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PCC Chats With
Karen Murphy

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August 17, 2000:

_** BABYISLAND just joined "Polymer Clay Central" (2 members now) **

SUNNISAN:sunni> life is good!! you made it!!
SUNNISAN:sunni> you should be able to just type and hit enter
SUNNISAN:sunni> your cursor would go into the little box under the text you're reading now.
SUNNISAN:sunni> if you need to talk with me, my phone # is 541-xxx-3522
BABYISLAND> thanks for your help! I'll wait till something happens
SUNNISAN:sunni> life is good!! ok - I'm going to announce the Chatroom is open.
BABYISLAND> Linda Geer? have you recovered from Ravensdale?
CANEGURU:caneguru> Well, still working off the sleep deficit, but okay
BABYISLAND> It's worth it though...
CANEGURU:caneguru> Well worth it. Our guild puts on the BEST show on earth. Forget Barnum & Bailey.
KELLIEAK:kellieAK> can't wait to see the pics
CANEGURU:caneguru> I took 667 pics in all. Would have been funny if it came out to 666. ;-b
KELLIEAK:kellieAK> might have been worth taking a photo of the floor then! LOL!
BABYISLAND> You are runner-up for "over-doer"
CANEGURU:caneguru> I think Meredith wins that one hands down
CANEGURU:caneguru> So what's the latest at the Lodge? Almost complete?
BABYISLAND> It is almost complete with the most important stuff left to put in, i.e. bathroom fixtures heat registers, sound system, phones...
CANEGURU:caneguru> What kind of heating system will it be?
BABYISLAND> but Lindly Haunani, Cynthia Tinnapple, Susan Hyde, Karen Wallach, Janet Farris and a few other artists came a week early to the Northwest and each painted a room...
KELLIEAK:kellieAK> how fun!
BABYISLAND> Lindly painted the "toco" room, guacamole around the bottom of the walls tomatoes up the corners, lettuce (SP?) on the ceiling, etc. etc.
CANEGURU:caneguru> Cool. Did they sign the walls they painted? Sounds like Lindly
CANEGURU:caneguru> She traded with me at Rodale. I have asparagus beads from her. The gal has a food thing going...
BABYISLAND> Quite wonderful decor in all and certainly the talk of the island by now especially because of the wonderful garden surround mural in the gathering room where all workshops will take place.
SUNNISAN:sunni> the place sounds great!!
BABYISLAND> Karen Wallach signed the mural in the kitchen of an herb garden...will have to get the others back to sign their rooms. Meanwhile, you are all invited to come visit when you get to the Seattle area.
CANEGURU:caneguru> Ah. Right, we "spoke" about that...
SUNNISAN:sunni> next time I'm at the family compound, I'll zip down there!
CANEGURU:caneguru> How many guests can you have at one given time?
BABYISLAND> There are 18 single beds, and a queen in the "Master Suite" which I stay in if there. The place is for rent as a 3-bedroom home and has a large "garden gathering room" for workshops There are 16 worktables and chairs, place to keep bins of clay, in-floor plugs for lights etc. Opening sky lights and big opening windows give great light and air
CANEGURU:caneguru> Sounds spectacular!
BABYISLAND> I'll have some current photos up on the web-site ( within a couple of days but I'm having trouble with my digital/Kodak program
CANEGURU:caneguru> Well, when I come up I can take a slew of shots for you
BABYISLAND> I would really appreciate that! In addition to use as a "house for rent", I now can operate as a 2-bedroom "beach bed and brunch"...
BABYISLAND> The county doesn't want me to cook dinner (restaurant regulations) but I have a great new barbecue and I invite people to come for B&B&B and "cook their own damn dinner"
CANEGURU:caneguru> Karen, is there anywhere on Whidbey to rent trail horses? (and ride them)?
SUNNISAN:sunni> I think there are stables in oak harbor somewhere. there must be some on the south end, Linda
BABYISLAND> There must be a place to rent horses, I see them around quite a bit. I need to research various activities and provide info/liaison services for bird watching, whale watching, fishing, golf, sailing, horses etc. Right now What I know best is SHOPPING!
CANEGURU:caneguru> Start with the chamber of commerce if there is one.... I remember a couple of years ago I came to the old lodge and we went out shopping and I got some old City Zen Cane earrings at a shop
BABYISLAND> I'm listed with them now and that's a great idea...hadn't thought of the obvious! There is a great shop in Langley (the closest shop) called "Big Sister" that means the stuff there FIT ME!
CANEGURU:caneguru> LOL. Only once in my life was I an off-the-rack person and that was only because I had been very ill.
