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Foil Art

“There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”  John 6:9


Foil art is usually created when foil is used as a substrate on which to emboss a design. All kinds of pure metal foils can be used, from copper to tin, on which to create reliefs. I used aluminum.

To be perfectly honest, these works ended up being a solution to some polymer clay relief sculptures that were less than satisfactory out of the oven. The clay colors changed in hue and refused to harmonize after they were fired. I was tempted to just discard my ugly attempts when I saw an online demonstration of foil art. It proved to be the perfect solution to unify and rescue my works!

Instead of embossing on the foil, I applied the foil over my clay works and then worked to reveal the shapes of the polymer clay sculpture underneath!

Multiplication was inspired by one of my favorite chapters in John describing God's abundant provision for the multitude—the account of Jesus multiplying the little boy's 5 loaves and 2 fish.

What an amazing experience it must have been for the lad to have witnessed that miracle! When he grew up and faced challenges of provision later in his adult life, I bet the Holy Spirit reminded him of that magnificent day when Jesus fed at least 10,000 with his packed lunch!!

One would like to imagine that having experienced something so wonderful, he'd never ever again doubt God's provision for him. Yet knowing myself, and human nature in general, I'm reasonably certain that in a low moment of life, he'd still resort to worry, forgetting completely what Jesus had done on that Galilean countryside.

I'm ashamed of how each new challenge, still finds me first fretting, before reminding myself of God's unwavering faithfulness. Recalibrating faith seems to be more common than steady, unshakable faith, to which I truly aspire.


Foil and Polymer clay sculpture of a seated woman reading the Bible
Invitation to the Banquet 3, Foil & Polymer Clay Relief Sculpture, Sara Joseph, SOLD

"Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!'” Revelation 19:9

Abstract detail of foil and polymer clay relief sculpture by Sara Joseph of
Detail, Invitation to the Banquet 3

Invitation to the Banquet 3 is another polymer clay & foil artwork of a theme that I'll never bore me. We are all invited to join God's family for eternity, beginning with a banquet to top all celebrations! No one is excluded. This invitation, although entirely free, does require an RSVP. Its details are found in the pages of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Accepting or declining is left up to us. The consequences of declining are more deadly that people realize.

Once more, this work of art was created by smoothing foil over a polymer clay relief sculpture, which was then painted with acrylic paints. The uniform shimmer of the foil helped harmonize the work. The piece was then enhanced by brushing on brilliant acrylic paints, forcing them into all the crevices formed by the foil folding over clay. The work mimics metal, but is lightweight.


Foil and Polymer Clay sculpture of a seated woman pouring water from a pitcher by Sara Joseph
Watering Seed, Foil & Polymer Clay, Sara Joseph, SOLD

"For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."  Isaiah 55:10-11 KJV


God's words spoken in faith are seeds which will bear fruit. Some take longer than anticipated. Watering, even reluctantly, will keep your seed viable. I'll confess to days when I no longer desire to water reluctant, slow germinating seeds, and yet I know my harvest is contingent on diligent nurturing. And so I keep at it, until...

Foil art sculptures are fun to create because the results are unpredictable during the process. As the foil is being affixed to the surface of the polymer clay relief, it is impossible to know how much of the underlying sculptural details can be adequately captured on the surface. It takes a good measure of faith, and a whole lot of patience, to coax the relief from below to emerge on the surface. But isn't that true of all art!



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