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.
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.
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.