People often ask me why I bother volunteering to man stalls and do demonstrations for the Polymer Clay Guild and other organisations for free. My answer is simple – because I thoroughly enjoy it. Sometimes however you can get a bit more than you bargained for, which happened to me at the Guild stand at the NEC in November.
On the 3rd day (the Saturday) I was talking to a very nice gentleman and lady about Polymer Clay and the techniques I was demonstrating. They showed a lot of interest and left their contact details. On the Sunday the gentleman came back and mentioned that he was also demonstrating, and that he was a sculptor, and would I like to see him doing a demonstration. Of course I would have loved to, but we discovered that I wouldn’t finish until after his last demo for the show was done.
To my delight, he came back to the stand later and said if I was now free, he would do a quick demo for me. I was delighted, but a few minutes later was absolutely floored when on seeing his stand, and the sculptures displayed there, I realised that the man next to me was none other than Andrew Sinclair ARBS who is, as far as I am concerned, one of the best sculptors in the UK, and I am a huge fan of his work. True to his word, he gave me a brief demonstration in sculpting the human hand, and his teaching technique made so much sense to me as a Polymer artist, that as soon as I could when I got home I made the armature of a hand, and was then just itching to cover it in Polymer.
It took me several weeks to finish all the jobs I had on, and then a lot of time to complete my hand sculpture as I was using scrap polymer clay, which was years old so it took ages to re-condition. I was originally planning to do only the underneath of the hand in scrap, and then cover it with a ‘coloured’ layer, but I fell in love with the muddy greens and browns of the scrap clay so did it all in that.
It is by no means perfect, I have a huge amount to learn, but it has given me so much pleasure to do, and I am doubly lucky that Andrew teaches workshops in Devon, so at some stage during the year I am planning to sign onto a course and learn much more.
It just goes to show, sometimes doing something for nothing, just for the pure love of it, can take you down a new path of discovery you never imagined. Thank you Andrew Sinclair.