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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.

She arrived at my place on Thursday night, a little early to organise the classroom and catch up on emails, work etc.(I will admit I was a little ‘star-struck’ at first!!) , and it also meant we had a little relaxation in before the craziness of the weekend began. Plus, I got to chat to her about her wonderful new line of metal coatings and dyes – the ‘Swellegant’ range (which we will soon be stocking…..stay tuned!) and do some ‘shopping at her goodie table before everyone arrived (I knew there was a perk to being a host!!).   Friday was spent setting up our classroom, organising emails and it was also my birthday so I had a visit from my gorgeous niece and nephew as well as my two ‘adopted’ nieces. Crazy kids running around didn’t faze Christi – my Nathan took quite a liking to her!!

Saturday morning, bright and early was when it all began. I had the studio open at 9.00am with people waiting at the door eager to stake their claim on a table, buy supplies and, of course, meet Christi herself.  The morning was spent creating Art Noveau Blooms – lots of leaves and flowers. I have mine half finished sitting here. I reluctantly had to leave my table to organise lunch for the hoards – although I know they appreciated it!   After an hour or so of mayhem…….people eating lunch, stocking up on more supplies, cleaning tables ready for the new wave of students etc. etc., the afternoon was spent creating Pegasus pieces.

Sunday was the same as Saturday – lots of enthusiasm right from the start of the day. Even on a Sunday morning I had people lining up to get in the door first!!  Sundays projects included a Peacock and a Steampunk Fish.

Our classes were full with 20-ish people in each of the four.  Christi handled it with ease, making sure each student had individual attention throughout the day. She was very generous with her information sharing lots of tips and tricks with everyone. The students were all amazed by her skill and generosity not to mention her down to earth, bubbly personality.

This weekend was, without a doubt one of the most hectic but amazing weekends of my life and I know I wasn’t the only one who had an absolute ball (although I slept well on Sunday night!!) We are looking forward to Christi’s next visit to say the very least.  Thank you Christi for an amazing weekend!

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