Arrowmont is a great facility--the studios are air-conditioned, which is a
good thing because it is HHH (hazy, hot and humid). I figured that it
wouldn't be too bad in the mountains---WRONG!! The food is great; we
actually had Cornish game hens for dinner tonight, although Kathy Gregson
was speculating that they might be pigeon. They actually serve 200+-
dinners in an hour!!
Many of us who drove or came by shuttle from the airport had to ride
through Pigeon Forge, TN. I apologize in advance if any of the group lives
there. Pigeon Forge, TN sounds like a gas station and grocery store,
right?? NOT! It is a tacky Las Vegas type strip without the ***. As
I drove through, I swore that if Gatlinburg was like that, I'd turn around
and head back north. PF is a neon jungle leading to.......DOLLYWORLD!!!
Aaarrrggghhh! Don't get me wrong, Dolly herself is great; it's just her
environs, for which she is not responsible. Fortunately, Gatlinburg is not
that bad and the Arrowmont campus, although only a half block off the main
drag, is nicely wooded and the buildings are rustic/contemporary. They own
70 acres, but it sounds like 50 of them are vertical.
I've found that the Great Smokies are aptly named. Every pass I drove
through on the way here Sunday, I expected to reach the crown and
see....the MOUNTAINS. I did, sort of, but they were like 'misty
watercolors' in the distance. I hope that there is one clear day before I
leave, or perhaps the day I leave and drive through the passes again.
My first workshop was this morning with Pier Voulkos' DH, Dan Peters. Dan
is a woodworker and he and Pier have been collaborating in using pc as a
veneer for furniture, or in cominations of wood and pc. They did a small
square table with gold Promat and CFC panels with various designs that is
astounding!! They (to use Dan's words) "overbake" the clay in terms of
time. It results in an extemely flexible thin piece which they even use to
wrap around the table legs; in this case the legs are only about 1 1/2
inches in diameter. He was not sure of the temperature used, since that is
Kathy took Katherine Dewey's 'bas relief' workshop and is still playing
with it at 9:30PM. It seems to be a very simple technique, but I'll let
her cover that.
Sorry, Peg Polymer, no hijinks yet, but as everyone recovers from terminal
fatigue, I'm sure there will be something to report.
I took Katherine Dewey's class on 3-d modeling and it was neat. She takes
two parts of white to one part of translucent and uses it to mold figures
on a pre-baked plate that end up looking like a cameo. Being a Western
person at heart, I am working on a scene of pinetrees and a full moon.
Other people worked on cameos(faces), fish, cats, etc. I find the process
Then I took a class from Suzanne Stern, who is a metalsmith. She adapted
the techniques she uses making metal hinges to polymer clay. Seems like
her method may result in the hinges being stronger. She also taught us a
method of metal work called piercing that we could use to produce intricate
designs on thin sheets.
There are so many really neat people to meet here. I still haven't quit
gawking a bit when somebody 'important' walks by or even stays and talks a
Well, I've got to get back to my 'work'. We decided we'd go to sleep
before midnight tonight.