I had the best weekend. For the longest time I've wanted to do a workshop with Pam Annesley. Pam is a wonderfully talented and creative artist, not only is she a certified Precious Metal Clay instructor but also teaches Polymer Clay and textile art. Her house and studio are in Bindoon about 80 odd kilometres from Perth, so I organized a day class and an overnight stay in her lovely home.
So I set off about 8.15 am on Saturday morning in the trusty Jazz and arrived about 9.45 for my class to start at 10.00 and had Pam to myself all day, it's not often you get to have a one on one class with such an experienced teacher. I wanted to try my hand at working with PMC so Pam set me to work playing with polymer clay first to get an idea of what I wanted to make and and using the various tools.
I wanted to make a pendant or two and also try making some bead caps, with mixed results.
After learning how to roll out the clay between playing cards and carefully cutting out the shapes with various tools, we then placed the pieces in a food dehydrater (one dedicated to craft) and left them in for about half an hour until they were thoroughly dry. By then it was lunch and Pam served up the most delicious quiche with a fresh salad and beautifully sweet juicy local oranges. Her property is slap bang in the middle of citrus orchards.
Once the pieces were dry Pam showed me how to torch fire them using a creme brulee torch.
Then they were polished with a wire brush to bring out the sheen. I hadn't worked with liver of sulphur before which is used to give silver a lovely patina, and I was a bit over zealous and left them in a bit too long, so they're quite dark and grungy looking but I rather like them.
A view from Pam's back yard looking up towards the hills. Now we've had some rain everything looks lush and green.
Here's Pam in her studio, check out the view she has everyday.
In the evening we decided to go to the local pub for dinner and after Pam had told me some of the delicious dishes that were on the menu, my mouth was watering at the thought of prawns in garlic sauce. But alas, it wasn't to be......a big sign on the menu board "Sorry, cook has gone home sick" so we had hamburgers and chips! Very tasty none the less.
We made our way back to Pam's and I made use of her studio and her extensive library of fabulous art books. Slept like a log (must have been that fresh country air) and woke up to a beautiful morning with nothing but bird song and the bleating of sheep from the paddock next door. Bliss!
So if you're looking for a PMC, Polymer Clay or textiles workshop taught by someone who is very patient, knowledgeable, with oodles of creative spark, Pam is your girl.
She will be moving closer to Perth in the next couple of months so it's an even bigger incentive to take one of her classes. I'm definitely booking a polymer clay class when she's all settled into her new house and studio.
Thanks Pam for a great weekend.