This year was the first time I’ve participated in Masks at MOCA – the participating artists (or artist wannabes) get a sculpted, fired ceramic mask and design/embellish it for showing in the April fundraising exhibit. Masks are sold to the highest bidder to benefit MOCA, the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art.

I decided I was going to learn how to use polymer clay. After considerable research and an outlay of funds, I got started and things seemed to go well for the first few sessions; I even learned how to create a passable Skinner blend with a pasta machine. Then I got in way over my head and it quickly degenerated into a polymer clay nightmare.

It was so bad I couldn’t see continuing – I was totally frustrated by what I couldn’t do (or rather didn’t have time to properly learn how to do). So I got out my sketchbook and started thinking again – less than one week before the project deadline.

I wound up creating something I liked much better in a tiny fraction of the time it took to figure out the clay. I revisited an old hobby and found out I could now do it better; I was very pleased with the results of my mask-as-landscape experiment.

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