Creativity Today

A Different Way to Live Life

Thinking Putty

A few days ago, I received “Thinking Putty” as a gift. I opened its plastic wrapping and tin container and was ecstatic to find a giant mound of purple putty, which I immediately started squishing in my hands. Since I received this putty, I have not put it down or stopped playing with it, even when I was doing my homework, walking home from school, and writing this blog post.

Needless to say, I have loved putty my entire life, whether it’s in the form of Silly Putty, artists’ erasers, sticky tack, and, now, Thinking Putty. For me, keeping my hands busy with putty serves both as a means of maintaining concentration and defeating stress, as well as a constant source of entertainment — for I always have the opportunity to make a sculpture of a human head, an animal, or an abstract shape.

Elephant made of Thinking Putty

Elephant made of Thinking Putty

But, it is more than just these aspects that make playing with putty one of my favorite daily experiences. I also love listening to the slight popping sound it makes when I quickly pull it apart (of course, unless I pull it in a certain way, it is completely silent), as well as watching it change from thick to thin and from short to long as I mold it into different shapes.

Other great elements of putty include: its portability (the mounds of putty are small enough to carry around, although I often take smaller pieces with me throughout my day); its constant state of readiness (it never dries out); and its appropriateness for most situations and locations (for example, it is easy to use silently while watching a movie). Its versatility makes it a perfect companion.

My collection of Thinking Putty

My collection of Thinking Putty

The history of putty, particularly Silly Putty, has a long and circuitous route. Although the scientists involved in making Silly Putty failed in their initial attempts to invent a rubber substitute during World War II, when rubber was in short supply, Silly Putty finally became an incredibly popular item for both adults and children through ingenious marketing, serendipity, and a lot of good luck. Happily, for adults and children alike, as the song “The Roses of Success,” from the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, reminds us, “from the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success.” And thus, this wonderful putty, and all its successors — including Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty, was born.

My name made out of Thinking Putty

My name made out of Thinking Putty

I strongly believe that this putty is the embodiment of creativity, for there are an almost infinite number of shapes you can mold it into and purposes you can use it for. Playing with it helps enhance my thought process as well, for, often when I am writing, the mindless stretching of the putty allows me to collect my thoughts, thereby making me even more creative.

Creative Challenge:

Buy any form of putty, whether it is one that I mentioned above or one that you have discovered yourself. Play with it as much as possible and discover new creations you can make and purposes it can serve. The possibilities are endless.

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What is your favorite aspect of putty? What shapes have you created? Comment below to discuss.

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