Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Making the Jump

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.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Big Day Plus One

My coughing is almost gone thank God (apparently I had bronchitis). It subsided enough for me to have a great day at The Radius Gallery. My husband helped plan a demo table with several in progress pieces because he predicted, correctly, that I would do more talking/explaining than actual demonstrating. Although my process is wildly less complex, I was inspired by the poster of what goes into making one of her pieces that Louise Fischer Cozzi hangs in her booth at the ACC Show.

I did give a brief demo on how I made my "Fragment" rings to several people (several of whom were children which is fine with me because they are always a little more willing to give an enthusiastic "wow!" when I am finished). The Crimsons Red one is now in the etsy shop.

The gorgeous weather affected typical Sunday attendance at the museum I was told. Actually for this being my first such event the numbers were just right and I had a couple gaps between people visiting my table so I could re-squash clay and rest my throat. I had a nervous stomach on the way there but it was amazing, once people started asking questions I was totally fine. When I saw that someone was generally interested that was all it took for me to relax.

I read and researched all last week to prepare for the "what is polymer clay made of" questions and not one single person asked me that. Kind of funny. Not a waste of time though because I know a lot more about the material than I did just 7 days ago and knowledge is never a waste.

Here is the lovely glass display that is filled with just my work for the entire month! As I look at this photo I am reminded again of all the people (included the curator Morgan and his assistant Jessica) who have come along side me, supported me and given me opportunities to show my work over the past 3 years.