Saturday, May 16, 2009

We Survived Mayhem 2009....Barely

Lesli -- Don't confuse your water cup with your pina colada! Doh!

Oh my gosh -- what a time! The week just flew by! I had intended to do a kind of "play by play" of each day, but alas....we all became too immersed in good times to remember much else other than catching our breaths between laughing.

Lesli and Joanie are on their way home today, and will probably be recuperating as I am. I've lost my voice from constant chatting. My face hurts from laughing so much. My brain is swimming with new ideas and information. My inspiration is running amok. And my belly is so sated, as to be shameful. I'm still full from last night's dinner! Who knew that "work" would be such a tremendously enjoyable vacation!? We've existed in some strange dimension for the past week, high on good vibes and good food! Now it's so strange that they're gone -- the house is oddly quiet and lonely. I kinda don't know what to do with myself! So here are some pix from the one day I remembered to grab a camera....

Joanie and Lesli taught me what I was doing so very wrong with these multi-part molds! Yay! I'd been doing it backwards with the plaster -- I needed to do the littlest pieces first! Plus some mold-soaping issues I was messing up. And Lesli taught me her "damming" technique to build those insert pieces from scratch -- thank you Joanie and Lesli! You helped me jump my obstacles! Wooo hooo! So now I have a good working mold of Sonya Johnson's Bjorn...finally! I was unable to pour the Feral Mare medallion master mold (we just ran out of time), but I now have a good idea of what to I'll get to that pronto.

Anyway....Here's a pic of Imp's teeeny tiiiny mold (shown with Taboo, for scale), made by Lesli (which you can follow along with its creation on her blog, kinda starting here).


And here's Joan working on her teensy weeensy Imp, which came out fabulous this morning from Maury's belly (Maury is my little kiln -- we mudheads name our kilns, we're just strange that way. But "Maury" is short for "Moravia," which is the archeological site believed to be the first place where ceramics were made purely for art's sake).....

Here's how Joan transported bisque Taboos on the plane, all lined up neatly...

And here is one of the Taboo molds, "exploded" in all its complex glory (each of those inner pieces is custom made for that particular mold):

Look at these tiny inner mold pieces! Don't sneeze!:

And here's how Vixen and Imp arrived with Lesli on the plane -- neatly tucked in a Harry & David pear box!:

The box o' Brownies arrived via mail, and the gals dove right into them. Predictably, all manner of "ass" jokes were lobbed about a-plenty. I mean really...who can resist?! Amongst the giggling, I was able to create a claybody Brownie for each of them (and they flipped a coin as to who would get which one), and I'll post pix of them when they're fired.

I also finished a claybody Collier, which I -- miraculously -- decided to keep for myself....gasp! I haven't done something strictly for myself in well...I can't remember in how long. But I ended up liking him so very much, I just splurged. I'll post a pic when he's fired. Through him, I remembered how much I enjoy playing in the mud this way, so I'll be pouring more Colliers and Limericks to claybody later today, for the gals to glaze eventually. Claybodying (in which you resculpt the unfired greenware) is such a joy. The clay wants to be played with, and takes to resculpting so well. And being able to do variations on a "theme," such as with Collier and Limerick molds, allows me to push my imagination in useful ways that help me to "think out of the mold box," so to speak, which helps develop new perspectives in design.

A real highlight of the week was venturing over to Lynn's studio, to play with her there. She and Barry are such a delight, and her studio is simply wonderful! But golly -- she put together a fabulous china painting starter kit for each of us, beautifully packaged and with glazed medallions to give us starter fodder. We were blown away -- Thank you, Lynn! She also gave us a demo of china painting techniques and preparation, and hands-on so each of us could play with the materials and methods. Thank you, tons! Wow -- how differently it all feels and works, but oh so fascinating and inspiring! I love the feel of it. So much more like cold-painting than I expected, which suits me well. Not only are the pigments more "what you see is what you get," but the way you work them is more "cold-painting-y" than underglazing. I have a really hard time with underglazing since it works so opposite what I'm used to doing and I'm such a hopeless klutz, but I'm thinking I could combine the two for a happy medium. I think that's what we're all thinking! It's these synergistic, positive retreats like this that push us all forward, along with the technologies, and Lynn's china painting demo was a classic example of how great the model works. It also is just plain ol' fun!

The food was amazing, of course, and we stuffed ourselves silly. Thai (yes, Steph -- Sa-wah-dee....twice!), BBQ, Japanese, Idaho pub food...the works. I think my pancreas was just about to go on strike. Amongst all the brazen feasting, I also managed to devour a whole jar of Stay Puffed marshmallow creme. Hey...what can I say? I love marshmallow creme. Lesli was icked out, saying it looked like styrofoam....and it does! Tasty styrofoam! Her Mom sent us some salt water taffy, too -- my fave! Thank you Mom Jeffries! And my Mom treated us to an amazing "farewell" dinner Friday night at a local mom n' pop restaurant, Kahootz. Thank you Mom Mink! The meal was fantastic and epic -- we waddled home and spoke of our great meal in hushed tones. But it'll be a loooong time before I'm truly hungry again. Oy. Lesli fell asleep on the couch while we digested and chatted while playing with the Well Wells. We even managed to squeeze in a matinee of the new Star Trek movie on Friday, and boy...was that awesome! Viva Spock! And Scotty!

Anyhoo...I'm laying low today and getting my bearings on my life again. I sure had a fantastic time with those two and I can't wait for next year's Mayhem! Thank you Lesli and Joanie, for another amazing visit and learning experience! You rock! regain my voice, my appetite and my mind in time for tomorrow's MDA ride with Hubby!

"If it's not fun, you're not doing it right." ~ Bob Basso

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