I spent ALL day Friday in Leesburg, FL at the Clay Fandango retreat. Upon arrival they gave me a bag full of clay and other goodies :D I looked around the room and everyone had wet wipes, pasta machines, and clay; lots of clay. So much in fact they had to carry it in on baggage cart wheelies. Some had some very clever contraptions to carry all of their supplies - these ladies meant business!
I met so many wonderful clayers. I really believe clayers are a special breed (most, anyway). One of those people was the founder of PolymerCafe Magazine, Joan Clipp who graciously offered to share her clay, tools and supplies with me - sweet huh?! We sat there laughing and claying most of the day. Others told me of their adventures at Synergy the NPCG's conference as well as other events. Some of the clayers were sharing techniques and doing demos at our table.
Later that evening, Maureen Carlson was demonstrating her mask molds and all of the whimsical faces that can be created with them. Maria Shriver was demonstrating how she drills holes in the beautiful caned beads she makes. Christi Friesen was demonstrating her dragon making techniques, who by the way, is an absolute joy to be around (when she's not bumping into you or cutting you off - JK - I've forgiven her). She has a wonderful playful attitude that makes learning fun. They had a make/take booth set up for metal clay, which is pretty neat stuff, but I don't trust myself with the blowtorch. I think the embossing gun and wood burning iron are about as risky as I should get with heat - LOL.
Ilysa Bierer from PCP was there video taping the event and interviewing artsists. She has a wonderful site for clay artists that can only get better with her big plans. She's also the founder of the Etsy clay group PCAGOE. As if that weren't enough, she also has a website to teach/learn all sorts of crafts live via the webcam.
While I waited for my clay piece to bake in the oven, I watched the brown bag swap and the flamingo fashion show. You should've seen the wonderful prizes given out... there were fairy sculptures, clay jewelry, those adorable beaded puff heart necklaces, and many other spectacular works of art in the brown bag swap. As for the flamingo fashion show there were some very clever costumes and some hilarious dance moves (see photo above).
Needless to say, I hope I can make it to next years event for some more FUN!!!