Monday, March 09, 2009
Still here - New beads
It has to be 12 to 14 years since I last worked with polymer clay. In terms of what artists have been doing with the medium since then, that translates as more like 200 years. So the pieces above are my first baby steps back into the medium.
Not only have the techniques available multiplied like eager little bunnies, but the material itself has seen improvements. I'm starting to work with Kato clay (designed for artist Donna Kato) and finding that it's an amazing material. Like Fimo, it has to bullied into condition but it works differently. I start by literally hammering a slab of clay before rolling it and running it through the pasta machine. Apparently, this makes its' little molecules return to their proper malleable state and there is the added bonus of my getting to whack the crap out of something! Better than a spa day for tension relief! The colors are different intensities too and learning to color mix is a challenge. (With Fimo, I was pretty slap-dash and used to calculate in a bunch-of-this-little-less-of-that sort of way.)
There's a modest amount of new technology. I've bought a Dremel for buffing and have ruthlessly ripped the brushes out of a round-head electric toothbrush and double-side taped sandpaper to it. There are liquid polymers to try and paints, inks, powders.
I'm having a ball. And of course, a lot that I'll be making will need the addition of my beloved glass beads...ropes and bezels and embroidery. But for now, it's just such a gas to be challenging myself with something that, for all intents and purposes, is new.
I'm taking a year off. The last time I said that, I ended up doing the Saturn Return Gauntlet for the Mary Black Gallery. This time, I'm really going to do it. I'm going to work just for me, just for the joy of it and just to learn.