Sketchbook Stories :: Lianne & Paul Stoddard


Lianne and Paul make up the husband and wife team that is Swirly Designs. They met while attending The New England School of Art & Design in Boston and have since combined their talents to create a business out of making handmade clay ornaments for almost any occasion. Their designs are a playful and have a contemporary spin on traditional imagery. But the best part is that each ornament is a one-of-a-kind.

Here is Lianna & Paul’s Sketchbook Story ::

L&PS: Our passion for decorating for the holidays inspired us to combine our artistic skills to create our own collection of original handmade polymer clay holiday ornaments.

L&PS: We met in art school in Boston; Paul studied illustration, while I studied graphic design. In school I was introduced to polymer clay, and I started dabbling with it creating jewelry and other items. It was fun and relaxing for me since I worked on a computer all day.

L&PS: After we were married, we were always thinking of ways to work together being creative and Swirly Designs was born. Ten years and two kids later we still love what we do and there’s never a dull moment here at the studio.

L&PS: When we are creating a new collection, we find lots of inspiration in many things. The changing seasons here in New England have a big impact on our designs and color choices. Visiting a craft store is lots of fun for us, we love to see what new products there are and how we can incorporate them into our designs. We also love to collect holiday décor such as neat gift tags, stickers, cards and magazines. We keep them in clear boxes and binders for reference. Even our studio, when it’s clean, inspires us. We surround ourselves with many trees that we’ve collected over the years, which are decorated with seasonal ornaments and of course having kids (5yr & 2 yrs) you really embrace and experience each and every holiday.

L&PS: We do lots of sketches for a collection. We start by just writing down words that come to mind when we think of the occasion. Then we’ll go to our sketchbooks and just doodle and doodle. We’ll continue to work out ornament ideas to create a nice well rounded collection. We try to have anywhere between 12-20 different ornaments per collection. Once happy with the sketches we will redraw them tighter on tracing paper and do color studies. Over the years we found that the more we have worked out in the sketch stages (details and colors etc.) it helps make the clay process go faster. These sketches are from our most recent Easter/Spring 2011 collection.

L&PS: Each and every ornament is hand-sculpted from white clay, painted and beautifully embellished. This ornament is entitled Coco Bunny Basket. We always like to experiment and try new techniques and for this ornament we added iridescent tinsel glitter for the basket grass and filled the coco bunny in resin. We were happy with the how it turned out and since it sold out very quickly online, our fans must have loved it as well!

L&PS: Our studio is always swirling with new and interesting holiday festivities and we are so blessed our ornaments have become part of so many peoples holiday traditions. 
 
L&PS: We launch 5 limited ornament collections a year on our website. Visit our website and blog to learn more about us and our handmade designs.

Here’s where you can find Lianne &  Paul ::

     website :: www.swirlydesigns.com
swirly blog ::  swirlydesignsblog.blogspot.com
   facebook :: facebook.com/pages/Swirly-Designs
      twitter :: twitter.com/#!/SwirlyDesigns



  1. I love Swirly Designs! I have been following them for a while now. They are *my* inspiration for creating a productive and prosporous home-based business. :)

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