Ohrmann Museum & Gallery
Polymer Clay Sculptures
Polymer clay is a manufactured product that is marketed for art and craft projects. It is easily shaped and very forgiving. Conventional clay needs to be fired in a hot kiln, and it shrinks as it dries, so it can not be combined with other materials that don't shrink at the same rate or that have a low flash point. Polymer clay is baked at 275 degrees (household oven) and does not shrink, so it can be used with a wire armature (skeleton) and the material won't shrink away or crack. And the final sculpture can be painted which allows for further expression.
Bill Ohrmann started using polymer clay when it was first introduced in the 1970's. Sometimes he didn't want to put a lot of time into a project, such as a donation to a local charity auction, or to illustrate a whimsical idea that was not intended to be a 'great' work of art. Polymer clay was the perfect medium. And the paintability allowed him to throw in some color, moreso than wood carvings or bronze sculptures.
A Visit From Carrie Nation
Bill Ohrmann, polyform, 1995
Wood work by John Hollar
This piece is a whimsical rendition of the well-known abolitionist Carrie Nation about to destroy a saloon as a protest in her quest to establish Prohibition.