Since years I've got a lot of problems with my hands and arms that include inflammations and quite a great deal of pain. I don't want to go further into this boring subject, just tell that I'm at a disadvantage when it comes to working with my hands especially as I always wanted to be an artisan.
I was in hospital at the beginning of the year and had some occupational theraphy that included working with natural clay. I made the vessel you can see in the picture. I think it shows that it was made with aching hands.
It looks quite clumsy, doesn't it, but my therapist recommended me to work more with that sort of clay to strengthen my muscles. But I feel it is much too hard to work with for me. I need too much help and I don't like that at all. I want to be independent of others to feel good and to be creative. Besides I can't bake it at home as it needs much to high temperatures.
So I looked for other materials to work with. I already had something like Fimo in mind because I had worked with it many years ago although I knew from this experience it's too hard for me as well. But then looking around in a shop I found out that there's something new called Fimo soft. Since when is it new anyway? If I had only known earlier of its existence! To try out if this stuff pleases my demands I randomly bought five colours that I liked. At home I saw three of them are labelled 'translucent' so I searched the internet to find out the purpose of that and also to find some inspiration as I had no idea what I actually could form and sculpture. Here in Germany polymer clay is a material children play with. I wasn't aware that there are so many adults in the world doing so many beautiful and artistic things with it until I saw them in the web. It was most inspiring! As I read about the ancient technique called Millefiori invented by glass artists centuries ago and as I saw what stunning things you can do with it my only thought was: "I want to be able to do that as well! I must!" I spent several weeks reading about it and pondering until I made my first cane. I did not want to mess it up. I wanted my first attempt to be successful. I made a very simple flower cane of the translucent colours I bought. I made it on March 25th. I covered a candle holder with the slices and was very, very satisfied with the result.
A huge inspiration for me is the idea of covering vessels using Millefiori canes and especially the work of Orly Rabinowitz I stumbled across when I searched Flickr. Her work is amazing! Take a look!
My first attempt made me so glad! The material is soft enough for me to
use, although not on a daily basis, but as you can see I was instantly hooked!