BABYISLAND> There is a very nice and also large artists co-op gallery in Langley which a few polymer artists, including Jean Nikolassen(sp?)
CANEGURU:caneguru> Nicolayson, I think. She does nice fiber art too. Dang, now I know who was missing last week
BABYISLAND> The Lodge also has a lovely campfire circle, hot tub, outside dining on the deck for 20 cul de sac neighborhood (i.e. nice walking) bikes for rent not too far away or bring your own
CANEGURU:caneguru> And guys, Karen is an awesome cook!
BABYISLAND> Thanks...I love it!
CANEGURU:caneguru> Can you put in a canoe or kayak nearby?
BABYISLAND> Yes...the beach is right in front of the house...forgot to mention the main attraction it's WATERFRONT! and Baby Island is right in front of the house..can walk around it when the tide is out
CANEGURU:caneguru> But not too rocky to put in? I have problems in some places around here Like Blake Island.. Blake has nasty pointy rocks at the edge
BABYISLAND> I don't think so...maybe have to put in when the tide is out a bit or all the way in I see them around though so others must be doing it
CANEGURU:caneguru> Cool! Blake is cool, but I don't want to tear up the bottom of one of my boats
BABYISLAND> It's BABY Island, it sticks up in the water, there were 7 buildings on it at one time when a man lived there and there was a sea wall which has since washed away as well as much of the outside of the Island
CANEGURU:caneguru> Is the island part of your property now?
SUNNISAN:sunni> does your property line extend to the lowest tide point?
BABYISLAND> No, it belongs to the Native Americans who come by helicopter one day a year to maintain ownership The other inhabitants are only about a hundred sea lions who sleep there in the evening I own tide lands in front of my property and there are lots of mussels, clams and crab
CANEGURU:caneguru> LOL! First time I was canoeing in Nisqually, I heard the sea lions and thought Don was trying to be funny... until I saw them.
SUNNISAN:sunni> how big is baby island? (drool on the shellfish)
CANEGURU:caneguru> Do you know what happened to the man who used to live there?
BABYISLAND> Every spring the high school seniors walk there at low tide and spend the night with lots of room to roam around, I'd say about an acre...?
SUNNISAN:sunni> oh how fun!!
BABYISLAND> The man who lived there until the early '50s was Jewish and the bigoted neighborhood had his water turned off and forced him off...that's according to an old-time islander I talked to
CANEGURU:caneguru> good grief
SUNNISAN:sunni> oh my!! that's awful!
SUNNISAN:sunni> so did the Indian buy the island from him?
BABYISLAND> I don't know how the land was transferred from this man to the Native Americans.
BABYISLAND> I'm also having neighborhood problems related to being "new" from Seattle and involving an "adverse" land dispute...but that's another story. Hopefully that will be over within a few months.
CANEGURU:caneguru> But, you've had the property for a few years, haven't you? Or is Whidbey one of those places that you're a newcomer until a few generations have passed?
SUNNISAN:sunni> Whidbey, you're a newcomer for about the first quarter century. if you're a bad neighbor, it's the first two generations.
BABYISLAND> Yup, It will probably take many years to become an "islander" at the rate I'm going. Unfortunately, the land dispute is with BABY Island Beach Club...which means EVERYBODY in the neighborhood so I'm quite isolated.
CANEGURU:caneguru> Well, you'll not be isolated when all the artists start coming.
BABYISLAND> But fortunately, I bring my "family"/friends with me and am quite independent from neighbors
SUNNISAN:sunni> Karen - how and when did you come up with the idea for Baby Island Lodge?
BABYISLAND> Before the first Ravensdale Terry and I were looking at the Island for a friend who wanted to buy there that time we saw what was called "old Indian fishing lodge" by the realtor... (hype) but it was trashed...literally, someone had been throwing trash out the window for years but the spot was wonderful--waterfront, baby island, dead-end and the floor plan was very inviting so although it needed to be torn down or completely rebuilt Terry, always wanting to make me happy, agreed to buy it. The first idea was to use it to house the teachers for the first Ra vensdale which would be about 15 teachers to meet before and talk about coordinating the program for that event and to let them rest from travel, chat together which they rarely get a chance to do And sure enough, the very week the teachers were to arrive, we had finished our temporary repairs and completely carpeted the place to cover the absolutely disgusting floors. The teachers for Ravensdale had a great time, and several expressed interest in teaching workshops there.
SUNNISAN:sunni> no fooling!! an idea is born!
BABYISLAND> So, the first was Kathy Amt, next Tory Hughes, then Gwen Gibson, Pier Volkous and Lindly Haunani. I might have forgotten someone, sorry.
