At the Bead & Button Show, here I am doing a demo during a class titled Mokume Gane at least 5 ways. We organized the different techniques according to two variables: 1: How and what comprises the clay "strata" (ex. solid vs. translucent layers, inclusions, etc) and 2: How the Strata is manipulated or textured and sliced. The students quickly grasped that the possibilities are much more than 5!
Several of the students were familiar with at least one method of Mokume Gane. But they were pleased to find so many variations to explore and expand upon their skills.
That's the ideal, I think. To take a class that takes you out of your comfort zone. The title of this blog comes from a returning student who I've gotten to know over the years. She takes a variety of classes in beadwork, wirework, and metals, but polymerclay is her main medium. So she told me that my classes were "In her comfort zone, with a nudge". She's not a beginner, so she's comfortable with clay, but she looks for a forward nudge into exploring and expanding her technique and skill.
Continue to Learn Molding and Clay Skills
Likewise, in a class called "Riveting polymer and metal clay" students expanded into new territory. Here's a couple student works from the class:
Most of the students in this class had not previously worked with metal clay. And most probably won't do so at home, but they were interested in the material and in learning the basics.
But getting into metal clay isn't necessary to make use of some of what the students learned. As we discussed in class, the same principles of construction and technique using riveted cold connections putting metal and polymer together can be applied when using purchased metal components instead. So that nudge out of the comfort zone doesn't have to be a leap over the ledge into a whole new medium. It can be an experience with a new medium that can be applied to what you are already comfortable with.