Venus Unveiled

polymer clay sculpture in miniature

Venus 3.0 and swing

Venus 3.0 is a commissioned request from last month. I had to get Jon to take photos for me as I had a rush visit out of town with a friend who was on her way back to Egypt this last Sunday and chances are high that I’ll not see her again for another 2 years. One would think I’d know my husband’s mind well enough now that if a request is not in writing and acknowledged, things will be forgotten. We’re both black holes when it comes to remembering important things, so unfortunately, in this case, I did not get a reference shot detailing her size.
miniature sculpture in polymer clay

Venus - detail

To give you an idea though, my version of Venus is under 3 inches in height, and her head is roughly the size of an 8 mm bead, perhaps a tad smaller even. Two of those teeny glass marbles one can find in the scrap booking section would have worked for her eyeballs, had I the where with all to buy iris colored ones, but instead I tried faking her eyes with liquid clay and water based, heat-set oil paints. I borrowed one of Levi’s whiskers to paint her facial features and even that was too big for some details.

I find it odd, but inspiring at times when people see the work I do and then ask for things I’ve never done. It’s always challenging and, in many cases, rewarding; these commissions tend to push me WAY out of my comfort zone and suddenly I discover I can manage something I never dreamed possible. In this case, I discovered that, yes, with practice I can conquer human anatomy. After 2 failures, I managed to create something nearly human in form, and while she’s not a perfect replication, she managed to adopt a wonderful charm all her own. I can’t begin to list the number of frustrations I faced, both in my lack of knowledge for human anatomy, and how incorporating some mixed-media elements failed miserably because I had no idea which tools to use, or lacked the right ones, or even the lack of proper materials.

I have a long way to go in my journey, and so much of what I’ve done in the last 3 years has been exploration … so much so that I fret over the amount of room I have to store equipment and supplies vs. all the mediums I long to try. Also, this latest endeavor lends more purpose to blogging, which — although I’d love to keep everyone up to date with my escapades — has never been appealing in the sense of “OOOO LOOK WHAT I DID!” (this is why I have a husband, right?) But the idea of sharing my failures, of documenting the journey from stupid newbie to perhaps one day completely professional, does appeal to me. There are dozens of polymer clay websites focused on the how-to for both projects and techniques, and I’ve found hundreds of helpful hints, but often I am frustrated by the lack of documented failures.

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