Three days of making art. What's not to love?
Our workshop weekend, held in Haslett, MI, featured Kari McKnight Holbrook, one of the most generous and delightful teachers I've ever worked with.
She was excellent at explaining technique, thorough at answering questions, encouraging even when saying "I think I did something wrong!" And yes, had great good humor!
Her demos were easy to follow and allowed us freedom to be creative while working within the parameters of a workshop setting.
Day One--Acrylic Journal
The first night focused on making a journal using watercolor paper and acrylics, then binding it into the journal itself. Kari demonstrated different techniques we could use on our page, including screens, stencils, stamps and more.
Here's how my page started.
You wouldn't think it would end up as anything nice, would you? But Kari repeatedly said "Trust the process."
Then we tore it into pieces and stitched it up!
And sure enough, by the time it was bound into a journal, I was delighted!
(I will embellish with beads and fiber soon and finish the cover, too!)
Day Two -- Altered Childrens Book Journal
The second day we were altering a child's book into a journal. Here's what I started with.
This is a pretty time consuming process. Serious amounts of gesso were used to prep the pages and I learned that if if you dry the pages with a heat gun (vs. hair dryer) and have waxed paper underneath protecting other pages, you may have chunks of page tear off. Sometimes that worked, sometimes not. Here's a spread using one of the stamps Kari designed. (The blue, not the overlay green, a second stamp.)
It was fun making patterns in the gesso.
And while I still have some spots I'm not fond of, I can paste things down over the parts I don't like! (I'll share the cover with you when I finish it! And maybe even some of the inside!)
Day Three -- Vintage Vessels
On the third day, we made "vintage vessels" -- boxes covered with polymer and a variety of paints and potions to make an aged-looking box.
I loved doing this. I started with ugly green clay (and a little bit of other colors, too, since I ran out of green!). Those blue bits next to it and on top of the box were made from clay in molds made from a wonderful mold-making material called "Knead a Mold." Highly recommended!
My polymer experience was limited, but with the right stamps, time and excellent teaching (along with layers of a special paint with metallic bits in it, a spray to bring out the patina and a special dark wax to age it), I was thrilled with the results!
Here's the view from the top. You can see the patina is already beginning to come out and should continue over the course of a couple of weeks.
Kari is very big on using materials at hand and being very clever. "Shop your house," she says, showing us cookie cutters, screen, a plastic fork, bottle caps and one of my favorites, a corn plaster glued to a bottle cap that makes a great "dot" stamp!
She was also generous with her materials, sharing powders, paints, stamps, and other things we could try so we could get a handle on whether or not we wanted to invest in them. The class kits had good instructions, suppliers and more.
And Kari's husband Mike took care of us with terrific lunches and snacks! Who could beat it?
What can I say but, Wow! Thanks to Kari's teaching, the wonderful people attending and the joy of creating, I had a fabulous weekend!
Kari posts notice of her workshops on her blog, The Back Porch Artessa. Take a visit! Better yet, take a class! She'll be teaching at the upcoming Art & Soul workshop.
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