BABYISLAND> Anyway, although the place was rotting from the roof down, bottom up and inside out, many groups stayed upstairs in the one big room...snooring to each other...and ate my food cooked in the "non kitchen" with only a fleet of coolers on the porch and fun was had by all. Then, Terry fell from the roof and died about 2 years ago. We had planned to restore the Lodge but by myself it was too big a can of worms so I drew up new plans tore the old building down and found a great builder. It was the right thing to do! I have my dream Lodge but of course it's not really the dream without Terry. I'm hoping that the B & B will bring in lots of people...I really am a social person and can't stand the lone-life.
JANVAN:JanV> I got to meet him at the last Ravensdale and he was a truly special person.
CANEGURU:caneguru> It's a different dream.... with some stuff in common I imagine...
BABYISLAND> If I can get workshops to come (have to be quite small, perhaps 8-10) it will be great!
BABYISLAND> Celie Fago is planning to schedule a PMC in the next few months and Gwen Gibson has scheduled one Soon! I'm looking it up... May 26th-31st for Gwen Gibson
CANEGURU:caneguru> Karen, how are you fixed for clay ovens there?
SUNNISAN:sunni> what will Gwen be teaching? and yeah - how many ovens do you have?
BABYISLAND> I'm not sure on the Gwen subject...It is some time away. I suggest you contact her. I have two at the moment and a third at The Artifactory which I will import to Baby Island Lodge as well.
JANVAN:JanV> I took a class from her here in Ohio last spring and she is a fun instructor.
BABYISLAND> Lots of ovens and by then a PMC kiln which will also slump glass...
SUNNISAN:sunni> so when will baby island lodge be open to the public?
BABYISLAND> Sept. 1st, just a few weeks.
SUNNISAN:sunni> will you be eventually going with just the lodge or will you be keeping the Artifactory, too?
BABYISLAND> It will be House for Rent (3 large bedrooms, workroom, lots of decks and outside eating and small studio and two living rooms, one with wood fireplace one sun room etc. and also as the Beach, Bed and Brunch starting then. The largest room $250/night, the next largest room $200/night with use of the whole house, hot tub etc.
CANEGURU:caneguru> Shoot, if you can ever get Sara Shriver there, I'll sell off one of my cats! LOL
BABYISLAND> I'll try to get Sarah...if you give her a nudge that might help!
CANEGURU:caneguru> I have to contact her anyway. I'll whine a bit and see what I come up with. ;)
SUNNISAN:sunni> sounds like a really luscious getaway.
BABYISLAND> I'm not actually organizing and promoting workshops...I'm just "renting a house" it's up to the teachers to rent the house and promote their classes. The guest organizes the event and there are limitations on "events" I will be having "parties" of friends which are art oriented, polymer and otherwise. I'll be talking to my teaching friends about this.
SUNNISAN:sunni> Tell me Karen, you will be keeping the Artifactory as your primary business?
BABYISLAND> The Artifactory is for sale and there is a one-year lease left so I'll be splitting my time between the Artifactory and Bead Lounge and Baby Island Lodge. I expect that The Artifactory and Bead Lounge in Seattle will NOT sell and I expect to pack it up and store it until I find a suitable place in Langley or Freeland then open the Bead Lounge there.
CANEGURU:caneguru> Dang, it's gonna be hard on Seattle to lose the Artifactory. No place around like it that supports us polymer folk.
BABYISLAND> but I know about it and some people there and several folks who have taught there
SUNNISAN:sunni> will you be moving full-time to baby Isl. when the lease runs out and/or you sell?
BABYISLAND> I'll move to the Lodge after the lease runs out IF it's busy as a B&B or IF I have found a network of friends... There are lots of artists on the island and I suppose I'll find some folks
SUNNISAN:sunni> how far is baby island lodge from langley?
BABYISLAND> The Lodge is exactly 7 miles north of Langley on Saratoga Rd.
SUNNISAN:sunni> there must be an artisan co-op or something in langley you could hook up with.
BABYISLAND> There is a co-op Gallery which I looked into a couple of years ago. The tourist season is so short (about 2 months) and the membership and commission so large that it doesn't make much sense for someone with small items to sell. I will look at it again though.
KADEWEY:KADewey> Karen, do you ever work with the Coupeville Art Center?
BABYISLAND> I have not worked with Coupeville
KADEWEY:KADewey> They are just beginning to ask polymer clay artists to teach there.
SUNNISAN:sunni> would you be able to open the bead shop out of baby island someday?
BABYISLAND> Can't run a retail out of a residence in Agricultural zone
SUNNISAN:sunni> ah. ok.
