Thursday, August 21, 2014

Kato Style

I had a great time in Donna Kato's Clay Carnival workshop in Vegas.  I finished the workshop pin in the background and then came home and made a pendant with carving (in the foreground).   I'm barely home and I can't wait to go back next August.
You can sign up to receive Donna's Prairie Craft Newsletter where you will receive the latest info on new products and receive CraftArtEdu coupons.  You can see more of Donna's work and learn more about KatoPolyClay on her website and to keep up with the latest, check out her Facebook page.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pollen Inspired Beads

"Under the Microscope" was the name of Natalia Garcia de Leaniz Clay Carnival Workshop in Las Vegas.  It was extremely satisfying to experiment while building my beads (above).  Natalia is inspired by pollen photographed while under the microscope.   Just so interesting to me how artists get inspired and then translate/interpret it into a piece of art.  Pollen.
You can see more of Natalia's work on her website (click HERE).

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Peraud Inspired Pendant

 Inspired by Sylvie Peraud's pendant, I created my carved version.  The act of carving is very meditative.  This piece has inspired another to be posted later.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sylvie Peraud's Workshop

I made the above pendant in Sylvie Peraud's workshop at Clay Carnival.  I made two, but finished the second one at home which will be posted in a couple of days.  It was a very creative environment and easy to put myself into my work.  I put my own spin on the second one.  I loved learning all the new techniques and getting tips from the instructors.  For me, the value in taking workshops like these offered at Clay Carnival is seeing how an instructor thinks, processes their ideas, corrects mistakes, discovers something new in the process of teaching, shares something spontaneously; I love being part of that.
You can see more of Sylvie's work on her website (click HERE), or on her Flickr site (click HERE).

Monday, August 11, 2014


When I was little, about 7 years old, I garbage picked looking for toys.  We lived with my maternal grandmother in a house on the corner of an alley.  I never really found much.  Then, one day, I opened the lid of a garbage can two houses from ours and found a brand new box of magic tricks.  It was like Christmas.  I’ll never forget it.  From time to time, there were more new toys and I always had the same reaction--eyes wide, mouth open; pure wonder.  It was years later I found out that Mr. and Mrs. Hall did not have children.  The new toys were for me.

I googled 1954 toys, newspapers and toy ads, reduced them to fit my matchbook and garbage can.  I googled 1954 playing cards, reduced them to fit inside her pockets, on her hair and in the box of magic tricks.  I sculpted the figure, rabbit in the hat and the garbage can from polymer clay.  Her eyes are beads and she wears glued on doll hair.
I loved Leslie Blackford's sculpting workshop at Clay Carnival.  I learned a lot, laughed a lot and "remembered" a lot.  And that's how my rabbit in the hat, my "something personal" fit into my sculpture.  Click HERE for Leslie's workshop description.

Friday, August 8, 2014

2014 Clay Carnival

All Photos From Donna Kato
I'm home from Vegas.  This year's Clay Carnival attendance was the largest in Clay Carnival history!  Everyone was fun, the classes challenging and Vegas, well, Vegas is crazy, wild Vegas!
 Instructors Left to Right:  Lindly Huanani, Judy Belcher, Donna Kato, Natalia Garcia de Leaniz, Leslie Blackford, Sylvie Peraud and Sarah Shriver.
 The Zen (sort of quiet) Room was the largest, but we still had plenty of room to work.  My schedule was a full 8 hours with Sylvie Peraud on my first day.  Classes start at 8:30, break for lunch at 12:30, resume at 2:00 and go until 6:00.  My 2nd day was a 4 hour class with Natalia Garcia de Leaniz and my afternoon class was 4 hours with Lindly Haunani.  3rd day, 4 hours with Leslie Blackford and 4 hrs  with Donna Kato.  4th day, 4 hrs with Judy Belcher and then we ended with 4 hrs with Sarah Shriver in the afternoon.
We have 3 choices of where we would like to work.  The Rowdy Room, the Chatty Room and the Zen Room.  The Zen Room is supposed to be zen-like; quiet room.   However, several teachers commented that we could be mistaken for one of the other rooms.  Oops.  We never have to change rooms, the instructors bring their tables to each room so it is really convenient.  Once we are set up, we are settled in for the 4 days.  Can't wait until next year!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Holiday Bead Patterns

Above are some patterns I created using JB-Bead Software which is a free download (click HERE).  I've played around with it for years, but not to the extent I am now.  When I get back from Clay Carnival, I'm ordering more beads.  I do want to give these a try to see how they work out.  If the samples work out, I will post the patterns.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Who Made These?

 I was a member of the Bead Society of Greater Chicago years ago.  I won these two cane beads in a silent auction held by the Bead Society.  For the life of me I cannot remember the creator.  The beads were highly in demand because of the nude figure cane.  You can click on the photos for a larger image.  Leave me a comment or email me (on the right sidebar at the bottom).

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Polymer Clay Magic

 I'm taking Leslie Blackford's "Circus Train Car" sculpting class at Clay Carnival in Las Vegas.  The objective of the class is to create a “character piece” that tells a story.  By using details from life events and memories we will sculpt a character that reflects our own personal  journey.  My something personal is a small polymer clay magician's hat with a rabbit coming out of it.  I sculpted it from polymer clay and can't wait to see how I will be able to incorporate into my piece.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Judy Belcher And Inchies

 Last year at Clay Carnival, Judy Belcher purchased one of my Inchie necklaces.  Polymer clay artist, Lynne Schmitt took a photo and recently sent it to me.  I'm thrilled to have it, thank you Lynne.
Each inchie was bagged with one of my cards in a zip lock bag.
Some of the new inchies for 2014 was Minion from Despicable Me, Sponge Bob, Zombie Pumpkin and Crazy Haired Zombies.  I hope people will like them.  I really had fun making them.