Claire (stillpointworks and the NEXT BEND) and I have talked about how artists with varying backgrounds translate their training into the language of polymer clay. She and I both found the material when we found ourselves without full studios up and running (her/glass and me/metal).
Admittedly I have sometimes gotten stuck because my initial big ideas still appear in metal. But a recent epiphany reminded me, re-energized me, regarding the power of polymer. Goes as follows.
Metal can be textured using heat, hammering, stamping, piercing and so on. I could do this in thick sheet metal by annealing (heating) and then using a cross peen hammer.
The metal would not be bright blue unless I made some other changes afterward (patina, enamel) and would require some more time and materials and tools. And if I did not like what I had made or I messed up I could not do this...
...and start all over again.
During my demonstration at the museum two weeks ago some really nice folks stood and chatted and asked questions for quite some time. The husband was taken aback at what he thought was the high cost of such a "tiny brick of the stuff" (polymer) and "my, what an expensive craft it must be". I asked him what he thought the same size brick of sterling silver would cost. Raised eyebrows all around - point taken.
This is not to say that I have lost my love of metalwork or that I still don't think of designs where truthfully, only metal would do. But I am learning to enjoy the ease and speed at which I can work through design ideas in polymer and relish the translation process.