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At the beginning of the year I presented my students from various venues with a challenge. Beginning a new year, I think we all lack a little direction and sometimes a little motivation as we wonder what the year will bring, so I gave my students the option to participate in this challenge as a way to combat these issues.

The theme for this challenge was ‘Dreamscape’. Students were asked to interpret this theme as they saw fit. Entries could be wearable or sculptural with the only limitation being that they must contain at least 75% polymer clay. Other materials could be whatever the student chose – glass, acrylic, wood, found items……you get the idea!

Students had approximately 6 weeks for this challenge and could either give me the actual pieces for judging or submit photos via email. This had to be done by 18th March 2012.

I was extremely pleased with the entries I received. They were all little works of art and so different from each other. It was amazing to see the different interpretations of the theme. My difficult task of judging these entries took place this week and with the kind permission of Voila’s Christine Dumont I have used her framework to judge these pieces. Although this job was made easier by Christine’s framework, I still found it quite difficult to judge such wonderful pieces of art!! It turned out that first, second and third place were only a few points apart.

Read on to hear about the entries and of course, the winners (although they are all winners to me!).

Our first Encouragement award went to Sandra Ireland with her Dragon Dreaming piece.  Sandra’s little dragons are just gorgeous and beautifully presented.

The second Encouragement Award is awarded to Christine Witton for her ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ entry. Christine tells how she was inspired by Christi Friesen’s magic figures. She says we all wish for some magic in our lives and Puff embodies the power, fantasy and drama of it.  I am yet to see this little dragon in ‘real life’ but I think he is just adorable as I’m sure you’ll agree.

Third place is awarded to Kerryn Ladell for her ‘Tree of Life’ sculptural piece.  Kerryn’s dreamscape design has been inspired not only by the Tree of Life  but also by the colours of the chakras.  Kerryn tells how the garden has always been her sanctuary to escape to, with colour and beautiful flowers to inspire her. She has also added a crystal prism a the bottom of her piece which she says encompasses all light and colour.  I really enjoyed reading about Kerryn’s journey in creating this piece and was happy to see how she was inspired to create this piece.

Kerryn has won a copy of ‘Polymer Clay Colour Inspirations’ by Lindley Haunani and Maggie Maggio valued at $45

Second Place is awarded to Brenda Petitt for her amazing tile of polymer clay colour which she has entitled ‘Dreamscape’.  Brenda says, ‘When I need to ‘escape’ or I being to meditate, my special place to be is in a flower-filled field, by a stream, under a shady weeping willow tree, in a framed  background of undulating hills and mountains at the peaceful time of dusk.  The calming sounds of trickling water and the gentle call of the birds, send me to my special place place and help to ‘take me away’.  Brenda’s ‘Dreamscape’ is created in layers of Premo polymer clay on a substrate of ceramic tile which is 18 x 24cm.  I was amazed by this piece. For me it certainly had the ‘wow’ factor.

Brenda has won a Goody Bag to the value of over $50!

And finally, First Place goes to Liz Alserda for her ‘Dreaming Lady’ neckpiece.  I was blown away by the amount of research Liz did prior to creating her piece. She took me on a journey through her creation of this piece as you can see in the photos below. Liz created a face cane and then attempted (very well!) her first feather cane.  There are so many elements to the final piece – from the many canes that have been created to the different shaped beads. I enjoyed reading about the ‘little extras’ that Liz created as she went on her ‘Dreamscape’ journey.  Her final thoughts on this journey are as follows, “I have always thought if you don’t step outside your comfort zone you dont grow – this is a philosophy I have applied to many situations. I also consider myself a newbie to the whole polymer clay medium and with this in mind my Dreamscape was a challenge in that I took the opportunity to try some new stuff! At the end of it all I am very happy wtih what I have achieved and will wear it with much satisfaction. Now I only need to figure out what I am going to do with the massive amount of my sleeping lady face cane I made along my way………”.   I think Liz’s attitude to this challenge, and to life, is inspirational and we can all take something from her words.

Liz has won a $75 voucher to The Whimsical Bead. Congratulations!

Congratulations to all of you that entered. I was blown away by the talent and the diversity of the entries. Stay tuned for our next challenge………

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