Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Clay Magic

What you see here in this post is one of the most amazing art forms I have ever seen in my life! And we found it when we had our looooong lay-over in Salt Lake City back on October 1 on our way to Vancouver Island.

This little fella is approximately 4 x 2-1/2 inches (10 x 6.5 cm) and has the feel and weight of resin. But it's not. It's polymer clay which, as Wiki says, isn't really clay but polymer polyvinyl chloride, containing no clay minerals but sharing its plasticity. It's non-terrestrial clay!

Jon Anderson is the artist of this piece. See his signature on the bottom? He supposedly is "the foremost polymer clay artist in the world today," living on the island of Bali, Indonesia.

The labor process for these sculptures is so intensive, it makes even my Gemini mind dizzy, and that's saying something. Loaves of different-colored clay are stretched repeatedly and laid next to each other for the design, starting from the center and working outward. Then, there's lots of cutting into small canes that are sliced into intricate tiles using a surgical scalpel. No two sculptures are exactly alike, so what you get is a one-of-a-kind, highly-collectible piece.

This was a no-brainer for both Donica and me when we saw it. Her animal spirit is the Turtle and this one is possibly the most soulful one we've ever seen. Period. If you enlarge the pics, you'll see all other kinds of insects/creatures imbedded in the design.

If that's not magic, what is!


  1. Wow, that is a beautiful, detailed sculpture. A lovely art form. This is the first I have heard of polymer clay. I love the idea that no two sculptures are ever exactly alike.

  2. That is incredibly beautiful! How wonderful to find a work of art that also represents Donica's animal spirit.

    I used to work quite a bit with polymer clay (some might know it as Fimo or Sculpey) and I am truly humbled since I know first hand how difficult it would be to produce something as amazing as your lovely treasure.

  3. Juhuuh, I'm still there ;-) What amazing art pieces to view here. Absolutely breathtaking work! Thanks for the link to the artist and the additional info.


    P.S. On my blog you can find a link to my new photography website. But ATTENTION: the site is still under construction and gives only an impression what will come during the next weeks :-)

  4. That's gotta be one of the most (if not the most) awesome polymer pieces I've ever seen!! The dragonflies, birds, butterflies, flowers, colors - absolutely gorgeous! I've worked with polymer a teeny bit and met a few local polymer artists, but this is the most detailed piece I've seen. All that caning takes a lot patience and skill.

    It certainly is soulful. I can see why it spoke to you and Donica.

  5. Simply gorgeous. What's great about work like this is that only he has the patience, so you won't see it everywhere. A rare treasure.

  6. DW: Actually, I think it was my first time as well. At least I wouldn't have known what it was if someone talked about it. I guess we're "never too old" for anything :)

    Christina: I'm glad you mentioned
    because that's another word that was on the piece of paper that came with the sculpture. I didn't realize it was another name for this process until you mentioned it and I just looked it up. WOW! Something new again!

    It's good to know someone (YOU) who actually knows about how this is done. I can just imagine how incredibly difficult it is to do. And pain-staking!

    KPK: Oh, how wonderful to have a link now to your new site. I will now replace the old one on my sidebar. Congratulations. So glad you popped in because I've missed your fine photography work :) Welcome back.

    Mad: And did you see the ladybug on his neck! Don't forget the ladybug! :) In fact, I want to look at it again and see what else I might have missed. Glad to know you have experience with this art form to know what I'm talking about.

    Ruth: Can't you just see him being commissioned by God Almighty to do a special piece for a special occasion!

  7. I am coming back to your blog after a pause! I am really impressed by this beautiful turtle. I like objects with lot of colours and lots of details.

  8. This work is so tedious it has to be meditative. What a great treasure!

  9. OMG - I love it!!! This is something I love too... I used to have one like it, not so good but it must be back in storage. I miss my belongings a lot at times. Of course we need a bigger place if I'm to keep all of it...

    Great post!

  10. Mei: Thanks so much for coming back. I missed you.

    Jozee: Hmm. I think that's a good point. Meditative.

    ET: Thanks! Donica has put ours in a prominent spot in the entryway to our home.

  11. I thought I had commented, but I guess 7am is still to early for me to really know which button I pressed :) What a magnificent piece of art! The details are absolutely awsome!

  12. Une pure merveille de créativité; grandioses dessins et couleurs. le ventre (cute signature!) est aussi beau que le dos. Du grand art!!!
    Merci pour ces belles photos Ginnie.

  13. CS: HA. It's also Mercury Retrograde, which is a good excuse for just about anything right now! I am amazed at this piece every time I look at it, seeing something new.

    RD: First, the translation for the rest of us who don't know/speak French:

    "A pure wonder of creativity; imposing drawings and colors. the belly (cute signature!) is as beautiful as the back. Great art!!! Thank you for these beautiful photographs, Ginnie."

    Thank you once again, RD, for commenting. I agree about the belly. Can you believe that kind of detail for a part of the body most people will never see (unless they pick it up to look)!

  14. I love that turtle sculpture. I especially liked the view presented in the first picture. It does touch one's soul.

  15. Tim: Yes, I totally agree. It touches the Soul!

    ET: Thank God! Of course, I knew but wasn't sure YOU did :)

  16. Lovely piece and I have a question. How do you find out what your spirit animal is?

  17. I certainly agree: this is magic. I'm so glad you explained the whole prosess; so I have a little clue what fantastic piece of art this is.Thanks.

  18. Dixie: Thanks for your sentiment :)

    Lisa: What a question! I went back into my archives from January 2005 and found
    this post
    that hopefully will make more sense of it.

    TorAa: You're welcome! It IS magic.

  19. That's amazingly beautiful. Love him. Love you. Love. Love. Love.

  20. Thanks for searching that one out for me! :)

  21. Lisa, you're more than welcome, of course.

  22. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! TIS IS PATIENCE!!! Working with *fimo* clay is such time consuming!!! This work of art is wonderful!!! :)

  23. You of all people, MP, would know how exacting this art form is. Thanks for your comment.