Friday, November 25, 2011

A Bit of a New Direction

Whew!  Is it the end of the year already???  And what's that?  Is that sunlight?  I'm afraid I haven't seen much of it lately as I've been locked away in Vickie's studio, forced to "create"!  I've been working on a new piece for the past (what seems like a VERY long) while and thought I would share some pics on the blog.  So, without any further ado, may I present to you, my viewing public, CL Necklace 1.0:

CL Necklace 1.0
 I wanted to create a bit of a statement necklace for some Gala events I have to attend this winter.  I was tired of the usual Little Black Dress with the standard drop jewel pendant or big, glitzy earrings.  I wanted something that was more "me"...something that made a statement about who I am and give a bit of an idea into what's been driving me these days.  And apparantly, the statement I'm making these days is that of "I'm a Crazy Lady" according to my husband, who said he was a little worried that I was going to look like a "Crazy Lady" when he saw all the pieces I had been planning to put onto one necklace.  I in fact ended up only using about 2/3's of the charms I had I guess that makes me only 2/3's crazy?  This is where I got the title for the piece ;)

I had been very much inspired by the charms Vickie made for her Jules Verne Meets Urban Grunge necklace from last spring's Claymagination.  While I have used several found objects and metal in this piece, I also loved the idea of using the clay to imitate some of the found objects to give it much more of an individual feel and also get rid of some of the weight that tends to accumulate when you use a lot of metal and glass.

A bit of a different perspective

As you can see, I've also incorporated some of my hand-sculpted bird parts.  I feel this piece came to tell a bit of a story about secrets and protection. Two things I feel the raven has come to represent to me.  The "leaves" all have little messages written on them - some of them funny, and some of them wistful; and the tiny glass bottle even has a note that I wrote, carefully rolled up inside and all but obscured by elements around it.

Anyway, I find I'm quite addicted to creating more runes for more works of what we're calling Neogrunge pieces.  We like to think of them as arrested city mechanics in fine art form.

Pretty cool, eh?

*Please ignore what's below this sentence as this post was created by Sandy, not Vickie.

2012 Class Teaser!

Just to whet your appetites, two images for your consideration. The studio is in full swing! I was pleased to be invited to give a demo at the Montreal Polymer Clay Guild and was delighted to see that the same enthusiasm for polymer clay exists in Montreal, just as it does on Vancouver Island. We just can't seem to get enough - what a great medium to explore!

The difficulties with the new clay formulations have us all struggling, but out of struggles come great things, so hang in there. Tips for working with this clay will be dealt with in future posts. Stay tuned - much, much more to come!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Claymagination 2011 Wrap-Up

New City, New Attitude, New Work, New Husband? Nah!

Moving used to be a breeze. I thought spring cleaning was "moving"! Now having lived in one place (Vancouver Island, off the west coast of Canada) for the past 15 years, I have learned how to spring clean. Unfortunately, I've forgotten how to move. It's kind of like being in labour (birthing, not working!) If you knew ahead of time what the pain would be like towards the end, you would keep your knees firmly together, if you know what I mean (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

So now I'm in the eastern part of Canada, Montreal, to be precise, and it's time to start planning Claymagination 2012. We have some metalsmithing talent already lined up and I'll post the agenda for that class, with some pictures, as soon as I get them from the artist. April seems to be a good month. The Easter weekend seems to be on the 8th. Spring break for most of Canada is mid to late March, so maybe April 9th to 13th (Tuesday to Saturday) or 16th to 20th. Please post comments to let me know what dates would work for you all.

Meanwhile, here are pictures of the large-holed beads that are so popular right now. I'm working on setting up video tutorials for the following months. Let me know if there are particular things you would like to see.


 You can see the need to glue the eyelets in after baking in the above blue bead.

These were all made with leftover leaf canes.


Friday, April 8, 2011

The important things in life

Well, one more day and I am of course I am lazing around pondering what is actually important in life.....why you ask?

My suitcase sits in front of me and I have come to a very hard I need clothes or more clay stuff?  Choices, choices, choices.  On one hand I don't think you gals would appreciate me naked but on the other hand, the more stuff I bring, the less you will notice me at all!  LOL!

You know my priorities are right though when you open the lid to my suitcase and 3/4 of the space is my pasta machine, lots and lots of goodies......the remaining 1/4 is for my clothes.  You all won't care if I am in the same jeans and tshirt everyday will you?

I am so excited, can't wait to see you all! And to those taking the beginner class today, I wish you all the best.  And please, if anyone happens to have some pretty heavy tranquilizers handy (horse ones would work!) please bring them.....Vickie is just a tad excited these days.  (Just joking for those of you who might not know me or understand my sense of humour!)

Posted by Lisa

Friday, April 1, 2011

Boy do I work well under pressure!

Time is disappearing fast!  I swear I have lost a week somewhere.  I can't possibly be leaving for Canada in a little over a week......must be the age thing.....but if I am getting old then that means that Vickie is only getting older! Hee Hee!

So, here I am, trying to put together my class.  You see, I happened upon something by accident and that is what I am teaching as part two of the surface techniques.  But the problem is, an accident is just that, something that happens that you don't plan on.  Having accidents, at least for me, is pretty much a daily routine.  Trying to repeat an accident.....not so easy!!  But today I sat down and decided that today was the day, I was going to figure out my accident or die trying.  And guess what?  I am alive baby!!!  So, some wonderful pieces are in the oven cooking, instructions are being typed up and pictures have been taken.  Phew!!!!  I don't know if you guys will understand but I for one sure the heck don't want Vickie mad at me! 

