Sunday, October 23, 2011

Workshop Results

We survived and all of us ended up with great canes.  We made really big ones as you can see in the photos below.  That gives us lots of options for combining them in interesting ways.  Of course, reducing them requires lots of slamming on tabletops, so the room got kind of noisy.

Putting the final components into a cane

Slicing a cane open to see how it looks

Voila!  Beautiful!

Bright cane after reducing

On the slicer

My cane after reducing

Paper thin slices
After making our slices, we made pendants, or at least we tried.  It's not easy getting those slices aligned properly, so some practice is in order.


This was a terrific week with a wonderful teacher and a great group of people.  I feel very lucky to have been a part of it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Exciting day in the workshop

The day got off to a rousing start due to some naughtiness by a couple of unnamed class participants.  Carol Simmons has developed a phenomenal cane slicer with a very sharp blade, and some creative folks decided to "illustrate" the potential risks of using it.  We all waited expectantly for Carol to see our work, but she kept walking by the slicer without seeing what was there.  Finally we heard a shriek and knew that our trick was a success.

Bloody severed finger
For the last two days we have been frantically creating component canes to go into our kaleidoscope cane, and today, everything started to come together. 

A bunch of component canes

Laying out cane slices to figure out the design
Fabulous job of interpreting inspirational fabric
Partly assembled cane
Laying out my cane
My cane before reducing

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The operative word is "intensive"

The workshop I'm taking with Carol Simmons is called "6-Day Kaleidoscope Pendant Intensive", and the operative word is "intensive."  We meet from 9am to 9pm, plus more time earlier or later depending on whether we are morning or night people, with just a short break for lunch and dinner at a local restaurant before returning to the studio.  Carol is with us the whole time teaching and working with each of us on our individual canes.  I don't think I've seen another teacher put in so much effort for his or her students.  I had intended to blog daily but quite frankly, I've been too pooped at the end of the day to do anything but put my feet up and sip a glass of wine before hitting the sack.  

The group of students are all great fun and we are having a good time as well as working hard and learning a lot.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Exploring southern Wisconsin

I've been in southern Wisconsin for the past couple of days and was lucky to be here during the Fall Art Tour taking place in the area including Mineral Point, Spring Green and Baraboo.  Forty-four artists opened their studios to the public for three days.  The area covered was large - over 45 miles from one end of the tour to the other - but it was a lovely fall weekend and I enjoyed driving through the farmland even though the fall colors had already departed.  There were many excellent artists, but I restricted my purchases to one nice pair of earrings. 
An old mill I found while driving around.

My main reason for coming here a couple of days before my class was to see Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright's home.  It was definitely worth the extra time.  I took the four hour Estate Tour and got to walk around the estate and see several of the structures and learn about the life of the architecture students who came to live, work and study with Mr. Wright.  The setting, in the midst of farmland, is spectacular.  Wright said he became successful when he was able to "own his view".

One nice part of the Estate Tour is being able to approach the house on foot and see it from different perspectives. 

No photos are allowed of the inside of the house which is just as well since it would be difficult to do it justice.  Wright said his work was about the "space" and he felt there was no way to capture the sense of space in a photograph.  His sense of "human scale" was a bit strange - anyone over 5'10" will bump their head in several locations due to the low ceilings in parts of the house.

Now I'm off to Carol Simmons' Kaleidoscope Cane class.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On the road again.....

I hit the road today and drove 400 miles from my home near Toronto towards Wisconsin where I will take Carol Simmons 6-day Kaleidoscope Cane workshop.  Another 276 miles to go.  I've been waiting a long time for this class and I'm eager to get going on Sunday.  I left a couple of days early in hopes of getting in a little bit of fall color photography and also to see Taliesin, one of Frank Lloyd Wright's homes, which isn't too far from the workshop location.  I'll try to blog about what I see and also about the workshop.  Then on the way home, I'm going to visit the Racine Art Museum which is having the grand opening of the permanent polymer clay collection.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My new Artfire Shop

Well, gulp, I did it.  I opened my Artfire shop.  So far only 8 items, but I will be adding more as the days go by.

Please take a look: