Stone Soup for the Artistic Soul

I’m sure you’re  all familiar with some variation of that old folktale Stone Soup, right? It’s the one where a wise trickster claims to be able to make soup with “just” a stone to the disbelief of the crowd.  And lo and behold, he boils the water, adds the stone… but of course, just for flavor, it would be nice if someone had a turnip to add… a meat bone… an onion… and so on, until the stone soup is done and everyone marvels that such a delicious meal could have been made with “just” a stone.

It occurs to me that art can be that way too.  We start out with our creative impulse and “just” a bit of polymer (which is what I’m into, but the analogy can work for other materials, of course) – it’s all we need, but wouldn’t it be nice to add a good project book… a workshop… a clay play day to share ideas… an online class or two….

Before you know it, you’ve got a pretty flavorful artistic soup going.


I was thinking about this because I was musing on the value of classes, projects and such. Since I am an artist who shares my processes through writing and teaching, I think about this kind of thing often.  What brought it to mind this time is that I am one of the artists teaching online for the Polymer Clay Adventure online retreat starting Jan.1, 2015.teachers PCA

I noticed that two of the other instructors participating were instrumental in my being involved in polymer in the first place.  When Karen “Klew” Lewis opened her new beadstore/gallery (we live in the same town) she showed me what she was doing with this weird clay stuff.  I was intrigued, so I bought some polymer clay from her shop, and Barb McGuire’s book “Foundations in Polymer Clay” and began to teach myself how to play with this cool stuff. Those were some really nice additions to my artistic soul soup.

barbMcGuire book

I teach as a part of my livelihood.  Of course I want all of you to appreciate the value of classes and projects and books and be excited to partake of ones that I’m involved in.  But it’s more than that (honest!).  I’m not just selling soup.  I’m a soup-maker and soup-eater too, just like all you creative souls out there.  If we all put onions in each other’s pots, it’ll be a more flavorful world.  (Hmmm, I think that analogy is a little weird if you think about it too much, but you know what I mean.)

So, here’s a few onions for your artistic soup… I hope you like the flavor!

And maybe I’ll see you in a workshop, or at the PCA online retreat or in my Creative Neighborhood, and we can share a few more soup ingredients!

bon appétit


About christifriesen

I am an artist because I must be. My mind wanders and my fingers follow. Just feed me a little more chocolate and I'll be fine.
This entry was posted in Creative Neighborhood, creativity, inspiration, Polymer Clay Adventure online retreat, sharing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Stone Soup for the Artistic Soul

  1. Mayd Marian Gurnee says:

    I love the analogy that you express with this article. It reminds me a lot of Tory Hughes’ way of teaching and thinking. She likes to get in the psyche of each of her students, often before she starts a class.


  2. Thank you for the comment Mayd Marian! I often hear students talk about “good” teachers, and I think the key is just that – connecting in personal way!


  3. Evonne says:

    This is a delicious take on the creative process. Your generous nature is what makes you such a great “cook”.


  4. awwww, thanks Evonne!


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