One of the things I love most about polymer clay is the way it feels in my hands. As a sculptor I feel something in clay that many others do not get to feel with polymer. I get to literally push, pull, and manipulate clay in a way that many only dream of doing. If you’ve followed this site for any length of time now, you know that I love making fantasy characters and imagining things in a new way (but most especially in my own way).
This month I invited the talented Amy K Hucks to tell us about her art and what she enjoys making with polymer clay. [You can see that interview here if you missed it.] One of the things that we wanted to do for each other was to create some art for each other and follow in the footsteps of what Bettie Randles Griffin and I had done earlier [read all about that swap here]. So over a nice little chat, Amy and I spent some FaceTime together (pssssst Amy, we should do that again) and came up with a fun project.
Amy lives in Indiana. Katie lives in Pennsylvania. So after some lively FaceTime conversations, some laughter, note comparisons and a whole lot of shenanigans … we finally came up with a project that sounded fun and like something we both wanted to do. Amy and I agree to make each other a dragon! For this project there were really no “rules” per se, just a general “free reign” to be true to our style and to adhere to our deadline of when to ship. We also chose to allow each other to name the dragons upon the arrive in each other’s homes.
The Dragon Swap
Amy for Katie, “Hawthorne the Terrible”
Hawthorne the Terrible is a polymer clay dragon that was made in a white elephant exchange frame Amy received the previous Christmas. He is a gorgeous green color with fantastic golden accents and eyes that pop as soon as you see him. His vicious teeth let you know that Hawthorne means business! Although it’s hard to see in the picture, he “ripples” at the side of the frame as he’s popping right out of the frame. The way his paws grab onto the frame and make him appear to pop right out is just adorable. Amy sculpted the dragon from Premo Accents polymer clay, added details with chalks and metallic rub ons. She also added a coat of resin onto his eyes to make his eyes look real!
You can take a class with Amy this year on the Polymer Clay Adventure too. Don’t forget to check that out either.
Katie for Amy, “Bolong”
I made Amy my interpretation of an ancient Chinese inspired dragon. Chinese dragons are part serpent and part snake. Usually my Chinese dragons are jointed with large limbs and cute bodies; but this one had to be different and had to be special. I rarely make 2D sculptures, but Amy regularly makes them and enjoys doing so. So this dragon was a nod to her and the art she likes to make as well. Lately with many of my pieces I have enjoyed making a mixed media background that compliments or matches the piece in some way. I knew right away that Amy’s dragon had to be tough, strong, bold, and brave. Few colors capture that like black, white, and red. So his 5×7 backer board would also have those compliments. The mixed media background uses acrylics, decoupage, stamping, & oil pastel techniques. The dragon was made using Premo polymer clay with a variety of techniques. Chalk pastels and acrylics were used to add details. Bolong also incorporates gorgeous vintage Swarovski Crystals.
Dragon Swap Thoughts
This is now the second 1-to-1 blind swap like this I’ve done. I really enjoyed the process and thought it was a lot of fun. While the time frame for this project was much shorter than my previous swap, I still had a lot of fun creating my dragon for Amy. There’s always something unique about creating art for someone and knowing exactly where it’s going. I had a really great time doing this Dragon Swap with Amy and would definitely enjoy doing another project with another artist like this in the future.
Thanks for joining me today,
Looking to Do a Swap of Your Own?
Doing a one-to-one swap with another artist can be a lot of fun. Artist swaps require a couple of things however. I would advise that you know the artist you are swapping with either personally or by reputation. I would also advise that you have seen the work of the artist you are swapping with so you know the quality of their work. I also advise at minimum a phone conference to work out details of exchange timeframes, working timeframes, and shipping deadlines. Swaps like this one and the one I did with Bettie are large endeavors and take more time, planning, and execution than a regular group swap. These swaps are very rewarding if done well with a partner and sculptor you trust. Enjoy!