OK, honestly? This post has NOTHING to do with polymer clay. So if you're looking for reflections about shows and life as an artist... maybe another time. Sorry about that.
I'm thinking about visibility, and age, and the funny things that happen when you stop doing what's "proper" according to someone else, and start doing exactly what you want to do. When my kids were in middle school, they periodically dyed bits of their hair blue, or magenta, or green, or whatever. I was jealous! I had my sensible conservative work clothes and went to meetings and didn't have an awful lot of leeway to experiment with crazy looks.
Time passed - I progressed from being a woman who occasionally got appraising glances or even cat calls (which I hated!) from men on the street, to being a woman of an invisible age, slightly round with graying hair. That was just fine for me! I never lost my longing for the ability to play with brightly colored hair - it was folded up somewhere in the box with other odd wishes I couldn't act on. But I certainly didn't mind being invisible.
So when I walked away from the day job, it didn't take me long to beg my hairdresser for a blue streak. And it didn't take me long after that to start applying multiple colors of blue directly from the tube to my head every couple of weeks. I LOVE it! My inner 2-year old is rolling in the paint and wiggling all over with the color joy. Blue hair is now something I just kind of take for granted.
My lovely neighbor, who is a barber, is always interested to see the latest iteration, and always has something nice to say. Some of my friends think I'm nuts - but they've gotten used to it.
The people on the street, though? The ones that never used to see me? WHOA! When I was weeding last week, a pickup truck came by and the driver yelled "Love the hair!" A woman driving her daughter to school pulled up and asked me about it - we must have chatted for a good 5 minutes. A piper at the Irish Festival last week said "Wow - it's a Smurf!" - honestly, I didn't like that one, but it wasn't deliberately nasty. There is rarely a day that goes by where someone doesn't comment on it - and the comments are universally kind, and frequently include a "how do you do it?" component. Who knew?
It was a little unnerving to become visible after a comfortable decade or so of being totally invisible. But I think I like it. And I think I'll stay blue for the foreseeable future.
I'll write about polymer some other time.