Monday, December 12, 2011

"Pollage" a la DiBona

If you happened to come to the gallery on Saturday to do a little Christmas shopping, you probably felt the excitement in the air from the class in painting and collaging (what Patricia calls "pollage) going on in the secondary classroom. We love Patricia -- we wrote about her in our old blog at -- and we never cease to be amazed by her ability to guide her students to a happy result.

The students learned how to create a background with gesso and water color on a canvas, and then plan out a picture while learning some basic design principles.  Patricia has lots of ephemera that she has collected through the years that students can use to collage their image.  It's fun to witness the interactions between the students and Patricia, as they debate ideas as they proceed to a finished piece of art that they had no idea they could create.  The end results always amaze me and always seem to please the new "artistes".

If you have a small group of friends that you think would enjoy this experience, give us a call and let us arrange a class for you.  It could be a great holiday present (we can give you a gift certificate for this or any class).  We also have artwork by Patricia for sale in the gallery. You can watch her working on her jewelry or painting most days ... she can even create a custom piece of unique jewelry for you.

Jana "Skywalker" Benzon was here . . .

No, Jana wasn't really wielding her lightsaber but she did teach a happy group of eager artists her laser cut technique.  We had a fun weekend workshop with Jana Roberts Benzon, in from Salt Lake City.  The new classroom setup seemed to work out well.  We've added lights, especially to the teacher's table, so it's easier to see technique details.

We have Jana's work for sale in the gallery, so it was wonderful to see the "master" at work.  Understanding the technique makes you appreciate the end result even more.  The class also had the opportunity to see Jana's collection of all her styles of work.  What a treat!  We plan to have Jana back next year to teach another of her techniques, so watch the calendar on the website for the opportunity to sign up. (

The classroom setup lends itself to group observation as well as individual attention.  We really liked Jana's style of a demo and then allowing the students to work on the step.

Kay and Anita get their questions answered.
On Saturday, we walked down the block for a dutch lunch at Aqua Terra, one of our favorite local restaurants.  It was nice for the group to socialize and have a great lunch (I love the chicken, spinach and corn pasta dish!).  Historic Buford has some cute shops and several first class restaurants.  On Sunday we had chicken salad, pimento cheese  for sandwiches, cookies and other goodies to snack on in between steps.

The three new ovens worked out well.  We're working on the wiring so they can all live in the tool room.   One of the joys of an old historical building is that you have to revamp the wiring to handle all the tools we like.  It just gets  better and better!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

And so it begins . . .

We inaugurated our new classroom with one of the polymer community’s premier teachers, Lindly Haunani.  We explored the rainbow, got color smart and had a great time in the process. We started the day by creating our own personal color collage to enable us to zero in on a personal color palette.  

Then Lindly led us to the discovery of which primaries we should use to begin our color mixing.

We had an inordinate amount of fun and got so smart it’s scary.  The weekend culminated in making several simple veneers and creating a piece of jewelry.

 I think Peggy found the trip from Wisconsin well worth the effort.

We finished our visit with Lindly with a trip to the Carter Library to see a fantastic exhibit of Madeline Albright’s pins.  As Secretary of State, Albright often sent veiled messages to heads of state with the pin she was wearing.  It was fascinating  to see how important jewelry could be.

Now we are gearing up for a visit from Jana Roberts Benzon.  She is coming in Dec 3rd and 4th to teach her lasercut technique.  This is an intermediate to advanced class with limited space (I think there is still a spot or two left, so call soon if you are interested -- 404-314-5767). You can still see the description on the old website (

We are busy planning the teaching schedule for 2012.  We already have some exciting classes in the works.  Watch the website ( for the latest news, and continue to follow the new blog to keep track of the fun.

The new classroom

Lots of work has been going on.  We are updating our classroom area with new individual tables.  There are lots of new lights, making for a bright workspace.  We've added two dry erase boards for the teachers to draw on.  We are striving to create a comfortable, inviting classroom, and I think we are well on the way.  We plan to have a separate tool room for the ovens, buffer, drill press and other fun tools!  Filigree & More is expanding into a new space, to hold even more products.

Ellen is busy building the class schedule for 2012.  We have lots of exciting plans for the new year.  We will be posting the news here as well as on the new website ...  I hope the cloning experiment works, because I think we'll need two or three of each of us to get everything done!

Our class with Lindly inaugurated the new classroom (I think she was pretty happy with it) and we had a wonderful color class.  In December we have Jana Benzon coming to teach her laser-cut technique.  This is an intermediate to advanced class with limited space (I think there is still a spot or two left, so call soon if you are interested  -- 404-314-5767).  You can still see the description on the old website (

Monday, November 28, 2011

Welcome to the new Creative Journey Studios!

Everything old is new again!  We (Ellen Prophater and Sue Sutherland) are moving forward as Creative Journey Studios.  We are still in our wonderful facility (formerly Woman Creative) in Historic Buford, just north of Atlanta, Georgia.  We are expanding our classroom area, enlarging our supply store and creating a dedicated tool room (with lots of fun 'toys').  We are setting up new individual work tables, putting up more lights and expanding the teacher's work area.  We are scheduling more classes with a wider variety of teachers, even drawing on the international superstars!

We still have a fabulous gallery with work from over sixty artists, and our "historic" collection - 'Polymer ... from the Beginning', which presents significant works in polymer since the mid-80's.

We will miss Barbara McGuire, as she moves forward with new focus on writing and publishing, and hits the road again to teach (one of her first loves!)  We wish her well and know that she'll be back with a face cane class when her life settles down again.

Patricia DiBona, one of our studio artists, has an exciting line-up of classes (silver soldering, book arts, collage, encaustic, painting, graphic design, and photoshop instruction.)  We were fortunate to be able to call on Patricia to create our new logo.

Schedule a visit this year to immerse yourself in polymer clay art ... this place is mind boggling. Sign up for a class with Jana Roberts Benzon in December.  Visit our supply store, Filigree & more, and stock up on American-made raw brass filigree, stampings and charms.  Discover all the unique items we carry ... select Eurotools, Gilder's Paste, handmade Japanese paper collections, Nunn Design bezels, PYM II, Ranger inks and embossing powders, Renaissance Wax, antique keys, gold leaf, ethnic tribal beads from Afghanistan and Nepal ... all sorts of goodies to tempt you.

We're looking forward to seeing you soon.  The coffee pot is on and we're ready to talk polymer!