Sunday, November 11, 2007

Polymer Clay Community

I have been using polymer clay since 1982 and started teaching it in 1987. Polymer clay has been in my home since and I assume it'll be there when I die. I've joked with my kids that at my funeral I want everyone to take home a clay souvenir. (they don't think it's funny, but I'm serious about it)..

Through my experience and journey with clay I've never joined a clay group, a swap or taken a class. I just love it so much, I dove in and found it was something I was good at. I've never considered myself an elitist or part of the "art" community when it comes to clay. I do my thing, you do yours. I admire other people's work and am inspired by some. A lot of people know who I am because of all of the shows I've done and now, because of the Internet. I still have a day job though, cause I've never been quite able to only live on my clay alone. It supplements my income and satisfies my creative cravings.

So, it really amazes me at all of the negative postings I've read on some clay forums in regard to the Polyform/Donna Dewberry partnership. A lot of clay "divas" are mad that they weren't consulted or chosen to be a part of the decisions of the clay and some complain about the certification. Some didn't bother applying for it, so they have nothing to whine about. Others did, but were cynical and negative. I personally applied cause I didn't want to miss out on it and thought it would be fun. If something comes of it, cool. If not, I'm not going to be disappointed.

When I read the comments that people make on the boards, I wonder where their egos come from. Some of the complaints: that they weren't chosen to be a part of it, they weren't consulted about the new clay , they doubt the competence of the manufacturers , they make fun of the trainers and they even have made fun of the names of the clay colors. I've noticed an arrogance mixed in with a lot of ignorance and wrong assumptions.

I've not made any comments on my own on the boards. It's a waste of time to argue and try to justify what Polyform has done. My goodness, they've been in business for 30 plus years and they sell clay around the world. The polymer diva's who buy clay couldn't have kept them in business that long. Too bad these complainers couldn't have taken the factory tour with me. They'd soon realize that the thousands and thousands of bars of clay that were EVERYWHERE weren't being sold to just an elite few.

My opinion is that polymer clay is what it is to the person that is using it. If you make stunningly beautiful canes and it takes you hours to complete a piece then I can see how you would feel that your piece is valuable and an expression of art. Maybe it can go into the Smithsonian Museum. Or maybe you are like me and make cute little characters that make people smile. Finally, you might be a 6 year old cutting out a Christmas ornament and baking it for your mother. Each one of us feels our work is meaningful. It's not the median we use, but what we do with it.

Clay is like crayons. Some people scribble and others make beautiful artwork.

Here are two links to show what can be done with crayons....

Jeffery Robert

The Crayon Artist

Now let's all stop arguing about the medium and start creating with it.:)

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