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PCC Chat Log
"The Business of Art:
Teaching your Art...and Mike drops in!"
with Dianne Cook

Download a ZIPFile of this Chat


.Ria> Goodmorninggg
.Dianne> Wow, you are fast.
.Dianne> I just got this up and running.
.Ria> HIHIi sometimes i can be really fast :)) I am on another puter now :)
.Dianne> So, what have you been up to??
.Ria> i was doing a search on ebay for craft stuff and i found some gourds :)
.Dianne> What kind of gourds do you use?? Do you grow them yourself?
.Ria> No they are imported from India and Africa It takes to long to dry them because they have to go thru a whole procrss of drying
.Dianne> ohhh, cool. Are they expensive?
.Ria> Not for me because i have a shop and i don't sell them that high :)
.Dianne> So Ria, do you sell unfinished gourds to other artists?
.Ria> I have really small ones like tangerines and i got huge ones :))
.Ria> Yes i sell alot of materials to make figures :)
.Dianne> Claire...Ria is searching ebay and found some gourds, hence our conversations.
.Dianne> Ria, do you teach figuremaking too?
.Claire> ok, I get it
.Ria> yes 3 times a week now :) 2 classes on monday and one on tuesday min is 2 people and max is 6 people that can join
.Claire> Do you enjoy teaching, Ria?
.Ria> they day i am to expensief but 2 of the 3 classe are full with a waiting list so i must be doing something good :)))
.Claire> Great!
.Dianne> Ok, Ria, you are now my guest...I want to ask you some more questions about setting up your classes..etc..
.Ria> Also i have to say it is not teaching anymore because they almost work on their own i only help with little things now
.Dianne> Everyone feel free to crosstalk...no problem..I am just curious about how Ria sets up her classes.
.shelleym> so am i
.Dianne> Did you set up and advertise your classes or do you go through a store??
.Claire> I've been toying with the idea of approaching Michael's and AC Moore in my area about teaching some PC classes
.Claire> So this is an interesting subject for me too
.Ria> I alway's give info at shows and i have some creations in craft and gemstores
.Dianne> Do you set up your own hours/dates for classes? Where do you give your classes?
.Ria> I have soem great friends working in craftsstores and that works well for me i have given them a free class to join whenever they liked and they advertise now for me.
.Claire> Do you teach the classes at the store, or no
.shelleym> do you do your classes within the store
.Ria> Yes now it is monday afternoon half past one till half past 3 and nights it is half past 7 till half past 9 and that works great
.Ria> No i teach it here in my own home :) that is why we are looking for a new house now :)
.shelleym> sounds like it works really well for you
.Dianne> How many students do you have, Ria?
.Ria> My classes are not so that you have 4 weeks to finish a item. You can decide yourself if you wnat to come this week or want to come next week we make appontments and if 6 people are in for a class then it is full and you have to waith or join anot
.Ria> I have 3, 6, 6 at the moment and soem waiting
.shelleym> how do you work out what to charge for a class - does it include clay etc
.Ria> They have asked me to do anpther night but i don't do it because then it really looks like work :)
.Ria> No materials are not included. they can use brushes paints and more things
.Ria> I have to think hard how to explain everything :))
.Ria> I ask about $8.00 for a 2 hour class and that is expensief over here :)
.shelleym> aha - is $8.oo american - any idea what that equates to in 's
.Dianne> Ria, do you have a lesson that you teach? Shelley, are you in England?
.Ria> They are free to come whenever they like .If they want to come only to make one creation that is fine with me but there are also girls that come her enow for 3 years and they don't want to leave :)
.shelleym> yes - south of england
.Dianne> Where?
.Ria> I don't teach a certain item tehy are all working on different things and in all different stages so taht is fun when you are new you can see what others do
.shelleym> A little village by the name of Lytchett Matravers just outside Poole, Dorset
.shelleym> that sounds like a really interesting way to teach. I'd love to get started on teaching
.Dianne> Ria, when someone new comes in..do they usually come in with an idea of what they want to do?
