Ways To WOW
Good morning everyone! I'd like to welcome you to the course Ways To Wow.
My own journey as an artist forces me to come to grips with the issues discussed in this course. In designing the course my hope is that you will reap these benefits as well.
I will post new material on the Voila! Homepage every Sunday for the next six months. This material includes a Reflection, Assignments and a Showcase of images illustrating the course material. Always read the entire course material before doing the assignments.
1) To register with the course, you need to be a member of Voila! Logging in means you can participate fully in the course discussions. However, non members will be able to view the course topics, assignments and the image you post in the Photo Gallery. Joining is easy and free.
2) In your profile, mention that you are taking the course by saying “I am taking the Ways To Wow course - 2013". To do this, follow the instructions posted in the article: "Website Functions: Change your profile description”
3) Then click on the Forums and introduce yourself. If you want, write a little bit about where you are at in your personal creative journey and what you are expecting from the course. Sharing your own experience will help others and this is an important part of the course. But please only write down what you are comfortable sharing with others.
Here's the link:
To access the material from prior weeks, click on "Creativity Courses", on the navigational menu, then click on "Ways To Wow".
Congratulations! You have now worked through the Emotion module. Emotion is one aspect of Wow. The next Module is about Technique, another aspect of Wow. Think of Emotion, Technique and the other topics we will cover during this course as the threads that twine together to produce the Final Piece.
There are three options for improving Technique: 1) Learn a new one, 2) integrate the ones we know, and 3) deepen our knowledge of one; this week invites you to explore Option 3 by revisiting your favourite technique and pushing it to new heights.
Too often, we collect techniques without maturing our ability to work with them. As a result, we often abandon techniques that could produce, with further work, powerful pieces. So we move on to a new technique, thinking the best one will be around the corner. Alternatively, we see other people pushing technique we use further than we could imagine; this may make us feel angry for having missed a trick. But really we only have our own complacency to blame.
How do we break out of this? How do we take a technique we know, even are bored with, and make it the next big thing? Here's an approach:
Consider the technique you might be using for your final project. (This must be a technique you have worked with and that lends itself to expressing your chosen emotion. Also, go through your Tray from Week1 for additional ideas.)
Write down 1) a description of your chosen technique, 2) identify any assumptions embedded in the description, and 3) challenge each assumption. In this way you generate new ideas. For the time being, don't worry about how to execute your new ideas in clay.
To illustrate this approach, I will take cane work since most of you will be familiar with it. Let's see how this approach helps us evolve our basic canework technique.
When describing the technique, it is important to be as precise as possible as each word is going to act as a seed-pod from which ideas will germinate. Here is my description of canework:
“Canes are rods of coloured clays whereby the clays are placed together to form a pattern along the entire length of the cane. The pattern can be simple or complex. The cane is sliced in thin cross-section. The slices are then applied to a surface.”
Please note: For the purpose of the exercise, the focus is on cylindrical and not stacked canes.
Look at each significant word in the description and identify as many assumptions as you can. These are either prevailing assumptions in the polymer clay community or your own. I have identified only some assumptions:
Assumption 1) A cane must be a straight cylinder.
Assumption 2) A cane must be a uniform cylinder.
Assumption 3) The canes must be sliced thinly
Assumption 4) A cane is made from solid clay.
Assumption 5) The slices are flattened onto the surface.
Now, challenge each assumption you identified. For example:
Assumption 1) The cane must be a straight cylinder.
Challenge: What if the cane was curved? Ford and Forlano challenge Assumption 1 by curving their canes prior to cutting slices. This changes our preconceived idea that canes should be salami sliced.
Assumption 2) A cane must be a uniform cylinder.
Challenge: What if the cane was shaped as a non-uniform cylinder? Maria Petova challenges Assumption 2 by forming her cane in the shape of a sausage. (Showcase – Challenge 2)
Assumption 3) The slices must be sliced thinly.
