Tuesday, July 28, 2009


by Betsy of Stonehouse Studio

I was browsing the Etsy forums the other day and came upon a thread about how someone decided to try polymer clay, because, and I quote: "I thought, how hard could it be to roll out a couple of flat globs and cookie cutter out some circles and rubber stamp em and bake em, right? HOW HARD could that be?? Well, if someone can tell me how to get the polymer clay boogers off of my little plastic rolling pin and work surface and rubber stamp, I *might* be able to clean up and throw the stuff away! urg!!". It never fails to amaze me how some people think they can try something for the first time and be perfect at it. And, incredibly, how it is the medium's fault when it doesn't come out right!

All of which made me think about a trait that most dedicated artists and craftspeople have in common, and that is persistence. You hear about passion and creativity and vision, but it's the dedication to keep working at something until you get it right that sets them apart. Or conversely, being comfortable in going in another direction if that's where it takes you.

I'm sure glad I didn't "throw the stuff away!" after my first try! Here is a photo of some of my early, and very amateurish, attempts at polymer. And another of my humongous reject jar (it is 24 inches tall and 3/4 full):

Because I'm a persistent person and dedicated to good craftsmanship, my work has progressed to where I feel I'm in control of the medium, instead of the other way around. But I still contribute regularly to that big reject jar in the corner of my studio!

And because I simply can't leave you only with examples of my "learning experiences", here's a collage of my latest work:


  1. Way to go Betsy! How about the joy and wonder that an artist finds as they "discover" the medium they are working in? I love the surprises I get when trying something new in the journey to improve skills. It would be very boring if we were all perfect the first time around. Love the jar ;)

  2. So true. And your work these days -- GORGEOUS!

  3. betsy i love your new AND old work... that reject jar has some pretty pieces!


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