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Current Rants and Recent Rambles

For New List Members of CITY-o-Clay

Posted November 11, 2004, updated on 03/23/05, 02/12/08.

First of all CITY-o-Clay used to be named MSATClayArt, so where ever you see MSATClayArt on this site change it in your head to CITY-o-Clay.

Now what did you get yourselves into now? hmmmmm?

If you get overwhelmed with the amount of posts, averaging 1,500 per month, go to "No Mail" and read from the website.
Ramble for brain massage on whether to keep up or not with the flow of posts on a busy list. In short... relax.

Important links are on the list's home page

1) FAQ for new clayers

2) FAQ for miniaturists who are new to polymer clay

3) Link to the webcam "how to" retired.

4) Link to the Combo Tutes, gateway to 5 years of documenting my journey in clay, the good, the bad and the salvageable.

5) Last but not least the link to the page where you meet the rest of the CITY-o-Clay Team.

Now what would I want to know coming to a list for the first time?  One so chatty and busy and gosh. I'd want to know what happened in at least the last year. Well I got just that for all y'all who are new.

You'd see the same things on the Tute List, but this gives a
chronological order to it.

For more chronology going back in a couple of years go to the
archived tutorial. A lot of old timers haven't scrolled down to the bottom of that page to get a chronological view of these clay adventures going back to 2001.

Earlier than that have been chased from Geocities, PhotoPoint and Epson and are being rebuilt on my com site. What I'm resurrecting are the basic moves like the bullseye cane.
and early mini experiments like candied apples

The reason why I'm digging up these old clay experiments is to show you a progression of one person's clay journey. If I figure
something out, make a technique Easy Breezier than what's usually done, then I'll share it with you. That's my
modus operandi.

Show me something someone said was a secret technique and we'll make effort to reverse engineer it. Make effort... not TRY. Transactional Analysis and Yoda says, "There is not try. Only do or not do."

Now some might think, this is a lot of information all at once and how's a person to deal with it all?

First you got to relax. You got an appointment with fame and
fortune? In a hurry? Allow yourself the innocent pleasure of just opening up a pack of clay and squishing it like a child.

I got a ramble about how the Beginning is a Delicate Time,

How you are nurtured in the beginning of learning anything will color your experience on that thing forever. We aim to spoil you, love you, uplift and educate you. All you got to do is get out of your own way. You got to love you. You got to respect the desire to create. You got to stop judging process and instead delight in discovery.

Traditional brain massage on this point and something you'll read other ClayMates fessing up to is "Dropping the quarter in the jar". Drop coin in the jar each time you doubt yourself.

Self diminishment is not allowed here. No one is a "dummy". We will post "nownowtherethere" if you type such stuff. Sassy is the attitude that's more appropriate to the artist.

I say artist. We learn the craft of clay as part of our duty to get a grip on it. We take those skills and filter them through our own values, sensibilities, dreams and fears, what comes out is art.

You've signed on to be encouraged to be an artist. Someone who when their work is poo poo'd will turn and tell the critic "Hey, go get your own hobby I'm having innocent fun here and what's the beef?"

Ok, another way to look on it... if you didn't make an appointment with God before you were born to have a creative itch, then it was given to you, right?

Creative energy is given to us. It's what cats and dogs don't have. Wooly Mammoths didn't paint self portraits on the cave wall. Self expression just for the fun of it, not necessarily for utility, something that is symbolic of human urges and desires, is what makes us human.

"Uses?! I don gotta chow you no stinkin' uses."

By studying faces for sculpting you can't help but be touched by humanity's frailty. We study skulls for facial reconstruction for sculpting, makes us pause staring at our own inevitable mortality.

But don't pause and dwell on that. Live life like you mean it. Say what you need to say to put your handprint on the cave wall of time with your art.

First learn the craft of it. That's where we come in. I help with
technique and brain massage. What you create is your own choice, not your significant other, not your teacher, not your kids, not the "market", but what you want.

We promote artistic selfishness in that. Your colors, your designs, your themes, your mini scenes. Learn to delight your eye, polymer clay will delight your hands. Choose subjects that mean something to you. Then the work of learning the craft of a thing will be a labor of love and not work.




NoraJean Stone ( formerly "Gatine")
aka Fearless Leader
Graduate of Whazzmmatta U.


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