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Nora Jean Gatine

Nora Jean Gatine

Nora Jean Gatine
San Francisco, CA 94132


Background Information

Years Teaching:  3
Years Teaching Clay:  3
Years Working w/Clay:  3
School or Studio:  Online school -
Freelance:  Yes
Specialties:  Not working from a script. I use the cutting edge of free technology. Yahoo Groups List. Yahoo Messenger chat for live, interactive, webcam demos that are free and held twice a week. The new tutorials and galleries on my site are result of these demos and what is covered is based on the claymate's requests. Like short order cooking at a diner, I do short order claying at free demos. Improv and stand up comedy, that's what I'm known for.
First Experience With Clay:  I bought polymer clay for my teen boys and their friends. I had used it once 20 years earlier. Goofing around with their scraps I found I loved it. I wanted to share some of the theories about reducing and scale for miniatures.

I posted to the miniatures and polymer clay boards a thought I had about wood grain and scale. I thought that miniaturists would be well served if they used polymer clay to get the wood color they needed, and reduce the wood grain canes to the scale they needed in their mini scenes. The response from both boards was deafening silence. Like a collective "Huh?" took place. I thought, it'll sink in, give them time.

From that post I got invited to join MiniScenesAndThings, a new online list that dealt with miniatures. The response for information about polymer clay and miniatures was so great that Suz Black, the list owner, created another list MSATClayArt and invited me to be Moderator. That was three years ago. I was relatively new to polymer clay and totally new to miniatures.

In that time the list members and I learned together. I took pictures to chronicle my experiments in polymer clay, the good, the bad and the disasterous. Those chronicles turned into the collection of tutorials I have on my site. Today MSATClayArt has close to 800 list members world wide.
Past Teaching Experiences:  Took the show on the road and for three months in 2001 and for the spring of 2002 I visited the list members and held free group clay days for the miniature clubs and clay guilds that wanted to show up. I ranged from Nova Scotia, Canada to Central Florida, from Arkansas to Texas and SoCal to Central Valley and back to San Francisco. During that time I was able to go to the claymates who were house bound with young children, disabled, or on fixed income. The goal was to provide as much teaching and supplies for free as possible. All my finished clay items, the most popular was mini food, was free for the taking. I taught silver haired senior females who roared with laughter at the male dolls and delighted children who are discovering themselves in chop and toss.

Why? Ironing out the wrinkles in my teaching technique. Practicing the patter of stand up comedy. Learning how to live out of a suitcase.
Publication Experience:  September 2002 Featured Artist; July 2001 PCpolyzine "RickRack or Crazy Stripes" tutorial; November 2002 Polyzine reprint of article "What's The Point?"; My links litter Diane Black's Glass Attic; I'm the first 10 listings for AOL KeyWord NoraJean. Does that count?
Teaching Level:  Semi-Pro

Lesson Information

Private Lessons:  Yes
How Far Will Travel:  Negotiable
Reimbursed Expenses:  Negotiable
Group Lessons:  Yes
Minimum Number of Students:  2
Maximum Number of Students:  24
How Far Will Travel:  Negotiable
Reimbursed Expenses:  Negotiable
Class Prep Time:  I come prepared with all clay colors, tools and other multimedia supplies. I take requests, so the prep is the same heading out.
Maximum Consecutive Days Teaching:  How long will you give me 3 hots and a cot?
Class Listings & Descriptions:  If my students have no short order claying request and are new to polymer clay and to miniatures there are some basic classes to get a modest grip on the clay.
Color Cards: Mixing colors, primary to secondary colors, taking those and mixing with white, pearl, translucent and metal color clays. Keeping track of ratios with circles, hearts, stars and diamonds, twisted snakes on playing card sized sheets of clay. Make up your own code, just remember the ratio of the colors you used.
Raising Cane: It's only a snake or a sheet. Dot or a line. That's it. Bullseye: snake and sheet. Malachite or redwood burls...more sheets to the snake. Stacked sheets: Zebra and basket weave, chevron designs for leaves. These few moves, when reduced, reitereated and mixed give you the variations. With those uniquely mixed colors you discovered in Color Cards.
Sheets to the Wind: Taking slices of the cane you raised and pressing them in different layering patterns on sheets of clay. These will cover boxes, dress figures.
Basic Figure Sculpting: Armature, covering with skin, differentiating male from female, young from old, sculpting faces is the final sculpting segment. Take those figures, clothe them in fabric sheets, set them on clay furniture, feed them mini food which means a trip to The Diner.
The Diner: Specializing in Japanese and Mexican Food. With TLS as sausa and whipped cream there's nothing we can't replicate, even ice in lemonade. Food is just raising cane and using TLS for the juicy bits.

Words of Encouragement to Novice Teachers:

"Show off your teaching skills in Yahoo Messenger with a WebCam of your own. Invite your friends or join my list and invite the claymates. That's how you hone your skills without leaving home. You can get immediate feedback and learn to 'think on your seat'. Improv with clay and quick and funny typing will give you the muscle memory and standard jokes for when you do this in person with a live group.

Every profession gets somewhere to practice their skills. If you know basic cane techniques you can teach those who don't know a thing. There's 12 colors needed, just about 12 techniques that you can do with polymer clay, there's 12 rules you shouldn't break like 'if it burns don't inhale', other than that it's your own personal creative self expression that drives you through the 'how to' practice time, may as well have company when you do, in Demo, buy a webcam and start your teaching practice."

"Mini Foods, Polymer Clay Techniques and Sculpting, pick your lesson plan, choose your own studies. I'm here to serve you, so what'll you have, honey?"

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