well, it's been a long time since I last wrote here. for many not-very-good reasons I've been away from my craft and writing, but as (hopefully) the remnants of the last snow storm are melting, so is my lethargy.
I got a great infusion of energy and inspiration last week when I attended CFCF09 in Laurel, MD. A polymer clay retreat that brought together some great artists as teachers and students, I signed up for the max in sessions -1 full day pre-conference with Nan Roche and 6 half day sessions (Lynne Schwartzenburg, Jana Roberts Benzon , Sarah Shriver, Kim Korringa, Tony Acquino and Tory Hughes, in no particular order), which was probably a mistake , but thoroughly enjoyable. One problem for me, as many of the other participants, was the banning of motors in the classrooms, so if you roamed the halls at night, you could hear the whine of many pasta machine motors coming from hotel rooms - and the occasional loud thump-thwack sound of a 10# sledge hammer hitting a 1 # polymer clay package. I'm not sure what the other guests thought was going on with all those strange noises.
As I packed up pre-trip, I marvelled at the folks who had attended this last year, travelling by plane and train, before the National Polymer Clay Guild's conference. How they did it with no excess baggage is beyond me-for my 7 classes, I needed a total of 18#'s of preconditioned clay, plus lots of other clay tools and supplies. In addition to my big rolling toolbox which was stuffed to the gills, I had 4 large LL Bean bags loaded to overflowing. I had packaged up in seven 2 gallon zip lock bags the clay and supplies needed for each class. I had 2 pasta machines- my trusty imperia with motor for the hotel room and a new makin's pasta machine (larger roller heads, nonstick) for the classes. add to that a big suitcase (for 7 days of clothes), a smaller overnight bag, and snacks, and the Malibu looked like I was running away from home taking everything but the kitchen sink!
and once there, I bought even more clay, stamps, powders, etc. at the retreat store. I also had 70 miniature masks on mardi gras bead strands for the swap - which I missed so, they came back home with me. 20 small bags of fused glass cabs, minicabs and focal beads were destined for the retreat store -we could put out our own work for sale at the store, and I figured with instructors who would be plying their wares, I needed something that was a bit different- ergo the fused glass. Christi Friesen was also teaching, so I'd added some dichroic icicles that I thought might go over with her students.