KADEWEY:KADewey> Not unless you raise beads.
SUNNISAN:sunni> :)
BABYISLAND> Actually they have been having polymer teachers at the Coupeville Arts Center for many years...Tory taught there about 8 years ago and so haS Margaret Maggio, Pier, etc.
CANEGURU:caneguru> Are retail rentals expensive on Whidbey?
BABYISLAND> Don't know yet about the retail rent... Surely not as expensive as Seattle
CANEGURU:caneguru> Or the area in Madison park area anyway
BABYISLAND> Is there anyone out there with lots of money who just wants to have a shop for fun? It supports itself (i.e. the landlord) but not much left to take home after advertising.
CANEGURU:caneguru> I can answer yes to HALF of it. Guess which half!
BABYISLAND> I'm actually leaving the polymer community per se
KADEWEY:KADewey> And you definitely intend to close it?
BABYISLAND> What attracted me originally, beyond polymer being a new medium to me and experimenting with it, was the opportunities for social organization which is my real talent.
KADEWEY:KADewey> This is sad news.
BABYISLAND> After starting the NWPCG with a lot of help from Margaret Maggio and several founding members, and after our third successful national conference I have contributed my best and am ready to move to "organizing" Whidbey in the form of B&B and perhaps later a Bead Lounge as mentioned above. I'm looking forward to learning about weaving from Cher Brant, glass slumping and fusing and eventually probably return to pottery--my first addiction
SUNNISAN:sunni> was pottery how you got started into polymer?
CANEGURU:caneguru> I didn't know you had done pottery. That's something I definitely want to try some day. Maybe at Baby Island once you're set up for it.
BABYISLAND> No, I left pottery because I realized I couldn't be a good mother and a good potter at the same time and I had aN 8 month old Sean
KADEWEY:KADewey> I've seen the pictures on the BabyIsland website; it looks wonderful.
BABYISLAND> I got into polymer by taking Cynthia Toops class in little people beads many years ago and got hooked on canes. Buttons were first, then Tory came along and opened up a new world.... but I want more people in my life (35 years with one person, now gone leaves a BIG void).
SUNNISAN:sunni> ((hug)) the lodge sounds like a perfect solution. what did Tory hook you on?
BABYISLAND> Tory was NOT canes...anything else. Polymer clay work is very solitary for me. I might pick it up now and then when everything settles down if I have a shop on the Island.
CANEGURU:caneguru> You never know which creative outlet will strike once more of the dust settles with the Lodge...
BABYISLAND> I was hoping it would be cooking but the county doesn't like that so, it will be brunch at the most
CANEGURU:caneguru> Oh! But what brunches they'll be!!
BABYISLAND> They also don't like the idea of a pottery studio in the basement so I'm thinking seriously about putting an S&M "dungeon" in....^
CANEGURU:caneguru> At least zoning won't get in the way of that! LOL
BABYISLAND> in addition to being very "alternative life style friendly" B&B.
BABYISLAND> I met a woman at Ravensdale who was staying in Seattle at the only S&M B&B in the area which made me think about my basement
SUNNISAN:sunni> go figure!!! perhaps the occasional mud bath or wrestling?
JANVAN:JanV> Hope you have a very *special* cleaning crew between visitors!
SUNNISAN:sunni> that could explain all the clay and potter's wheel!
BABYISLAND> Maybe after S&M for a while the county will beg me to do pottery
SUNNISAN:sunni> heeheehee!! I can see it now!!
KADEWEY:KADewey> Have you asked the zoning commission where you CAN set up a pottery studio?
CANEGURU:caneguru> That and grow hemp for fiber arts... that should go over big
KADEWEY:KADewey> Perhaps on the planned for porch? Their concern may only be the kiln.
CANEGURU:caneguru> Why would a kiln be objectionable? I don't know very much about pottery.
BABYISLAND> My neighbors are watching so carefully that they interviewed a delivery man about what kind of stove I had...hoping it would be a commercial one (outlawed) but alas, I'm a law-abiding citizen and it only looks commercial
SUNNISAN:sunni> oh groan.
BABYISLAND> I think it is disposing of the water (septic) which is of concern. I don't think an electric kiln is a problem
KADEWEY:KADewey> Clay particulates could clog a septic system.
SUNNISAN:sunni> a kiln shouldn't be any more objectionable that a large stone barbecue, you'd think.
CANEGURU:caneguru> oh, thx. getting the lodging permit (or whatever it is) wasn't a problem?
