Foil Art

Foil art is usually created when foil is used as a substrate on which to emboss a design. While it is possible to use all sorts of expensive foils, like copper, on which to create the reliefs, for my work I only used the humble kitchen aluminum variety.

Actually these works ended up being a solution to some polymer clay relief sculpture pieces that I was not too happy about. Somehow the clay colors did not harmonize and I would have discarded my sorry attempts. Then I saw a demonstration online and realized that it would 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!

The Multiplication, 12x16"
Foil Art
Sara Joseph

The Multiplication, Foil Art, by Sara Joseph

The Multiplication, on the right, was inspired by one of my favorite chapters describing God's abundant provision for the multitude - the story of Jesus multiplying the little boy's loaves and fishes!

What an amazing experience it must have been for him to have witnessed that miracle! When that little boy grew up and later faced challenges of provision in his adult life, did the Holy Spirit remind him quickly of that moment, I wonder? One would think that having experienced something so wonderful, he would never ever again doubt God's provision for him.

Yet knowing myself and human nature in general, I wouldn't be surprised if he did! I am ashamed at how often God has provided for me and yet with each new challenge, I begin first by fretting and worrying, before I am reminded of God's faithfulness in the past!

The Invitation to the Banquet 3, 11x14"
Foil Art
Sara Joseph

The Invitation to the Banquet, Foil Art Relief Sculpture by Sara Joseph

The Invitation to the Banquet 3 is a theme that I have yet to weary of. It is the invitation that God issues in the Bible, to every human being to join His family, to be present by choice at His banquet. Such a grave price was paid for our presence at this banquet! This invitation is found in the pages of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Accepting it, or declining is left up to us, isn't it?

These artworks were created by smoothing foil over polymer clay relief sculptures and then painting the whole with acrylic paints. The uniform texture of the foil helped to harmonize the work. Once that was done, I had the freedom to enhance the work by splashing on brilliant acrylic paints, forcing them into all the dramatic crevices formed by the foil, wiping some off… to create the interesting textural feel of the piece. Some of the colors I used, I'll admit, are a little fanciful. Still they do somewhat mimic metal, yet are intriguingly lightweight.

The Watering, 11x14"
Foil Art
Sara Joseph

The Watering, Foil Art by Sara Joseph

All seeds require watering to bear fruit. Some take longer than anticipated. Watering, even reluctantly, will keep your seed viable! That is the theme of the work on the right.

These foil art sculptures were fun to create because the results are unpredictable and unknown while I am working on the piece. As the foil is being affixed to the surface of the polymer clay relief, it is impossible to know how much of the underlying texture can be adequately captured on the surface. It takes a little faith, and a whole lot of patience, to coax the relief from below to emerge on the surface.

I also sealed the surface with a uniform coat of gloss medium, since some of the color seemed to sit too lightly on the aluminum foil.

This type of foil art is easy to attempt and a lot of fun. I do hope that these pieces will encourage you to try your hand at it!

The Shunamite Woman, another Foil Art Sculpture.

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