her a year or two later and neither regret the decision to live the life of traveling artists! When Aidan was born it was a no-brainer adding him to the entourage.

Not only is the little guy handsome but he had an awesome personality to go with the looks. During the two full, long, and fairly warm days as a neighbor I heard nary a fuss. He's obviously ready to embrace mother's art and keep it a family tradition!

Mary-Anne's creations are made with polymer clay. I'm privy to the process she uses but some things artists share with each other are better left as a secret. That's not to say that her work would be easy to accomplish. Her works require a great deal of skill and patience. She is also very clever with her designs which include Cat Fish (pictured to the right), Blow Fish (above), Mermaids (below) and Dog Fish. She also sculpts other critters such as bugs, lizards, and frogs.

These whimsical characters are brightly colored and bring a smile to their collectors. She also has some functional pieces that include light switch covers and pull-chains for ceiling fans. There are no molds involved so each sculpture is one of a kind.

Just like Larry & Gail Smith from a few weeks back, I found that not only are they a charming and special family but their art is unique and worth bringing to your attention. The Collins do not have a website but they can be reached at

I look forward to sharing more artists' stories and their crafts in the coming months. It is honestly a privilege to get to know folks like Bill, Mary-Anne, and Aidan. I hope you get to meet them as well somewhere along The Artistic Highway!


Kyla said...

8 shows in 6 months! Wow, Aidan has been a busy young man. Those pieces are amazing! The details are very intricate.

moosh in indy. said...

Next purchase after a Waddell mural.

creative-type dad said...

Very nice stuff!