BABYISLAND> Evidently there was a big developer who was trying to buy a large piece of property just up the road for 200 units for a Resort. The island organized against it and was successful and were looking around for the next cause....evidently I'm it. They are calling me a resort...can't see how...but nevertheless there has been a record number of complaints about my project and I have now been officially limited to a "3-bedroom house for rent" and/or "2 bedroom B&B".
SUNNISAN:sunni> south end is still quite a bit behind the north end for tourism.
CANEGURU:caneguru> big diff between 200 units and what you're doing which is IMPROVING the property
BABYISLAND> With the suit on the back burner everyone who should get a life is now watching me very closely instead
SUNNISAN:sunni> is it time to wander around and woo the neighbors? get to know them? invite them in?
CANEGURU:caneguru> Feed them!
BABYISLAND> Been there, tried that...
SUNNISAN:sunni> hmmmmmmm.
BABYISLAND> Let's not worry about it or waste chat will all come out in the end Meanwhile, come visit me...just give me a call
CANEGURU:caneguru> Karen, any nibbles at all on the Artifactory?
BABYISLAND> None so far, no surprise. I have about $200,000 in inventory. It would take someone as obsessed/foolish as me...
SUNNISAN:sunni> tell us a little about the Artifactory. what is it? and how did you begin?
CANEGURU:caneguru> And who came up with that great name?
SUNNISAN:sunni> yeah!
BABYISLAND> I had been thinking about a name for several weeks and finally decided not to get up one morning until I had thought of one...and finally got The Artifactory because what I was doing then was "artifacts" a la Tory Hughes and working them into necklaces
CANEGURU:caneguru> Fantastic!
BABYISLAND> Then got into buying African trade beads to go with my polymer beads and artifacts for jewelry which both Terry and I fell in love with. Thus the huge (about 2000) strands of trade beads and low and behold I needed a shop so when Terry sold his business (Curtis Archives) we could afford for me to stop working (as a psychotherapist) and open a little shop.
CANEGURU:caneguru> what year was that?
BABYISLAND> This was The Artifactory. When my long-time friend, Robin Atkins, owner of Beads Indeed, decided to sell (she fell in love and wanted to move) Terry and I bought her inventory and customer list. Thus the "beads Indeed" Bead Lounge That expansion was 2 years ago.
SUNNISAN:sunni> that's quite a change in careers. did you open the Artifactory at the location where it is now?
BABYISLAND> I opened The Artifactory 5 years ago.
BABYISLAND> Yes, it has always been on E. Madison in Madison Valley, near the arboretum
SUNNISAN:sunni> is that very far off of Interstate 5?
BABYISLAND> It has been a lot of fun but I was really doing The Arti. to wait for Terry to "Really" retire...[I'm] not waiting any more so I feel finished there. If it were a booming business I might feel differently but it's too quiet. The shop is easy to find...take the Madison St. exit going north on I-5 and follow it east. As you cross 28th/Martin Luther King Jr. Way The Artifactory and Bead Lounge in immediately on the left
SUNNISAN:sunni> you're a talented artist in your own right. have you considered being a teacher?
KADEWEY:KADewey> laughing at Sunni's remark
BABYISLAND> I taught lots of polymer classes, first through the U. of W.'s experimental college in my home, then at the Artifactory, also at Arrowmont, several other shops and community art centers at the Blue Heron on Vashon, Waving Works in the U. District, and of course at Ravensdale. I love teaching but I find that people are not willing/able to make their art a priority or don't want to pay for classes or have found other ways to get the information or who knows what all. Certainly most of the basic techniques and much of what happens new, even, is available on the web or at local guild meetings etc. I have taught other things...I taught parenting, "how to set up a day care center in your home" following publication of my book "A House Full of Kids" published by Beacon Press in 1985. I had a day care in my home for 5 years when my kids were little I was doing day care so I could raise my own kids and earn money at the same time while Terry started his business. It was a great business! supported us and Terry's business the first 5 years until he could begin taking some salary. I moved from day care because my kids were both starting school..I looked around and said to myself, what are al these kids doing here? So, I find myself teaching informally lots of the time as I do counseling in the same is my nature and pleasure but It's too much work trying to teach formally I do "tutorials" now at The Artifactory...that is, if someone wants to learn something I do, they schedule a tutorial with me. If they find a friend to come along, they can split the hourly fee ($30) and if I find a third person or more it turns into a 3 hours class ($45).
SUNNISAN:sunni> what are the hours at the Artifactory?
BABYISLAND> Hours at the Arti. are Tues.-Fri 11-6 and Sat 10-5 Kate Jensen works on Fridays.
SUNNISAN:sunni> forgive my ignorance again. :) who's Kate Jensen?
