Saturday, April 30, 2011

A free video

Hi All,

Cindy Leitz, whose work I admire and who is a talented video tutor for clay has announced that she will be giving access to a free video starting Monday, May 2nd.

A few years ago she developed a teardrop skinner blend video that shortened the Skinner blend technique be several minutes and gave that away free. I forget to use the technique but I think some of that is because I work with a stiffer clay. When I do remember to use it though I ask myself why I don't use it all the time.

The new technique that Cindy is giving away for free is how to shift your skinner blends. I've done some blend shifting based on Lindly Haunani's technique, but Cindy always manages to make something tedious look a lot easier, so I'm curious to see how it compares.

Anyhow, Cindy doesn't give away free tutorials very often so do take advantage of her freebie.

Here's the link: Teardrop Blend Shift a la Cindy Leitz.



Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Aurora Borealis Technique

Hi Folks,

At Morrisburg Diane had some clay that she was playing with to cover a pen. When I saw the results I was blown away - the colours are beautiful and I loved the free-form of it.

The technique is from Cindy Leitz and you can see a preview here.

Despite my strongly worded hints and outright begging, Diane wasn't willing to part with the pen, which is the top pen in the photo. I can't really blame her, the pen was perfect and we don't often get perfection at Morrisburg, so she was entitled.

But, Diane was kind enough to give me my very own sample to play with. After our Morrisburg adventure with pens (thanks, Margi!) I went to Lee Valley and bought some other pen kits to play with. The bottom picture is my attempt using the clay that I was given by Diane. I covered it with Future and I'm very happy with it.

Because we're penny pinching at home for the next while I'm not spending a lot of money on clay supplies or tutorials. I've also got enough experience that I can usually figure out what I want to do through extra resources on the Internet. But Cindy's technique is definitely unique and not something that's easy to reverse engineer, nor do I want to try because it is so different. It is a bit reminiscent of Desiree's braided cane but I do know that it's a whole lot simpler.

I did e-mail Cindy about possibly doing group prices since I know many of the women at Guild would love to learn it and she's considering it. I was also so very pleased to hear that she's definitely thinking about offering her videos on a one-off basis.

I can hardly wait!



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My favourite piece I've ever made

Hi All,

I thought I'd post a close up of one of the pieces that I made at Morrisburg. Inspiration came from just about everywhere on this piece.

It's made from one of Wendy's Cabezels and is about 1.5 inches tall.

The background is some scrap clay that I've had forever and have been just waiting for the perfect thing to make with it. It reminds me of our most amazing trip to the southwest a few years ago.

The bodies were from a spiral cane made by my new good friend, Diane, using the technique that I taught at Morrisburg - and when she showed me the cane I promptly demanded a piece and I knew it would make wonderful people. The heads are Jones Tones foils using the smallest Kemper cutter circles. Gera Scott-Chandler was my inspiration for the people - she was doing a lot of work with pebble people last year and I loved the simplicity of the shape.

Gera Scott-Chandler taught us how to use UV cure resins and I knew that this piece cried out for that. It took me three tries to get the resin right.

My mother, who attended Morrisburg with me, started looking all pathetic eyed and wistful about the piece, so I ended up giving it to her (gladly, or pretty much gladly, of course). I have enough bits that I can make another.

I love it and I was smiling as I was making it.

It's so much nicer when things go together the way you want them to.



Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wow, it's been a while...

Hi Everyone,

I'm not sure why I haven't been blogging - I seem to have lost a lot of creative oomph. I really wish I were a tidier crafter because whenever I venture into the disaster that is my hobby room, I loose momentum, particularly in the winter.

So I haven't been claying as much.

But now that the sun is out, the days, are longer, and it's starting to be beautiful out, I feel compelled to venture into the depths of the basement to start my hobby once again. It makes no sense, I know, but it happens each year

And, last weekend was Morrisburg, my annual claying event that I love. I'm happy to say it was my second favourite gathering ever. We switched up the format a bit. Instead of finished projects and workshops we had several 15 minute demos. I think the format works well for people that are well versed in claying and it was just perfect for my attention span.

I taught versions of the spiral cane that I posted on my blog last year which you can see here. The samples in the first picture are those that were created with the spirals - they're good as an accent piece.

I've modified the technique a bit - I no longer extrude the squares that go into the extruder - it's sloppier than that now, and easier, since you only extrude once.

The teardrop disc works particularly well and the inspiration came from 2 Good Claymates for the flowers since she uses the teardrop with her extruder cane. As I was assembling the flowers I realized that four of the teardrops make a perfect butterfly. I knew my friend, Janice, would be thrilled, and she was.

I have more pictures to post later. Maybe I just needed a bit of a vacation.