One of the most enjoyable aspects of offering workshops, particularly on how to make face shards, is to see how they are used by the artists who attend. I’ve already posted photos of Spirit Dolls and jewelry – now here are some new ideas.
These are by Sheri Lenora from Austin, who took a class at the Studio recently on building earthenware faces – she’s used them in her beautiful mixed-media hangings – spectacular rich color and texture:
Mixed-Media #1 by Sheri Lenora, Austin
Mixed-Media #2 by Sheri Lenora, Austin
Mixed-Media #1 by Sheri Lenora, Austin
The next example (left) is the cover of a small book created by Zinnia Galliher, founder of Roses On My Table and a student in my online Making Faces class! I have a already warned her that I’m stealing her idea – it’s wonderful, and the air-dry clay is easier and lighter to work with than earthenware would be for adding to artisan paper constructions.
Don’t forget that there’s a workshop this Sunday at the Studio on making faces with air-dry clay with all kinds of beautiful finishes. Here’s the info, and here’s where to sign up.
. . .and that’s fantastic! We’re in such a drought that no one is complaining. Rain is supposed to continue through most of the weekend – yes! Tomorrow Michelle Belto and I are collaborating in our Wax and Wings workshop. It will be a good day to gather around the Studio worktables, listen to the rain, and talk about nesting and shelter and how we can create those concepts through collage and encaustic. I’ll post the photos from this first session later. Here’s one from my practice time in the studio this afternoon, just the collage “nest” part. Michelle’s in charge of the inside encaustic part – she’s so good. Check out her book.
BUT WAIT, there’s more – (drum roll please) – I’m about to boldly go into cyberspace with a new series of video art labs.Zinnia Galliher, an amazing artist and techno-wizard , has developed two sites where artists can teach lessons and present projects. She invited me to teach a class on her Roses site, then I’ll be developing some longer classes for the 2014 Artful Gathering. It’s really exciting and a totally new adventure – man, all this and rain to boot! And it’s Friday!! Life is pretty darn good 🙂 Hope your weekend includes some rain and some art and a nice comfy nest.
Congrats to Barb Wolfe, winner of the SHARDS subscriber drawing for the Spirit Box kit. Barb’s a good jewelry designer, can’t wait to see how she puts it all together. Speaking of shards, yesterday’s workshop artisans outdid themselves in quality and production. Take a look at some of their work – it’s very fragile right now while it’s waiting to be fired, but the pieces should be even more amazing once fired and finished. The last photo is a card of air-dry clay buttons that I made yesterday for fiber art enhancement – I’ll post directions at a later date. Sherrill Kahn turned me on to air-dry clay as a quick alternative to earthenware.Thanks for a great workshop, y’all – see you Wednesday to finish your pieces and put them together at Ann Pearce’s jewelry shop.
shard faces by workshop participants, ready to fire
So you can’t come to the workshop this afternoon? Darn! Well, never fear – here’s a how-to freebie on making your own shard faces and adornments at your own place of creative belonging. No kiln needed because this project uses air-dry clay, lightweight and inexpensive. I’m going to demo this process at the workshop this afternoon although we will be using actual earthenware clay today. But this is a fun option to try at home (yes, you can try this at home). Here are some how-to step-by-step photos. And if you click this link, you’ll get a printable one-page list of materials and directions. Happy molding! That sounds weird. Happy creating beautiful one-of-a-kind clay objects of delight!!
Ready to go with molding compound and an object to mold
Squish the white and blue stuff together
Push it on the poor little angel’s face and wait five minutes
Pull it off gently – it sets up fast!
Roll a ball of air-dry clay so there are no cracks
Moosh it into the mold
The big reveal
Finish or just leave with a clay surface – poke holes if you like
To celebrate the publication of my article, Spirit Boxes, in the Sept-Nov issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, I’m putting together a one-of-a-kind Spirit Box kit for a Shards subscriber. Subscribe before midnight on Sunday and you’ll be in the random drawing. So, YAY!The kit has a shard face, the matboard frame, some decorative paper, and tin to hang the project. Oh, yeah, and directions.
The one-of-a-kind Spirit Box kit
Beautiful astounding Spirit Boxes – wow!!
