Gender Musings About the Polymer Clay Artists Who Visit This Blog

Polymer Clay Gender Musings

Mixing Things Up A Bit with a Battle of the Sexes Challenge:

Something struck me as interesting today while doing my daily follow up for comments and questions here at the blog. There seems to be a difference (generally speaking) between the articles that get more comments from female readers, versus the ones that seem to be favored by males.

Now before someone sends me an email about how I should not be stereotyping people according to their gender, please note this is just a general observation of what “appears” to be happening.

FYI: I myself am a girl who has both a touchy-feely-feminine-side, as well as a tom-boy-tool-using-masculine-side. So I can relate to both persuasions fairly well.

So anyways… it appears that the guys do tend to gravitate more towards the tools and supplies related posts. You can see evidence of this in the following articles where there is a much higher proportion of comments from male contributors as compared to what I see in the comment sections of other posts here at the blog:

I’m very pleased to see the men are comfortable posting at this site. There aren’t nearly as many of them who are vocal in the polymer clay community as I would like to see. However, I have noticed this beginning to change a bit, which is fantastic!

Now if you pop over to posts that are more about feelings, you will notice that the comments are predominantly from women. Here are some examples:

I’m not saying the guys aren’t reading these posts. They just aren’t commenting.

So why even bring this up? Well for one, it’s interesting. And for another, why not change it up a little?

I think one of the things that makes you a better artist (and maybe even a better human), is to take a look at things that you would not normally be interested in and try to see it from another’s point of view.

Some of the most whimsical designs come from men who are in touch with their feminine sides. And vice versa… some of the most innovatively mechanical ideas come from women in touch with your masculine sides.

So I have a challenge for you. Let’s see how many guys we can get to comment on the inspirational, musings and sentimental posts. And how many women we can get to comment on the tools, supplies and gadget oriented posts.

If we all think a little outside our usual boxes, we could create some pretty great stuff. And isn’t that what most artists want to do?

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Cindy Lietz, 06 April, 2009

    For you guys out there… do try and comment more often. I think it would show other fella’s that there are more of you than it appears.

  2. Ken H., 06 April, 2009

    Having been raised in a household with only my Grandmother and Mother since I was five, I feel has lightened the burden of being a male in the arts. When I tell people that I’m a performer the next question almost 100% of the time is “Oh, what do you play?” when the reply comes “I sing opera” what happens next is – cricket chirps and few long seconds of silence later “Oh”. It’s the same thing for anything else in the creative realm in respects to men. I think that we’re worried about being considered “happy” (to not offend anyone), a man today who is creative in anything but what is accepted as the “norm” for men, gags us into silence. I really don’t care anymore, I’ve accepted that socially I’ve already got two strikes against me by being in the arts in general and interested in being creative and crafty.

  3. Jenny Tavernier, 11 May, 2012

    Love it! Where would we opera and choral composers and lovers be without our tenors, Helden tenors, basses, baritones, and castrati – (although they seem to be on vacation lately!) lol
    Glad to meet you! – I write/compose both for opera and choral pieces, and LOVE men’s voices, and composing for them! Cool Biz!

    No strikes from here at all!

    Jenny Tavernier

  4. Anna Sabina, 06 April, 2009

    Ken…it is great you are following your passion. This reminds me about a story a female who is 6 feet 2 inches. One of the first things people said when they met her was, “Did you play basketball?” She never played basketball or volleyball and began to answer this question with, “No, did you?” Guess they thought the only benefit of being a tall woman was to be in sports like it was a requirement. I admire her ability to see in a crowd and reach all the cabinets in her kitchen.

    Wanted to mention to Cindy how much I admire your husband Doug’s enthusiasm with your PC stuff. I have a friend that sells Stamping Up and she married her perfect soul mate. He does not do stamping or crafts but funnels his creativity through building storage for all her stamping supplies, going with her to trade shows and demonstrations, helps set up for sales of retired products and even goes with her to the annual conference. He is a gem !!!!

  5. Ken H., 06 April, 2009

    Thank you Ani, while I would love to make my living performing I still must have a day job (which requires maybe three of my neurons to do), which is why I needed a hobby (jewelry making)that is a creative outlet and travels well for when I’m at rehearsals. There are still some crafts that I do not admit to doing when I gift them.

    Cindy, thank you for the chance to discuss this topic.

  6. Cindy Lietz, 07 April, 2009

    Thanks Ani and Ken for a great discussion! The more these roles are dispelled the more creative we can all become!

    Ani, Doug is a very creative person himself. He does beautiful woodwork as well as many other things including video, photography and web design. He is as much the reason for this business working as I am. If it were not for all the work he does there would be no business. We make an excellent team! Most people here do not realize how important Doug is to this site and the library and it is wonderful that you should give him some much deserved credit!

    Ken, keep doing what you’re doing… be proud! Some of the top artists in the crafting and polymer clay industry are men. Dan Cormier, Robert Dancik, Grant Diffendaffer, Jeffrey Lloyd Dever, and Tim Holtz are just to name a few!

