Art Speaks is my mantra when I make a mistake in my polymer art. Here’s a secret: sometimes Art knows better than the artist!

When I damage a piece and change my design to incorporate the flaw, the Art Muse often gifts me with something much more compelling than my original design.

My Humpty-Dump-Teapot was a 3D teapot that crushed from its own weight in the oven. I couldn’t bear to toss it, so I mounted the shards as a wall piece, and voila – an award winning piece!

I say Art Speaks also when something unexpected says “Here I Am!”

I created the surface treatment for this candle holder, cut it out and applied it. Later while clearing up my workspace I saw the leftover cutout, already shaped perfectly for a necklace. All I did was ripple it into flowing lava. The Pele’s Offering necklace was born.

guest post by Ann Kruglak

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  • reply Alice Stroppel ,

    I couldn’t agree more Anne, sometime the clay does seem to have a voice, I think our job is to hear it. Cleaning up my work space has produced some positive results for me.

    • reply Alice Stroppel ,

      Hit the button too soon. I alway love the boldness of you colors, Pele certainly offered you her best. It does look like flowing lava.

    • reply Susan O'Neill ,

      Great wall art! Doesn’t the ruination of a piece that you’ve labored over just about break your heart? But, sometimes a piece just doesn’t seem to want to give that easily 😉

      • reply Susan O'Neill ,

        I have trigger fingers. too, Alice! I meant to add that I love your pendant! Sometimes the “leftovers” can be almost as interesting as the original intent.

      • reply Anita Brandon ,

        I Love Ann’s “ArtSpeaks” Mantra and totally perfect way she turned a disappointment into two beautiful new pieces.

        • reply Helen Breil ,

          Totally agree Ann, It’s the mistakes and the left over scraps that so often lead to new techniques and designs for me. I love the process of “playing” with these unintended pieces until I come up with something new. Pele’s Offering is a great example of this!

          • reply Laura ,

            So nice, and so true! I love it when the medium presents something to you that you hadn’t thought of – part of the joy of creating! A dance between the medium and you.

            • reply Michele Norine ,

              So True!!! You’ve done a wonderful job of “listening” to your muse, I myself have found that when I listen to my muse these magical moments happen too. I wouldn’t have even guessed that your wall art started out as a teapot…great work!!

              • reply Maureen Carlson ,

                I, too, was enchanted by the way you used your broken teapot, Ann. I’ve had the pleasure of watching you work. You really do dance with the muse and seem to be able to do so without the interference of disabling fear. What you have accomplished in your work with polymer clay is astounding.

              • reply Shelby ,

                Well I’m not sure when I got sidetracked but I’m really glad you’ve reminded me of this truth. I’ve spent so much time beating myself up over ‘mistakes’ it’s ridiculous. No more, I say! I will remember this post for a long time… thanks for setting me on a clearer and more accepting path.

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                • I'm Cynthia Tinapple, an artist, curator, and leader in the polymer clay community for over 20 years.

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