Also, for your weekend viewing pleasure,, I just finished the video of Sherrill Kahn’s workshops at the Studio – what a great time we had! Sherrill and I are fast friends now – that’s the best part of all! Thanks to everyone who came – oh, and don’t forget, there’s a shard face workshop this Sunday with spaces left! Send me an email if you want to make your own Spirit Box faces.
I don’t know where Sherrill Kahn gets her energy – after two full days of teaching workshops at the Studio, she lectured to a full house of North East ISD art teachers this morning at the McNay Museum of Art as part of their in-service for back-to-school. My painting pal, Gloria Hill, is the NEISD Visual Arts Director and she arranged for Sherrill to come from California for the occasion. Sherrill shared images of her intricate, colorful work and she gave lots of hints to teachers on how to inspire students even on a teacher’s budget. Did you know, for example, that cheap hair gel from the Dollar Store works beautifully as an extender for acrylic paint? Check our her newest book for lots more cool ideas.
NEISD Art teachers
Questions for Sherrill
Teachers visit the Studio to see Sherrill
Afterwards, Gloria, Sherrill and I went to my Studio to work on face shard jewelry, but not before several of the art teachers showed up just to visit with Sherrill on a one-on-one basis. We did get back to work on our shard faces, and we spent the rest of the afternoon with Ann Pearce creating our necklaces with her help. If you’d like to make your own clay faces, I have a workshop this Sunday, August 25, on clay adornments, so sign up and join the fun! There’s still space.
Rooster shard necklace and other pendants by Lyn Belisle
Sunday’s Earthenware Shard and Adornment workshop will be fun, and there’s one space left for a brave soul. We’ll play with clay and create pendants and faces and roosters. Well, maybe not everybody will want to make a rooster, but a friend asked me to make some rooster jewelry for a rooster aficionado that he knows. Always one for a challenge, I did it (see the necklace, above). You can use regular decorative stamps like this one on thin pieces of damp clay in all kinds of ways. After Sunday’s workshop is over, I will take the pieces home and fire them to Cone 05, then we’ll meet again on Wednesday evening to finish them and string them at Ann Pearce‘s jewelry studio next door. It’s one of my favorite workshops. Even the rooster part.
Oh, no – she’s over-blogging again! But I did want to share some quick workshop notes and videos with you. There’s a Spirit Doll workshop this Sunday, and, as good timing would have it, I just received this photo from Valerie, who recently returned to her house in Freeport, NY after hurricane Sandy – she made this Spirit Doll using one of my face shards to celebrate the return. I love the colors and textures. Thank you, Valerie.
Last night was the Asian Painting workshop – great fun, lovely results from the participants. If you want to see me do a demo of the basics, click on this link. And here’s a video of the workshoppers and their artistry. They came as Grasshoppers and left as Masters 🙂
My first evening workshop at the Studio began somewhatdramatically when a driving rainstorm started just before we gathered, but it turned out to be a happy omen because the creative workshoppers outdid themselves. There was something comfortable and cozy about being together in the Studio with rain on the windows and Mozart playing on the laptop speakers. See for yourself– the participants made the loveliest magnetic pins. I provided the materials, including the earthenware faces, but they provided the magic.
Back at last from Boston with lots of inspiration and good memories! Look what was waiting for me on Facebook yesterday, just in time for Eileen Achorn’s beading workshop this Saturday at the Studio – two fabulous examples of cabochon beading using my face shards. These were done by Kathy Cosgrove from Round Lake Beach, Illinois. She wrote, “I purchased a few of your shards a few months ago and I wanted to share with you the outcome of my projects.” All I can say is, “WOW.”
Cabochon-beaded neckpiece by K. Cosgrove
Cabochon-beaded neckpiece by K. Cosgrove
This is an extension of the same technique that Eileen will be teaching, although she will (blessedly) start us off with the basics – if you’re in San Antonio, I hope you’ll consider joining us from 11-2 next Saturday the 15th at the Studio. Here’s the sign-up link. I had no idea that the little clay faces could be elevated to the kid of art that Eileen and Kathy do! And Eileen promises that even I, with little patience and no beading experience to speak of, can do this. We’ll see. I’ll send a report and pics after the workshop if you can be there in person.
Now, repeat after me . . . there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home . . . . .:)