The Festival culminated in a full day conference on the final day, preceeded by drinks and nibbles the evening before. This was a brilliant idea as it gave everyone the chance to mix, including those who were only just arriving for the conference and hadn't attended the classes beforehand. This meant I met lots more new people (again my rusty French was tested to its limits). We also had the chance to see the things one another had made at the workshops and to get a closer look at the pieces of jewellery that had made it to the final of the 'Precious Souvenirs Contest'. There were some wonderful pieces of work all made in the main using art clay silver. Here is one of the entries by Anne Loup Burnand, who gave a talk about the wonderful Russian Filigree technique she has perfected, using silver clay and fine silver wire.
Okay, I know that I use the word 'fabulous' quite a lot, but I cannot think of any other word to describe the Art Clay Festival. I've been trying to think what made it such a success for me and it has to be the people that make any event what it is. Erna Pietchna-Sowersby the lady who organised and hosted the conference, pulled together a perfect group of people from different backgrounds, countries and personalities, but it all just worked because we all are so passionate about our love of jewellery making and craft.
|The Host, Erna Pietchna of Creative Glass|
The keynote speech was given by Jackie Truty of Art Clay World USA. I attended the World Metal Clay Conference in Chicago that Jackie organised and hosted last year and I have been in awe of her talent and drive ever since. Jackie's speech was very inspiring and she summed everything up for me in one sentence by saying "The way to challenge ourselves is to see what others do". This is so true, the best part of going to this event was seeing the wonderful work these artists across Europe and indeed the rest of the world, are producing. It's incredibly inspiring and prompted so many ideas I just wanted to rush back and start working on some new designs.
|Jackie Truty's stunning faux bone bangle|
|Margrit Grubl's amazing necklace|
Margrit Grubl was one of the teacher's whose class I couldn't fit into my shedule but her work is phenomenal and I'd definitely love to go on one of her workshops in the future. I could not take my eyes off her necklace, it was a work of art!
The conference day was time for me to give my presentation about how to publish your own DVDs, videos and books. I knew everyone so well, that by the time the afternoon had arrived it was like speaking to a group of old friends. It's the first time I've given a presentation that had to be translated. This is challenging as it means you have to be very concise to get the point across in the alloted time, as half of it is taken up with the translation. I hope everyone understood what I was saying and it was good to see so many people interested in developing their own products, which I sincerely hope they do.
I made so many friends at the Festival and in particular want to say a huge thank you to Gisela Backe, Diana Eilert, Monica Germann, Malefi Cicu, Franklin Spence and Meropi Toumbas for taking care of me and being such wonderful company every day.
I hope we can all do it again next year...and maybe you will join us too?