.Ria> You better start with friend that way it is easier for yourself but make sure that you ask money for it else you are gonna end up with a problem :)
.shelleym> that's true - better start the way you mean to continue
.Dianne> $8 for 2 hours would be very inexpensive here.
.Dianne> I would probably charge $12-15 for a 2-hour class.
.shelleym> at the local 'Hobbycraft' store here they charge about 15 for a four hour session - all tools included, but the fee varies according to how much materials are needed
.Ria> or seen the stuff int he stores so they have an idea of what they want but most of the time it changed because they see so much other things here in my house :) I almost never teach the first times dragons because they have to use their own fantas
.shelleym> sometimes it's more
.Ria> I have all the materials here but they can take materials they have at home with them i don't mind that but most of them buy there things here :)
.Ria> We are thinking of moving but i don't think Erwin wants to go that far for a house :))
.shelleym> i make jewellery - but have never really tried sculpting - it's like another world and a bit frightening when you don't know where to start
.Dianne> Ria, so you sell clay and all other things?
SHIRLEYCHAN> Hi, Ria. So you are an art teacher! I appreciate persons with artistic skills & talents!
.Ria> Never see myself as a art teacher :) but i guess i am one ;)
SHIRLEYCHAN> I learn Chinese art history at u. It's not all about history, but how to appreciate art at a particular period of time and how the art relates to the culture of the people.
SHIRLEYCHAN> I like drawing.
.Ria> Yes i sell clay,paints, tools, gems,nature products and so much more :)
.shelleym> i can't draw for toffee!
.Dianne> Me either.
.Dianne> neither.
.Claire> Neither can I
.shelleym> but i'm getting better at designing canes - different sort of drawing!
.Ria> I love to drwing but i don't have time for it :) i did get my degree you call it in it
.Claire> Yes, I agree, I can handle cane work .
.Ria> Ehh i am bad at cane work :)
.shelleym> i'm not brilliant at caning but i love it and i am getting better
.Dianne> Ria, what percentage of your income comes from these sessions.
.Dianne> Classes.
.Ria> wow that is a difficult one maybe 1/5 ?
.Dianne> for example, my income is about 45% supplies, and 55% art sales.
.Ria> shows not included
.Dianne> One suggestion that I have for each of you...
.Ria> like 20 procent
.Dianne> as you move to selling is to keep track after a period of time...
.Ria> the rest is all materials and figures
.Dianne> how your income breaks down...
.Dianne> I divide mine into supply sales and art sales, right now.
.Dianne> I do all the teaching that I want to with my fulltime job.
.shelleym> there are not that many that workwith clay in this country. And in my particular localised area i've only ever seen one other at a craft fair
.Dianne> Shelley, are you selling your artwork now?? if so, please share the hows, etc.
.Claire> That's right, you are a teacher, right!
.shelleym> although i have a web site - it's not a commercial one so I haven't sold anything through it yet
.shelleym> i do all my selling at craft fairs
.Dianne> Claire, yuppers I am. Claire, are you selling your art now?
.Dianne> Are you doing shows? How many per year? These are for all of you.
.Claire> I'm selling a little, I did two shows last year
.shelleym> they are not 'big' shows that i do generally. Mostly in the autumn
.shelleym> about 20 or so a year i think
.Claire> I'll probably do more this year, in the fall
.Ria> i also did not have a commercial website at first but i changed that because i got to many emails with asking for the price of a item that i drived me mad :)
.Dianne> Shelley, are you working fulltime besides your artwork? Claire?
.Claire> Spring and Summer shows around here don't seem to bring in sales, unless you're selling food or drinks
.Ria> i do about 5 maybe 6 shows a year
.Dianne> Ria, how many shows per year?
.shelleym> no - still got kids at school - so i spend most of my time being a chauffeur
.Dianne> Then, Shelley, that is fulltime! ;)
.shelleym> i work on my clay during the week when they are at school -imbetween pretending to do housework:)
.Dianne> Do you look for specific characteristics before getting into a show?
.Claire> Right now I'm home with the kids, quit my full time job as an engineer last year to stay home with them
.Ria> i ahve my first 2 shows in the next to weekends and i did not make any special things for it :) so i will take my crystal dragoons to the show
.Claire> But am desparately looking for some part time employment - need to pay those bills!!!
