Even though polymer clay isn't ever so expensive I still don't like consigning potentially useful bits to the scrap . . . er. . . lump in my case. (What there is of it gets rolled into a multicoloured clump, like the way plasticene always ended up when I was a kid.)
So when I made these hollow beads I posted about before,
I used the squares cut out of the middle of their inner layers, to make these hollow beads,
Then the squares cut out of the middle of those beads' inner layers got made into these non hollow beads.
Only the little scrappy edge bits left over were fed to the 'lump'. . .
What I liked about this whole progression was that only the first part was planned, the rest was a spontaneous reaction to seeing the cut out bits in front of me.
I'm not trying to maintain that this was a major piece of lateral thinking or a unique insight, just the kind of enjoyable creative diversion we all make from time to time. Let's call it 'Play'. . .
I'm sure I read something recently about how useful play is in the creative process, (the Fall edition of Polymer Arts magazine I think) and I can only concur. The imagination and inventiveness involved in play make it a valuable and precious thing. For reasons I can't fathom those attributes are often underestimated and even dismissed, seemingly just because using them can involve fun, and of course anything fun is somehow not 'serious' and therefore not really the domain of adults/professionals/serious practitioners.
Yeah well, I'm happy to leave the serious work to the Grown Ups. I'll keep playing with stuff and see what I can come up with.
You can join in if you like ;-)