Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cabin Fever Clay Festival

I'm back. Once again, CFCF was a marvelous experience. The six days were spent learning and sharing while we played with clay. One of the things I like the most is the people I meet. The creativity just seems to pour forth in class after class. The instructors were wonderful, and I came home with ideas and techniques that I have to work with soon! In the meantime, I thought I'd share some canes I made. One day, hopefully soon, you'll see them in completed pieces.
The first photo is of some marvelous Damascus Ladder canes that were the result of a full day of discussion and manipulation of color in a class taught by Lindly Haunani.

The second shot is of some canes I made in Sarah Shriver's class. These were used to cover large forms we shaped and carved by hand using Sculpey Ultra light clay.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

CFCF 2011 - Off I Go!

I haven't been updating as much as I would like. The puppy takes a lot of time - and we love every minute! In the midst of getting her acclimated, I've been trying to condition clay, make blends and beads, and collect supplies for the 6 days of Cabin Fever Clay Festival (CFCF). This is a simply marvelous event held in Laurel, MD. Polymer clayists (don't know if that's a real word, but it looks and sounds good, doesn't it) gather from around the world to attend workshops, seminars and demonstrations given by master artists in polymer. It's fun, it's mind-expanding, and it's exhausting. This is my third year. I missed the first, primarily because I didn't know about it. In addition to learning new techniques and sharing great ideas, I find my creativity pool gets replenished, too. I even have some special friends in the area, so I get some visiting time in, too. A wonderful experience all around.
This year, Judith Skinner, who invented the Skinner blend which we ALL use, is being honored in a special ceremony. We are supposed to make a bead using the Skinner blend technique.We also have a swap. Each of us will give others one of our beads and, in return, we'll collect beads from everyone else. Too fun! I'm going to put in a couple of pictures here. One is a necklace made from the beads I made from a Skinner blend. The beads I'm using for the swap will be like these, in one of 3 color-ways. The other photo shows some focals made using the cane with the various color-ways. These pendants aren't done yet - I have some plans, just no time right now. I'm pretty sure you'll be seeing them again in the future.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Procelain & Polymer

Just a quick post. I've been playing with different ideas regarding how to hang the polymer and porcelain pendants I've created. I have been thinking of making necklace "chains" with pearls and stone beads. I also wanted something simpler. So I came up with this idea of using sterling silver neckwire and adding a few crystals for a transition from the bead to the cord. Here are some of the pieces I've made.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Puppy!! Oh yes, and some mokume gane

I haven't posted much to this blog lately - and I have the BEST excuse! We have just added the sweetest little female to our family. Anyone who has brought home a puppy knows the preparation that goes on before hand - and all the work that goes into the "once they're home." We're having a wonderful time with Kiri. Her name is a derivation of some Japanese words and translates roughly as one who is beautiful, lovely, and eager. We think the name fits perfectly. Don't you agree? :)

So, while she was taking one of her frequent - albeit short!- naps, I did get out the clay and make some mokume gane pieces. I really love this technique and realized I hadn't done any for quite a while. I usually use 4 colors. This time, I decided to custom mix and limit the number of colors to 3. I'm particularly fond of the periwinkle/green/cream combination.