Clay Carnival Las Vegas 2014 – first post of many

Last week, I returned from my first Clay Carnival and have so much to share and say about my experience there!

The High Roller at the Linq - Las Vegas, Clay Carnival 2014

The High Roller at the Linq – Las Vegas, Clay Carnival 2014

Not only was this my first time to Clay Carnival, but it was my first actual polymer clay class.  The people I met and the polymer clay tips and techniques I learned were just what I was hoping they’d be and more!

I have to apologize that I didn’t take more pics than I did – especially of the people!  Next time, I will do better.

The thing that impressed me most about the Clay Carnival was the quality of the instructors.  These ladies are well-known artists in the polymer clay community and the chance to learn from them was amazing.  Sitting in a classroom where you can ask the instructor to take a look at what you are doing and tell you what you are doing wrong is priceless!  The instructors for this Clay Carnival were Lindly Haunani, Judy Belcher, Leslie Blackford, Natalia Garcia de LeanizSarah Shriver, Sylvie Peraud, and Donna Kato.  I loved each one of them.  Their teaching styles were as different as the projects that we worked on with each one!  

Over several posts, I hope to show a little about each instructor and what I made in their class.

First, the class that I was least looking forward to.  As you know, I make jewelry.  While some polymer clay artists use the medium to make figurines,  I have not done that at all.  I do not do sculpture with clay and was not looking forward to Leslie Blackford’s class.  Of course, that was before I knew Leslie!

Leslie makes amazing figurines – which you can see if you go to her website.  The class she was teaching with us was making traincars – figurines atop circus traincars, that have meaning to each of us.  We were challenged to draw from our own experiences and make a figure (some were people, some were animals, some were fantasy) that speaks to us of something in our life – current or past.  Leslie’s teaching style differed from the other instructors in that she did not spend much time teaching in front of the classroom, but rather, walked around a lot and worked with each of us individually – asking questions and guiding us as we made our figures.

So without further ado, here’s my traincar!  OK, it’s amateurish, but I like that it didn’t turn out really awful!  :)

My Nee Nee Ree Leslie Blackford figurine

My Nee Nee Ree Leslie Blackford figurine

She is supposed to be me as a child (although she looks kind of Asian).  When I was young, my nickname was Nee Nee – short for Nee Nee Ree Bee Dot!  Only a few people (my uncle and cousins) still call me that.  When looking for a name for my claying business, I decided that Nee Nee Ree was apropos since when I was that young girl, my aspiration was to be an artist.  I went a different direction in life, but never lost my love of making things and now am back to being Nee Nee Ree.  The marbles on the traincar with Nee Nee Ree are from a past obsession (marble collecting).

Thanks to Leslie for making me get out of my comfort zone for an afternoon at Clay Carnival and just play!

I was also very pleased to learn that Leslie and her friend Susan just live 3 hours away from me!  We are already planning another get-together soon.

More about the Clay Carnival to come.

Till later –

Nee Nee Ree


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  1. on August 21, 2014 at 12:32 pm