Polymer clay is a medium that I am passionate about. And by now, you should know that I am a workshop junkie! But I also read, I practice and I have studied the history of this medium. One of the early artists working with polymer clay was Kathleen Dustin (www.kathleendustin.com). Her work is amazing and illustrates the artistic potential that polymer clay has.
I recently had the opportunity to take a workshop with her. I also had the opportunity to spend the day with Kathleen prior to the class and take her on a hunt for inspiration along with a few great meals and may be a drink or two!
A group of us spent the day viewing the urban art of Wynwood in South Florida. It’s not just graffiti; it is energetic, vibrant, beautiful and often thought-provoking art. Inspiration can be taken away in many forms . . . . colors, patterns and scale of imagery. And some of it is just fun and makes you smile!
We stayed in the area for lunch at Zak the Baker (www.zakthebaker.com). It can be described as a simple, wholesome goodness. And is totally worth the wait!
The workshop was held in the historic building at Pinecrest Gardens. The foliage throughout the garden is also a source of inspiration and made for a lovely break during the day. Again, the inspiration includes shape, forms, patterns . . . . and oh the pops of color!
The class was great. Kathleen was able to take several techniques that she uses and teach them in a very accessible way. Everyone was very successful! This is a sampling of the students work in various stages of completion.
There was so much to take away from the class. It is now time to try to adapt those techniques that appealed to me into my work. This requires me to do some more playing and practicing . . a lot of it . . . and it doesn’t happen overnight (damn it!).
And the workshop is never just about learning a new technique. You have the opportunity to gain a new perspective, get a glimpse into their artistic life and what it took to get where they are (I can dream, right??). One of the things Kathleen said that resonated with me was . . . it is easy to make pretty things . . . it is much harder, takes a lot of courage and is very scary to make things that speak with your unique voice. They may not be pretty and they may not be well received but that is how you start . . . you practice and exercise . . . and eventually develope your unique voice. Hmmmm . . . . I better get busy.
A special thank you to Kathleen Dustin, a real master craftswoman and class act!!
And Kim Sokolow for making this happen, the workshop coordinator for the South Florida Jewelry Arts Guild (www.sfjag.org).