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How it all came together to create
The Potted Frog

Reynold and I left our large and very unique turn of the century home in Victorian Nyack – on - Hudson, New York in the summer of 1993 ready to begin a new adventure in Southern Florida. We bought a house and set up an office for him and a studio for me. We soon discovered that each evening at sundown, enormous toads and frogs that had hidden from the heat of the day would hop out onto our driveway en mass covering it entranced and motionless under the fluorescent light of the driveway’s street lamp. We began to call our new home Frog City and people began bringing us all manner of Froggy gifts.

Just as we settled into our home, Reynold accepted an overseas consulting position with Avon Products. We closed up the house and moved to Guangzhou (Canton) in Southern China to live and work. We began life there in a dimly lighted one-room space in a hotel. It was cold and gray with thickly polluted air and no sunshine. No one knew I existed. I had to make a life for myself since Reynold traveled a good deal of the time and worked long hours. There were no options for diversion such as I knew in the Western world. 

I attended the Guangzhou International Women’s Club meeting and it saved my life. I said, “YES” to joining every activity I could and volunteered for whatever I could do for the group. As a result, the following Tuesday I appeared with the hotel sewing kit in one hand and the $2.oo membership dues in the other, for my first of many weekly QUILTER’S CLUB meetings. That was it…I was in love with doing “stuff” with fabric. 

Upon returning to the States I began taking more quilting classes and returned to the study of pottery at a nearby college. Of course, the Frog was appearing in all my art. While attending a quilt expo in which two of my quilts were on exhibit, I happened into a vendor’s booth and saw a pattern for a frog doll. Dear me, that was the beginning. I bought the pattern knowing nothing about making sculptural things with fabric. I signed up for a class and learned how to make that frog. Visitors to my home saw my frogs sitting on the stairs and wanted to know where to buy them. Upon saying that I made them I began getting orders.

I soon realized that it was time for me to choose a business name that was both meaningful and different enough to be remembered by my customers. Hence the POTTED FROG was born and people called me “the frog lady.”  I joined the Sand Dollr’s Doll Club of South Florida and began making dolls more and more often, while working less frequently in my outdoor pottery studio. I signed up for all the workshops I could with the doll artists that came to this area and spent nearly every minute working in my studio at improving my skills and techniques as a doll artist. 

After some time elapsed I knew that the urge to design my own dolls, publish my own patterns and teach doll making was growing ever stronger. I was asked to teach a workshop concentrating on needle sculpting a cloth doll face to the Sand Dollr’s club which was received with great enthusiasm. I felt exhilarated to be teaching once again. Not long afterwards, invitations to teach workshops elsewhere began to come in. I am now designing and publishing my own patterns, teaching and working in the studio full time.

I love to work in many different medias and while I long to return to my potter’s wheel the dolls keep pulling me away. I am deeply in love with color and it’s combinations, textures and luster. When I am not working on some aspect of a doll I am learning about a new beading technique or surface design embellishment and products to use. I was invited to design the logo for the Sand Dollr’s Cloth Doll Club, which I gladly accepted. The logo now appears on the club’s stationary, membership cards, T Shirts and most recently it was translated into a peyote stitch amulet necklace or purse beading kit. You will immediately recognize a Sand Dollr’s member at We Folk or Doll U by our club’s T-shirt.

My first published pattern was Critter Cushions, which was followed by Gilda and Glenda the Guardian Grannies. I then published Fairie-Kins and Spa Goddess. In addition to the doll patterns I have published several beaded bracelet patterns: Bead Encrusted Bangle Bracelet and Diamonds and Ice. 

 

Copyright © 2002 Marcia Acker-Missall
For Comments or Questions contact: potdfrog@bellsouth.net
All Patterns Copyright by Marcia Acker-Missall, The Potted Frog. 
All Rights Reserved
Last Updated 16 December 2003