PlayAway 2012

I can’t believe that I have just spent 3 whole days away indulging myself in good company and creativity at an experimental PlayAway in deepest, darkest Worcestershire.

As you can see from the photo below, it was a select group of 6 (Annie Mackay, Mary Whittaker, me, Neet aka Anita Hickson, Wendy Kirk and Adrienne Wood) who descended upon a beautiful property near Tenbury Wells for some concentrated creative time to ourselves.  There was a lot of chat, a lot of laughter, great food, sunshine, no phone signal, and the odd evening beverage to enjoy.

 We each led a half day session using different media. Annie got us making silk paper book covers which involved painting and stamping and stitching them after we had made the silk paper.  It was a really easy, but very effective project.

Wendy brought beautiful bags of colour coordinated snippets (I should have taken a photo of these as they were mouth-watering, but we were all too eager to get stuck in, and forgot to take them).  Wendy’s project was a gorgeous notebook made of pelmet vilene that she had dyed already to go with the snippets bags.  We stitched all sorts of snippets all over the covers and enjoyed every second of it.  Free machining was new to Neet, but Wendy showed her what to do, and she was away.  I added lots of signatures to this book so I can use it as a note book.

Day 2, Mary led us into her bag of gorgeous yarns and threads, and had us sandwiching bits of delicious texture and colour between layers of chiffon which we free machined and then blasted with a  heat gun.  These bits became decoration for an accordion book made of spray painted pelmet vilene (we did the spraying on our first evening together).

All the stitchy bits were finished so we could pack away the sewing machines and get cracking on Adriennes metal etching.  She had very kindly prepared lots of copper blanks for us, hammering them all flat so we could stamp and stick our images onto the metal before etching them with the solution Adrienne brought with her.  They all need cleaning up and patinating but I can do that at home.

Day 3 Neet broke out the polymer clay and got us making Skinner Blends.  I bodged mine up and had to have another go, but it all worked out in the end as I ended up with colours that were a bit of a theme for  the week for me – yellow / orange/ red with hints of purple.  From the blend we cut fine slices and twisted them as we wound them round a bead.

We moved on to Mica shift techniques and I tried a number of these with the bits that Neet had given us.  The ones I ended up baking were made by weaving or slicing using the wiggly slicer.  they are not elegant or beautifully finished, but they do serve me as a reminder of what to do. Maybe I will stitch them into one of the books we made as a memory of this PlayAway.

I think I could get completely hooked on polymer clay, but I would love to find someone to teach me a few things.  Does anyone know of any good polymer clay tutors in the UK by any chance?

Reluctantly I put away the clay and Thursday afternoon was my turn to get them all using some Friendly Plastic.  We made the little books I showed you earlier, using a masking technique with stamping, and Rub Ons or paper images with Magic Glos to protect them.


If you want to see some more photos from the PlayAway with work from everyone, click on this link.