Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit

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etceteras: a miscellany of extras; additional odds and ends

Random Thought: If your life is not your own then whose is it?

Mindful Sanding

If you work with polymer clay, you know that sanding is one task that takes a fair amount of time.  For those not familiar with this task, sanding is done with wet/dry sandpaper and typically proceeds through several grades of sandpaper.  Depending on my art work, I start with 220 grit and finish with 2000 grit.  Each of us has our own way to complete this task and, for some of us, gritting our teeth while sanding may be part of the process.

During my most recent encounter with sanding, I decided to practice mindful sanding.  Mindful sanding, for me, is almost like a meditation.  First, it requires clearing your mind of all thoughts.  Not an easy thing to do because sanding can be a mindless task where we let our minds wander and jump from thought to thought.  Much like sitting meditation, thoughts do filter through my head when sanding, from planning dinner, a to-do list, or having conversations with myself.  The difference this time was to be aware of the thought and then to let it go.

When the thought bubble appeared, I engaged it, listened to it, then let it go and returned my focus to the sanding.  In trying to be present and mindful while sanding, I began to listen to the sound and rhythm the sandpaper makes when it engages the surface of the polymer clay.  I could feel the contours of the polymer clay shape beneath the sandpaper.  I could feel the clay becoming smoother with each successive grit.  I alternated between my right and left hands when sanding to engage different motions while one hand held the polymer and the other moved the sandpaper.

The whole process of sanding seemed to take less time and effort.  And when the phone rang, I felt much more relaxed when I answered it.

Pippin “blesses” the pasta machine


Then he attempts to tame the polymer clay as it goes through the pasta machine


Don’t worry.  His paws never get near the PM rollers.  He just seems to be fascinated with the pasta machine, the motor, and the clay.  He likes to swat at the motor and sometimes the clay sheet.  Most times he just likes to sit and watch from the rolling table next to my primary work table.