Monday, October 8, 2007

Judith Skinner, Take a Bow!

These are actual unedited posts I found on an online message board dealing with that "other" clay. I found them pretty amusing and decided to compose a little imaginary reply of my own.

From Vince-

I certainly have nothing against polymer clay, as long as people realize they are working with plastic. That is fine, and it is remarkable stuff. But I like to see people accomplish similar things with porcelain. The polymer clay websites are wonderful resources. Those people are obsessed, and they do an incredible amount of experimentation in order to come up with ways to outdo other polymer clay artists. By perusing these websites I have learned quite a few great techniques applicable to real colored clay work. One of the most exciting is the technique for creating clayloaves piece of clay that makes an even transition from light to dark or from one color to another. I can't explain it here, but you can find it at the polymer clay websites. I have been doing colored clay work seriously for almost twenty years, and that was a technique that had eluded me. It was a good discovery.

From Barbara-

Boy how I agree with you. I had my mind blown by really studying one of the ploymer clay books in Borders. Wow, I said. Some of these are really neat to apply to our clays. (Note the proprietary "our"). I've been having a ball applying the polymer clay people's techniques to potter's clays. I have purchased two of their books for our clay studio and have been teaching many of the techniques in our studio. Specifically: The precise line lend using backgammon points of several different color clays is fabulouso. The gradual blending of two different clays is great on southwestrn style squat high shoulder pots. Some people are using the cane technique for faces and landscape scenes out of colored clays to inlay into a pot. Also big (8")canes are quite ineresting for pots and wall hangings. Etc. etc. It's really worth a look at one of these books the next time you're at Borders or B&N. Hope you all have fun.

Dear Vince and Barbara,
So glad the polymer clay community was able to help you out. BTW, that gradual and even transition from dark to light clay is called a Skinner blend, named for Judith Skinner who originated the technique. If you need any more original ideas, just let us know. We're a pretty generous and innovative group of people who are happy to help beginners, even if they work with mud instead of plastic. Keep up the good work and be sure to look for us at your next gallery show.


illaya said...

Well said Kim. How cheeky of them to say "OUR" clay.

Actually I wonder if they may be doing some copyright infringement. Another bug in the ointment.

What does it really matter in the whole scheme of things whether it is mud or plastene. It all is art. It all comes as a self expression of our souls.

Polymer clay can be shaped in more ways than mud could ever be. I guess these folks are so use to slinging mud that they can't help but to sling some our way. If you have seen one mud pot you have seen them all.

Jeanne Rhea said...

This is a good post! Funny in so many ways. I love it.

leah64 said...

This post was AWESOME!!!
Put a big ol' smile on my face :)

I have to say I just recently ran across your blog (been a fan of your work for a while!) and you are a both blogging and clay!!!

I also agree with illaya, all those mud pots are pretty much the same.

Kathi said...

*snork* great response. I just love how "real artists" have to slam anything they don't work with. gotta live da mud slinging mud slingers *g*

Tz'unun said...

Sheesh. People have been making art out of mud for over 20,000 years, and they couldn't come up with similar techniques themselves? Then they have the arrogance to dis our medium? We can only hope that Barbara's students will decide to see for themselves what this "plastic" stuff is all about.

Judy said...

You know what they say....Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

Aunt Cin said...

Very very amusing. I agree with your comments and those of the other posters. I kept wondering about the Skinner Blend thing, as I read their comments - if you've looked at these icky polymer clay books to see these techniques, people, didn't you notice that this process has a NAME?? Sheesh, indeed!

Your response was great, though, Kim - was it made where "they" can read it? Or was it only imaginary?

me<>< (aka Calvie2, aka Cindy)

Diana said...

Yes, I wouldn't leave this fine reply in the imaginary realm a moment longer! Do post it and give 'em something to think about, elitist snobs that they are!

Polka Dot Creations said...

How dare they call us obsessed?! Oh. Nevermind. ;-)

Marla said...

Back in the day, some of us used to say we're not obsessed; we're focused.

It seems to me that it's the sharing of the term "clay" that offends. I've been on the receiving end of "Oh . . . you mean plastic," & while it's easy to come back with "Oh . . . you mean DIRT!", at this point, I just laugh. Is there more intrinsic value to dirt than there is to plastic? Whatever it's made of, if it's good, it's good.

Anonymous said...


An excellent post, Kim.

Obsession obviously leads to the creation of beautiful art.


Julie said...

Porcelain artists have only recently begun getting the recognition and worth due them...hopefully, polymer clay artists won't have to wait much longer for said same. When someone walks into my booth at a craft fair and says, "Oh, this is like the Play Doh the kids' use." I could just scream! Regardless, we all know the magic and elastic powers polymer clay has, and the endless masterpieces we are able to create with, the rest of the world just has to catch up to us!

Julie Picarello said...

Kim, many thanks for the fun read!