BABYISLAND> Kate is a member of our local guild and a very sweet person. She has started making jewelry also; her style is light and delicate while mine is heavy and clunky/chunky
CANEGURU:caneguru> Golly, I haven't seen Kate in half a forever
BABYISLAND> Her husband is out of town a lot (business) and so she is responsible for driving her daughter etc. which takes her out of commission most of the time.
SUNNISAN:sunni> so the Artifactory is basically a place where you manufacture jewelry?
KADEWEY:KADewey> And enable others to do the same?
BABYISLAND> The Artifactory is also a gifts/home furnishing/high end jewelry shop with antique imports from China, Tibet, India, Africa, Middle East, etc. I also sell my jewelry and have a few things by other artists as well as about 40 polymer clay artists including Tory, Pier, Gwen, Linda Goff, Susan Hyde, Sarah Shriver, Cynthia Toops, The museum items are now for sale as I'm "going out of business" sometime in the next year.
CANEGURU:caneguru> And she has a way cool polymer 'museum'
SUNNISAN:sunni> wow! sounds like a really neat place. did you start off being a polymer gallery and diversify?
SUNNISAN:sunni> I'm gonna hafta stop by next time thru. that's all there is to it.
CANEGURU:caneguru> Shoot. Let's talk about that later! I'm serious
BABYISLAND> No, I started as a jeweler, moved into African trade beads and then other beads and other antique imports
SUNNISAN:sunni> so it was a natural progression to expand that way.
BABYISLAND> Linda, I have prices on everything now from the collection. I mentioned it to the guild to see if maybe the guild was interested in purchasing the collection but have received no response from the powers that be
CANEGURU:caneguru> Well, let's privately talk prices later on. Who knows?
BABYISLAND> Seems a shame to split it up but there is quite a bit of value there and I really need the money now that I have this incredible wonderful and very expensive Lodge to make payments on and no income.
SUNNISAN:sunni> the Artifactory is in Seattle and the baby island lodge is on Whidbey island just north of Seattle, Washington.
BABYISLAND> Where are all of you chatters from?
SUNNISAN:sunni> I'm in southern Oregon. ilysa? JANEJOHNSTON:JM> London Ont. Canada
ILYSA> I live in North Florida.
KADEWEY:KADewey> Central Texas TOOTWO21> new Orleans
CANEGURU:caneguru> west Seattle
SUNNISAN:sunni> jenny - Michigan, right?
BABYISLAND> Ain't the net wonderful!
SUNNISAN:sunni> yes!!! we're pretty spread out tonite!
CANEGURU:caneguru> Karen, I've never seen you in chats before. Is this your first?
BABYISLAND> I was guest last year about this time when the first Polymer Clay Teachers Retreat was held at the old Lodge That's the only other time I've been in a chat.
CANEGURU:caneguru> Oh, that was the period when I was dropping back from the net.
SUNNISAN:sunni> oh oh. when you get time, you might get hooked on chats.
BABYISLAND> I've been so busy trying to put my life together since then that I really don't do anything but try to keep the shop going and organized (read tube beads), build the new Lodge and straighten out my finances i.e. learn about them since Terry was good at it and did it all.
CANEGURU:caneguru> do you mean put beads in tubes?
BABYISLAND> Fortunately, my daughter takes after Terry and has helped me a lot and still is. She's in graduate school to be a CPA and practices on me
SUNNISAN:sunni> that's good!! Sean, right?
ILYSA> Karen I wish you lots of luck
BABYISLAND> Thanks, ilysa.
BABYISLAND> No, Brianna is my daughter, Sean my son (lives next door and teaches 1st grade and sometimes comes over to keep me company. Susan Hyde also keeps me company...i.e. lives in my "garage" now her studio with sleeping loft. She is a delight!
SUNNISAN:sunni> that's nice!! to have kids that are still that close.
CANEGURU:caneguru> Susan would be great company!
BABYISLAND> Where are you from Barbara? H2O_BABY> CT
ILYSA> Karen, do you have a favorite polymer artist?
BABYISLAND> It's hard to choose one... my current favorite polymer piece which I just purchased, is Margaret Reid's dragons.
CANEGURU:caneguru> Margaret Reid is an AMAZING talent!
BABYISLAND> There are 3 articulated flying dragons that move up and down and flap their wings when you turn a crank They are very delicate and delightful...and will enjoy living at Baby Island Lodge!
ILYSA> I am not familiar w/ Margaret's work. Is she on the web her work sounds cool
CANEGURU:caneguru> YOU BOUGHT THAT???? YES I'm yelling!
BABYISLAND> Currently the work I like best is Sarah Shriver's beads and Margaret Maggio's watercolor beads and pins.
