Trying Out New Mediums

Hello all! For my first post on this blog, I thought it would be fun to share my journey with an art medium that I had made an effort to try out over winter break.

My usual art mediums consist of digital programs with the aid of my tablet and that of watercolors and pencils. I sometimes have difficulties relaying thoughts/concepts from my head to a more physical form, and so when I have time to create or feel inspired, I usually stick to what I know. Although another deterrent is admittedly that trying new things can sometimes be costly (I wanted to try creating stained glass art, and found that to be too pricey to be a hobby as a first year college student); thus, when my classes ended in the fall semester, I decided to shut down my doubts and purchase clay. I had promised myself that I would go for it and just try it because my fall semester at Marywood encouraged me to try new things, and I’m more than happy that I listened to myself for once. Whether it was a result of me having said my resolution out loud in a class or simply deciding that I had a 20% off coupon at Michael’s and I needed to just go for it, I did and I found that I really love working with clay!

I spent almost my entire December working with clay (and playing video games). It was not necessarily difficult as it was intimidating. I had decided that I wanted to try clay out as a new medium, however I had also pressured myself into using that clay to create holiday gifts for people. I did allow myself to experiment with it and have a bit of fun first, and I found along the way that dogs are much easier to craft in a 3D space than they are in a 2D one. That is what I decided to share from my many adventures from this past month. My friend is away dorming at a different college, and I wanted to give her something for her dorm combining some of her interests- she likes roses (and dogs, obviously); looking back, I probably could have combined the two in a more dynamic way, but I have yet to master the art of distributing weight in clay. Overall, I am pretty happy with what I ultimately accomplished. I regret not going for more simplistic fur as it took hours to do the fur (although it worked out in the end as it helped to hide all of the anatomical errors).

I really had fun creating this piece (currently and forever untitled), yet the one thing that I struggled with was patience- I am not a patient person and to have to sit and wait to paint air dry clay was not something that I enjoyed (for unnecessary clarification, I didn’t literally sit and wait for 72 hours), especially because my typical artistic process involves completing a piece bit by bit instead of building the whole work together so I that I can feel a sense of accomplishment before I’ve truly actually finished or accomplished anything. But aside from the tortuous wait time, it was a truly exciting experience and I’m glad to have broadened my horizons! I would definitely recommend clay to anyone who has yet to try it; it is not super expensive, and it is a fun and interesting medium to dabble in.

Vanessa M.

Here, I wanted to show different angles of the dog and the single work-in-progress picture I took! (As a side note, the clay that I used for this sculpture was “Sculpey Air-Dry clay”, and to seal it, I used Mod Podge as seen in the work-in-progress picture)

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