.Ria> and maybe some last work this week :)
.Dianne> ::Ria, those people are so lucky to be able to buy your dragoons:::
.shelleym> i'm still fairly new to this area and trying to weed out the bad ones from the good
.Dianne> I think it is very important to choose shows carefully.
.Dianne> I do not like to do shows, so I am pretty picky.
.Dianne> I do juried or proven shows only.
.Ria> Yeah that is what you think they only thinking of wow that is expensief and look good and make them theirselves :)
.shelleym> at the moment i only do the fairly cheap ones - but i would like to move a bit more upmarket
.Dianne> Ria, but there are also those of us who say, gotta have one of those...hmmm so talented.
.Dianne> Art shows and seasonal shows have been the best for me.
.Ria> I only have 2 organisations i do shows from one is the biggest dollshow in holland and they other 4 are coming from a place that is really fun to be at their are nice people and they aren't that jealous there
.Dianne> I usually make pieces that are a bit 'out there' so need to show with a crowd interested in art and design.
.Ria> Yes that is also true Dianne :)
.shelleym> Ria - next time we have a poly retreat in the Uk - you gotta come over to teach!
.Dianne> My holiday show...in my home...involved 21 homes and over 200 artists.
.Ria> hahahahahaha can i bring my fid :)))
.Dianne> I was the only artist in my home though..and I did very well..but if I would have,
.Dianne> had more figures, I could have doubled my income.
.Dianne> sales.
.Ria> I really would love to come over but i am never been so far away from home :) i am homesick easy
.Claire> That sounded like an interesting show, Dianne! I remember you mentioning it before
.Ria> Oh Dianne how did you do that ???
.Dianne> Do which??
.shelleym> that sounds really interesting dianne - how did that get organised
.Ria> that holliday show in your home???
.Dianne> Several artists in my little town...
.shelleym> ria - where are you - thought you said holland - that's not far!
.shelleym> Marie segal came from the States!
.Dianne> decided to put together a 'travelling holiday show'...
.Ria> Yes i live in Rotterdam 15 minutes away from the Ferryboat :)
.Dianne> so they wouldn't compete so much with each other..they made a map and advertised in the paper.
.Ria> It sounds like alot of fun Dianne but we never get that sort of things to work overhere
.Dianne> All of the artists in this area display their wares in homes for 3 days.
.shelleym> Ria - does the port have any trips to Bournemouth - that's very close to me
.shelleym> or Poole
.Ria> No retreats also here
.Dianne> It is big...folks from as far away as 120-150 miles come in...but now..
.Dianne> more small towns are doing it around here.
.Claire> Dianne, How many people came through your house, would you estimate?
.shelleym> Dianne - no that wouldn't work for me either. My village is too small and i'm about 10-15 drive from poole itself
.Dianne> just on different weekends in the fall.
.Dianne> My carpet was filthy...one added expense..had probably 700 people
.Dianne> High buying volume though..they come in to buy.
.shelleym> i once did a charity craft day in a friends house. Her house was quite large and she had about 12 of us in various rooms all over the house. Worked really well.
.Ria> Oh i don't know never been on the ferry :) i am been twice in Paris an d3 times to germany but that was before i got my Parrot baby :) and know i feel like a real mommy and am i afraid to leave him with others but i got to go to the USA and to the .
.shelleym> gotta go - time to make family tea - and the cat wants to be fed too (very noisy)
.Claire> Sounds very interesting Dianne - I've never heard of anything like this in my area
.Dianne> Claire, do you have any art shows in your area?
.Ria> So for the next time you are gonna make more things Dianne
.Dianne> I am planning to make dirty snowfamilies for next year...and some 3D homely angels.
.Claire> Most of the art shows are 99% paintings and photography
.Dianne> that is a always a problem.
.Dianne> The art show that I am currently working to get juried into..
.Dianne> does not even list clay...or sculpture...or collage.
.Dianne> I go into the "other " category all the time.
.Ria> Here you see more cardsmaking and paperstuff
.Dianne> Ria, do you get a good response from shoppers though/
.Ria> Why don't they list clay???
