by Charlotte Passmore, Photographer and Communications Specialist
For those of you who don’t know, Omanut is the activity that revolves around arts and crafts, metal-making, Jewish cooking, ceramic-making and video. Each age group of Campers will eventually get involved in all of these; however, this week they had a real treat from a guest artist that came in to introduce them to the art of Polymer Clay!
Abby Maier has returned to URJ Camp Coleman for her third year as an artist-in-residence. Abby has also traveled to many other camps across the country. By only becoming involved in Polymer Clay for 5 years, but being an artist for 14 years, she has offered campers something that deviates magnificently from their usual schedule of Arts and Crafts. Abby loves working with Fused Glass and Metalsmithing, but has returned to Camp offering campers the opportunity to make, condition and bake their own Polymer Clay.
What is Polymer Clay, you ask? Polymer Clay is literally that – a form of clay! However, it presents itself in many different vibrant colours, and colours can be mixed if there isn’t one already present for you to use. The idea is to roll out the clay flat in a pasta maker and layer them with other colours to create cool and illusional patterns! Campers also have the opportunity to use cookie stamps for different shapes of clay, or word stamps to create words and letters in their clay. This clay can also be rolled into tubes, which can then be sliced into little circles/squares to be made into jewelry. The finished product is then baked in an oven where the clay sets hard, almost like stone.
I asked Abby what it is she thinks that campers love about this sort of Arts and Crafts activity. Abby believes that there is an “inner artist” in everyone, and being able to create a piece of art from scratch using vibrant colours, different patters, and an object besides a paintbrush or a pencil gives it that unique twist! At the moment, campers are currently creating journals to be used at camp, and they can write in these what they wish- maybe even use it as a diary for Life At Camp! These journals are then being embellished with their finished Polymer Clay to put their own stamp on it! Another group of campers have also started making candle stick holders out of them, which look really cool when finished. When I interviewed Abby during “Chofesh” (a session where campers can return to any activity that they choose for the period), campers flocked to Abby to continue with their journals. It really is so popular with campers of all ages!
Abby is extremely excited to welcome Campers (and staff if they choose!) to her workshop. By taking this activity also outside of camp – sometimes to birthday parties, girls night events – it is something that appeals to everyone, with such a diverse choice of creation at your grasp.