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!