Monday, November 12, 2012

The last day of Clay Carnival Las Vegas 2012

If the pictures are a bit wonky, please excuse them, Blogger is giving me fits tonight.  I'll try to fix them tomorrow, if they're off.  Smiles and thanks for the memories.

Although this isn't the last blog about our month long journey,  it is the final day of CCLV 2012.

For our final two classes (at least for the Rowdy Room) we had a dual class with Wendy Wallin Malinow and Leslie Blackford.  The class was entitled Woodland Wonders and these are the photos for the class itself.  The description was "Let’s have fun imitating and tweaking nature! We’ll play with birch, drusy quartz, egg, bird bones, antler, mushroom, teeth, snails and other imitatives. There will be discus-sions of ways to observe nature around you: color, texture, and shape 
for design inspi-ration. We’ll discuss ways of mixing it up and playing with these elements to make them your own by making them personal, meaningful, sacred, change the scale or propor-tions, vary the color palettes, meaningful, funny, dark, etc. I’ll also demo and discuss ways to extend these imitatives into charms, pendants, amulets, hollow forms, arma-tures, tube constructions, links, connections, reliquaries, veneers....

We won’t have time to do all of the above discussions, but you should have time to start making charms or beads for a fall charm bracelet or Halloween (bones, etc.) bracelet."

Wendy and Leslie based this class on a painting by Hieronymus Bosch called "The Garden of Earthly Delights.  I quote from their handout, "His work is detailed, strangely beautiful, and familiar, funny, scary, and creepy, all at the same time.  When people look at it, it brings forth the same reaction today as it did back in 1505 when he painted it.  Our expectations are not for you to copy the art of Hieronymus Bosch, but to be inspired by his reflections of nature, the human form and his wild imagination."  Here is a copy of the painting we examined:  

It was lots of fun but very challenging for me, personally.  

Wendy is a new instructor to CCLV and we (the Rowdy Room, remember?) were told to be very nice to her as she was a quiet, rather shy individual and we shouldn't do anything to embarrass her or make her uncomfortable in any way.  

We were on our best behavior, but as soon as she stepped into the room, the warnings seemed a bit fishy. . . We were greeted by a wonderful instructor with a load of fun and whimsy up her sleeves (or would that be on her head).  I don't know how much detail you can see in her "crown", but it is made of birds skulls, bones, and other such "stuff".  This is just a tiny sampling of Wendy's work

As an example of her "whimsy", there is this root that is actually a "maraca" type shaker instrument she made for her musician husband, who refused to use it because it was too. . . well, just too much.  It actually has real teeth imbedded in it for it's toothy smile.  

She also had a box full of goodies and examples for us to imitate or try to reproduce.  

Many of these items are not reproductions, but are the real thing.  Pieces of antlers, bones, mushrooms, sticks, and stones were there for our examination.  

Wendy explained that she lives near a forested area and often finds these things that lend themselves well to polymer clay reproduction.  
Wendy's attention to detail and ability to reproduce such detail faithfully was just amazing.  

My efforts were very amateurish and not complete, as they need antiquing and color added, but I did at least make the attempts.   There's just something about bird heads without bodies that just bothers me, somehow, but I made one anyway.  

I will admit, though, my time was spent quite happily snapping pictures during much of Wendy and Leslie's final classes.  Yes, Leslie returned to us for this class with the "animal" parts of the nature scene, as well as her own take on branches etc.

I have shown pictures of Leslie's work in other posts but here is one I really like that has meaning for me:  "Words Hurt" with stick's and stones as a necklace.  
Leslie really likes snakes, too, as shown by the necklace worn by Mischa  and several other little snakes she had on her table:
 and finally, this special little snake on a branch that I shamelessly begged to purchase for Mr. C who loves snakes: 

Since this was the final class for CCLV 2012, I snapped away with my camera recording all the wonderful friends and fellow students while they were totally absorbed with Wendy and Leslie's presentations.  The last of these photos is a very special one, as our class had a special surprise and presentation for 2 of our "classmates".  Remember, these photos are not posed and most of these people did not even realize I was taking their pictures, they all look so serious and immersed, maybe even mesmerized, by the instruction they were receiving:  
I won't name any names (to protect the innocent), you all know who you are. . Thanks for a great time.

Okay, maybe one or two noticed I was taking their pictures, LOL.  

