Synergy2 – Day 1 Wrap-up

It has been a long and exciting day.  Tonight’s presentation by Steven Ford and David Forlano was really great.  They shared very candidly about their 22 year collaboration, how it came about and about how it has evolved over time.  They spoke in a very informal back and forth style which seemed to mirror their working relationship.

While they were speaking a pair of large screens showed slides of much of their newer work both in polymer clay and the print paintings they’ve been doing recently.  It was fascinating too see how their distinctive point of view informs both types of work.

It was interesting to hear them speak about how for them polymer clay is just a tool or element of the work.  I feel like a lot of polymer clay artists (myself included) can get too caught up in the material to the point where the material becomes as important or more important than the concept of a given piece.  There are so many techniques to explore, and often the process of working the clay becomes the main focus.  It was helpful for me to be reminded that the focus of my work should be more about the point of view I want to express.  (of course finding that point of view can be pretty tough)

Shaking up my way of thinking  is one of the many important lessons of the Synergy conferences.  It’s about much more than the latest technique and I find the experience here so enriching.

On a lighter note, Charm City Cakes made a fantastic cake with many individual elements based on jewelry examples the conference planners showed them.  I only have one mediocre photo of the cake.  Hopefully Cynthia will have some better shots to share with you.

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Synergy2 Day 1

The fun begins!

Yeah!  We’re finally here.  I anticipate events like this for so long, it is a huge rush when they finally start.  It feels a bit surreal.  So far today I have hugged good friends I hardly see, registered and picked up my schedule, handed over my exhibit piece ( I’m SO glad I didn’t forget to bring it!), set up my space in the sales gallery and peeked at the Vendor Fair.

Iris Weiss of Polyform & Diane Villano

Betsy Baker next to her Sales Gallery space.  It’s amazing what lovely displays some people can set up in a space that’s only 3 feet by 18 inches.

Karen Ottenbreit here from Alaska in front of her sales display.  The Sales Gallery is a wonderful opportunity to see and purchase work from many of the amazing artist attendees.

Kelly Russell being her fun self.  It is so great to reconnect with people you only see at events like this.

Tonight’s the Ford/Forlano presentation, more time at the Vendor Fair and a celebration of the IPCA’s anniversary with a cake by the Ace of Cakes!

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Last Minute Fun

Living up to my self proclaimed moniker “Last Minute Libby”, I have had a manic rush of studio activity.  E has a pair of friends coming home from college with her at the end of the week, so the house needs cleaning.  I’ve got tons to do in order to get ready to leave for a week.  The mind boggles thinking about how I’ll get it all done.  I haven’t begun organizing everything I need to take to Synergy2.

And all I want to do is play some more in the studio.  I’ve been having way too much fun playing with polymer clay and seed beads.

Swoop Pendant – polymer clay and seed bead mosaic.

Fringe Fun Pendant – polymer clay and bead embroidered fringe.  This pendant is hands down my favorite piece I have made in ages.  I just want to make more, more more.

Check the blog this week.  Cynthia Tinapple and I will be blogging daily from Synergy for Crafthaus.

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Synergy 2 Exhibit Piece

Here is my piece for the Synergy 2 Exhibit.  I am calling it “Keeping It Together”.  The name seemed appropriate because  the theme of this second Synergy Conference is Connections, and the necklace uses many forms of connections:  polymer clay to polymer clay, soldered connections, tabs and links.  All these types of connections serve to secure the elements of the necklace and keep it together.

On a deeper level, “Keeping It Together” represents how the creative spark inside me helps me stay sane and grounded even when it’s banked and quiet.  I think of my artistic side as the pilot light of my soul.  Sometimes it is hard to really know it’s there, but even when it’s really only in the back of my mind, it helps hold me together mentally and emotionally.

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