The workshop with Morgen was a lot of fun and I finally learned how to use Apoxie Sculpt (an epoxy type clay, mix two equal parts together and it hardens) and a lot of other things, as well as discovering new tools (always a pleasure!) and making new friends. Morgen's techniques are quite different from mine, so I learned a lot from her. It's really good for me to stretch myself and get outside my comfort zone.
The Lisa Perry workshop is for jewelry. It will be in the fall, and I'm really looking forward to it. I enjoy Lisa as a person (we could gab for hours, and have done so when I see her at the Quarter Horse Congress - she's a fun lady!) and I do need to polish my jewelry skills, so I'm excited to take this one.
My next workshop is with Phillipe Farault, a figurative artist who lives in upstate New York, a beautiful area. He works in water-based clay, which I really don't enjoy working in very much and avoid as much as possible. Because I want to learn as much as possible from him, I started taking clay classes at the local YMCA (Countryside Y in Lebanon, Ohio) to get used to working in water-based clay again. Most of the folks there are making pots or little animals or folk art Nativities or decorative or useful things for the home. Then there's me, trying to do sort of realistic sculptures on a tiny scale (not my best idea!!). The lady pictured (prior to firing) was my first attempt. She has lovely movement in her hair and dress, but her body could use some improvement. Her face turned out nicely, but the grog (bits of fired clay incorporated to make the clay have a stronger body and not be so mushy) was big enough in comparison to her than when I brushed a piece off the end of her nose, most of the end of her nose disappeared! I've since done some cartoony kind of stuff, a dragon and two horses, all whistles (for fun and because the sweet and generous Norma The Whistle Lady joins us in class most of the time). From this class, I have learned that while I'm a good sculptor (within my limitations - that lady was too small for me to get good detail, although I bet Tamara Bonet could do it!), I'm not very good at painting on underglazes! Good thing I mostly do bronze since I'm not such a good painter. Either my glazes are uneven or I miss a spot or I smear it somewhere. *sigh* But it's all fun and adds to my education.
Yes, I'm a professional sculptor. Yes, I do good work, but yes, I still have a lot to learn and I'm happy to learn what I can, where I can, and to share what I know if it will help others, too ("paying it forward" to thank those who've shared their expertise with me). It's good for me to stretch myself and to take workshops outside my comfort zone. It's good to do work that doesn't satisfy my standards (such as what I've done in this water clay class - it's decent, but not good enough that I would ever offer such things for sale or put them in a show). It's all a growing process, and if you aren't growing, you're stagnant. So when I can, I'll keep struggling along in workshops where I have no idea what I'm doing as well as those that improve upon what I already know. I'm looking for one that combines stained glass, which I did before I started sculpting, with clay - I think that would be great fun! Stay tuned to see what I get up to next! (And yes, sculpting horses for bronze is still going on. I'll be posting pics of my current work in progress soon.)