CANEGURU:caneguru> You can see some of Margaret's stuff up at the British Guild Site
ILYSA> I love Sarah Shrivers work
BABYISLAND> Margaret Reid is from Whales, stayed the last week with me on the island and I talked her into selling her Rave entry....YUP!
KADEWEY:KADewey> Karen, I'd like to ask a question about your necklaces. The way they're designed; how do decide the theme of each necklace.
BABYISLAND> I'm very color oriented
KADEWEY:KADewey> Each has a central focus piece, and the rest provides a background.
BABYISLAND> I usually start with one bead on a tray and then I stroll around the Bead Lounge and pick up as many beads of different shapes and sizes as I can find in a color scheme I like a gradual change in scale from small to large and back to small in various colors in the color scheme
KADEWEY:KADewey> They remind me of Thomas Eakins' paintings.
CANEGURU:caneguru> Not a whole lot there, but a few photos are at:
BABYISLAND> so that the line of each strand flows like an hour-glass and then I often braid the separate strands adding a 4th and 5th sometimes, so that the form of the whole necklace also is graduated hour glass Sometimes there is an additional theme, sea life (mermaids, shells, frogs, fish) and water colors, shell colors but often there is no theme
KADEWEY:KADewey> Plus that one unusual, standout, sculpted piece?
BABYISLAND> Yes, I like putting a focal point bead on the side especially
KADEWEY:KADewey> Not necessarily, but a coherence, always that.
BABYISLAND> Some necklaces have a "pendant" some are designed like a spider web no limits! that's what I like
KADEWEY:KADewey> Did you study other artists to find this way of designing your work?
BABYISLAND> When I first started I was using my polymer beads and glass and I often overheard comments about how it seemed inappropriate to mix the different materials but over time it has developed into an identifiable style and has been now accepted now I also see other artists, i.e. Cynthia Toops and husband Dan Adams, mixing their polymer and glass beads.
SUNNISAN:sunni> no fooling? people didn't like the mixed media?
KADEWEY:KADewey> People are afraid of truly innovative design; it shakes the artistic ground they stand on.
BABYISLAND> All my designing is just intuitive/by eye. I do it very fast as I put something together without thinking about it... it's so much more fun that way than planning and arranging and rearranging. It's what I teach in my classes, trust your eye, move fast, don't think about it or you censure yourself
CANEGURU:caneguru> Exactly my thoughts Karen. If you shut off the judging part of the mind the creativity has much better chance to flow...
KADEWEY:KADewey> I think there's a direct correlation between you social organization skills and the way you design jewelry.
KADEWEY:KADewey> I don't think shutting off judgement permits flow; it's simply a different method of judging based on experience.
CANEGURU:caneguru> That could be, Kathy.... I just know personally that if I try to do it "right"... I get frustrated, which is why my best stuff happens in the wee hours... when I just am not "trying"...
SUNNISAN:sunni> oh? how's that, kathy?
BABYISLAND> Now that you mention it, that makes sense to me, thanks.
CANEGURU:caneguru> Interesting concept!
SUNNISAN:sunni> is jewelry all you make, personally, now at the Artifactory.
BABYISLAND> Now and then I make something else...have several polymer boxes, vases, a tooth fairy pouch several "tattooed babies" i.e. figures covered with subtle cane work Mostly, though jewelry. I still have thousands of buttons from my button phase.
KADEWEY:KADewey> Do you have a favorite clay and work within its properties, or does the design determine your choice of clay?
CANEGURU:caneguru> I don't think I've ever seen your early stuff... like buttons.
BABYISLAND> I only work in FIMO for cane work and in making the figures.
BABYISLAND> The other clays are too soft. I like premo for anything starting with skinner blend and for Pier's invisible canes
KADEWEY:KADewey> What are your tips for working with Fimo (I assume you mean Fimo classic) as a sculpting medium?
BABYISLAND> Condition and more condition, let it rest when it gets too warm, mix your own colors I like dental wax tools and knitting needles as sculpting tools
KADEWEY:KADewey> I was afraid you'd say that.
BABYISLAND> I start with a lump of well conditioned clay, cover with slices of cane, smooth all the seams and see what the lump suggests and then follow the suggestion invariably there are most suggestions as I work and I just usually go with it.
KADEWEY:KADewey> Serendipitous sculpting.
SUNNISAN:sunni> knitting needles - do you have better results with the metal or plastic needles?
BABYISLAND> Why are you "afraid I'd say that"
KADEWEY:KADewey> I dread conditioning Fimo; for me it takes easily a half hour before it's blendable.
