Introduction or Induction?

Two little words very close together in sound, but what is the difference?  And what do they have to do with polymer clay? 

When you are introduced to polymer clay, you get a couple of bricks of it, do some reading about how to use it and cure it, make a little project and find it all very interesting.  It’s maybe a couple-hour project.  You’re done and you now feel you know all you need to know.

When you are inducted into polymer clay, you do a little reading first, then a whole bunch of reading more, over days.  Then you buy twenty to forty little bricks and several tools.  You pack a largish box full of whatever you think you may need to learn and master this material over the three day weekend trip at the ocean, that you are embarking on.

Over that three day weekend, you leave the hotel room as little as possible and become so engrossed in working with this “very interesting stuff” that you don’t even go for a walk on the beach.  You are grateful that you chose a place with a small kitchenette (oven).  During this time you make your first cane and cover your first object (an egg).  When the weekend ends and you return home, you are now very aware that it is going to take a whole lot more time and a bunch more stuff to acquire anything close to competency, let alone mastery of polymer clay.

Sound familiar?  All those that understand say “Here, here”.

So many people that discover polymer clay become almost obsessed with it.  In the polymer clay community, terms like “clay-aholic” are constantly being used.   They find themselves thinking about polymer clay every waking moment, constantly visualizing new techniques while they are doing laundry or at the grocery store.  They may go out to dinner and they have a revelation, an inspiration of something to try and they can barely wait to get home.  These people are ‘inducted’ into the world of polymer clay and pursue it with almost total immersion. 

My favorite story is the lady that was out to dinner and when their plates were served, she noticed the kale garnish on her plate.   She just happened to have some two part silicone mold putty in purse.  So, working under the table, she pulled it out, mixed it up, snatched the kale off the plate and, still under the table, pressed it into the mold putty.

The three-day weekend at the ocean describes my own induction into the world of polymer clay.  It has been a wonderful journey of discovery and learning, of collecting masses of tools and materials, and spending hours and hours of time working with this amazing art medium.

I am coming back from a three year hiatus working with polymer clay 24/7.  I took time off to work with my other passion:  plants.  Although I was working a ‘regular’ job, I still made and sold many things from my online store.  I was laid off from my job at the garden nursery in late fall and decided to focus again on my polymer clay art, with fresh, rested eyes.

I have many inspirations and ideas that have been percolating in my brain and can’t wait to try them.  However, first on my to-do list, I have to get started on another project I’ve promised myself to do for years.  I always intended to start writing, about both polymer clay and gardening.  I’ve been told I have a lot to share in both subject areas, so this is where we start.  Soon, I will be kicking off a gardening blog, too.  When I finish getting all the technical ‘computer stuff’ set up, I can once again sit down at the clay table for many hours a day.

I invite all who love polymer clay to join in and share their experiences, their work, and their personal path of  discovery.  If you are new to working with polymer clay, you are welcome to post questions.  Coming soon, I will be creating areas for tutorials, tips and tricks, and resources, plus adding a photo gallery.

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