Blog Hops and Challenges, Classes and new techniques

A class with Christi Friesen and the Art Elements Challenge

Earlier this month I took a class with Christi Friesen, something guaranteed to throw me right out of my comfort zone. I have never considered myself good at “art” — you know, drawing, painting and sculpture. Nope, I know I have a good eye for jewellery composition and colour but I can’t draw to save my life. And also, I’m not hugely experienced with polymer clay.

Anyway, I decided to challenge myself and take one of the classes held at The Whimsical Bead at the beginning of the month, and I chose to do the Mystery Specimens class. It was great fun and I surprised myself by (to my oh so critical eye) managing to make a couple of pieces I was quite proud of.

As it so happened, the monthly theme for the Art Elements challenge was Octopus — announced just as I was heading off to the class. I decided that if the opportunity arose I would try to make something octopus-y for the challenge. And as you will see, I did.

But first, the class. Christi’s classes are FUN and this class was no exception. Christi taught us to make odd little creatures, destined for life in a bottle — mystery specimens! My first specimen is quite endearing I think, he’s almost hiding behind his hand. The clay is a mix of glow-in-the-dark and granite (although I haven’t really tested whether it really glows in the dark), and I kept the surface decoration simple, a stripe down the back and some shading. The thing that really makes these critters come alive is the use of little glass eyes, it really gives them personality!

He’s meant to be in a jar, but I couldn’t get a good photo.
He’s got a dimpled bum!

Next I made a mer-creature, with a tail fin and a ridge down his back. Christi showed us how to give them an angry expression — this guy is not happy to be trapped in a jar!

Let me out of this jar!

Finally, I had enough leftover clay to make an octo-critter. She’s not just any octo-critter though, she has two faces, and has overdone the red lippy a bit!

yes her ear is a little broken, oops!
her other face
Side view of Octo-critter — she looks like she’s declaiming something!

I really enjoyed taking Christi’s class, it was a great stretch for me, and next time she’s in Australia I might have to take my Mum and my sister along to play as well, I think they’d love it! And thanks to Dani and The Whimsical Bead for hosting the class.

Don’t forget to pop along and visit some of the other bloggers taking part in this Art Elements Challenge. Here’s the list, to make it easy!

Guest artists:

Art Elements Team:

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13 thoughts on “A class with Christi Friesen and the Art Elements Challenge”

  1. I am with you – I don’t draw! I make mom do all the drawing for us πŸ™‚
    But it is fun to get out of your comfort zone – and you created some amazing pieces!
    I love the two-faced octopus and your first little critter is so cute!

  2. That class definitely sounds like it was a ton of fun, and totally worth it! Your creatures are all so darn cute, even the angry one! You’ve definitely inspired me to maybe learn outside of my comfort zone if the chance arises. Thanks for that!

  3. I think these creatures are ABSOLUTELY divine….really they are so gorgeous . I want them – especially dimple bum πŸ™‚ Brilliant!

  4. Christi is a treasure! And her classes are not to be missed! I am so glad you got to have that experience! Your creatures look great! I know its an octopus challenge – but the enclosed mer-creature is my favorite! Glad you could join us!

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