SUNNISAN:sunni> you can blend yours that fast, kathy? how?
KADEWEY:KADewey> My food processor is a dedicated pecan chopper. You mean that's fast?
SUNNISAN:sunni> *sigh* I was afraid you'd say that kathy!! I do mine all by hand. kathy - I condition for one day and clay the next.
CANEGURU:caneguru> Forgive the interjection here, but you should see what REALLY leached Premo is like. It was a real eye-opener for me. Nice and firm.
CANEGURU:caneguru> what's the most recent thing you've done in polymer?
BABYISLAND> I started a figure at Ravensdale during the demo which I will finish and I made an interesting vase; faux ivory, very large coming off a rock with a nude figure inscribed coming out of the "woods" of the surface texture with some "jade" inlays where I filled spots that had broken apart
CANEGURU:caneguru> Sounds interesting Karen
SUNNISAN:sunni> that sounds lovely, Karen!
KADEWEY:KADewey> Working with Fimo Class allows you to keep the clay raw, yet maintain definition between the varied elements.
BABYISLAND> I'm too impatient to leech clay
KADEWEY:KADewey> To avoid leaching, order your clay a year in advance:)
CANEGURU:caneguru> That's what Howard says, Kathy He says the clays are being sold too fresh and should be aged
BABYISLAND> Howard was the RaveStore host this year and he said that their bleached translucent Premo is THE most transparent and this is backed up by some testing done by a third party. He also says to drop it in ice water just out of the oven for more clarity
CANEGURU:caneguru> I do that. It works.
KADEWEY:KADewey> Jorge, the chemist at Polyform agrees with that.
SUNNISAN:sunni> I just dropped my first batch of sculpey sculptures into ice water and I'm pleased with the results. no cracks!
DOLLYPENT> I already learned something
CANEGURU:caneguru> I made a batch of horns at Rodale and they cracked for some reason -- dumped them in icy water and the cracks closed right up not big cracks... fissures...
SUNNISAN:sunni> Linda (caneguru) that's good to know! thx!
BABYISLAND> That happens with my figures and large beads when they are thick...I think it is because the clay is not well enough conditioned. I did it because I was impatient to sand and buff! then heard about it from Howard this last week
SUNNISAN:sunni> you discovered it by accident? :D that's great!!!
SUNNISAN:sunni> Karen - how did you learn about the ice water bath?
KADEWEY:KADewey> Doll Artists have been doing it with Cernit, and Garage Kit artists with Super Sculpey for a few years, now.
SUNNISAN:sunni> garage kit?
KADEWEY:KADewey> A whole other type of polymer clay sculptors, Sunni.
CANEGURU:caneguru> Sunni, do you know Tommie Howell? He can tell you lots about garage kits.
SUNNISAN:sunni> oh! thanx! Linda - when your horns cracked, were they cool or still hot when you plunged them? I know Tommy only thru PCH - haven't had the opportunity to get to know him yet.
CANEGURU:caneguru> Hot from the oven, Sunni. Saw it immediately... ran back and got water & ice and threw them in.
BABYISLAND> I have this idea that at the Next Ravensdale, the NWPCG should hire Marie Segal to be the community work room Mum...she spends all her time teaching us tricks and taking care of our polymer hunger... What do you think? We all missed her TOOOO much
CANEGURU:caneguru> Good idea!
PIGION2> This sounds great! I just pulled a mermaid out of the oven should I give her a plunge
BABYISLAND> Any last remarks/questions? Thanks you all for joining in. Time for me to check out
CANEGURU:caneguru> No questions, but a huge THANK YOU for chatting.
BABYISLAND> I hope to see you all come through Seattle and visit the Lodge in the near future.
SUNNISAN:sunni> Karen - thank you SO much for this time!!! I really appreciate it! Leigh and Stephen extend their thanx for your stopping in today as well.
SUNNISAN:sunni> ok!! pigion - go for it!!
CANEGURU:caneguru> And Karen, I'm serious about wanting to lay eyes on the museum price list. When you get a chance.
BABYISLAND> Just come in and take a look!
KADEWEY:KADewey> As do I. Ebay may be a solution if their percentage isn't too high.
CANEGURU:caneguru> Hard to do with my work hours :( (and lack of a car)
BABYISLAND> Linda, I forgot about the transportation problem. Call me at the shop 206-322-9233 during hours.
CANEGURU:caneguru> OK. Will do.
BABYISLAND> Bye all! Thanks again.
SUNNISAN:sunni> everyone! the guest chat is now officially over. Karen - again, thank you greatly for your participation. We have thoroughly enjoyed our visit with you!!
BABYISLAND> - signed off -

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