I've had enough of the cold and rain and isolation and am REALLY looking forward to fun and laughter with y'all. Only a little over 4 weeks to go! 4 weeks from tomorrow the Beginner's/Refresher class will be held here in my studio (yes, I'm cleaning off all the work surfaces - no, I'm not vacuuming!)
As you know, your most valuable tools are your hands and keeping them in top condition is important to working comfortably with polymer clay. To help you with this I will recommend exercises from time to time.
The manual dexterity exercise for the next week is the "choke your mate" exercise. The key here is stealth. Walk quietly over to where your mate is sitting reading a slasher novel or watching a horror movie. Hold your breath; shape your hands into claws; from behind, bring them slowly in front of your mate's eyes and quickly grab your fingers, making a deathly rattling sound in the back of your throat at the same time. On second thought, maybe just doing the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" move is safer!
I have received almost all the payments, thank you very much. My VISA card thanks you.
Just a reminder that we have the option of bringing a bagged lunch or ordering lunch from the resort restaurant, the Landing Grill. That lunch will be delivered to our workroom so we don't have to waste time with restaurant protocols. Those of you who have had the opportunity to eat there in the past know how delicious the food is, so this is a very tempting option, at least for one of the days.
Please Note: Because they are bringing any ordered lunches to our room they will not be taking individual payments. They will be billing me, so please bring cash or a cheque so that you can make a payment to me when you receive your portion of the meal bill, including your share of the tax and gratuity.
This meal is included in the fee for the full 5 day retreat. You will not be charged extra for this.
We are setting up an area of the room as a "store" so you can purchase some supplies that you may want for working at home after the retreat. We are making certain items available in smaller quantities, such as the new paint, so you can get an assortment of colours at a reasonable cost, rather than having to buy 5 to 10 different full-size bottles that will last you 20 years! There will be some jewelry supplies, including findings, chain by the foot and cordage, again available in small amounts.
There will also be "some" Kato clay available for purchase in 2 oz. packages for $2 each. I say "some" because I don't have the room to store a lot of clay. I have received some questions about availability of clay, so if you have a specific request, I will place an order in the next week so it has time to get here. I order from Shades of Clay, a Canadian company, and they give us a discount on the large, 12.5 oz bars. There will be tax on top of this and a share of the shipping charge, which is modest compared to shipping from the US.
To sum up, there will be clay available (approx. 5 packages of each of the 2 oz.colours & metallics plus a few more of the basics - black, white, translucent). If you would like some of the larger bars or would like to share some large bars with some others, please let me know within the next week and, if we get enough requests (6 or more), I will place an order for us. The price per 12.5 oz bar will be approximately $10.00 and for the metallic $12.30, including tax and shipping.
I've had the opportunity to see the charms some of you are making for the exchange and they are wonderful - so creative. It never ceases to amaze me the different ideas artists come up with! If you don't have clay, feel free to make something in fibre or paper or whatever, as long as it's about 1" to 1 1/2" and has a wire, jump ring or hole so it can be hung on a bracelet or necklace. If you have no charms to trade, no worries - we'll trade with you anyway. There will be a total of 15 of us.
If you have something specific you want to know or have a problem with, let us know before Thursday so we can bring appropriate tools, etc. to help you with your technique or problem.
That's about it for now. I'll send another email closer to Clay Day so feel free to let me know any other information you may need.
Keep your strength up and get lots of sleep.