Challenge: What if the slices were cut in chunks rather than sliced thinly? Julia Eakes challenges Assumption 3 by using the whole length of the cane, making it it part of the structure of the piece, instead of just a decorative component. (Showcase – Challenge 3)
Assumption 4) The slices are flattened onto the surface.
Challenge: What if the slices were raised rather than applied flat onto the surface? Ford and Forlano shape and apply slices to give relief and texture to their beads turning them into mini sculptures. (Showcase – Challenge 4)
Assumption 5) A cane is made from solid clay.
Challenge: What if my cane was not solid but hollow or partly hollow? My Curl-up cane Bangle resulted from my challenging this assumption and working with a hollow cane. (Showcase – Challenge 5)
There are many more assumptions and challenges - the list goes on.
The point of the exercise is to generate as many ideas as possible. The more you practise this process, the better you will become at generating new ideas.
Deconstructing your own technique
Consider the technique you might be using for your final project and write a detailed description of it as you perform it.
Generate a list of assumptions you make. Do this by rereading your description. Thinking of each word individually, let it act as a seed-pod – what new assumption does it bring to life?.
For each assumption you identify, generate as many challenges as you can. Don't worry about how you propose to implement your challenges.
Go to the Forums and let me know how you're doing. Don't feel pressured to share your definitions and challenges. Use the following link to do this:
To change the description in your Profile:
Click on "My Profile" in the top right corner of any screen
Click on "Edit Profile"
Enter or change your description.
To upload images in the Photo Gallery - including your Baseline:
Go to "My E-Studio" and click on "Upload Photos"
Using the "Browse" function, locate a picture on your disk drive, then click on "Upload File"
Make sure to enter a Title
Keep your images to less than 1000 x 1000 pixels, otherwise you might encounter posting problems
- Make sure your image shows up in the Box titled "Photo Gallery" on the Homepage.
To participate in the discussions:
- Click on Forums.
Ways To Wow
We are currently on:
Module 2 - Technique
Week 3 - Deepening Technique
In the examples below the artists are expanding our notion of canework.
|Module 1:||Herding our creative cats||Starts|
||The many faces of emotion
|Module 2:||How do I liberate my imagination through Technique?|
|Week4||In the Studio - 1
|Week5||Integrating your techniques
The Studio - 2
|Module 3:||How do I understand my Design preferences and capitalise on them?||June 16|
|Module 4:||How do I commit to a piece that is a personal best?||July
|Module 5:||How do I ensure I work to a highest standard of execution?||Aug,
|Module 6:||Making the Piece||Sept.
|Week20-23||In the Studio|
Brit's ONLINE course teaches you how to take photos that make people say WOW!
I used to waste days taking photos with mixed results. Now I take images that capture the spirit of the piece in matter of minutes thanks to Brit's course. I am recommending her online course with no hesitation.
If you're interested in a DSLR photography course for beginners, click here.
Discount Offered To Voila! Members
If you want to take images that capture your artistic voice, click here. The discounted prices are shown on the link.
Hollow Beads Online Course
by Christine Dumont
Due to popular demand the course is extended until further notice!
Click here more info.
Which is the clearest Translucent Polymer Clay?
by Ginger Davis Allman
This is a most interesting article for anyone intersested in working with translucent clay. Click here to access Ginger's blog.
15 - 16 June 2013
For more info, email eva.
Judy Belcher/ Sabine Backer
ŽILINA - Slovakia
22 - 23 June 2013
For more info: www.spirea.sk/polymercamp
Meze - France
28-30 Juin 2013
For more info: creapolyfolies
La Cascade - France
15 - 22 July 2013
For more info: http://www.doreenkassel.com/France-Workshop.html
Euroclay Carnival 2013
Prague - Czech Republic
26 - 29 September 2013
For more info: click here
La Cascade - France
July 9-16, 2014 and July 18-25, 2014
Early Bird Discount Available!