Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Fun of Polymer

I have been sculpting polymer clay for several years.  I took a break for a couple of years, after losing my muse...and it has only been recently that I have been inspired to return to the art.
One of my favorite things with working in polymer is that I can take a piece of clay and manipulate it into something that takes on its own life.  I can then personalize it and give it as a gift to a loved one.  

My Dad and I got certified in diving a few years ago together.  It was so much fun to take a class together and go through the certification process.  At that point, I created a scuba frog out of polymer for him.  (I do not have a picture of that original frog, but should I obtain one, I will gladly post it.)

When his birthday came around this year and I asked him what he would like, he said that he wanted another scuba frog to join his first.  At this point, I was stumped.  I had not really worked with polymer in some time and I had no idea how to "top" that first frog.  I contemplated the project for several weeks until I was struck with inspiration while riding the bus home from work.  Grabbing my sketch pad, I started frantically sketching out the design so I did not forget my original thoughts.  

I had decided that not only would I sculpt a scuba frog, but I wanted to do a combination of mediums to really embrace the diving experience.  After a great deal of research, I concluded that one of the best techniques would be to create an "undersea" experience, along with a surface environment.  

I found a small glass jar and began sculpting a sandy floor by mixing different colors of clay.  I then embedded sand into the surface to simulate the ocean floor and placed real tiny shells.  I wanted to place another creature into the sculpture, so I worked on a moray eel.  He turned out more cartoonish than I wanted, but his personality that came out of the clay amused me.  I gave him a small cave for a home and then surrounded him with marbled kelp.

Below are the pictures of the semi-completed project.  My scuba frog has been baked and glazed.  My next challenge is working on a resin to embrace and simulate water in the glass.  I will post updated photos when the project is complete.