I have a love/hate relationship with rules. I am incredibly law abiding. The Man tried to stop for 10 seconds in a handicap spot so I could jump out to drop off a movie. I refused to disembark until he moved:). However, when it comes to unwritten rules, they might as well be written in air. If it makes sense, I do it, if it doesn't, I just shake my head at the masses falling into step behind the pied piper of propriety.
There are many 'rules' in the metal clay world, or, rather, many people trying to convince others that there are rules. I know that they do it out of kindness, and are only trying to help, but the problem is that beginner metal clay artists are a susceptible bunch. In the beginning, we didn't know a ton about the medium and the best ways to work with it, but as time goes on and people experiment, old 'truths' fall to the wayside...if we allow them to.
Here are my top metal clay myth buster/ rule breaking activities. Please DON'T e-mail me and tell me I am wrong....I do these things every day, so they are right for me. If they don't work for you, fine, just don't accept the status quo, at least try these things. If you go back to your old ways, awesomesauce.
- You do not need paste to join ANYTHING. I have expounded on this topic so often I'm not even going there again. Just say no to paste! Say yes to water!
- I NEVER use badger balm or olive oil or anything on my hands. I used it for years, then about 2 years ago out of the blue, picked up some clay with my bare hands! Oh, the nerve! No problem. This is even the case with the new sterling clay. I read a very informative blog post where the artist mentioned that the new clay was very sticky, so as well as coating her hands, she coated the clay and everthing it came into contact with. Because I NEVER do as I'm told, I picked up the new clay straight from the package and got to work. No problem. I only ever do a quick spray of Cool Slip on my photopolymer plates....thats the only time I use any 'unguent' anymore. BTW, I don't have particularly damp/dry/oily hands.
- I NEVER use paper clay or cork clay or any other type of 'support' inside of my boxes or sculptures. I fire them empty, and I've never had a large slumping problem.
I'd love to hear from other people about their rule breaking activities. Maybe I'll learn something...