A Folding Taxonomy
 Making Fire

 Experienced Clay

 How and Why

 A Folding Taxonomy

 Exploring Folding

My friend Michael Marx, a long-time polymer clay artist and the person who introduced me to the medium, showed me how to make "swirled balls" and cut them in half to reveal interesting patterns. Quite the opposite of millefiore canes, this technique produces unique, unpredictable patterns.

I'm also a woodworker and one the goals I cherish most is to bring out the beauty of the wood simply by cutting and treating it well. There is perhaps some ethic or belief that says that the wood speaks best for itself.

One excellent technique for exposing that beauty is the bookmatch. The same technique works in clay and is often used to create symmetrical canes, etc.

A bookmatch happens when you cut off a piece of material and lay it next to the piece from which it was cut so that a symmetrical figure is formed. This is conceptually similar to the technique that Hermann Rorschach used to produce his famous ink-blot test. See www.rorschach.org.

It is very easy to produce bookmatch patterns. Swirl up some polymer clay into a ball or cube or other shape, cut it in half and see what you get. Some of them are strikingly beautiful!

I have sat for hours many times creating bookmatches and thinking about how the folds and other techniques I use for combining polymer clay might result in the patterns I see.

What follows is my attempt to formalize and abstract some of my thoughts and observations about folding fimo for my own reasons. I want to do this as a way of keeping my art fresh. One way for me to do that is to have some ideas about where in my own experiences there might be lesser explored techniques for folding the clay.

This is not the only technique I use nor the only source I have for inspiration of new work. It is merely one of the tools I use as I explore the amazing medium of polymer clay.


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