As Julie eloquently described during our Into the Forest presentation at Synergy4, the International Polymer Clay Association conference held in King of Prussia, PA on August 13-16, 2017:
When the three of us [Laura, Emily and Julie] got together and decided to throw out this call for contributions, we had no idea where it would lead. You saw earlier some of the fantastic pieces that we have accumulated. But there was an effect
that went beyond the objects. The emotional impact this collaboration has
on us as individuals, as a community or even as a member of the world.
This project brought out fears among novices about being “good enough”,
pride for those who took it as a challenge and overcame. Then there was the
joy of being a part of something bigger.
From our contributors’ own words –
Claire Fairweather of New Zealand: This is my small contribution to
“Into the Forest”, as there was nothing so far from New Zealand, and I felt it
was important for New Zealand to be part of this international polymer clay
collaboration project. These heart-shaped leaves, with Maori-style pattern
on the surface, bring a little love to the “into the Forest” project all the way
from New Zealand.
Rita Hammock of Michigan: Thank you for the opportunity to participate in such a wonderful collaboration. This project came to me at a time when the hands just had to make, to help the brain relax.
Sonya Girodon of France: Withdrawing of everything familiar and letting the unconscious takeover. Getting back into a “primitive” state where judgment does not exist. My bulbs for “Into the Forest” were created while being in this childlike sphere. It was the first time that I had ever made anything this big with polymer clay. I was surprised to see my South African roots spring up once again in these bulbs, as well as a natural rawness and awkwardness. I did not change anything to them to perfect them. They were born from my guts and somehow represent me in their vulnerability and unruly ways.
Marji Purcell of Illinois: As you’ve seen from my Facebook posts, participating in this collaborative exhibit brought me great joy. The sudden death of a friend and the grey days of Chicago winter were weighing heavily on my soul. This week of
studio time, working with spring greens, was just the prescription I needed
to get a new burst of energy and motivation.
Stacy Shaffer of Maryland: Biodiversity is nature’s way of creating a stronger, healthier environment. In a monoculture, single species may be vulnerable, but in a
diverse environment, each individual contributes their unique gifts to weave
a more vibrant whole. Into the Forest represents the diversity of our polymer world, and by extension, speaks to the power and beauty our world can experience by embracing the differences of each individual.