As we were packing up and getting ready to leave this final class, a presentation was made as an offering of love and appreciation for our two Karens.  
Karen, our own "Oven Angel" for her complete control of the oven and being sure our creations were all fired in a timely manner and Karen our other friend who had lost her beloved mother shortly before CCLV and almost didn't attend due to her grief.  We were glad to have them both there and each of us donated a bead (any bead we chose) to make a necklace, which Lisa cheerfully strung (all in secrecy) for us.   

Thanks to everyone for making CCLV 2012 another wonderful experience and memory.  Smiles, Sue C

P.S. there are more blogs planned as to the rest of our travels for 2 weeks following Clay Carnival, but that's all for tonight.  


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Clay Carnival Las Vegas 2012 Day 3

After another good night's sleep (at least for some of us, LOL), we returned to our classrooms to continue our polymer clay classes.  For the Rowdy Room, the day started off with Donna Kato.

For Donna's class we were making what she titles Beadpod Pins.

Her samples, for us to follow:


We started out by making the basic pod shape:

Then made a cane to cover the smaller pods sticking out from the main pod.

Kathi and I, the two self proclaimed "caners" in the class promptly both made ours "WRONG", LOLOL.

In spite of excellent instructions and an excellent example:

Instead of keeping the black on one side and the white on the other, we both did ours with black on top and white on bottom, making the "design" "flat", rather than rectangular.

 I was able to salvage mine and since I had a HUGE piece donated half of mine to Kathi.  In return, she made her "messed up" one into a different cane and shared half of it with me, LOL.

After reducing the large black and white plug into a long narrow piece:

See, black on one side, white on the other, LOL.

Reduce, recombine, reduce, recombine, repeated until a pleasing pattern is created.

In this case 4 times made me happy.

Then it's cut and combined until a plug of roughly the right size is made.  This is used as a veneer, not as a large piece of cane.  Narrow slices are cut off of it and placed on the pod/bead.

Wires are placed in the smaller bead pods and they are cured so they are firm enough to not squish when "shoved" into the main pod.

My final 2 bead pods, not quite finished, as they still need the backs, pins, and "antiquing".  Mine are also MUCH smaller than Donna makes hers, but that's just my preference.

I'm not sure who made this one, but isn't it pretty with the little extra color?  

In the meantime, behind me, Randee and Joyce were creating up a storm.

Joyce was turning out these little guys right and left with her "scrap" (or as I call it, "remnant) clay.  Bless her, she did a quick individual tutorial for me on how to sculpt her little peoples' faces, and it was amazing to me how quickly, with a pinch here and a pull there, suddenly there were these great little faces taking on life.  
Randee was creating beads and getting out faux technique items she has made for us to oohh and aahh over.  Randee will have a book on faux techniques out sometime next summer and I can't wait for it to become available.   

I was especially enthralled by her "Fauxpal. Rough crystal matrix" stones.  

For more examples of Randee's work, check out 
her Austinsibly Art facebook page.

Before we left the Clay Carnival, Randee kindly gifted me with one of her beautiful pieces.

Then we took our lunch break and after lunch were greeted by Judy Belcher and her "optical illusion" earrings. 

Her own description:  

Magical Earrings

I love these earrings - when you look at them straight on, they appear to be a normal checkerboard, with a striped ball hanging below. But, if you tilt the earrings just slightly, they magically change in color and you can see that the ball hangs from the back of the earring. - How do you put them on????? A magician never tells the secret - but I promise I will.

And, what a great secret it was!!!  I won't tell on-line, either!!!  Although I will show some more pictures of the optical illusion effect.  

Differing heights, differing cuts, but all based on the same technique.  

This was a very tedious, but fun project.  I'm still working on it 2 weeks later, LOL. It was truly fun and the effect just thrills me, for some odd, unknown reason and it's a bit addicting.  

We used graph paper to form the basic design, but there were so many variables from there that there is no way to truly convey what was involved, at least in this blog.  

Here's a different take, using a soda can to cure on to get the curve and having different size slices and backgrounds, as well as the cut out in the center.  What fun.  

Darn, the picture doesn't do this one justice, it was done using a skinner blend rather than just one color.  It was fascinating in person.  

Here is a final picture showing a multi colored one as well as the dangling bead.  These were great to make.  

There, I managed to get through Judy's class without divulging the "secret", but it was a great idea.  

Only one day to go for Clay Carnival, and then it's back to travel blogging, as currently we're in Branson, MO and I have more Albuquerque, Tulsa, and Branson to tell about.  Oh, and I can't forget our nature hike in Las Vegas before we left Las Vegas.  We've stayed at some great campgrounds and some not so great campgrounds, but we've sure been having fun.  Smiles, check back soon.  Sue C