I got flown out to teach in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. By plane, this isn’t far, so it was a real treat.
The Whooping Crane Guest house, where I stayed, is run by Christine Aubrey. Lovely place, great food and all sorts of beautiful artwork (Christine is a first class fibre artist on her own).
Of course, I traveled to teach a polymer clay caning class and so I spent a good solid couple of days playing with clay.
As always my students inspired and impressed me. I’m pretty sure I learn more teaching than I teach… or something like that.
I had a fun run of ornament making classes with the whole range of clay folks in town. Grade 1 through adults showed up for classes this fall and we made ornaments. These are from my last adult class based on my free tutorial. I will have to update the instructions to include some of the extra ideas that people have come up with since I released it last year.
I admit to liking odd titles and weird phrases. This, despite knowing that you have a much better chance of being understood with clear words and simple, descriptive sentences. So I called my classes this weekend Clay Rainbows and Turtle Rocks.
It actually WAS descriptive for the classes. The first was the colour version of my basic caning class from last time. We revisited cane construction but using block colouring and Skinner blends. People made everything from flowers to butterfly wings.
My second class, geared to middle schoolers (the people my daughters age! yikes!), was to make ‘Turtle Rocks’. Basically it was to make pet rocks but I wanted a name that was going to catch eye. The actual items for the project class were very loosely inspired by Jon Anderson’s amazing Fimo creatures.
I walked the kids through how to make a few quick canes, how to wrap and construct the turtle and then I turned them loose on the clay and pasta machines. We ended up with a herd of turtles and critters.
I always comment that I’m a reclusive, introverted cave dweller but classes and shows are fun for me. Probably because I get to pick the time and the audience is generally people enthusiastic about what I’m enthusiastic about. It was a great group but now, I’m exhausted and looking forward to next weekend’s project: the Bead Show.