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Longer, Lighter, Less

Atlanta is a very long way from home. Five airports, six flights, cramped seats, varied companion moods, and way too many long walks from one terminal to another. I am glad to be home although, travel aside, it was an amazing trip. The facility - Creative Journey Studios - in Milton, Georgia was way and beyond my expectations. Along with how incredibly organized the workshop was, there is a HUGE amount of well known artist work to look at and be inspired by. Some is for sale and some is part of a private exhibit.

I learned so much being able to look at those pieces up close, pick them up, turn them over, and see all the details. We were asked not to photograph the pieces out of respect for the artists and I really appreciated that having experienced people photographing and then copying my own work in the past.

These are the two pieces I bought, made by the instructor Lynn Yuhr. The one at right is the actual piece she made in an online workshop I took with her earlier this year. I bought it for that reason and for the bespoke chain, which is a workshop I'm taking next week, the fifth of five so far this year. And the last for a while. It's time to get to work.

The topic of the workshop was liquid polymer clay and the - endless - ways you can use it to create unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. The processes are very similar to surface design with fabric. Above left is a skin made from marbling with liquid clay. At right, is a pendant in process that started with a baked sheet of grey clay that I drizzled liquid black over top of and then baked. I'm debating how to take it forward.

These pieces were all made with raw clay that was surface treated first, cut up, burnished together, and then baked. The one bottom right reminds me of the textile work I used to do. It's that similarity to fabric that has drawn me in.

The two pieces at left were pieced with patterned raw clay and the three to the right are veneers made from surface treated clay.

We also did some work with carving into raw and baked clay. Raw - like these pieces - is easier. I used a green coloured clay and then added liquid clay over top to get the other colours. I'm not sure about these. I need to explore what else I can do with them but carving certainly has potential.

The piece above was made from mushing up the leftovers and running them through the pasta machine. It exited in perfect pendant form so I baked it like that and now I'll explore finishing it... probably with a chain I make in the upcoming workshop. My head is buzzing with ideas and inspiration. I am looking forward to going deep with the clay. I think there is a lot for me to explore and to enjoy. It will be the same old, same old... what do I do with that and... you just can't be creative without making things and then having to figure out what to do with them. I think I'm beginning to come to terms with that reality. Over the years, I have gotten better and better at packing however, this trip taught me that I want to stay longer with free time both before and after a workshop and that I want to pack less and have lighter luggage with everything in the carryon and only a small crossbody bag to carry. That will mean less of everything including less clothing so I'll be exploring how to mix, match, and maximize outfits better, wearing things more than once, and how to handle the jewelry I take... perhaps one or two chains with interchangeable pendants. It's something to think about and strategize for the next time I have to fly. I'd definitely take another workshop at that studio however, I prefer to drive so I'll be looking for other closer to home as well. Talk soon -

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