Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sometime things that happen in Vegas come home

Sorry it's been so long since I posted but I promise I haven't been idle.  Soon after I got back from Kansas City I headed off to the annual Clay Carnival in Las Vegas.  This is a yearly event headed up by Donna Kata.  2006 was the first year that I attended the Clay Carnival.  A lot has changed since then.  I have taken several classes, been to retreats, published a book, traveled to teach and have made many many clay friends.  I can remember the first year I attended walking down the halls of the Imperial Palace and passing Donna Kato in the hall.  I was star struck.  After all it was THE Donna Kato.  I had only seen her on the Carol Duvall show.  This was my first polymer clay class that I had ever taken.  Six years later and I am happy to say I think of Donna as a friend now, along with many of the instructors.  I even had some surreal moments myself this time with strangers coming up to me, introducing themselves and I can only guess having a moment similar to what I experienced when I saw Donna for the first time all those years ago.  Now I am not saying I have the stature/notoriety/famousness (I know that's not a word) that Donna has but I guess I have reached the notice of some polymer clay people through my blog and through my art.  One lady came up and told me she had taken my classes on craftartedu and was thrilled to meet me.  Another woman from France admitted she was a fan and that she followed my blog.  OK I admit it, it was fun, it was uplifting and I appreciated it.  But it was still weird after all it's just me.
OK that's enough about me...WTF this is my blog.  I can make it all about me if I want.  So what I did I do in Vegas.  I still enjoy taking classes.  They push me to do things that I don't normally do.  I will admit that a lot of things I make never make It out of the bag but I still leave having learned many things and also with more confidence in those area that I don't tackle that often.  If you read about my "Benjamin Button" sculpting you know that sculpting isn't my thing.  This year at Clay Carnival there seemed to be a lot of sculpting.  A new instructor this year was Wendy Malinow.  I had met Wendy before I knew that she.......let's just say she has her own drummer. She likes bird sculls, bones, teeth and other odd bits.  I just loved her class.  I think it was the most productive that I have ever been in a class at Clay Carnival.  It was the opposite of complex caning.  Just what I needed.  This class was a combined with Leslie Blackford's class of sticks and stones and creatures.  I was able to follow their examples and had fun making the bits for this bracelet.

For Donna's class we made pods.  I will be honest and going in this was not my favorite class.  Usually Donna's class is one of my favorite.  I think they had a "sculpting" theme going this year and she followed with a more sculpted piece.  She taught us a stripey/ikatish cane and then attached to a pod shape.  OK so the piece I brought home I hated.  I thought it looked like one of those yucky orange peanut marshmallow things you find around Halloween.  Now this was my choice of texture not Donna's so don't think I am saying it was her fault.  Having said all that i have to say I loved what I did with it once I got home.  First I colored it with some colored pencils and pens.   I tried darkening/antiquing afterwards to fill in the white peanut divots.  This didn't work so I had to apply more paint and then sanded if off (which of course took off all of the color)  I then reapplied the colors.  I hit the high spots with some guilders paste.  Now I can't say I love the pod shape but I love the depth of the colors that I got on the surface.  Below is a picture of how it looks when I got it home and then how it looked after I colored.

For Kim Cavender's class we were to make ..........well let's just say something that many in the rowdy room thought resembled a certain female body part.  I chose to do my own thing and came up with this.  It has holes for a pendant.

That's all for now I will write more about my fun time in Vegas.  I have been working on a new project which I hope to write about soon.