Sunday, March 21, 2010

I'm writing a book --- and it's a nail biter!

OK the title is a bit misleading. Yes I am writing a book but it is about polymer clay. (Shocker!) My problem (and if this is my biggest problem I am in good shape) is that I bite my nails. I know a nasty habit. My husband always asks me why I am so nervous. I, of course always explain, "because I am married to you!" No I really don't know why I bite my nails. It's worse when I am watching movies and TV. Well I am sure this is what you came to my polymer clay site - to read about my marriage and nails. I am not going to talk any more about the former but as for my nails they have created a problem for my book. Since it is a "how to" book you can imagine that it must include photos. Well there are just certain times that you have to get your hand in the picture. Ah yes it is all becoming clear. What do I do about the "nubs"? Great solution - press on nails. Good except they don't exactly stay on and I can't work with them on. That meant a little dab of superglue. Have you ever been successful at getting just a dab when you are in a hurry? Let's just say it is lucky that I have all of my fingers to type this stimulating blog and that they are not still stuck to my work surface.
So I press on (press on ... get it?) with my photo shoot with lovely fingernails on my thumb and first two fingers. I figured I could keep the rest out of the picture. Well when it came time to looking at the photos that I took dealing with cane reduction I noticed that one shot showed all of my fingers. No problem - a quick "manicure" via photoshop took care of that. I don't know if it will make it into the book or not but I thought I'd share.
I have so much more to talk about but I also have so much to do and I think they are deserving of their own entry so y'all come back now.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Treasures from Synergy

For those of you who missed Synergy here is another reason to start saving your nickels and dimes for Synergy 2012. Here are some of the treasures that I acquired while at Synergy. Some are items I purchased in the gallery. Others were purchased from Elise Winters personal stash at rediculously low prices. I am sure most of you know about Elise Winters and her attempts to raise polymer to a higher artistic level. She spoke at Synergy about being a DINK (double income no kids) and her fear of her polymer collection ending up on a garage sale table. Because of this she has donated a large portion of her collection to the Racine Arts Museum just outside of Chicago. She also presented attendees with the opportunity to purchase some of her collection at very low prices. The sale was a bit of a feeding frenzy. Picture drooling polymer enthusiasts racing to the tables for their chance to own some polymer treasures. I still can't believe that I let petite Bridget Downey block me out and grab the beautiful necklace created by Carol Simmons. It was a rare case of restraint on my part. Bridget emerged unbruised and I walked away with some treasures of my own. I was able to snap a pair of earring made Judith Skinner. Earrings by Judy Belcher and Debbie Jackson. A pin by Gwen Gibson and a necklace by Donna Kato. I will not tell you how low the prices were but I will tell you that there was a big smile on my face. Elise can rest well tonight knowing that her pieces are loved and appreciated. And to the artists whose work was represented I am sure there are others like me who now own little works of art that we may never have had it not been the generosity of Elise.
I did break down and purchase a pendant by Carol Simmons so that Bridget could quit worrying ab out me ripping hers off her neck! I also purchase a pin by Sarah Shriver and some earrings by Jenn Dorian who lives in the town next to my home town.

Throughout my blog I have made the attempt to drop the "clay" and just call it polymer. This idea was raised during Synergy with the thought this would help to not confuse us with earthen clay. I would like to call it polymer art clay. I think this makes it different and I think sounds better than just polymer. It's just a thought.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Gallery Items

When I was at cabin Fever and Synergy I was able to put some items in the gallery for sale. I am happy to say that I did sell a few items. Here are some pictures of some of the items. The purse was not for sale but I took it to the banquet on the last day of Synergy. I have never been a purse person. (say that ten times fast!) My cell phone didn't even fit! I did get quite a few compliments on it so I thought I share it with you.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cabin Fever and Synergy

Well I am back from Cabin Fever Clay Festival and Synergy. What can I say? It was a fabulous time. I am still recovering (catching up on sleep) It started with a two day work shop with Jeff Dever. He and Kathleen Dustin were the top two artists on my "must take a workshop from" list. Neither let me down. Jeff is just a really nice guy. He like Kathleen is very open and willing to share with all of his students. I love his style (and I am not referring to his matching pink socks and shirt as lovely as they were) but to his artistic style. His pod necklaces, pins and such are both simple and complex in thought. His attention to detail and finishing is evident when watching him work. As a class we opted to hear and learn as much from him as we could in the two days rather than being given more time to work on our own projects. Therefore I have nothing to show (at this time) from his workshop. I do plan on finishing something. (I know famous last words from me!) If you ever get a chance to attend a Jeff Dever workshop I would recommend you jump at the chance.

Cabin Fever had an excellent lineup of instructors this year. I took classes from Louise Fischer Cozzi, Sarah Shriver, Maureen Carlson, Grant Diffendaffer, Lisa Pavelka and Ronna Sarvas Weltman. Other instructors there were Kathryn Ottman, Cindy Silas, Nan Roche, Tony Aquino, Maggie Maggio, Jana Roberts Benzon, Lindly Huanani, Dayle Doroshow and Laurie Mika. In addition to being an instructor Nan Roche was a frequent student. She attended Jeff's class right along with us. It was surreal when the woman who literally wrote the book on polymer clay is sitting right next to you in class. It was also a tad bit amusing when Nan raised her hand to ask "what do you do to get it out of the form when you have forgotten the release agent?" I guess we all make mistakes. The classes were varied. From making rings and bracelets to intricate canes and faux raku.

I met some new friends Foremost was Katie Way from Alaska. She has excellent taste. (She purchased one of my "mosaic" necklaces) and she didn't complain when my stuff spilled over into her work area. OK I admit I liked her right away when she told me she used my picture of my mosaic cane as her wallpaper on her computer. (I told you she has great taste!) I hope to get up to Alaska to teach a class. Come join us!

Stay tuned for more on Synergy.