A Past Controversy

polydogz 021712 350x273 - A Past ControversyHere is a post with some food for thought as you go through your weekend. This post was one of my most active. The discussion in the comments revolved around whether to consider this polymer art because although it is mostly polymer, the focus and all the color is painted on. I found it very interesting to hear people’s thoughts on defining polymer art and the idea of polymer purity. You can return to the original post here. There was also a follow-up post a little later that revived the conversation a bit, which you can read here.

If you want to put in your two cents, just comment at the bottom of this post at the post’s page (click the header above to be sure you are on the page) or look for the most recent post on our Facebook page.

The original post was from February 17, 2012:

I fell for the colors when I saw this brooch, then I looked at the bezel. Then at her gallery and all her really creative bezels … and the pretty colors. Artist is Susan Waddington of Polydogz.

You can find more of her work on Flickr and Etsy.


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  1. I was one of the people who commented on the original post. Since the link to that post doesn’t work, I can’t check on whether I mentioned this or not. I think the root of the controversy stems from a person’s background, and how one came to work with polymer clay. People like me, who came to polymer clay as an artist who had worked in other media, are interested in the final result. For me it is just another medium. The allure of PC is it’s versatility. I am always trying to find new techniques that work with it. I feel no need to keep something pure clay. In fact, I find that very limiting. Like someone said, there are no rules. If someone comes directly to polymer clay as their first artistic medium, I can see where they would be less likely to consider it just another medium and want to keep pieces pure clay.

  2. Dear Sage,
    I completely agree with Jan.If PC is an art medium, and that’s how we need people to see it, why limit yourself?

    I love your posts and challenges and was sorry not to get to chat with you more at Synergy. Oh well, another time.

  3. Painting on polymer clay is not cheating, we add all sorts of things from foil, texture etc, turning it into a mixed media piece. It is after all a piece of art work, wearable or not.

  4. It feels as if it would behoove us to let go of the identifier of ‘Polymer Clay’ Artist, and just be Artists. And if you want to specify what your medium is, then add polymer clay, or pencil, or oils, or wood, or metal jewelry. Perhaps if someone wants to be identified as a purist using ONLY polymer clay, they would identify as a Polymer Clay Artist, but otherwise, what is the point of limiting our mediums? Polymer clay is an amazing medium, but if we are making ART, don’t our fingers and imagination reach for anything that helps express the Art?

    Understandably, The Polymer Arts, and other places, emphasize the polymer part of it. Most of us here use polymer clay as a large percentage of our art, and knowing what polymer clay is capable of is one of the things your magazine promotes. And I very much appreciate that! TPA also talks about other mediums that can be blended with polymer. It talks about design, and the more cerebral parts of making art. Can’t we just call ourselves ‘Artists’, and not flinch when doing so? Doesn’t the greatest joy come when someone is drawn to your art, and eventually, belatedly, as a secondary thought, ask ‘What’s it made of?’

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