Imagine finding inspiration from a soft, overripe, melting Camembert cheese. This is what happened to Salvador Dali, whose inspired moment lead to one of his most famous paintings, The Persistence of Memory. In this painting, hard pocket watches are found unexpectedly limp like melted cheese, and draped in a bizarre dreamlike, coastal landscape. This strange juxtaposition of objects is typical of Surrealism, a 20th century artistic and literary movement which sought to combine the world of dream and fantasy with reality.
Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dali i Domènech was born on May 11, 1904, in the small town of Figueres, Catalonia, Spain. He was an extremely versatile and talented artist, exploring different styles and media as a painter, sculptor, draughtsman, illustrator, writer and film maker. Dali is probably best remembered for his striking and unusual images in his Surrealist work, as well as his flamboyant personal style, and quite possibly the most famous waxed moustache in the world. Feliç aniversari Dali! Let’s celebrate his birthday by making some melted looking creations of our own.
- polymer clay like Fimo or Sculpey
- sculpting tools like skewers and toothpicks
1. Have a look at Salvador Dali’s painting The Persistence of Memory, as well as others paintings in books or on the internet. Notice how in this painting, the normally hard pocket watches appear to be melting. Making something which is normally solid and hard look soft and melted, makes it look strange and not quite real, or…surreal. This is what we will be exploring with the use of polymer clay.
2. Choose the colours you would like to work with, and make a round pocket watch using the clay. Once completed, gently pull it lengthwise to distort it and give it a melted appearance. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven according to the instructions on the package.
3. Younger children can try something simpler, like a face, or twisting several colours together before flattening them out and pulling the clay lengthwise. These examples will also have a melted, distorted appearance. Hanging them off something like a branch will add to the effect.