All this week at The Blue Bottle Tree and KatersAcres Facebook pages, we have been discussing your voice in polymer clay. We’ve garnished your feelings, thoughts, opinions, and even been surprised by how others define our individual voice. While I can’t fill you in on all the details of Ginger and my time together (details on Monday); I can talk a little more about your voice in polymer clay and developing it.
On Tuesday I posted this photo and asked the following question:
Where would YOU use a pile of crystals like this in your clay work?
There was a lot of answers and most related to using the crystals on jewelry. The possibilities for using crystals in your polymer clay jewelry and pendants is very on-trend. There are literally hundreds of things you can combine with polymer clay that work well and play well together. This lovely Gold Bug pendant made by Ginger Davis Allman from The Blue Bottle Tree features both the use of crystals and metal filigree into this completely adorable piece. Not sure how to use crystals, let them pop, and still allow their beauty to shine through? Check out this article Ginger wrote.
For many people (myself included) who do not make a lot of jewelry incorporating these beauties can seem challenging and at times a daunting possibility. But here’s the reality, crystals, glass stones, and even wooden beauties combine beautifully with clay and make for some interesting design possibilities. To showcase this point, here’s a darling little dragon I made several years ago from polymer clay. This adorable little dragon features a huge glass cabochon in her belly. She also features a multi-faceted crystal right above her eyes and last but not least, cubic zirconia golden chain I cut into bits to show off that lovely glass cab! Even if you don’t “do jewelry” there’s no reason you can’t add some of these lovely sparkly bits into your work.
Today I asked you this question on FaceBook:
If you had no constraints on time, budget, or learning, what would you do to develop your own voice and grow in your polymer clay work?
To answer this for myself, if money were not a constraint, I would travel the world taking classes from some of my favorites. From Christi Friesen, Debbie Crothers, Donna Greenburg, Lisa Renner, Doreen Kassel, Dee Schiller, Carol Simmons and many other artists. In every single class I have ever taken, I have never ONCE walked away without learning something I couldn’t apply to my own work. I love learning and taking classes; they push me, stretch me, and challenge me.
Here’s the thing … in order to be an “artist” it means that you are constantly learning, growing, changing, and altering the way that you do something. Your voice in polymer clay also should not only shine through, but change over time. A true artist is fearless, tries new things, and is constantly evolving their process. A perfect example of this change over time is Miner Schrume. If you look at Parker and his beautiful simplicity and you compare it to Miner Schrume … they are lightyears apart in both style, design, composition, and personality. But yet … it’s still me. It’s still my voice. There’s still the same broad expression and whimsical playfulness, yet in a more complex scale. As artists, we should be pushing our limits, touching new boundaries, and learning with every step along our journey. For any artist, a look back to see where you came from can be frightening, but also exploratory. See if in those early pieces you can see your “voice” shining through. And then challenge yourself not to stop growing, exploring, or redefining what it is you do as an artist with a unique voice. After all … there is only one you.
Thanks for joining me today,