Synergy Day Two
The day begins with continental breakfast and then it is off to another day of seminars. On tap today: Immaterial: Repurposed Possibilities with Jeff Dever, Ten Trends with Cynthia Tinapple, and Collaboration as Inspiration with Loretta Lam and Ronna Weltman.
I was looking forward to Jeff’s seminar and was not disappointed. Several key points standout: Think Differently, Plan Ahead (when using materials other than polymer), and Seek Inspiration. My head is buzzing with ideas and possibilities for using what I learned in creating future sculptural work.
In Ten Trends, Cynthia shared her predictions for the future of polymer in four areas: cultural uncertainty, manual competency, social activism, and new media.
And in Collaboration as Inspiration, Loretta and Ronna shared how their artistic friendship started and how it has grown over time into a collaborative relationship.
The Purposeful Marketplace
The panel discussion on Day 2 focused on selling in today’s marketplace. Speakers included Robert Dancik, Tamara Honaman, and Lisa Bayne from Artfulhome.com. Moderator Jeff Dever opened with an intriguing question: Is selling a form of validation? Is selling for everyone? This was followed by another curious question: How do you define recognition?
Hmm, certainly questions that are worth some thought. Other points from this panel included:
- Feedback-who do you get feedback from and how do you integrate the information
- Pitfalls-overextending yourself and not staying true to your vision
- Creating a buzz-use social networking, blog, write press releases
Robert Dancik gave a lively presentation on Self Expression in the afternoon. Always inspiring, Robert started with the following quote:
Technique is what you know, expression is who you are.
-Michael Tracy, Artistic Director Pilobolus Dance Company
From here Robert shared ways to move out of left brain thinking and into right brain thinking, including:
- working with new materials
- changing your format (eg: small scale or large scale)
- limiting your resources or color palette
- letting your self feel things
He also reinforced what we all know to be true: ‘seat’ time improves creativity and artistic expression and to listen when something pops into our heads (and to write it down or record it.)
Synergy2 Day Three
The final day of Synergy always seems to go by quickly. Seminars are reduced to two during the day, the gallery and vendor fair close early, and the event ends with a banquet and auction. If there is time, a visit to the American Craft Council (ACC) show is also an option.
In The Impressionable Critique Barbara explains how a critique can be conducted using the elements of design and the principles of design. These same aspects may also be used by art show juries. Barbara reminds us of two things:
- to use the elements and principles of design to critique our own work, and
- to focus on one aspect at a time when improving our work because focusing on too many areas at once creates overwhelm
Barbara shared her personal artwork to discuss issues that may come up in a critique (e.g. underdeveloped concepts, skill, edges and frames, unbalanced elements) and provided critiques of artwork brought in by fellow artists.
Maureen’s Mix and Match seminar was quite fun. Maureen explained the various modeling materials available to artists, including moldable wire, cloth/fiber, air dry clays, powders/fibers, and two-part epoxy resins. Samples of various products were shared which gave us the opportunity to feel and play with the various materials. Once again I left a seminar with a head full of possibilities and ideas for future work.
Clay Manufacturers Forum
The final panel discussion at Synergy2 was a clay manufacturers forum. Moderated by Seth Savarik, the panel included Iris Weiss from Polyform Products, Gerlinde Karg from Staetdler, Germany, Donna Kato for Van Aken/Kato Polyclay, and Lisa Pavelka and Bettina Welker for Viva Decor/Pardo Clay.
Viva Decor/Pardo Clay is the newest player on the block. Pardo has been available in the US for about one year. It is made with beeswax, comes in jewelry clay and artist clay, and, instead of the usual block format, Pardo is extruded into ball shapes. There are six balls to a package and the package is recyclable.
Other tidbits from the forum included:
- Polyform products are shipped on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays to stores to (hopefully) keep the clay from sitting on a loading dock through a weekend
- Fimo should be kept in a cool, dark place to maintain quality
- State of California law is stricter than German law regarding the manufacturing of polymer
- By law, polymer clay products (plastic that is hardened in an oven) cannot be labeled “not for children”
- Kato clay has one mixer that is used for all colors from white to black
- Staedtler proposed that guidelines be developed for shipping and storage of polymer clay
Next: The Banquet
More impressions of Synergy2 can be found on the following blogs: