Thursday, May 13, 2010

Deep One Amulet

Artist "Crazy Clayz" braved the depths to bring us this Deep One amulet.

What makes this work, at least to my eyes, is the cracked texture. Polymer clay is a fantastic material, but unless you're a master sculptor it's extremely difficult to pull off pieces with a smooth surface. The eye is naturally drawn to the minor imperfections in the finish and proportions produced by hand-crafted work.

I'm not saying that as a criticism of CC's amulet, which I think looks great, but as a general observation drawn from my own experience. Smooth is hard. Damn hard, especially with a material that becomes softer and more pliable as it's worked. When an inadvertent touch leaves a fingerprint or surface dent it requires an amazing level of skill (or multiple bakings, but that's another post) to make a smooth finish look good.

That's one of the reasons I like texture in polymer clay pieces. Even minor texturing adds enough visual interest to distract the eye from the imperfections that can make a piece look crude. Just a light once over with something as simple as a ball of crumpled aluminum foil can cover a multitude of sins, and I write that as someone well aware of his limitations as a sculptor.

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