Archive for the ‘Maureen Carlson’ Category

Carol Simmons Part 2

November 13, 2011

If you missed the first part of this post then you may want to check it out here.

https://bluedamselflyjewelry.wordpress.com/2011/10/29/carol-simmons-part-1/

I have my layout and all I have to do is follow the pretty cane diagram and I would have my cane constructed in no time with a few leftover for any mistakes that may arise. Do you think that I could follow the canes no I could not. I ended up with something so different I can not tell you how I did it. I think the cane has a mind of its own. I know this is something that will happen every time as I have already constructed another cane and this time it looked different when I built it as well. I kept laughing at myself while building because I could not follow the canes while constructing.

Canes got built and reduced that spectacular day at Maureen’s. I love love love the sound of a cane being slammed around. I say it is the sound of magic, sexy cane magic. Here are pictures of the class canes enjoy.

In class I was able to make 2 pendants and a set of earrings that I get a lot of compliments on each time I wear them.

When I got home it was a different story I could not make the beads as we had done in class so I had to find a way that was pleasing to my eyes. I had to finish sets in a hurry so hubby could take them as gifts to his sisters and their daughters in Lebanon. I hope they liked them as some parts for me were a struggle. I had to change the design of the earrings as I had a lot of scrap cane. I think they turned out nice and hopefully the new proud mama’s have happy ears and necks with the new designs.

The new cane that I just constructed is turning out well and I will have gifts for all the ladies at the auctions, my family for x mas, the play it forward group, and another special swap. EEEkkk time is running out. Here is a sneak peek of some designs.

Carol Simmons part 1

October 29, 2011

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.

http://clsdesigns.wordpress.com/

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!

Maureen Carlson’s Center For Creative Arts

October 18, 2011

I am not sure where to start about the wonderful week, as it was every clay girl’s dream. Maureen has created  a wonderful place where everyone can feel free to let their muse out to play and get inspired.

Jordan is a small town with wonderful charm that was like a little piece of heaven on earth. I was surprised to find that the largest candy store in Minnesota is located not far from the school and that was one of our field trips. Here  one could find every childhood candy and some that were not favorites. I was surprised to find that my son liked Abazabas (sp) which was the candy Carol requested that I bring back for her. I of course brought a weird candy for hubby Sour Cream flavored crickets.

The workroom is where all the action is and there is ample space for creativity and classes of any kind. Here is my workspace on the first day before I got to mess it all up.

There are rooms and beds for sleeping upstairs with two kitchens as well. There is a wonderful little river behind the school and on my many smoke breaks  I went to the water and felt such a peach come over me it was usually just what I needed to give me the power to go back to the work room and finish my task for the day.

I was blessed to be with a great group of ladies and we shared so much of our lives with each other. I can only hope to meet up with them again someday somehow in the future. Maureen has created an environment where everyone can feel that they are safe which as an artist is sometimes hard to do. We create our art and put it out there for the world to judge and sometimes that can be such a feared experience we never even do it.

I was amazed at how we helped each other willingly with our colors and blends and what we loved or did not like about each others work. Even if someone did not like something about what I had created I knew they were speaking to me with love and I took their opinion seriously and it really helped me to see my creation with eyes that were not my own.

We were allowed to work as early or late as we wanted to usually crawling into bed after a 12 hour day tired physically but not mentally. Maureen did not take the class but she was able to go with us on several outings and checked in on us regularly throughout the process. She would give us such positive feedback on what we were creating we just wanted to go on and on and on.

My only regret was that I put blinders on the first few days and would not let myself look at her store as I walked through it to go to bed. By day 3 it was cane focus 100% and I still would not allow myself to get distracted by her store and wonderful creations. The last day was so crazy trying to finish and then pack I did not have time to get a picture of her work table which is one the things I love to do. Looking at others work tables and creative spaces is a love of mine that I will make sure I do NEXT TIME I am able to go back to her center. How I missed this opportunity I will never understand or forgive myself for as I want to show my support to other artists and I only bought three packs of clay from her. Again next time I will make sure I spend some time in her store!

There was so much laughter, deep thought and artistic motivation at Maureen Carlson’s Center For Creative Arts I really hope that you are able to be a part of that special place once in your lifetime. Even more I hope that I am blessed enough to be able to visit again one day.

I took this rock (I have a rock collection with rocks from all over the world) and to me it symbolizes the week at Maureen’s. It is nice and smooth and almost round like we were as a group. It is almost perfect and I think that is our group. Very tight, giving, loving, and almost perfect in our creations.