Sunday, May 10, 2009

Donna Kato Workshop- Denver '09

Ok, you know about the Skinner Blend, the Natasha Bead...have you ever done the Jana Whack? Named for Jana Roberts Benzon's method of conditioning the notoriously stiff Kato clay, that's how we started off our recent Donna Kato workshop in Denver. We brought our rubber mallets and pounded the Kato clay while still in it's package until it was partially flattened, then we were able to continue conditioning with our hand rolling devices and pasta machines.

The Jana Whack on Kato Clay

This workshop was about building bangles. Most of my own polymer work is small and doesn't have too many steps, I finish things quickly and move on to the next thing. But Donna's bangles are quite a beautiful sight to behold and it was informative and worthwhile to spend the day making one item, which required many steps and many trips to the baking oven.

Donna with the base form of her bangle

Everyone made a black base form then we moved on to adding canework. With a lot to do in one day, Donna suggested we stick with her color scheme to save color mixing time. I was happy to do that as I liked the colors she used: orange, red, and lime against the black base form.

The canes we made were the very effective "zipper" cane, and a "fang" cane which incorporated stripes as well as a Skinner Blend plug. Those plugs are great--Donna has the tutorial for them in her latest book, The Art Of Polymer Clay Millefiori Techniques.

everyone happily working on their bangle forms

Donna shows us the striped cane

Donna puts the finishing touches on her bangle at the end of the day

I didn't quite finish my bangle by the time the class was over, so when I finish it I will post it in my next blog entry. (And I can't wait to make more bangles after I finish the first one.)

It was a fun day, I enjoyed my first-ever workshop with Donna Kato. She is a pro, and it shows in her teaching style as well as her final results.


PolymerClayTutor said...

That sure looks like a wonderful experience Caren! It must have been a real treat to be learning from a true clay genius! ~Cindy Lietz

Caren said...

Cindy, my goal is to take workshops from a handful of the polymer clay pioneers before they decide to stop teaching! You never know when that might be and I don't like to take them for granted. Donna met my expectations despite the fact she was sick and recovering from a recent plane trip!

Lyssa said...

That's so exciting! I'd LOVE to attend a workshop with her someday...