Duality – The Concept & The Challenge

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Duality by KatersAcres

For most of us, we are a Duality: Happy and sad. Sick and Well. Good and bad. Right and wrong. Rich and Poor.

For many of us there is one side that shows more than the other. Today we will see both of those sides, look at them, see what they show, what they mean … and even discover whether they can work together in your clay work, or not.

Your Grumpy Side:

Your Grumpy Side of Duality by Katie OskinLet’s face it, we all have a Grumpy side. Whether it’s when we wake up on the wrong side of the bed, don’t get our way, get a lousy cup of coffee, don’t like a certain person, or just plain have a bad day. But few of us always have a Grumpy side. A Grumpy side is okay every once in awhile, but Grumpy sides can have long term side effects in many ways that are both physical, emotional, psychological, and can even effect your claying ability (gasp! Say it isn’t so)!

Take a look your Grumpy Side, shown at the far left. Let’s notice a few of the examples he’s sadly displaying:

  • Notice all the wrinkles at his eyes and above his mouth due to a failure to enjoy life. This is sad and such a shame.
  • Notice the blue crystals, a sure sign of permanent tears that come from deep inside and sometimes even show on the outside too.
  • Notice the drooping ears; see, it doesn’t just happen to puppy dogs!
  • Notice the dark eyes, his sadness has made his eyes dark and they have lost their sparkle.
  • Look at the drooping jowls. This is just plain sad all over again. Who wants drooping jowls to begin with?!

Life is too short to begin and end your day Grumpy. Each and every day you are given the choice to be happy and to choose happiness, in spite of yourself, your struggle, and your situation. What will you choose?

Your Happy Side:

Your Happy Side of Duality by Katie OskinAh yes! The perverbial Mr. Happy Pants. The person that everyone loves to hate. [Why is that anyway?] Your Happy side is that part of you that is always a joy to be around. That part of you that makes others laugh and smile. That part of you that is encouraging, uplifting, and jovial. Maybe you are always that person. Maybe you aren’t that person enough. Maybe you want to be that person.

Take a look your Happy Side, shown at the far right. Let’s notice a few of the examples he’s happily displaying:

  • Bright, sparkling eyes, filled with wonder & hope.
  • Bright red cheeks filled with excitement.
  • Eyes lifted with joy & wonder.
  • Huge smile & parted lips ready for adventure.
  • Ears perked ready to listen.

This Happy person takes life one day at a time. He doesn’t worry about tomorrow but instead gets through just today, knowing that tomorrow will come and he can worry about that then. He’s Happy. He’s content.

Can You Be Both?

Duality by KatersAcresWe are one. Yet we are two. People are a mixture. Rarely are people solely one and not a tiny bit of another. The reality is that we are both. Most of us during the majority of our lives are rarely one side more than the other. This is my first piece of the new year. We are two, yet we are one.  But yet, is it possible to be a Duality, and yet still be whole? Yes. In fact, I believe that is what makes us human. It’s being able to cry and then smile knowing how silly it was to cry over spilled milk. It’s being able to laugh and then weep knowing we shouldn’t have laughed at such a tragedy. That’s the glorious part of being human and that the part that we need to embrace. That’s our Duality. Our humanity. Our endearing quality of life that separates us from animals.

Duality & Your Clay Work:

Duality by Katie Oskin of KatersAcresEvery time I sit in my studio I let the clay and my imagination guide me. Some days I have a character already in mind or a story in my head. Other days I just scratch an itch that’s been there for awhile. And yet sometimes I just “play,” although I admit those days are more rare. But more often than not, my “work” consists of coming up with projects and tutorials for you fine folks. However, for those of you who know me well you know my imagination is active, wild, and often story based. For me, this leads to characters, whimsy, playfulness, and often creatures. This mean that my journey with clay rarely leads down a path of jewelry or hard and fast black and white “rules” of how to do something or how to execute a certain technique.

While that doesn’t mean that I’m “grumpy” or “happy” it does mean that only “half” of my Duality nature may actually be in play at any one given time. That’s the primary reason that I created this piece. Duality is my personal reminder to myself (and to you) that you do have a choice in what decision you make not only in your life, but in your clay world too. You choose what you will make, how you will make it, how you will execute it, how you will display it, and how you will market it. But you need to remember to explore all facets of yourself and your art. If you love mixed media, knitted, sewing, and counted cross stitch in addition to polymer clay – then be sure you’re immersing yourself into those loves too. Do not restrain yourself! Fulfill yourself and and your need for art.

What Duality are you in life? In your art? Are you more one sided than another? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

My 2017 Polymer Clay Challenge

#2017PCChallenge Week 1 "Duality" by Katie Oskin of KatersAcres
#2017PCChallenge Week 1 “Duality” by Katie Oskin of KatersAcres

The 2017 Polymer Clay Challenge has begun and this is my first piece this year [you can visit my new gallery for 2017 here]. It took me awhile to decide on exactly what I wanted to challenge myself to this year. There has been a lot that I have done in the past and things that I still want to do (like continue making my ‘Schrumes and faces). But there are also things my artistic soul yearns to do … like growchange and morph.

I want to spend the majority of this year in exploration of myself, my art, and my joy and see what happens. I want to explore my own personality as an artist … I want to see what happens. Let the evolution begin.
Thanks for joining me today,

Happy Claying,



1 thought on “Duality – The Concept & The Challenge

  1. Love this post Katie! I’ve just started some simple face sculptures. The expressions are the hardest part for sure. I’m only about 4 faces in, so I’m trying to pace myself and practice the features first. But it annoys me that they all seem to have the same sort of vacant expression so far.
    I also know what you mean by duality in claying. Some days, I have so many things I want to do at my clay table I end up skipping meals. Other days I have to drag myself to try and finish a project I’ve left half done. I’m trying to give myself time to recharge creative juices and naturally gravitate back to the clay table, but it’s not always easy.
    Looking forward to your personality expressions this year!

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