  7. Ken H., 09 April, 2009

    Thanks Cindy, as an example (now I’m talking a looong time ago, age 8 or 9) my grandmother taught me to crochet, it was something we could do together when I was off from school during the summer(and it’s somethng of her I have left now that shes gone), I can whip up a granny square blanket with the best of them, I have made a few for co-workers who were having children, but never admitted that I made them. I said I got my mother to make them, nor would I have worked on them on the train to and from work like I see women do. I’ve seen some beautiful work being done but did not say anything as to not garner suspision in public that I might understand what they were doing.

  8. Cindy Lietz, 11 April, 2009

    Ken, I think you should tell people that you have crocheted something yourself when you give it as a gift. It will just show them how amazing you are!

    Same with on the train and stuff. Who says only woman and Gay men are allowed to crochet and do crafts? That is ridiculous! If you want things to change, sometimes you have to be the one who changes it!

  9. Catalina, 12 April, 2009

    Ken, I have the opposite problem. I have been very artistic in every media since I was 3. So, everyone assumes that if it was handmade, I made it. I would love to buy other peoples art work and enjoy their views on the world around them but, it would confuse my family and friends. “Did YOU make that?” Is what I would hear and I would have to confess, “No, but isn’t it amazing?” Most would then lose interest or feel uncomfortable. Or say, “YOU could do THAT and why don’t you try it…” I would feel guilty because I did not make it. (crazy, huh?) And I don’t want to replicate others ideas. I know what it feels like to have others “steal” your work. I don’t feel it is a “honor” to have other take your work and pass it on as theirs. (As I was told by a teacher when my work was taken by another student.)
    So, take pride in what YOU make! Be honored to have such talent to brighten our world. And take the credit for your talents! :)

  10. Ken H., 12 April, 2009

    Thank you both, your comments are very motivational.

    Cindy: While I’m not quite ready yet to tilt at the windmill yet, I will at least complement and inquire how an item is done if I see something beautiful being made in public. (baby steps. There is a question at the end of my coment to Catalina I would be interested in your opinons as well, considering all the beautiful things you show us here.

    Catalina: If you are a creative person you’re usually creative in more than one area. Do you feel that someone can copy style and still not re-create a peice bead for bead or stroke for stroke in painting? I see designs all over the place and say “that’s a good idea” but shy away from using it in a different project because I too dislike the idea of being “copied”. being new to jewelry making, where does the line between inspiration and mimicry fall?

  11. Catalina, 12 April, 2009

    Great question, Ken! It can be a fine line. But, I like to take an idea, style, or technique I discover and change it enough to make it mine. Such as, change the color, size, material, etc. Right now, I want to create Native American Jewelry. I have been doing a lot a homework to learn the “art” of this type of jewelry design. Although, I would like to make “authentic” looking pieces, but, who would buy from a non-Native American Indian? I’m a Spanish/German mutt! How could it be authentic? So, my goal is to have the “influence” of the Native American designs incorporated but not copied. Learn the meaning of colors, symbols, material, etc. This is very difficult. But, I like challenges.

    Sometimes it is better to actually copy an artist to learn the style, technique, and craftsmanship but to keep these for yourself, as references. Once you master theses you will be able to make them your own and call it yours. Or at least let the person know how the item was made and what your purpose was for making it. Some people want “faux” pieces. If you let people know that then go for it. I hope this clear.

  12. Cindy Lietz, 16 April, 2009

    This is a great conversation guys!

    Anyone else want to add their thoughts to it?

  13. Yvonne Torburn-Clark, 12 May, 2012

    Ken, I say crochet away! anywhere. Personally, I think it’s sexy. Also, my dad used to teach folk dancing, and he would sew the matching skirts and shirts for himself and his partner. And he doesn’t have anything fem about him. And I think it’s just cool. Pleats and ruffles were no problem for him. It just show’s how multi-talented you are.

  14. Mrs Rainbow, 18 November, 2012

    My husband is really good at sewing. INFINITELY better than I am. I get in to all sorts of tangles….. and I do mean sewing……by HAND…..not by machine. We do not even own one, although it is on the list of ‘one of these days’ purchases. :D

    Many years ago, when my sons (who are now 19 and 21), were young… husband secretly sewed them a Batman and Superman outfit from ‘Santa’ for Christmas….and picked it up every evening, when they were in bed. He appliqued the designs to a basic set of jogging suits, made the capes etc……and a complete mask for Batman…… the ears even had to be totally pert and upright, or he was not happy with it. The kids love them!

    I only have the one photo of them wearing it together………..but I proudly tote it around to all.. My HUSBAND made this!! :D I love the fact that he can do such things……..even if the reason why he is such a good seamstress is because he fancied his craft teacher at school something chronic! He was the only boy to OPT into her class! LOL. It paid off though! :D

  15. Cindy Lietz, 19 November, 2012

    That is soo awesome Mrs. Rainbow! I love those kind of stories. What a great man you have!

    My brother is pretty good at sewing. Much better than I am. I remember when he was in his early 20’s he had bought an old Porsche for an amazing price. It needed new leather for the seats and it was not in his budget to have them made. So he bought the leather, made a pattern from the old seats and sewed the new ones himself on my mom’s old treadle sewing machine. (I guess it sewed leather much better than mom’s regular machine did.) He probably had to do some hand sewing as well. We were all pretty impressed with him.

    If I remember correctly, I think he also sewed a set of cushions for his sailboat a few years later. He was always saving up for the next big project and then figuring out how to fix them up on his own. He has always been pretty resourceful that way. Still is to this day!

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