I can't wait to meet you all.....I have heard wonderful things about the creative bunch up there in Canuckville!  I am also looking forward to getting out of this heat.....Vancouver Island here I come!

See you all in a little bit!  Be ready to have lots of accidents!  Because that is the only way I do things!

Oh and this blogpost was done by the one, the only, firstborn of Vickie the great.....Lisa Pakosh!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

4 Weeks to go!

I've had enough of the cold and rain and isolation and am REALLY looking forward to fun and laughter with y'all. Only a little over 4 weeks to go! 4 weeks from tomorrow the Beginner's/Refresher class will be held here in my studio (yes, I'm cleaning off all the work surfaces - no, I'm not vacuuming!)
As you know, your most valuable tools are your hands and keeping them in top condition is important to working comfortably with polymer clay. To help you with this I will recommend exercises from time to time.
The manual dexterity exercise for the next week is the "choke your mate" exercise. The key here is stealth. Walk quietly over to where your mate is sitting reading a slasher novel or watching a horror movie. Hold your breath; shape your hands into claws; from behind, bring them slowly in front of your mate's eyes and quickly grab your fingers, making a deathly rattling sound in the back of your throat at the same time. On second thought, maybe just doing the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" move is safer!
I have received almost all the payments, thank you very much. My VISA card thanks you.
Just a reminder that we have the option of bringing a bagged lunch or ordering lunch from the resort restaurant, the Landing Grill. That lunch will be delivered to our workroom so we don't have to waste time with restaurant protocols. Those of you who have had the opportunity to eat there in the past know how delicious the food is, so this is a very tempting option, at least for one of the days. 
Please Note: Because they are bringing any ordered lunches to our room they will not be taking individual payments. They will be billing me, so please bring cash or a cheque so that you can make a payment to me when you receive your portion of the meal bill, including your share of the tax and gratuity.
Saturday Dinner:
This meal is included in the fee for the full 5 day retreat. You will not be charged extra for this. 
Claymagination Store:
We are setting up an area of the room as a "store" so you can purchase some supplies that you may want for working at home after the retreat. We are making certain items available in smaller quantities, such as the new paint, so you can get an assortment of colours at a reasonable cost, rather than having to buy 5 to 10 different full-size bottles that will last you 20 years! There will be some jewelry supplies, including findings, chain by the foot and cordage, again available in small amounts.
There will also be "some" Kato clay available for purchase in 2 oz. packages for $2 each. I say "some" because I don't have the room to store a lot of clay. I have received some questions about availability of clay, so if you have a specific request, I will place an order in the next week so it has time to get here. I order from Shades of Clay, a Canadian company, and they give us a discount on the large, 12.5 oz bars. There will be tax on top of this and a share of the shipping charge, which is modest compared to shipping from the US.
To sum up, there will be clay available (approx. 5 packages of each of the 2 oz.colours & metallics plus a few more of the basics - black, white, translucent). If you would like some of the larger bars or would like to share some large bars with some others, please let me know within the next week and, if we get enough requests (6 or more), I will place an order for us. The price per 12.5 oz bar will be approximately $10.00 and for the metallic $12.30, including tax and shipping.
Charm/Bead Exchange:
I've had the opportunity to see the charms some of you are making for the exchange and they are wonderful - so creative. It never ceases to amaze me the different ideas artists come up with! If you don't have clay, feel free to make something in fibre or paper or whatever, as long as it's about 1" to 1 1/2" and has a wire, jump ring or hole so it can be hung on a bracelet or necklace. If you have no charms to trade, no worries - we'll trade with you anyway. There will be a total of 15 of us.
Thursday Evening:
If you have something specific you want to know or have a problem with, let us know before Thursday so we can bring appropriate tools, etc. to help you with your technique or problem.
That's about it for now. I'll send another email closer to Clay Day so feel free to let me know any other information you may need.
Keep your strength up and get lots of sleep.

Monday, February 21, 2011

She's Contaminated

She's finally finished!  I went to her this morning and had some ideas of things to add and when I looked at her, I knew - she was complete.

She's Contaminated took on a bit more of a somber tone than most of my other work so far.  Originally, as with most of my stuff, I was going to name her, however, right through her creation, no name seemed to fit.  Usually, a name will pop into my head that suits the character that I'm working on -  but not in this case.  Then I realized, it's because she's all of us.  She's not a specific character, but more of a spirit or feeling.  As her story goes:

"What were you thinking?

Such an odd statement used often with venom and sarcasm to cause one to second-guess their minds.

"She's Contaminated" represents that feeling that nothing you can do or say is right. Nothing comes out the way you planned. People keep looking at you out of the corners of their eyes, avoiding direct contatct at all costs.

It's that feeling of isolation when you just can't seem to connect to others...or others simply refuse to reach out and connect with you.

Here are some more pics - I'm very happy with how she turned out:

I ended up adding some suede to her mohawk to give it a little more subtance, and I especially love the little steampunk cuff I gave her:

Here clothes were all hand-sewn...and lemme tell you right now, I don't sew.  Nope.  I don't do it.  I generally don't agree with it and it generally doesn't agree with me.  I think it turned out pretty good though, for a complete, rank, amature. :)  I even sewed the ribbons on because I was worried that if I glued them on, they would eventually come off - and I want her to last a long, long, time.

Anyway, I just wanted to share the completed project with you all.  On to other clay adventures!

Have a great and imaginative day!

Posted by Sandy not...