Sunday, November 4, 2012

Clay Carnival Las Vegas Friday (Second Day)

Okay, we're ready for day two of Clay Carnival.  These blog posts make the classes seem so short, but they are really intense 4 hours of claying time.  The instructors demonstrate their own take on the project and then send us back to our tables to work on our own versions.  Sometimes there are exact instructions for the class, but the idea is that we will take what we learn at Clay Carnival and expand on it or other ideas it may foster on our own when we go home.

On Friday, the first class of the day was with Natalia Garcia de Leaniz, all the way from Spain.  I've had Natalia for 2 other classes and her projects are always fun and different.  This one was a bit hard on her, though, as she LOVES color, color, color and this year Clay Carnival limited her on the amount of clay that could be used, which automatically limited her use of color.  Natalia came through with "flying colors", though, with her "Come Fly With Me" pendants, the description of which follows:

  ‘Come fly with me, let’s fly let’s fly away…’ In this pendant, the little balls are trying to escape from the air inside, as if they were trying to foll
ow Frankie’s invitation.

In this class, we’ll combine different techniques plus a number of tricks to build a pendant with an organic feel. Texturing, hollowing, molding, invisible junctions and attachments, mixed media… together with a lot of fun and imagination! From a basic, simple form, we’ll explore new possibilities in shape, composition and color.
So, fasten your seatbelts, we are flying away!!!

Natalia had been ill, just before Clay Carnival and was still recuperating, but she put on her lovely smile and did a wonderful job, in spite of it.  Natalia is so sweet and funny, she has a wonderful accent, speaks a few other languages, but NOT FRENCH!!!  and uses occasional verbal sounds that she claims are "international".  These "international" utterances are indeed universal, and we'd give her the English terminology (such as "raspberries") and she and her oh so funny husband Danny would give us the Spanish words, which would translate as quite more graphic than just "raspberries", for example, LOL.  She keeps us in stitches.

This lovely Pendant is made in pieces with the top first.  In two of my classes with Natalia, we have used the most interesting "molds" for the shape.  They are huge nail heads that are apparently quite popular and available in Europe for decorating "metal straps" or wooden crosspieces on large doors, windows, or other trim.  I believe they are called Clavos (picture from the internet).  She brings them to us minus the "nail" part, and usually lets us take one home for future work.  

Here is Natalia showing us how to form the polymer clay to the clavos to get the rounded shape.  
Natalia holding the dragon I gave her as a thank you gift for sharing her time and talent with us.  

And finally, here are the two pendants I made during the class.  The balls flying out of the center of the pendant are on wires and can be moved to whatever position you'd like them.  

My first one is as directed just using a white to black skinner blend for the "stripes/petals" around the cut out center.  The second one I chose to try
using colors for the "petals".  I like them both.  

Following our lunch break, we were joined by Kim Cavender, who was apparently the "target" of the rowdy room group's hilarity, this year.  Fortunately, she is a "good" (great) sport and was often in hysterics over some of the jokes and pranks (apparently in the past she has "partied" with the "rowdy leaders" and there were some on-going behind the scene pranks and jokes going on.  It did get a bit risque, though, so some of these photos will only have meaning for the people who were there and I do not INTEND to give any further explanation, LOLOL.  

A gift was given to Kim at the very beginning of class.  Here are the instigators Donna, Lisa, and Julie eagerly awaiting Kim's reaction . . . . .

to THIS:  

Once Kim finally got us all settled down again, we started the class, but the project had its own inherent problems for this rowdy group:  

The official picture and description for this class follows:   Hi all, Kim here. Finally got a photo of my class for Clay Carnival 2012. It's called Kooshy Cocoons and I think it's going to be a lot of fun to see all the variations you'll come up with. I have lots more samples still to photograph!

Here is Kim holding the "HeartString Dragon" I gave her as a thank you gift for sharing her time and talent with us.

These Kooshy Cocoons were lots of fun to make, but we were advised to not make them in reds, pinks, or browns, as the shape itself (at least of the "cocoon" part) lent itself to bawdy and raucous comments by the rowdy
peanut gallery as to what feminine body
parts they were reminded of.
Enough said!!!!, use your own

Here are MY initial pods or cocoons before filling them.

Here are the samples Kim brought for ideas and suggestions:  

This was an extremely fun, laugh filled class.  The basics were easy, it was up to the individual how they chose to embellish their cocoons.   This group, in spite of its rowdy behavior were up to the challenge and some beautiful and interesting items resulted:  

Items I prepared to insert into my pods, ready to cure (the inside items had to be cured first or they would be too hard to insert into the cocoons).  
And I loved these fringed flowers Marianne was curing to insert into her cocoons.  
In the meantime, my first year at Clay Carnival, Kim was slated to teach "ocean" type items.  She had a family emergency and was unable to attend, but as I love anything to do with the ocean, I was very disappointed.  As luck would have it, Kim had one of these ocean items available in the "teacher's shop" and I purchased it.  I asked her to show me how it was made and she graciously consented.  My own effort is included in my "cocoon group shot" below.
Finally, my cocoons were filled and finished.  I was quite pleased with what I produced.   My technique needs some refinement, but overall, in the time given, I was quite pleased.  
To finish poor Kim off, the group Pizza Party was held that night and the Rowdy Instigators had one more surprise up their sleeves:  I'm sure most of the attendees didn't have a clue what was going on, but this went along with the "Rowdy" interpretation of the cocoons and the resultant hilarity during class.  This time the "ring leaders" were Donna and Grace, our real live "rowdy" clown.  I'm posting the play by play photos, as Kim's hilarious hysteria was so funny and contagious.  The lead up presentation was funny enough. . . 
Her very own "cocoon" with an "inclusion" holding a rose. . . and that finishes the second day of Clay Carnival off with a bang.  Stay tuned for Day 3.  Smiles, Sue C


  1. Looks like you were having entirely tooo much fun. LOL! I'm glad. Looks like some interesting projects, look forward to seeing them in person. ILY!

  2. how the heck did I miss the present Kim was given at the beginning of class. I am sure I was there......wasn't I?