.Dianne> I don't think they consider it "art"??? Maybe, they ve never heard of it. :)
.Dianne> My collage work, in the past, was well-received even though I was an "other" artist.
.Ria> You mean on a show???? yes i use to have 8 meters on the shows but this time i took 4 meters because i could not get someone with me but it is alway's so much people that are at my stand
.Dianne> this will be my first year in Polymer clay art at this show.
.Ria> and ask and buy things so i think i od good :)
.Dianne> I just knew that would be the case with your work.
.Ria> We don't have a jury on these shows
.Ria> hihihi thank you :)
.Ria> claire what do you make with clay???
.Claire> Mostly I cover glass, eggs, etc
.Claire> No sculpture...
.Ria> oh but that is fun too :) it counts too not only sculpture does :))
.Claire> I do canework, Mokume Gane
.Ria> I love mokume Gane :)))
.Claire> Me too!!!!
.Ria> he there is an ostrich egg on ebay for $8.00 is that expensief???
.Claire> We just got a dusting last night, to whiten everything back up
.Claire> I think that's reasonable, Ria
.Claire> Just guessing, though
.Dianne> Hey, speaking of mokume gane...
.Ria> oh it ends in 1 hour :)
.Claire> yes???
.Dianne> How many different ways do you make mokume gane?
.Ria> only in my own way
.Claire> I guess I am not one to follow a particular method...
.Dianne> I have counted 5 ways (I think it is) that different artists teach it.
.Dianne> All give a slightly different look.
.Claire> I generally don't make any impressions in it
.Dianne> Do you think I could post the different ways if I give credit to the artist who teaches it.
.Claire> And I work with sheets of layered clay rather than a thick stack
.Ria> I so on every layer little pieces of foil and that workd beter for me than one layer foils one layer clay
.Ria> Why not????
.Claire> Yes, Dianne, I think you could do that
.Ria> d that would not be a problem
.Ria> here in holland
.Dianne> Well, some folks are pretty sensitive about their teachings...don't want to step on any toeseys!
.Claire> I may meet with alot of disagreement, but I think...
.Ria> Id they want others do to it they should not show it :)
.Dianne> I think I will put something together...it is interesting to compare techniques, imho
.Claire> That the PC community puts too much emphasis on this, maybe because it is a new medium
.Ria> Sure is Dianne
.Claire> I know I came up with the skinner blend on my own, before I heard of it anywhere
.Ria> Sometimes people can have they same ideas :)
.Dianne> I have had that happen too...coming up with something and thinking "wow, how neat" then seeing that someone already has done it.
.Claire> It was long after Judith Skinner came up with it... I had never touched PC until 2 years ago... .
.Claire> And I'm sure it's true of many of the techniques
.Claire> Like my windoe clings
.Claire> I invented it, thought I had something new...
.Dianne> Yes, Claire that was funny too.
.Ria> hihih here in Holland they think i came up with mokume gane :))
.Dianne> But, yours are different from Geo's.
.Claire> Then in Jody's chat, Geo mentioned her clings
.Claire> Yes, they are very different
.Ria> because they never ever seen something like that before
.JM> good morning
.Dianne> Hi Jane!
.Ria> hi Jane
.JM> just thought I would drop in to say hello...i have to leave in about 1/2 hr
.JM> I am demping at the stamp store tda
.JM> that is deoming
.Dianne> What are you demoing today?
.Ria> oh that is great :))
.Claire> Hi Jane!!
.JM> a quilt card that I sedigned
.JM> embossing on fabric
.Dianne> ohh, that sounds cool!
.JM> and using the fiskar paper edgers
.Dianne> Have you gotten into pc yet?
.JM> no
.Claire> BRB - gotta help my son into his snowsuit...
.JM> but if Leigh has her way about it
.JM> It won'rt be long
.Dianne> Well, you better watch out...cause once the pc bug bites!!
.Ria> Wow there is a huge lot of fimo on ebay worth $150.00 first bid is $50.00 maybe this is something for one of you???
.Dianne> Ria, I wonder how old it is?
