Sunday, October 24, 2010

A class with Dan Cormier - week 31 of canes

Hi All,

Last weekend I took Dan Cormier's "Relief beyond Belief" class. He teaches how to do die forming for clay and I think it's a technique that I'll use in the future.

The above photo was an eye opener for me. I've had this skinner blend plug that I'm not happy with and didn't know what to do with. I brought it along as scrap clay and was thrilled with how it looked in the die forms. Many people asked me how I made the pattern and truth be told, I'm not quite sure. I think it's just a Skinner Blend that I turned into a plug but I'll have to double check. I'm counting this as a caning entry since the plug in itself became a cane that's really quite pretty.

I found Dan's class a bit challenging. He's very much a precision and perfection person, even in the tutorials and he'll spend 20 minutes making a Skinner blend just so. He says he's not capable of talking and working at the same time so we spent a fair bit of time watching him work. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but for a dabbler and player like me I would get impatient and just want to get to the clay, particularly since he's not imparting words of wisdom while he's working. Having said that, it was good for me to watch someone do perfect work since mine is so clearly not. Also he taught us things that I never would have figured out in a million years so the class was definitely worth it.

Dan's got several sets of templates that are available for purchase. Initially I thought the price was a bit high for the templates, however, when you add in the labour and precision of the templates it's actually quite reasonable. Particularly for a non-precision person like me.

I did learn a lot and am looking forward to putting some of the lessons in practice. I'm trying to figure out how to use his tools as part of the Clayamies annual Christmas ornament exchange.



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