Monday, May 20, 2013

Laurie Mika Mixed Media Polymer Clay Mini Medieval Triptychs

Laurie Mika Mixed Media Polymer Clay Workshop
You know how most of our days, click along with regular mediocrity?
Monday, wash day, Tuesday, string beans!) 
Then... as a gift, Days of Wonder come along and you look to Heaven and wonder why you deserve such a Gift?
Well, one of those "Gifts" happened to me, again, this past weekend.
Clay Artist Extraordinaire, Laurie Mika, had a two class, three day workshop at Stamp Antonio, in San Antonio.
I signed up for Both classes.
Part of the fun of something special, like a trip, or a visit, to me, is the planning.
Well, I think that you can see, hunting and gathering in my studio, for necessary supplies was pretty consuming business!
Keep in mind, that our two projects collectively only covered a FEW square inches, but a girl has to have all of her Stuff...just in case! 
 I had a sure theme for one of my projects, which I will feature in another posting.

The second, literally happened the night Before, when I looked up and saw a vintage Dresden Angel in my studio, that I had bought at the Comfort Antique Show, 3 years ago!
She had been Patiently waiting for me to "discover", what I wanted to do with her!

Eventually, both projects unfolded, as they always do.
Polymer clay has to be conditioned, before it is used.
I am happy to say that all of my bags purchased, were actually fresh, and the prep time was fast and easy. My hands were Very thankful.

Lists were made and items crossed off,  as I filled my traveling, supply bags.

I admit I was a little embarrassed, when I arrived with 4 full bags of "opportunity"!
In the end, I was glad to have so many things to "shop" through, as I developed each of my pieces.
This is a picture of one of Laurie's pieces, that I keep hanging in my studio for Certain inspiration!

 Below, is the sample that Laurie made, for what our triptych would look like finished.

Laurie is an amazing artist.
She is a traveler.
You can see the influences in her work, from the different countries that she visits.
Her pieces often have a positive phrase or saying, included.
Not surprising...she is a positive person!

Laurie has recently opened her new Etsy shop called, LaurieMikaMikaArts.
Go and see her crazy. amazing. pieces.
She also has a great new blog, where you can see her and her adventures!
Be sure to leave her a comment!  

Finally, the clouds parted, the angels sang and after a three year wait since we had last seen her, I sat in my "anticipation seat", with my table covered with supplies and a terribly silly smile on my face!
All of my begging for Carol and Amy to work out a time for Laurie to come back to San Antonio, had been fulfilled!

The room was packed.
Every time one of us stood up to move, we bumped butts!
"Oh, Sorry"! "Excuse me"! It went on happily for three days! 

Carol Condos, one of the owners of Stamp Antonio, introduced Laurie and off we went.

Three years ago, at the first Stamp Antonio, Laurie Mika workshop, I was BLESSED, to have made a wonderful, artist friend, Vivien.
She mentored me though that event, as I had NEVER taken an art class, before.
We have thankfully stayed in touch and we had a blast sitting next to each other, for both classes.

She is a beautiful, talented, classic lady and it shows in her art.

We shared supplies and ideas and encouragement, and of course, the required, medicinal dark chocolates, that an artist MUST have to create!

This workshop,  wouldn't have been the same without her!

Check out her new Etsy shop called, TheRiverWalk.
There you will see her beautiful handmade, vintage, religious jewelry pieces.

After EIGHT, nose to the ground hours, we all gathered our pieces, in various states of "finishedness" for a show.

It never ceases to amaze me how beautifully unique, the human imagination is.

No two pieces were even NEARLY, alike.

I love that!

Mine came home with me that night, but not because it was finished.
I think it was maybe half glued.

The centerpiece Angel is stunning.

In the early 1900's, when Victoriana was rampant, the Germans were famous for their beautiful pressed paper work.

This angel is quite old.

I knew I didn't have the right to glue it or alter it.

Late that night, I got the idea of tacking it in with old nails that I had saved from deconstructing an old Victorian photo album.

I had exactly enough nails, to respectfully hold her in place, for the rest of my generation!
She will remain with me, as a great reminder of how much fun our weekend was!

 I'm always cruising art blogs, and last week, I saw a lovely fabric bead, on Deryn Mentock's amazing blog titled, Something Sublime.

She has a tutorial for making this bead.
PLEASE go to her blog and see what they are SUPPOSED to look like. Her skill level as a jewelry artist and teacher, is amazing!!

I didn't have time to take the tutorial, so I did a hurried, botch job of it, so I could have something fiber"y" on hand for my triptych.

I promise I have lots to learn from her blog, and plan to continue to do so.

It was fun to have a few extra beads, to share with my buds.

I love the Gothic shape of the background boards Laurie designed.
It was fun to hear how challenging it was for Laurie to supply what looks like a "no big deal" shape, for our substrate!
I know plenty of times I think...oh, that will be easy...and then its not!

She reminded us to be careful about our scale when we were setting up our scheme.


My angel was a large as the background!

Not to worry, remember all of those extra supplies I brought?
I softened up some more clay and I just enlarged the background.
I love how it accommodated and featured, Beautiful Angel!
So, I will end here with Workshop Day One.

I think that by now, you can Discern, that I was just a little bit happy with the workshop!
It was definitely Challenging, but I have new depth of information, to go with what we learned at the last workshop.
Laurie has grown before our eyes, and I hope the next time we meet with her, we All will have grown as well.
I'll end with something that I read and shared with Laurie, before she left.

I recently read a story about a bloggers experience of attending a workshop similar to Laurie's, by another artist.
I would credit the blogger, if I could remember who it was. Sorry.
She said she and a number of her artist friends, attended the event.
The presenting artist, wasn't ready when they arrived.
The artist, rambled though her presentation, unprepared, showing little respect for the artists in attendance, who if like our weekend, a number of people had come some distance at their own expense.
Finally, at the end of the presentation, the presenter, basically told the attendees, that they were not "allowed" to share anything that they had learned.

I thought about Laurie, and the other teachers that I have learned from, who have ALL been Generous, to come and share Freely.
Every one of them have wanted to see us benefit and grow from their years of experience!

Think about all of the things that you have learned from someone gladly sharing with you.

Hastypearl, is full of ideas that have been spawned from techniques that someone has shared with me!
Thank goodness for Generosity!

Yep...just a thought to ponder.

Lets all Go and Share something helpful to the people we cross paths with!
What a wonderful legacy for each of us to leave behind!

Enjoy your days...

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