.JM> I think I will probably get a "starter" kit and go from there
.Dianne> Jane, do you give classes too?
.JM> Dianne sometimes....but I mainly do the demo's....
.Ria> It is from polymerplanet because they have new packages???
.Dianne> You might like to try making medallions and charms that will go with the work that you currently do.
.JM> the store just syatred them and this will be out thirdone
.Ria> Hihihi that is beter for you JAne :))
.JM> and I can't spell this am
.Dianne> Yea, Ria, they are getting rid of year old clay, probably. .
.JM> the store wanted to offer something to their customers that can't/don
.JM> 'take the classes
.Dianne> I always liked the demos because I wanted to go home and try my own thing then.
.Dianne> And, I know that I always bought whatever was being demoed.
.JM> Dianne yep that is true......another thinbk i will be doing is demoing the new products
.JM> did the resist pad just b4 Christmas and we sold out
.JM> well I need to go
.JM> see you tmr afternonn
.EmBee> Good morning! I'm barely awake... .
.Dianne> I have just watched your landscape vid for the 4th time.
.EmBee> I'm actually just waiting for my kids to get up...
.EmBee> ....I can't stay long.
.Dianne> Ok, folks, now that we have Mike here...heeeheee!
.Dianne> Ok, quick I have a question.
.EmBee> Shoot
.Dianne> Mike, have you ever tried your landscape work on a larger scale?
.Dianne> I am trying to put some ideas together for some new work.
.EmBee> Nope. You mean like in a larger cane?
.Dianne> Yes, I am thinking along a combination of ...
.EmBee> I've done one or two larger pieces, but they were leaf impressions.
.Dianne> your ideas with landscape canes and the tearaway wall pieces that I have seen.
.Dianne> I would like to make small pictures for setting on tables.
.EmBee> Hmm...you're on your own there.
.Dianne> lik 3"x4"...perhaps keeping the pictures in a thickness of about 1/2".
.Dianne> Ok, guess I will have experiment.
.EmBee> Everything is worth a try, though. Some people paint with PC.
.Claire> Interesting idea, Dianne
.EmBee> Oh, 3" x 4". That isn't so big. I've done a few cane slices that big....
.Dianne> I 've seen some of that too...I just like the idea of people who are unfamiliar with polymer clay seeing the look of a landscape cane..
.Claire> I've had pretty good luck enlarging cane slices with my pasta machine with little distortion
.Dianne> only in the form of a picture or perhaps a paperweight type object.
.EmBee> I would never trust the pasta machine stretch, unless it was a VERY simple cane
.Dianne> Anyway , I have been playing with your ideas from your vid. Mike, how do you feel about people sharing your techniques??
.EmBee> I have also baked ENTIRE canes as interesting objects. You only get one, of course...
.Dianne> We were talking about this a moment ago.
.Claire> Yes, you would definately lose detail if it were a complex cane
.EmBee> Jeez, I SELL those ideas, right? You buy them, they are yours. I let go of that COMPLETELY.
.EmBee> You mean sharing with other people, who DON'T have the video?
.Dianne> No, but being able to share different ideas on the same technique.
.EmBee> I'm fine with that, too. I don't try to protect ANYthing. If someone can do it, I'm behind them..
.Dianne> In my experience, the follow-up is usually "You have to get the vid..."
.EmBee> If I ever see someone use one of my ideas that looks better than my own, more power to them....
.EmBee> ...I'll look for something else to do.
.EmBee> I don't see what the threat is, at ALL. I teach more than I sell, anyway...
.Claire> You're always coming up with something new, right!
.EmBee> So far, it seems to work that way....
.EmBee> If the well runs dry, I'll move on. I'll live.
.Dianne> And, your work is definitely yours...it has its own personality.
.Dianne> That is what I aim for. Ria's work is that way too.
.EmBee> Thanks. I guess it should, since I work in a virtual vacuum. (No art education...)
.Claire> In the little teaching that I have done, there seems to be 2 kinds of people...
.Dianne> If I saw either of your pieces in a show, I would probably say, that is Mike's or that is Ria's.
