Saturday, October 27, 2007

The child is alive and well

Making the pheonix at Christis workshop got me all inspired again. Why I like making these is that it has a flow, it's not so much about left brain nutting the technical stuff out or making something 'perfect' much as I love inros, they are finicky to make and take a lot of refining. Where as these little creatures are more about letting your hands do their own thing, giving free rein to that which creates through you...I guess that's why Christis classes are so much fun too, is that it encourages spontaneity, lets your inner child out. And you know what? I think it shows in the work.
Anyhow, my favourite creature of all is the seahorse...I don't know just strikes a note in me somehow...and since I had the luxury of a whole day to play, this is the result...
You can click on it to see it up close...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

More combo pieces

I'd made a silver clay leaf pendant a month ago which I finally now just filled with a beautiful translucent teal polymer leaf cane...this beautiful design is Jen Tattam's from Metal Clay Australia and the Contemporary Clay Instrcutors Program. I made a round reversed bevel fine silver one yesterday too and filled it with some old canes I made years ago. The rose cane is about 7 years old and the butterfly about three. Amazing how long canes keep. I rarely cane these days, so many other things taking my attention and I have so many in my drawers that I really want to use those up before I start on another cane frenzy. It's like that with canes, you get in the mood and pretty soon, it's all you want to do. Just about time to get into it again. There's a new caning video out by Judy Belcher which is s'posed to be fabulous so I think I'll order that to get me in the mood....

Grafton Artfest Clay workshop

See that lovely mokume gane polymer and fine silver shield pieces on the calender from the last post? If you want to learn to make those and more, come join my class at the five day Artfest in Grafton NSW in April next year!

Click this link for details:

The Artsfest has been running for thirteen years and is a fabulous
opportunity to learn all kinds of arts. There are 27 different
workshops. Teachers and students come from all over Australia to
immerse themselves for five full days of creative bliss!
It's also cheap by comparison to most workshops, working
out at $65 a full day (plus materials). I also limit my classes to 8
so that I have plenty of time for everyone.
It's a real 'event' too. Every evening there is some form of social
gathering, be it a concert or exhibition, that allows the interaction
of tutors and students. It's fun and it's inspiring and a great place
to make new friends and creative connections.
Early bird discounts apply!

Hope to see some of you there!


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'm a calender girl!

...although I no longer have the bod for the x-rated kind! These days I'm all about clay and Kathi Gose, my good friend and fabo fellow clayer in America, has produced a new calender displaying gorgeous clay creations from people all over the world and I'm the aussie representative. Check it (and other cool clay related stuff) out at

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Christi Friesen's workshop

I went to my first ever polymer clay class as a student on Friday! When I started claying around 7 years ago, there wasn't a teacher in WA, infact, aussiepolyclayers hadn't been formed yet and I just had no choice but to teach myself. I did get plenty of videos and books ofcourse and found friends through Polymer Clay Central who helped me a lot. Polymer clay groups are the friendliest and most helpful of any groups I've ever belonged to. It's been my experience that many artists in other fields tend to covet their 'secrets' of the trade and are stingy with their support and technical assistance...certainly by comparison to polymer clay artists. I wonder why that is? Fear of competition? Paaa! I always said there's room for everyone, we need more artisits in the world not less. Be generous with your help if others ask and encourage budding young (or old!) artisits to explore and find their own way but don't lock them out because of your fears cos you're locking your own heart out too.
ANYWAY, enough of the rant. It was triggered because I met someone who typifies the generous nature of the polymer clayer. I wanted to say thank you to Christi Friesen for coming all the way over to Australia from America to give what I can only describe as a joyous workshop! She is so much fun. And so incredibly generous with her knowledge, it was overflowing. She's going to Melbourne and somewhere else too so if you haven't booked, check her site for details and give youself a treat!
The pheonix which we made in class was BIG...a good tip for those teaching sculpting btw, it's easier for those learning to make a 5inch somethingorother than a 2 inch somethingorother. And mine got a bit squished on the drive back from Brisbane...she doesn't bake them, giving you more time to learn but there is always the risk of damaging your piece. We had to brake heavily to avoid a collision at one stage which doesn't happen normally...but ofcourse, it had to happen the day I have an unbaked piece in the car! Anyway, I resurrected it somewhat. It's actually still unbaked as I'm going to make another one of those jungley type mirrors for it to hang out in. The smaller one is only about 2 inches long, perfect for a necklace. We weren't taught this shape but Christi gives out fabulous coloured pics of all kinds of examples so that you can go your own way with shapes and stances and be guided by her examples. Next step? Buy some beads (and make some too) and create a necklace!
PS Actually, now I'm looking at these pictures, I can see that the larger pheonix needs a nose job, or a head job or something or other! It needs to be less prissy and more falcony like it's little friend. Thank goodness it's still not baked. Can still mess about with it. That's another thing I loved about Christi's class. I allowed myself to mess up...I really got into the moment of it...and Christi showed us several ways of tackling ways to change something you're not happy with. Will post another pic when I've made the mirror with the new improved head...I want it to express rebirth from the ashes, not cuckoo clutz...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I had fun with my friend Zoe yesterday and we made rings! The pics are pretty bad...sorry. But click on them and you'll get a better closeup view.
Years ago I went to a silver clay workshop run by Maggie Bergman (who's a fabulous teacher and a really nice person too) and the only item I didn't like of all the things I made was this textured band ring. Since I don't wear rings anyway, they've been on the back burned all these years. But I've had three enquiries in the last couple of months from people wanting to learn to make pmc rings and so I thought I'd better practice. I'm pretty pleased with this first time effort. Still heaps of room for improvement but by this time next month, I'll have it down!