Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Ironcraft Goes to the Art Gallery!

This Ironcraft challenge set some controversial ideas in motion for me. At first, Art inspired seemed so simple. Everything around us is inspired from or by Art. But then I followed the dreaded question. What is Art? Do I consider what I do Art? Do others consider what I do Art? What about my fellow clayers, doodlers, quilters, knitters and I could keep going? Is what they do considered Art? I researched some eras of fine art and tried to emulate them. What I came up with was not what I would call Art. Then it hit me! It's all Art! From the pencil doodle of a child to the way you arrange a smiley face with vegetables on a child's plate. From the oil painting done by a student in college to the lady in her kitchen painting with acrylics to the fine paintings in museums by long gone crazy artists. It's all Art! Not everyone agrees with me but that never stopped me from having my own opinions before.
After this long drawn out inner struggle and epiphany, I looked closer to home for what to show in the challenge. I have just spent a wonderful 4 day weekend with fellow clayers. They are a wonderful bunch that help me energize for the year ahead. We have a tradition each year and that is to use polymer clay to make a self-portrait twinchie (which means a piece that is 2 x 2 inches). During the weekend, we learned to make a face cane. Caning is a process that resembles candy making in that a design or image is constructed from the inside out and assembled into a log. Each slice of the cane gives you the exact same image as all the other slices. It is not one of my favorites but I decided to try it this time and am quite pleased with the results. At the end of the weekend we assemble it in a mosaic and someone wins it and takes it home.
Polymer clay is not always seen as Art. Some see a child's toy while others see a wonderful versatile museum that lets you go where your fancy takes you. I believe in the latter, of course.
My cane is the second row, second from the left. I made the face into the cane and added the hair on top of that. I figured that way if my hair style changes I can still use the cane. The glasses are a small piece of wire embedded into the clay. Aren't I cute?
My lessons for this challenge is the whirlwind you can start by mentioning the word "Art". It is a conversation that is probably as old as time and that will keep going for quite a while. I also realized the Art I witness every day when watching people create their lives, take care of each other and make things that make them and others happy.

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