Playing. We encourage our kids to do it. It exercises the imagination and allows us to experiment. It facilitates social interaction. It is generally calming and it is fun.
Well that was what the weekend at Fandango was all about, play. Fandango is the polymer clay retreat hosted by the Orlando Polymer Clay Guild.
This year I did it all, pre-retreat classes, the main retreat workshops, a bangle challenge and charm/bead exchange. The pre-retreat classes included Patrice Pfeiffer’s Dragonfly and Alice Stroppel’s Weed Pots. They were a great warm up for the next three days!
Then there were the main workshops with Christi Friesen – The Art of the Vessel; Karen and Ann Mitchell – Engineering and Construction in Polymer Clay Design and Donna Greenberg – Coral Cluster Sculptures. They were all so very different and all so far out of my comfort zone . . . . it was great!! It is actually one of the reasons I enjoy Fandango so much. You either take the classes or you don’t, no choices. It is a wonderful opportunity to try new things in a very relaxed setting. No pressure! And at a very reasonable cost!!
When there is no pressure and you can just play, soaking in the information, it is amazing the little things you learn that can make a big impact on your work. And often what you learn will not manifest itself in your work until well after the retreat.
One other thing about playing with others is the camaraderie that is developed. There were over 60 polymer clay folks in attendance, all from different backgrounds, all with different goals, but all with the same passion for polymer clay. This camaraderie is a common thread at most polymer clay events that I have attended and makes these events so much fun!!
The charm/bead exchange is a nice way of bringing a piece of everyone home with you!! Well not everyone participated, but it was still fun!
And the cherry on top of the whole event was winning the bangle challenge with my fat boys, Tweedledee and Tweedledum!!