Monday, June 4, 2007

Play Time

I spent most of the weekend playing. I had lots of work to get done in preparation for a show next weekend, and in anticipation of a photographer coming to take pictures in my studio. Instead I started exploring some ideas that had been playing around in my head.

It was interesting to see the twists and turns an idea takes when it goes from concept to clay. Reality has to be incorporated in unanticipated ways. But it engages me. As much as I knew I had work to be done, the idea of problem solving was more intriguing.

I will give you just a hint right now. I am getting close to working out some designs. But nothing is ready for photography yet. It is different from work I have been doing, yet complimentary to the pod series I started a few months back. I am using the Sculpey Ultralight, after being inspired by a conversation with Libby Mills. And the original kernel of an idea came from a book by Lark Books, The Art of Jewelry: Paper Jewelry by Marthe Le Van.

The bracelet on the cover was the piece that inspired me. I have ended up far, far away from that piece, but I am excited about the direction it is going in. I hope to have pictures later this week.

The Sculpey Ultralight is wild stuff. Libby got me intriqued when she told me how great it was for applying ink, pencil, paint, etc. She compared it to a high quality paper. I knew then that I had to play with this stuff. It is so very light and flexible. It feels a bit foam like. But the weight is fantastic for jewelry, along with it's clay like properties.

I love the book by the way. It is full of some wonderful work, and it gets my gears going about possible ways to translate some of it into polymer clay. When I first started working in polymer clay, each book about polymer clay was full of inspiration and new ideas for playing with clay. Yet right from the beginning, I found I was experimenting with translating ideas from other media to clay.

How do you look at a book? Is it a book of projects or ideas to play with? I enjoy seeing the projects as launching points. The project is an entry inside one person's head to understand how they work. But invariably asking and exploring what could be done from there.
It feels good to have spent time playing and exploring. My muse needed this time. But I do have to get down to the real work at hand very, very soon.


Libby said...

Beware, Ultralight can be addictive as long as you get used to it's very strange characteristics. It's a bit more manageable mixed with regular polymer clay.

That's a great book. UL would be a perfect material for some of the concepts in that book. Cynthis Toops did some bracelets a bit like the cover bracelet out of patterned Fimo. The look reminds me a bit of a rolodex.

Anonymous said...

Hi. It seems that you have some ties to Asheville, NC, my home. Lark Books is located here, you know. And so is Christine Kane who is listed as one of your favorite links. You must come to visit one day if you have not already. I just discovered your blog and am really enjoying it. I will be back for a visit.

Judy said...

Libby, you are right about the Cynthia Toops look to the bracelet. But what actually appealed to me was the construction of the piece. I was intrigued by the possiblities of that process in other materials.

Frivoltea, I have been to Asheville, twice. First to attend an Outward Bound program more than 20 years ago, (my, oh my, those years do fly!), and again a few years ago to attend the Arts Business Institute Program. That gave me a chance to visit downtown a bit, and go to some of the galleries. It is a beautiful area. I want to bring my family down for a visit one of these days.

Anonymous said...

Hi Judy. What is the Arts Business Institute Program? I have not heard of that. Who puts it on and is it held here in Asheville? I'm curious about this.

Judy said...

The Arts Business Institute seems to have melded into the Visiting Artist Program by the Rosen Group. But Haywood Community College has often sponsored a three day seminar in the spring. You can learn more on their website,