In the summer of 2023, the Tulsa Community College (TCC) Center for Creativity conducted a series of fun events for the public, including workshops to inspire individuals to try something new. One of the workshops was for novices willing to try sculpting tiny polymer clay animals.
Sarah Bowen, full-time artist and art educator, and owner of Tiny Things by Bowen, taught the audience how to sculpt a little fox, a beaver, and a raccoon. Every workshop participant received a kit. Bowen began her instruction by demonstrating warming up the clay technique by rolling the ball of clay in her hands.
“Clay must be nice and soft,” Bowen explained.
The audience created the body, legs, triangular ears, and nose for the fox figurine. Bowen advised overlapping things by tapping the fox’s tail down and bringing a part of it to the front of the sculpture. To make the fox look alive, the artist suggested adding white highlights to the fox’s eyes.
Bowen also showed how to make a green backpack and attach it to the back of the fox figurine. The artist recommends adding accessories to each tiny sculpture for more interest. Texture can be created by drawing lines on a figurine’s surface. In the case of the fox, two lines were scratched on its paws.
When the workshop participants finished making the figurines, the art pieces were placed in the toast oven and baked at 365 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes.
“My degree is sign language interpreting,” said Bowen. “But I do the art classes for the public because Tulsa public schools have very few art courses.”
Bowen, who grew up in Broken Arrow, mostly does clay sculpting. In addition to polymer clay art, she also draws with watercolor and pencils. According to her website, since 2014, she has been designing “colorful gnomes, miniature foods, nerdy collections, and thousands of unique handmade magnets.”