In this post, I'll talk briefly about a 2-day master class, and a 2-hour mini-workshop I took in July at the Master Class Camp. One special aspect of the Master Class Camp, well-organized by Kathryn Ottman, is that the basic workshops each run for 2 consecutive days. This provides the participant with the opportunity to study with one instructor in depth, and to come away with a more solid understanding than is possible in half-day classes. Kathryn started the Master Camp last year, and I was really happy to be able to participate this year.
The 2-day master class was with Dan Cormier. Dan is known for his precise processes with mica shift and his ability to create some incredible images in clay. Dan has developed not only a special process, but a wide variety of tools to compliment his procedures. His website includes clay peelers, digital class books, die sets, and the Sh.A.R.K, a very successful width adjuster. Throughout the 2-days, Dan demonstrated each step of his process. He has a very precise method of conditioning clay, creating stacks of clay, and creating slices of those stacks. He also demonstrated the use of his die sets and some methods of manipulating and impressing designs in the stacks of clay.
In addition to the 2-day master classes, Kathryn also arranged a few special 2-hour sessions in the evenings. I participated in the evening session with Ponsawan Sila. Ponsawan shared some of her tips and tricks about making narrow Skinner blends to create petal canes. She demonstrated how she makes small round and disk shaped beads using petal slices. One surprise was the fact that she sometimes rolls the raw beads in table salt before baking. After baking, the beads have a fine texture with some tiny holes left by the salt. The holes show up particularly in the purple round bead on the left.
Ponsawan also demonstrated how to create small flower buds using slices of the petal canes. Most of us then spent the rest of the time creating our own flowers, buds, and beads from the tiny canes we had made. The photo to the left shows my collection of buds and flowers.