My delight comes from designing and molding these miniature tablets out of polymer clay. Almost everything in my art is molded out of polymer clay, with some addition of feathers and beads.
I begin with colors that accentuate the mood of the animation. For instance, the orange interior of grandma's house is intended to invite the eye in past the lime green sidelights that frame grandma in her weathered cottage. Once the right colors are mixed, I roll flat the clay used for the background elements using a pasta machine. To finish, I add in the mock 3-D foreground and the characters that populate the tablet.
Every stage of creating clay art has its interest. Beginnings are sparked by some form of inspiration, even if from the medium itself. When I was working on "Grandma's House" in 2008, I was inspired by the challenge of depicting a story with polymer clay. I was wondering if others would find clay tablets interesting. The clay medium lent to the development of the theme, and the art in "Grandma's House" took on a life of its own. The little girl at the center of this fiction is curiously delivered into a world of clay and her new interest in this unusual world inspires the scenes that unfold. The theme of my twelve frame storybook is likely a projection of how I too wish to journey through a surreal world with special vision.
Capturing a real life scene, like the one depicted in "Cleaning House," is my new style of animation. There is something instantly satirical about depicting any kind of crude real life event in polymer clay. Just the medium itself is so utterly childish that something like a gnarly brawl becomes kind of sweet. It inspired my motto "if you can't use art to exact revenge on your enemies, what good is it?" The beauty of this new project is that all I have to do is take an event from real life and build it out of clay, and it produces this natural satire.
I hope you think clay art is interesting. Making it is always interesting.