"What if you organized a paper clay artist symposium and nobody showed up?"
This was the very first paper clay artist symposium in the United States. The entire event was expertly organized by Linda Saville of Laguna Beach Ceramics. Thanks, Linda! And you were concerned that no artist would show up. Well, we did and what a wonderful experience it was!
4 days of workshops led by Graham Hay (Australia) and Rosette Gault (Seattle, WA), capped off by 2 days of symposium from international and national paper clay artists from Australia, Canada, England, Italy, Wales, Malaysia (yours truly) and the USA.
I was one of two Southern California paper clay artists presenting my work. I spent about 90 minutes showing slides of my past, current and work-in-progress works and fielded a lot of questions. The topic of my presentation was "Creating wonderful textures with Paperclay."
In all, 19 artists spent time with the participants showcasing what they do with paper clay. I found the exchange throughly invigorating. Seeing how other artists from around the world use paper clay was a great eye opener. This will encourage me to further expand my own experimentation by pushing the limits of this medium. I think as artists, we work alone most of the time, so it was very refreshing getting a large group of artists working in the same medium, exchanging ideas and sharing our work.
Paper clay as a ceramic sculpture medium has been increasing in popularity in the US for the past several years. This is very encouraging as paper clay has its own advantages over "traditional/regular" clay. (See my earlier posts). Even today, paperclay as a ceramic medium is woefully underrepresented. My hope is that this will soon begin to change as more and more people working in ceramics find out about paperclay. Already it is happening in the US.
Once you understand the fundamentals of paper clay, you will find going back to a "traditional" clay very limiting. I can't wait till the 2nd USA international paperclay symposium in 2012!!
Here's the direct link to pictures taken during the week, courtesy of Graham Hay: