For the past 6 years, I have been working on creating a series of clay sculptures that both engages and stimulates participation from others in my craft. It started years ago when one of my younger students came to me with a drawing of a robot and asked if I could “make her picture out of clay”. I completed the piece, and before I knew it all my students were drawing robots and monsters and asking that I bring them to life.

I then took this concept to my art studio located in the heart of the Oakland Art Murmur. What I thought would be a futile attempt at getting others to draw a piece in my sketchbook quickly turned into a line of people wanting to participate. Some of the drawings were raw and quick, while some were more complex ideas that people would spend 30-40 minutes working on. Some were by skilled artists, and some were by those who were not afraid to participate even though they had limited drawing abilities. Most surprising of all was to see the adults enjoying this project as much as the kids in my class did!

In my current work I have been focusing on a non-verbal collaborative dialog between myself and anyone who wants to participate. While asking participants to put to paper an idea that I can then bring to life in clay, I feel it gives those of all backgrounds a way to connect and engage in art and with each other, while expressing their creativity and emotions.
Joshua Margolis is an Oakland, Ca artist whose work can been seen each First Friday at FM Studios. Or on Instagram @clayandwine

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