Daily Archives: July 18, 2009

Conference Day 2

There was a name draw for 50 people to participate in a brown paper bag mystery challenge. Holly and I were both among the 50.  In the paper bag were 7 items and specific instructions. You could only use those items, you had to use all of them, and you could use the tools available in the dining area. You could not use  any other tools that you might have brought with you. Everyone had to be on the same level playing field. It sounded fun, until we opened the bags. They contained: 7 grams of Art Clay Silver (like PMC, and it was not very much clay!) , a length of hemp twine, a short piece of square brass tubing, a coffee bean, a pale wooden bead, a piece of toilet paper and a white lollipop stick. Yikes! All creative ideas left the head when we opened these bags. One or two people even turned theirs back in to give someone else a chance! We had Thursday night, and time after lunch and into the evening on Friday to work on them. They have to be turned in at 7:30 on Saturday a.m. It was fascinating to see what people came up with. Here’s what Holly and I did:

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I torched the lollipop stick and the wooden bead so they would be dark brown instead of pale. Impregnated the toilet paper with Elmer’s glue, rolled it in a ball and rolled it in crushed coffee bean. (Crushing the bean was Holly’s idea.) I scored the brass tube to make a little bit of surface texture, and made beads with the clay. I also cut circles of the paper bag, glued them together and drilled a hole ion the middle to make one more bead. (Using the paper bag was one of the options.) We each torch fired our silver clay because it was so much faster than a kiln. Also, good torch firing practice since I’ve only done it once, and Holly had never done it. (I dropped and lost one of the flat beads before I fired it, so I don’t have the bead I wanted to put on top of the brass tube. Oh well. I think the winner of the challenge wins a kiln. No small prize that!

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I love Holly’s silver piece. She used her ground coffee bean, toilet paper, lollipop stick, and brass tube to texture her piece of clay. If we had Liver of Sulfur to use, the texture would show up much more clearly with a dark background and bright highlights.

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