After spending over 40 hours kneading children’s clay into whimsical replicas of presidential contenders Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, Ian Williams has earned the title of “Official PLAY-DOH Artist of the Year, an annual contest run by the RI-based toy company Hasbro Inc. “I’m passionate about sculpting and grew up playing with PLAY-DOH so I’m truly honored,” Williams said. “Working with Hasbro is a wonderful opportunity and I look forward to sharing my creativity with the PLAY-DOH online community.
But the challenge was anything but child’s play. The RISD senior had to keep the pre-formed busts sealed in plastic bags and moistened with vegetable oil to prevent them from drying out. He also had a particularly hard time sculpting Romney’s voluminous hair (fit for a VO5 commercial), which tends to stick straight up. “It was so much volume and there was so much height to it that the weight of the Play-Doh made it want to slump down,” Williams said in an interview with the New York Daily News. The 21 year old Rochester, NY native doesn’t just get the tile of PLAY-DOH King: he also gets a $5000 tuition stipend and the chance to create clay creations with Hasbro that will be posted to the company’s Facebook site.