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17 January 2006 

Why I dig crafts, and the runestone project

There's something about crafting--especially when it's something really functional--that makes me feel like I'm on a level with some primitive culture. When I make a sheet of paper, I'm in the same place as the first Egyptian to discover what papyrus could do. When I put a book together with coptic binding, I'm working alongside medival scribes. When I knit something, I'm with an old woman sitting next to a fire in a small house on the Scottish coast two hundred years ago. It makes me feel like I'm a part of history, and that I'm carrying on these ancient traditions, working with my hands, bucking the system of mass-production.

Some people do it for art. I do it because I'm a raging dork.

Lately I've been making runestones with Sculpey. The Sculpey I got was white, so I decided to just paint my first batch. Three days later, I'm still trying to get that damn sixth coat on so they actually look covered.

So I tried a different approach--blending the paint in directly with the clay before sculpting. I was advised by the lovely folks at Craftster that it's a good idea to let Sculpey + acrylic paint sit out overnight. The water in the paint needs some chance to evaporate. So I went off to bed last night, after making this:

When I went to mold it today, the clay was super-stiff and I had to knead it quite a bit to get it to be responsive. On the upside, it held shapes much better and it was easier to move it around and not get fingerprints on it. After baking and a layer of Mod Podge, I ended up with these lovely amethyst-looking stones.