.Claire> those who HAVE to copy exactly, and those who think on their own
.Ria> Thanks :)
.Dianne> Yuppers, Claire ...I really would be bored stiff if I had to copy.
.EmBee> We'd probably see that even if we tried to make the same things....
.Ria> I can't copy :) i can't even make a twin :)
.Dianne> I want to learn as much as I can about techniques.. I like the philosophy of "take what you like, leave the rest".
.Ria> and that would be fun twin babydragons :)
.Claire> And its the ones who think on their own and put their own style into a technique who produce the better stuff...
.EmBee> I gotta run, Kiddies, nice to chat....
.Ria> I have learned so much in those few months i am on PCC that is incredible :)
.Claire> because they have their soul in it
.Ria> Yes Dianne i am full of ideas :) can i use your hands to because i definitly need more hands
.Dianne> ...but I don't think my hands will work right for you.
.Claire> And, I find it frustrating to teach those who have to copy exactly!
.Ria> That is so true Claire :) each dragon got a little bit of me in it :)
.Dianne> Yes, Claire...that is why early on in this chat...I was curious to know
.Dianne> if Ria taught a specific lesson.
.Dianne> My experience is that the classes at the local craft shop are filled...
.Dianne> with people who want to copy what the teacher made.
.Ria> Now you know that i teach everything at one time :))
.Dianne> I know that Sue (my book art teacher) loved it because I always wanted to go my own way.
.Dianne> Sue would have classes in the shop, then invite those of us who , like Ria's students, wanted to do their own thing...to her house for lessons.
.Ria> Oh i have copycats here :( and i don't like them and i did ask some to leave when they where finished
.Dianne> Now there is an idea for you , Claire.
.Claire> I've never taken any PC classes, and only one art class ever - quilting - and, all of the people in the class anded up with totally different things
.Ria> Because copycats only relay on my fantasy and i want the girls to use their own fantasy for their work not mine
.Claire> Great idea, Dianne!
.Claire> Because, it is the people with their own ideas who will really excel
.Claire> Yes, Ria, exactly
.Dianne> It would be a way for you to get a 'foot in the door' on some parttime work.
.Claire> I'm trying to develop a lesson plan in my head to present to the stores
.Ria> Claire when you start keep in mind that when you only teach one thing that some people work fatser then others so one will do 4x to make it but there are others that need 10x to make it
.Claire> I have seen that, Ria, people work at much different rates
.Ria> I have encouraged one group to go further than make what i make and now they are getting better in what they like the most like one is crazy about fairies so i said go and make them beter and beter if that is what you love the best>
.Ria> And they are great fantasy makers and i can be proud to be their teacher :)
.Claire> It must make you proud!!
.Ria> yes it really does :)) i have made some pics of their work and when the film is full i will put some of their pics on my website :)
.Claire> Great!!!
.Dianne> Pictures of what? when?
.Ria> One of the girls really have a talent for dragons if she will go further with it she will proberly beter than be in the long time
.Claire> Just saw a commercial for a self balancing washer - supposedly doesn't knock around when overloaded!
.Ria> i meant beter then me in the l;ong time
.Dianne> But, that is the real compliment to the teacher, when a student excells.
.Ria> yes it is :)
.Dianne> Well, this about wraps this week's chat...I am going to spend the day in the studio. Finishing bracelets and making beads. So FUN!!
.Dianne> What are you two planning?
.Claire> And I promised my son I'd help him build a snowman!!
.Ria> and i am doing some washing and claywork tooo :)))
.Dianne> Oh, fun, I love snowmen.
.Ria> in clay i hope for you :))
.Dianne> Washing, yuck! Claying, FUN!
.Claire> Nope, In snow!!!
.Ria> dirty drunk snowman Dianne
.Claire> Outside!!!
.Dianne> Snow snowmen are fun too, Ria. Come on over, we will show you!
.Ria> oh but i do it in the washer and clay in the time he is doing his work :)
.Claire> At least it's pretty warm out today
.Ria> no way
.Ria> bye bye girls :)))
.Claire> Until next time!!!
.Claire> Bye!
.Dianne> Bye, til next time!!


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