Sunday in the Studio


The only thing that I love more than spending me-time in the studio is spending time in the studio with my son.  So when we were batting around ideas for making homemade Valentine’s Day cards for his classmates, I suggested we try a different medium than paper.

Of my three children, my son seems to be the one most drawn to the clay, most willing to get his hands really dirty and least deterred by the dusty floor and damp air of the basement. We agreed to work for a few hours on Sunday afternoon, making heart-shaped pendants with Sculpey left over from a workshop that I recently taught.  Polymer clay does not require the use of glaze or a kiln, which makes it better-suited to a quick project.

I pulled out the red, white, pink and purple clay from a Ziploc bag, set the two heart-shaped cookie cutters and some tools on the table and grabbed a small wooden rolling pin for each of us.  We filled a foil baking sheet with hearts—making  several extra pieces, just in case—and finished moments before dinner was ready.  The baked ziti came out of the oven and the tray of hearts went in.  He told his sisters about our studio time while we ate.

sculpey hearts“Each one is unique, like snowflakes,” he said proudly.

“Tell them what else you noticed,” I prodded.

“Oh, yeah.  Ima had more fun making them than I did!”

“That’s right,” I confirmed.  But I didn’t want to be chided by my kids for being corny, so I didn’t explain why this was true.  As much as the studio is my happy place and escape from real-world pressures—I consider it the only “room of my own” in the house—it is an even happier place when I share space at the work table with my son.