Monday, October 3, 2016

When the Photos Say It All

Taking an art technique-- in this case, one for polymer clay-- that you've developed and then translating it so others can learn it is always a crap shoot. The method seems so clear to you because you've spent weeks or months working with it. It's like a lover that you know well-- how it will respond, what will work or not work, its sensitivities and peculiarities. In order to teach it, you have to think backwards to try and remember how it was when you didn't know how to do it at all, what the first steps were, the first explorations. That's the hardest part-- not merely teaching the steps that lead to the finished project but putting yourself in the students' shoes, back at the beginning, where it's exciting but scary.

So when your students begin to produce results that go beyond your expectations, all the hard work that went into developing that technique is worth it. Not only are they experiencing the joy that comes from creating pieces that express their individuality but they are validating your vision, the one that came to you in the hazy half-light time between night and morning. They see what you see, they get the power of the creative spark that spawned it. Heady stuff.

I made sure that at this past session of Art on the Farm I took a lot of pictures. Sometimes in the aftermath of a 3-day class I'm so drained that I think maybe this will be the last class. Time to move on to something else. Then I look at the photos and they say it all.

Polymer clay veneer sheet by Janis L.

Polymer clay veneer sheet by Karen K.
Polymer clay veneer sheet by Terri K.
Polymer earrings from veneer sheet by Janis L.
Leaf elements - polymer clay - by Karen K.
Veneer earrings by Janis L.

Jewelry elements from polymer veneer sheet - Terri K.
Earring elements from polymer veneer sheets - Janis L.
Polymer clay veneer sheet from Terri K.

Polymer veneer elements - Corrine G.
Polymer veneer headpins - Kim R.

Polymer veneer sheet - Corrine G.

Polymer veneer elements - Kim R.