My second year at the Metal Clay by the Bay Conference was just as exciting and fun filled as the first. Conferences are great places to make friends, meet facebook friends and learn new techniques. Vendors brought all kinds of tools to see and for us to handle – much better than looking at a picture.
Last year I met Helen and as sometimes happens we became good friends. We made plans to meet this year and take the same classes. Helen makes beautiful glass pieces and also works with metal clay. Check out her etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/shop/hbjewelrydesign
The conference was held at the Hilton at Mission Bay and the setting could not have been lovelier. The hotel sits on the bay and has beautiful beaches, swimming pool and grassy areas. Sometimes it was hard to go to class! The food was so well prepared and presented with an exotic flair. Yes, I felt like I was on vacation! http://www.sandiegohilton.com/ There was even a luau one evening.
Friday was Steve Rossman’s photography class and I learned so many ways to improve my photography skills including tricks to using my iphone camera. That day was well worth my time and attention. http://steverossman.com/ The pictures below show improvement with my Nikon camera as well!
Sunday and Monday I took Ana Mazon’s class ‘Herbarium Pendant’ and continued to be amazed at the way she makes tiny flowers, leaves and even blueberries! Ana is from Poland and speaks beautiful English. She is an excellent teacher! Lots of new techniques and tips in that class. http://drakonaria.com/_old/ My pendant is almost finished so I’ll share it at this stage and again when it is really done.
The keynote speaker, Lisa Pavelka (http://store.lisapavelka.com/) was my first polymer clay teacher several years ago. She shared her success story with us and was quite an inspiration. It is heartwarming when so many artists share their experiences and knowledge.
One of the highlights of the event was getting to use some of the new tools. Jool Tools (http://jooltool.com/) had a popular exhibit and I was able to polish two pendants. I hope you can see the difference in these photos. This tool buffed, smoothed and polished quickly producing a very fine finish. Yes, I was hooked and had to have one!
|original photo of 'Flame' after I finished it and before Jool Tool polishing|
This was such a rich experience and conference for me that I am sad to hear it will not be offered again. Hats off to the San Diego group spear-headed by Louise Shadonix (http://www.sha-sha.us/) for the planning and executing of a great conference. You guys did a terrific job!