Steve Powell is the teacher librarian at Durango High School in Durango, Colorado. He coaches knowledge bowl, chess team and speech and debate, sponsors the school’s book club RABID, and co-sponsored the international winning aerospace design team. He is also a talented Sculpey artist and an aspiring writer.
Steve, how long have you been creating characters of clay? What inspired you to get started?
I have been “playing” with clay all my life. My first piece was a duck pond in 1st grade. My inspiration for creating historical pieces are the great dioramas at the Colorado Historical Society in Denver. After one school field trip, I was hooked and visited it several times a year. My reason for making little clay figures was out of poverty. My family couldn’t afford many toys so I made my own toy soldiers out of the non-drying colored clay.
The medieval village is by far the largest, longest project, taking 15 years and many revisions. The village is 8 by 4 feet, contains 20 separate scenes with a total of 22 buildings, four boats, and over 200 figures. I have placed several colleagues and friends in the village. The most challenging was either the Tolkien Shadowbox because of the restrictions I placed on myself in scene selection and being true to the books, or a four group set of children in the four seasons.
You’re also an aspiring writer. What kind of book do you want to write, and how far along in the writing process are you?
What librarian isn’t an aspiring writer? It’s a children’s chapter book about a superhero who saves rare books. I am story-boarding the scenes and doing character development.