16 03 2017

Time to plan for your summer get-a-way! Being able to actually sit down for a few hours to work on my craft is a luxury these days – I’ve got a 6 1/2 year old who demands my attention constantly.  So, I, too, plan to set aside a couple of days in late June to learn from two masters – Kathleen Dustin and Robert Dancik.  They are teaching independently, but could very easily combine their work into collaborative pieces.  Can you just imagine what they would look like???

So, time to buckle down and register as soon as possible as spaces are filling quickly!  Follow this link to the workshop page with a link to the registration form and get ready for an exciting beginning to your Summer!



15 03 2017

If you have never taken a workshop from Robert Dancik, it’s time to start.  He will be joining us for the 5th Master Class Camp, June 23-26, 2017, in Laurel, MD.  Robert is not only charming, but he is and artist with a vision and the ability to create unique one-of-a-kind pieces. Registration will open to the general public tomorrow.

Robert will be teaching To Die For: Die Forming with Polymer clay and Mixed Materials (June 23-24) and Concrete : Not Just for Sidewalks Anymore (June 25-26.)

Below are the descriptions of workshops Robert will be teaching:

To Die For: Die Forming with Polymer Clay and Mixed Media Material (Fri/Sat June 23-24, 2017)

Learn an easy way to die form and if desired, use the actual die as part of your final piece.  You will use the easy to cut and work Faux Bone to form your die – the part you press your metal into – and then cut away part of the Faux Bone leaving behind the section you want to include in your finished piece.  Then you can easily attach your findings to the Faux bone with no soldering or special tools.

If you use the die-formed metal without the Faux Bone, you can turn your piece into a hinged locket, a focal bead or use it as a mold for polymer clay, concrete, epoxy resin, metal clay, epoxy putty or hollow Plexiglas beads.

Additional techniques and procedures you will learn include (but are not limited to), how to texture and fold-form your metal before die forming; cold connections including several riveting techniques, micro-fasteners, prongs and tabs and easy hinges to form a locket, hinged bracelet or hinged pendant.

You will also learn that you DO NOT need an expensive press to do die forming!  All you need is an inexpensive vice and you’re on your way to all sorts of possibilities.

This class will allow you to broaden and deepen the possibilities for your work and increase the range of your artist’s voice.

Concrete : Not Just for Sidewalks Anymore (Sun/Mon June 25-26, 2017)

As unlikely as concrete for jewelry may seem, it is easy to use, extremely versatile, unbelievably inexpensive and….  surprisingly lightweight.   In fact it is lighter in weight then stone, resin or metal of comparable size and this makes it perfect for jewelry and other forms of personal adornment as well as small sculpture and utilitarian objects.

It can be pigmented in numerous ways and the surface can be finished with a variety of textures from very rough to smooth to polished!  No special tools or equipment are needed and all materials will be provided.

In this workshop, you will learn how to set your polymer clay work in concrete and the concrete pieces you make in polymer clay.  In fact, you will be able to “set” virtually any object in the concrete withoout the need for a bezel or finding – however we’ll use those in the concrete as well.  Materials such as found objects, metal, glass, ephemera, gemstones, bone, enamels and of course polymer clay can be “trapped in the concrete with no fasteners or mechanical means.

The concrete we will be using is extremely strong even when made as thin as 1/16 inch thick.  It can be cast in rubber stamps, candy and baking molds, polymer clay, any silicone mold – both those you make and buy and many other items you have around your studio or home.

We will start by making non-soldered boxes as in one of the examples pictured here.  These can then be filled with concrete (or polymer clay, resins or any combination of these) and include virtually any material or found object you please.  We will also delve into methods of setting your creations using various cold connections such as rivets, tabs, prongs, etc, which will allow you to combine them with any other materials or objects you may work with.

Additionally, we will talk about the references that are inherent in using a material like concrete such as permanence, rigidity, protection and obstacle and how you can incorporate those references in the narrative of your work.

All these materials, techniques and procedures are applicable to work you may already be doing or they may open the door to work you may want to pursue in the future.


18 05 2016

Robert Dancik

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing the charming Robert Dancik for a few years and his work continues to evolve. A few years ago, when he told me he was going to use concrete in his work, I didn’t believe him.  Then, I saw it – unbelievable –  I knew he was a man of innovation and creative brilliance with each of his pieces being unique and telling a different story.

