The Carol Simmons 6 day polymer intensive workshop was the second class I attended ever in my life. It is with great fondness that I look at our class picture and will cherish the memories always. Thank you ladies, Carol and Maureen for making my claycation the best possible vacation I could ever have dreamed of having.
It was billed as an intermediate to advanced 6 day polymer intensive workshop. The class description was right on key as I do not think this class was suited for a beginer clayer. In order to obtain good results a general understanding of color, color mixing , basic caning and reducing is required.
Our class was well prepared and we had our clay already sheeted and were able to leach it fully the first day. I will admit that I did not follow the leaching process fully. By the end of the project I may have just grabbed some clay right out of the package and teacher could tell. She politely scolded me for it. I now understand why leaching is such an important part of the cane building process as hindsight is always 20/20.
This is my workstation on the morning of day 2. We began the day by making blends from templates that Carol provided us. Also learned was to look at cane construction in a new way. I soon began to realize that it did not really matter what I did with a cane as long as the colors were in my scheme in the end it would look great.
I can not tell you how many times Carol would come over to the table and look at a blend or color I was mixing and say add this, or add a strip of that to it and the color would end up being exactly what was needed to fit the picture. My table mate and I called ourselves the remedial table and I am guessing that Carol could sense that my color mixing skills were lacking as this is something that indeed IS a challenge for me. Carol’s sense of color is amazing and she instinctively knows what you need to mix to get that perfect shade or hue to match your picture. You can see her true love of color in her many blog posts that are located here.
I was also amazed during her many demos when she would say “let’s see what happens if we do this!”. We would end up with a new cane like when we named Anne’s sperm cane. I really think that showed Carol’s love of clay, teaching, and more importantly learning from experience what can happen when you play with clay.
We worked for several days making blends, colors and canes. We also were able while working to get to know each other on a level that I do not believe I will ever have the opportunity to in a class again in my life. Honestly I just wanted to clay all day long and upon waking in the morning I just wanted to get to the workable as soon as I could to continue with the creative process. It was such a wonderful experience and I am so happy I was able to participate in the class.
Finally it was time to start our layout of our cane to see what we may be lacking in our construction. This for me was a heart wrenching experience. I had one of those fear moments I often speak of here on the blog. I looked at all the canes I had made and just did not know how in the heck I would put them together. I ended up after being paralyzed with fear bribing a classmate to do my layout. I am not naming any names here just admitting my lack of artistic umpah.
I will have the second part of the class post next week along with many pieces I have made with my cane slices. I am out of cane now since I made so many pieces for hubby to take to his family in Lebanon. Good part of it is that I need to make another cane for the ladies at the auctions that help hubby out daily with his job.
The other things to look forward to are the Colorful Ocean Creatures pictures that will be posted soon and Nora Jean Gatine’s workshop here in New England. I am off to enjoy the nor’easter we are experiencing here as it just started snowing yea!