Clay Carnival 2009

Polymer Clay is a brightly colored, easy, and cheap medium for would be “arts and crafters” to dabble and create. This event is not for them. This series of classes, held the past several years in Las Vegas, offers 32 hours, divided into 8 sessions over four days, of enlightening classes for the emerging, highly imaginative and skilled artisan that presents their ideas in a complicated and versatile medium.

So, from November 5–8, 2009, Diana is immersed into this artful group, clay prepped and mind open to learn new and adventurous techniques from of the countries most ambitious Polymer Clay artists. We left Tuesday, 11/3, after completing Diana's work day and drove to Glenwood Springs, CO to spend a very comfortable night in the America's Best Inn. A new chain, for us, of motels and were very pleased. The fun had just begun!

Wednesday, November 4th – The drive from Glenwood Springs to Las Vegas was uneventful. Weather was warm, clear and dry. We had Dan Brown's new book, The Lost Symbol, on CD and got about a quarter of the way through it this day. A very good “read”, by the way. We arrived in Vegas about 4p . . . in our room about 6p . . . then out to dinner and back to crash. A very long day. Oh, did I mention we got a very nice Deluxe Luv Tub room for a $20 upgrade? Well worth it . . .

Looking across the street from our Glenwood Springs motel

. . . upstairs on the end

Diana in our Imperial Palace, Las Vegas, Luv Tub Room

. . . another angle

And we had a balcony!

The "view" west from the balcony

The "view" east

Thursday & Friday. November 5th & 6th – These two days kinda merge in our minds. Diana learned from some fine polymer clay artists and Noel learned that he can walk too much. He loves to people watch and walking from casino to casino along the Strip is a great people watching opportunity. Not much gambling and no big successes. We both were exhausted at days end.

Diana at her "spot" for the next four days

Diana and other classmates observing the instructors directions.

Name tag for Diana - this is my first Clay Carnival.

Photo that inspired Kim Cavendar's class - pearls and ribbons.

More inspiration for Kim's clasee.

Kim's design of ribbons and pearls all made of polymer clay. The pearls have Pearlex or Perfect Pearls on them.

Kim Cavendar teaching.

More of Kim's demos.

The pearls that are dipped into Pearl ex for my project.

My finished project for Kim's class

Another finished project from Kim's class

Examples of the items we will create in the second class with Leslie Blackford. The creatures were sculpted over night-light bulbs.

Leslie giving us a demo of how she sculpts.

Leslie's creation during class.

Diana's favorite piece from Leslie's class

. . . another angle

Examples of other classmates creations.


Kitty from the another angle.

Elephant painter

Leaf cane example from Lynn Ann's class

Larger version

My version of the leaf cane (before reducing)

My finished project from Lynn Ann's class

Judy Belcher's class, canes, canes, canes

Judy's work - kalidescope cane on this bracelet bead

More beads on the green bracelet

The so called linoleum cane

Zig zag

More of the green bracelet


Judy's example necklace

Diana's cane slices from Judy's class

Saturday, November 7th – Tonight, after classes, we drove to the Stratosphere and took the elevator up about 900ft in 30secs and walked around the glass enclosed observation deck. This deck also has several Squished Penny machines! Those, of course, were our primary goal. After the drop back to casino level we enjoyed a nice dinner in their diner, called Roxie's, where the waitstaff sings, live, 50's hits as they wander around the restaurant. No extra charge!

Maureen Carlson showing the class a demo

Maureen's demo cont'd

And more demos

My finished project from Maureen's class

With the mask on

Donna Kato giving a demo on her spinner bracelet

Donna showing us another demo

My design for my spinner - I put hearts on mine.

My classmates work - they really are quite imaginative

More of my classmates work

My finished project from Donna's class - a spinner bracelet

Using a bit of leftover from my spinner to quickly make a bead

Techniques class with Sue Kelsey using colored liquid clay

Techniques - more colored liquid clay techniques

Colored liquid clay on gold leaf

Even more colored liquid clay

A daytime look at a "ride" extending from the top of the Stratosphere.

Diana at a Squished Penny machine in the Stratosphere

This machine's offerings

Diana at another machine in the main level of the Stratosphere

. . . and it's offerings

An add about a ride that hangs off the top of the Stratosphere

Another ad about the rides

Diana at a Squished Penny machine on the observation deck with the night lights of Vegas behind

Images on this machine

A look down the Strip from 900ft above

The arm of a ride passing outside the observation deck

More lights from above . . .

Diana at another Squishing machine

Squished Quarter, this time

Another ad about the rides

Pic of the Sahara casino from the observation deck

More Vegas lights

Diana at another observation deck Squished Penny machine

The four options (we didn't get all as some are repeats)

Diana and Noel with Vegas lights behind us

Diana at another machine

Some of the pennies we got

Diana with the menu in the Stratosphere's diner

Sunday, November 8th – As this is our last day and we've had so little time to get Squished Pennies, Noel struck out alone to Primm, NV (on the California border) and got three Squished Pennies and one Squished Quarter. After this final day's classes we attended the closing Pizza Party. The ladies get a bit boisterous while wining door prizes and playing games. There were 10-12 students in each of four classrooms and they don't change rooms so they get to know each of the others in their given classroom rather well. This is the primary opportunity to meet the others that came to Clay Carnival. Prior to this event most of the participates made “poker chips” and traded them with the others. This was fun for all and gave a great opportunity to see, discuss and hob-nob with their fellow crafters.

Squished Quarter machine in Buffalo Bill's in Primm, NV

Squished Pennies in another Primm casino

Charming little book from Cathy Johnston's class

book open

The Pizza Party buffet

A new group of friends

Diana in line at a table playing games

More games and goodies

Another group of friends

Diana Kato announcing door prizes

This is my prize that I won - created by Judy Belcher - Thanks Judy.

My "poker chip"

The "poker chips" that I collected from all my classmates and teachers

The whole gang of students

. . . plus instructors - I'm in the back behind the lady with the pink feathers. Hi Lynn Ann.

Monday, November 9th – We broke up our drive back to Colorado into two days. That gave us the great opportunity to see our friends Marty and Pat that had moved from Denver to Grand Junction a couple of years ago. We got the grand tour of their recently purchased home and then enjoyed a nice dinner together with them. A good time was had by all.

Tuesday, November 10th – A short drive back to Johnstown, a little over half way through The Lost Symbol, and two stops for Squished Pennies (one was closed for the season) and we got home mid-afternoon, unloaded the car, and rested, happy to be home again.

Squished Penny machine in Breckenridge

The shop with the machine

Diana leading a parade of geese in the restaurant's parking lot