Friday, February 22, 2008

Why I LOVE polymer clay

I love polymer clay for its versatility. Polymer clay without a doubt is one of the most innovative materials created specifically for a sculpting medium, I feel like it’s the play dough from my childhood that I never had, but always wanted. As a kid, I always made ducks and geese from play dough but when it hardened it would crack and you couldn’t reconstitute it if It dried out. Ceramics of course is the boss, once fired it is super strong, much stronger than any polymer clay, but it also naturally dries out if not kept wrapped and unless its porcelain, you cannot put extremely fine details into it. Along comes polymer clay, a material not exactly taken seriously as a medium in the art world (yet!) but for jewelry makers and sculptors of craft, it’s a Godsend, it stays soft until you bake it (dont wait too long though, or it will crumble!) and you can make it as hard or soft as you want by adding or taking away oils from it.
I want to praise polymer clay today by speaking of its awesome color palette which can be mixed to make new, never before seen, and even custom colors. I recently made a figure I wanted to dress in a patchwork skirt, so I took some colors of clay, some solid primary colors, the others mixed varieties, and cut squares out with a needle tool, after affixing these to a piece of base clay, I ran it through a pasta machine, what I got was two beautiful pieces of clay “cloth” to use on my new gypsy girl. One has elongated rectangles with the colors stretched out and edges blended, and the other is an exquisite rainbow blend of smeared colors, I used both to create a skirt which is both unique, and bohemian, as if my little lady made the skirt herself from various fabrics. Another cool thing about polymer clay is that if you do all this work and hate it, you can just paint over it with acrylics!

below, the work space all ready to go, quilt/patchwork beind done on the right

below, our gypsy waiting to be dressed up

below, showing pieces of polymer clay being affixed to the patchwork area, there are both primary and mixed or created colors here

This is plenty enough colors and size for my purposes so I stop here and run it though the pasta machine

I end up with these two awesome pieces, although im in love with the one on the bottom, I use both for her skirt.

A completely unique one of a kind skirt fit for a bohemian gypsy.

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