Saturday, April 28, 2007

Polymer Clay and Erotica with Soul


Polymer clay is my new hobby, and in this entry I’m going to amaze you by actually finding a connection between this craft and my other fascination, erotica with soul. I mean it, just see if I don’t.

What is polymer clay? Here’s the short course: it’s a modeling clay of similar chemical makeup to PVC. It is a dream to work with and cures at low temps in a regular oven. You can make everything with it from jewelry to household items to art pieces. It can be made to look like, well, clay, or semi-precious stones, or fabric, or food, or, well virtually anything. Check out some samples in my humble little project gallery.

Okay, the sex connection? (No, I’m not going to tell you how to make sex toys out of polymer clay, but I do know you could.) Remember my very broad definition of the erotic in life. To me, creativity is inherently erotic, because you exercise your imagination to explore beauty and the life force. Whether you compose music, write fiction, or paint watercolors, your creative endeavor expresses your sexual energy.

When I first discovered polymer clay, I began by reading voraciously, both print books and websites. Again and again I encountered a caveat that this hobby was addictive, that it would end up making me obsessed and changing the way I looked at things. I find this to be completely true. This medium is so easy to work with and so endless in possible uses, it is a veritable short cut for creative expression. So many things I always wished I could do artistically, I suddenly find I can, and this had changed my outlook on the exercise of my own creativity.

Many years ago, I tried my hand at whittling. This skill requires strength as well as dexterity, and wood is not a forgiving medium. But I adore wood--the grain and colors are so beautiful. Wood is one of those things that demonstrates God’s talent in a big way. Well, guess what? With polyclay I can make my own faux wood, and I can carve it too.

All my life I have just been obsessed with rocks. From childhood on I have collected them, from lapidary stores, souvenir shops, beachcombing, etc. Well, I have now made my own Lake Michigan beach-style rocks with polymer clay, and my own faux semi-precious stones too (so far, malachite). This is something I thought only nature could do, given a few thousand years.

Using clay I can invent my own species of bird, contriving my own style of fabulous plumage. I can devise color schemes precisely to suit a particular d├ęcor design or clothing outfit (mixing clay colors is a joy in and of itself).

In short, I find I can create nearly anything I can imagine, so consequently, my imagination is now constantly at work trying to come up with expressions of beauty of all kinds. How could I decorate (or replace) my office paperclip dispenser in a more gorgeous or whimsical form? How about our living room coasters? The perfect clock we’ve been searching for in vain for our studio wall? I suddenly feel so empowered to make over my world in a much more beautiful way. And that’s, well, a feeling I’d definitely throw in the “erotica with soul” category.

Pretty stuff that feels good isn’t always Hugh Jackman; sometimes it’s your latest polymer clay project.

Told ya I could do it.

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