Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Where To Start...?

It has been a full on two weeks since my last post. So much has happened that I am not sure where to start! So...just to be contrary - I'll start with now and work my way backwards!

I am taking Christine Dumont's online class "Hollow Beads" and I am having a Ball!!! We started on Saturday, and of course I was working at the Craft Fair, so had to wait impatiently until Sunday morning to start!
Making my first Hollow Bead (the middle Green and Gold one of the necklace) reminded me exactly why I fell in love with Polymer Clay in the first place. I have not had such a feeling of sheer joy (mixed in with utter surprise) that something that I made turned out so beautifully. I can blow the trumpet for this bead, because although I made it, it was Christine's vision, talent and wonderful teaching skills that helped me produce it. I could not have done it without her. I am just so happy to have produced it.

It is made with Kato clay, which for me, is a thing that I thought I would never happen. I tried Kato awhile back, but found the conditioning so difficult that I almost immediately gave up with it and stuck to my favourite, tried and tested, Premo. I think I have been converted! The new Kato formula is easier to condition which is good, but for the best results it needs to be leached to make it really firm which in turn makes it better to work with. I have rolls of clay in various stages of being leached in kitchen towel all over my work desk and window sills and any other available surface I can find!

I am fast becoming addicted to the Hollow Bead technique and all the possibilities it holds and am very excited to be a part of such a fantastic workshop. I have met lots of new polymer artists and a few old friends. There is a great atmosphere of sharing and encouragement and help - all online! What an amazing experience!

The conversion to Kato clay started started however on the brilliant Polymer Pamper Play weekend, in Portland, which I was lucky enough to attend. We had two fantastic teachers, Carol Blackburn and of course Christine who this time was teaching her amazing Butterfly Beads.

This was the first workshop I have attended and it was with some trepidation that I made my way to the reception area to meet with the other delegates. I need not have worried. I met some lovely people, some that I had "met" online before, particularly the lovely Cara, please have a look at her blog - she does the most beautiful work! Some completely new to polymer, who then amazed and astounded me with their sheer talent and ability to take a technique and run with it to a new and unthought of place that was all their own. And obviously a large number of complete polymer addicts like me whose idea of heaven was to clay from 6.30 a.m. until 12.30 p.m. with just a couple of breaks for lunch and dinner (and even then we talked polymer!) One of the best moments for me was being able to look at and hold both Carol's and Christine's creations. I was blown away by Carol's work. Her finish is something to behold and to feel. The attention to detail was astounding. It was a huge inspiration for me. A level to reach for.

On the second day I was lucky enough to see not only Christine's amazing Butterfly Beads, but also her incredible Hollow Beads in person . Words cannot describe how they made me feel. Wonderful works of art. Tactile, Beautiful, they literally took my breath away.

A big thank you to Rebecca and Debbie for organising a wonderful event

Thank you so much - I had a really good time and came home inspired and not a little exhausted!! If you would like to see pictures please have a look here I can really recommend it. Rebecca and Debbie are already planning the 2nd event for next year! Can't wait!!