Monday, February 24, 2014

From Fancy to Festive with Heather Campbell

This is the first year that polymer artist Heather Campbell was a presenter at CFCF, and I'm so glad they invited her.  Heather's techniques and projects pushed me in some new directions, both in terms of concepts and techniques.  Added to that the fact that she has a gentle and encouraging approach to teaching, my time with her was most enjoyable.  Her two workshops were very different in focus, and I'll share them both here.
The first workshop was a full-day affair in which she taught her "integrated transfer" technique.  Though I've done black and white image transfers before, and have my own approach, Heather had some tricks of her own which were good to learn.  For me, though, it was her integration of transfers with a variety of polymer shapes, decoration techniques and other embellishments that was a real eye opener.  I have always made the transfer the focus of a piece, and kept it clean and clear.  Heather integrates the transfer as just one of many elements in her pieces, and the effect is quite unique.  Heather calls these pieces her "Bohemian Nouveau" and I think that is a perfect description.  The piece on the left was my first piece and was the project for the class.

There was just a little time left to try something totally on our own, so I gave this piece a shot.  Unfortunately, the thermometer in the oven fell over on it when it was placed in, so some of the components got smooshed.  Thought I'd share the design anyway.

Now, to the second workshop. A couple of days later, several of us gathered for Heather's "Fiesta Dangles" workshop.  Using simple canes and solid clay colors, we created colorful and festive earrings.    
The designs were clever combinations of various techniques.  Several people experimented with different colors or different design options.  The challenge for me was to think "big".  I've never worn - nor made - earrings this large.  Once again, a workshop pushed me in a new direction.

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