To be honest you don't normally go on these things for the food and the sightseeing! The great tutors, new ideas, interesting people and bit of shopping-of course. But last week's trip to Luc Sur Orbieu in the South West of France ticked every box.
Canal du Midi
Andy and the boys, paella evening
Just over 50 people from all over the world got together in a community hall in a tiny village in the middle of the French countryside surrounded by vineyards. Kylee and her husband Andy, residents of said village seemed to have galvanized the entire population (about 1000) to the help with the event; cooking us truly spectacular food, putting us up in their homes and generally just being supportive to the cause of polymer clay!
Ah yes, polymer clay, I almost forgot, that's why we were there. 5 really fabulous tutors covering a diverse spectrum of work. First up for my group was Laurie Mika. http://www.mikaarts.com/ It was great to explore new surface design and techniques and think more deeply about meaning behind one's work. Lorretta Lam's beautiful wearable Inro's next. For me as much an exercise in attention to detail and finish, not always my strong point, as subtle colour choices and design http://www.lorettalam.com/
Lisa Pavelka's faux batik session
My 'Laurie Mika'
Ronna Sarvas Weltman's session http://www.ronnasarvasweltman.com/ really blew me away. We covered a huge amount of ground and my head was full to bursting with ideas as a result. For me, the challenge is how to take all these wonderfully strong styles and techniques and to come up with something that becomes your own rather than a mini version of what the artist has made.
Creating custom findings is so important and Denise Peck http://www.beadingdaily.com/ took us through a 101 session on how to make headpins, clasps, earwires etc. A timely reminder for me that I can actually do this and to stop being lazy about it! Finally, but by no means least, a great session with Lisa Pavelka http://www.lisapavelka.com/ . Tips and tricks galore shared with great generosity and humour.
In fact generosity of spirit, humour and, as the Irish would say, great craic sum up the event. It was indeed tres coool!!
Laurie Mika, Kylee and Lisa Pavelka
My London Polymer Clay buddies, Sue Margretts and Rebecca Thickbroom