Scrap clay or story scraps?

Layl McDill, the creator of the Silly Milly line of polymer clay canes, has found a very clever way to use all of those mountains of leftover trimmings and scrap.

She creates Story Scraps, wall sculptures which show animals and figures celebrating all aspects of life.  The title of each piece is the doorway into the story, but a closer look at the whimsical and intricate details in each work soon draws one in until it isn’t long before the viewer’s own imagination starts to fill in the gaps.

If you’ve tried to title your work, you know how much time it takes to find just the right title, but what a difference it makes, as does taking the time to add just a bit of story.

Consider Layl’s Reader on the Stairs which tells her story of rushing up the stairs toward a goal, only to find herself being wise enough to pause along the way to read a book.  And just why are those birds there?  And the towers … and …

Layl’s site opens to a whole world of creativity, so consider settling yourself on the stairs as you take the time to read through it. You’ll be glad you did.

guest post by Maureen Carlson

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  • reply Jan Whetzel ,

    This is so very neat! I really admire talented artists.

    • reply Alice Stroppel ,

      I consider you a master of story telling, Maureen, and can see why you are drawn to Layl’s work. Her creations are so full of life, color and motion it requires the viewer to pause and study them more closely. That’s for sharing her work today. Alice

      • reply Maureen Carlson ,

        I’ve known Layl for a long time, but this opportunity to write about her caused me to really take a long look at her website. I was glad that I did!

        You really need to see Layl’s work in person in order to appreciate the intricacy, but …a quick run through some of the stories for the larger sculptures will give you a sense of visiting with her in person.

        And thanks, Alice, for the smile.

        • reply Jackie Spillner ,

          Hi, I enjoy seeing how productive you are. We sure had a lot of fun in Minnesota this summer.
          Our rug hooking in Eureka Springs is in January. Think of us and Barb.
          Laura spent this week in Brussels… she’s such a stay at home! ha!
          We all were in Norway, Mich for Laura and Mary Beth’s birthdays in December.
          Thought about you!

          • reply Anita Brandon ,

            Layl McDill’s “Reader on the Stairs”; a wonderful, whimsical, and totally engaging artist’s Rorschach test. The longer you look at it the more a story line emerges in the imagination of the viewer. The “Story Scraps” works are amazing.

            • reply Janet pitcher ,

              I’ve loved watching Layl make great canes for many years now and love that you’ve shared this story with us. What a creative way to use scraps and get lost in the story!

              • reply Constantina Papakyprianou ,

                Beautiful work! Very inspiring!

                • reply Iris Mishly ,

                  Layl’s canes were always an inspiration of mine from the first days I was doing polymer.
                  I love her work! 🙂

                  Thank you dear Maureen! miss u…

                  Iris.

                  • reply Heather Campbell ,

                    Love the imagination and creativity !! I love story art….It gives a connection to the larger family of humanity. Thanks for the post Maureen… if anyone knows how to tell a great story it is you! Layl…. you are certainly a new fav of mine. Beautiful!

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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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