Monday, June 13, 2011

update to Kim's class - Wood Gone Wild!

Hi everyone, I've tweaked my class just a bit to make the focus a bit more narrow for the limited class time we have. I'm going to delete my earlier class post just so there will be no confusion. I'm including lots of pictures though none of them are very good so I'll try to retake them at a later date.

One of my favorite things is to combine nature with the fantastical. Kind of like what would happen if Mother Nature and Dr. Seuss had a love child. In this class, we'll focus on wood, sticks, and the random pod. You'll learn to make realistic sticks and found wood pieces from the forest floor without the use of molds (although it's fine to being a couple of those if you find an interesting twig you like). Color and interest will be added with seeds, shoots, plants, and assorted fungi that spring purely from your imagination. If you'd like to make jewelry, I'll show you how to turn these pieces into rings, bracelets, pendant, or necklace components. This class offers lots of possibilities for more sculptural work as well. What you make will be up to you.

Here's what you'll need. I'll be bringing lots of things to share too.


  • pasta machine

  • clay blade

  • needle tool

  • ball stylus (a couple of different sizes if you have them)

  • craft or x-acto knife

  • thin sewing needle (make a clay handle for it to make it easier to work with)

  • knitting needles (one thick #5 and one very thin - sizes are not critical here)

  • 5 or 6 paper towels (the stronger and thicker the better)

  • 3 graduated Kemper cutters (shape doesn't matter, small is best)

  • baby wipes

  • cornstarch and a fluffy brush

  • small amount of liquid clay and a brush to apply it

  • extruder and 2mm circle or spaghetti disc (optional)

  • latex gloves (if you prefer not to stain your hands)

  • apron (or just wear old clothes as this can get messy)

  • jewelry findings of your choice - thin metal bangle (think CHEAP, Walmart usually has these in a bundle), necklace cord, metal form to bake a ring (I use a piece from a socket set).


Check out the last photo for things I like to use. A flexible or semi-flexible impression of interesting tree bark, a stick with lots of texture, an old wood chip, dried pods, and Sue Kelsey's magic texture sponge. This is just a short list to give you ideas. Anything with a wood grain or organic texture that would translate to wood will work. Take a walk in your local park or backyard and see what you can find.


We'll provide the clay but if you're an overachiever, who likes to get a head start, bring about 3 0r 4 ounces of ecru clay. My recipe (I don't really measure, just guess) is a 2 oz. package of white clay, a 15mm ball of brown, and a 10 mm ball of yellow. I would like you to bring a few balls of colorful clay and a bit of mud (about the size of a quarter will be fine), and a small piece of a Skinner blend bull's eye cane in the colors of your choice. If you've never made one, just skip that for now.