The ‘Skinner’ Blend was developed by artist Judith Skinner. It is a simple way of creating sheets of graded colour. The Skinner Blend is an essential part of claying and has numerous uses. It is also a great way to incorporate fantastic shading and contrasts into your work. It is a ‘must learn’ technique but don’t worry – it’s not hard at all!
Mica Shift is a wonderful polymer clay technique that involves aligning the mica particles within metallic/pearl polymer clay and then misaligning (or disturbing them) when imprinting the clay with texture sheets/stamps. The raised areas of the clay are sliced off, leaving a seemingly 3D image trapped within the clay! The best thing about this technique is that it is relatively easy to achieve.
Many of my students have been on Pinterest for quite awhile and many of them regularly bring their iPads and tablets to show me images and share inspiring images with their peers.
As many people will know I'm not a huge fan of social media! Whilst I enjoy being able to make contact with my customers and interact with them regularly, I believe that in some ways social media is taking over and is affecting our personal relationships. As with everything in life, a think balance is key.
There has been so many wonderful workshops here at The Whimsical Bead and so many more planned. I have always loved classes and workshops. I guess I am one of those people who have a 'thirst for knowledge'. I am also someone who loves a hearty chat and a good discussion too.
These days it is easy to get caught up in the hype of the internet and social media and we can forget how great it can be to actually physically attend a workshop. There is so much information online now - tutorials, e-books, webinars, pinterest, Facebook, YouTube videos....the list goes on. This is fantastic for those of us who live in remote locations or for whatever reason cannot attend workshops but for those of you who do have the option of a physical workshop does this overload of online media prevent you from attending physical workshops?
After the excitement of Christi Friesen coming to visit, we had yet another international artist on their way to the studio. The amazing Melanie Muir.
Melanie was due to arrive at the studio on Friday and spend the weekend teaching a very excited group of ladies how to create her rock cuffs and pendants. I had already completed Melanie's online rock cuffs class so I knew that what we were about to learn was going to be GREAT!
After a wonderful day claying with my buddies on Saturday, I spent Sunday preparing for clay guru Christi Friesen to arrive and left late Sunday afternoon to pick her up from her previous destination.
I remember having such a great time with Christi last year when she visited, but I forgot exactly how great Christi is. I've never met a more generous, funny and informative tutor. Christi really is 'the whole package' when it comes to tutors and is an amazing lady personally too.
After a lot of persuasion, I have finally put The Whimsical Bead on Facebook! I am still learning all about how it works but we're there and it's certainly a start. All the latest news from the studio will be posted there - new products, updates, workshops etc. - just give me some time to get into the swing of it all!!
Today in the studio we had a Metal Clay Play day with Lara Le Reveur. These days are held every 6 weeks or so and are becoming very popular. You can come and use our tools and equipment to create your own metal clay piece/s. The great thing about this day is that you have a highly experienced tutor/artist on hand to help you with your designs plus you can interact with other metal clay artists, and get some ideas for future projects.
If you're a polymer clayer in Australia, unless you were hiding under a rock, you would know that the extremely talented, wonderfully quirky, US clay artist Christi Friesen has just wrapped up her tour here in Australia. Christi visited Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney and Adelaide as well as our studio here in Healesville, Victoria.
Last month, in addition to our monthly newsletter, I also sent out a short survey to my customers. Thank you so much to those of you that participated. It has given me a bit of an idea about where to go from here, what you all like and what you'd like to see happen in the future.