Robert is offering two opportunities for students to learn from his experience.  At MCC, he will teach polymer and other artists how to use the metal work fold forming technique to frame special polymer pendants and the ease of using polymer to set gemstones and other things.

Workshop descriptions and registration form are found here.


11 05 2016


Don’t you remember the opening lines of the movie, Pretty Woman?  

So many of us start out with dreams for our future – but will we accomplish them?  And how do we get there?  Some are fortunate enough to have a mentor and champion who helps promote and encourage, but most are left struggling and pushing the limits to achieve their goals.  How sweet it is when they accomplish even small goals – wouldn’t you agree?

We’ve had so many students come through our Cabin Fever and Master Class events – some who have gone on to great success.  Julie Eakes, Barbara Poland-Waters, and Ann Kruglak have tutorials on  Barbara Liedahl has had an article published in Polymer Arts and Lisa Haney is now an ambassador for Makin’s Clay.  There are many more success stories about artists who are willing to push themselves a little further – even pushing the limits to what they want to achieve.

We want to hear your story and Master Class Camp is that safe place where you can come, learn, and share your story while hearing others’ successes (and failures) and continue on to find your happy place. Don’t give up – Will you join us in June?

Master Class Camp Registration form and workshop descriptions here.




6 05 2016

I’ve been fascinated with Jana Lehmann’s use of color and the fact that her work involves very little cane work – just precise placement of design to create veneers.  Her two new full day workshops at Master Class Camp will prove to those who are color challenged that anything is possible!  This may be Jana’s last trip to the US for a while, so if you are on the edge – take the plunge and join her at MCC.  Workshop descriptions and registration form here.

Lynne Ann Schwarzenberg has mastered, among many other things, flower and leaf canes.  Her ability to refine and create such detailed floral covered tiles has won her numerous awards over the years, including Bead Dreams (two years in a row) and Bead and Button honors.  We are so pleased that she will be bringing one of her “classic” workshops to Master Class Camp.  Her detailed TILES workshop will please even the novice.  Workshop descriptions and registration form here


19 04 2016


Nope, not talking about the election, although I find it fascinating and scary at the same time.  I’m talking about learning and absorbing every bit of knowledge that can possibly fit into your brain.  I’m talking about growing and using your creative energy and steering away from inertia.

Honestly, that’s where I’ve been for the past 6 or so years.  Not able to find enough time in the studio and dealing with a creative block – one that I intend to break through this year.  So, in selecting instructors for the Creative ARTs events, I consider many things, including the medium (preference to polymer) and look at how much the artist/instructor pushes themselves to develop new and exciting avenues for their work.

I can say that each instructor at Master Class Camp in June has excelled at this.  It’s positively packed with the kind of mental energy to move me and others willing to take the plunge, onto the next phase of our body of work.

So, I ask you this question again – Who will you choose?  Workshop information and registration form is available here.


12 04 2016

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Gotta be honest here – there are few jewelry artists who I admire as much as Robert Dancik for his ability to use almost anything (concrete included) to create one-of-a-kind eclectic jewelry pieces.  When I see his work up close, I say to myself – I’d like to be this good someday.  Every piece unique and carefully, or not, thought out, balancing color, texture, and medium.

Robert will be returning for his third time to Master Class Camp and has decided to share his fold forming and gem setting techniques incorporating polymer as the focal piece.  He has been busy these last few years, so we are pleased to have him joining us again.

Both of his workshops will be one day and are guaranteed to take you to a new level of possibilities. You can read more about Robert’s workshops and download the registration form here.



25 03 2016

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JUNE 2016’s 4th Annual Creative Arts Fest MASTER CLASS CAMP is now accepting registrations. There is no other event like it in the US – one where you can take full day workshops and choose from 8 talented and highly diverse artist/instructors.   We have something for everyone!



MCC 2016 Instructor Schedules JUNE 17-20



13 02 2015

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Creating under pressure can often be stressful.  But I realize each year as we begin Cabin Fever, that attending for some is their get-away, a time for relaxing and allowing their inner artist (many are doctors, nurses, IT people with a lot of daily pressure) to come out to play and be massaged.

We had an exciting first day of Cabin Fever Creative Arts Fest 2015 and the rooms were abuzz!  And, goody bags overflowing – but it’s just the beginning.  We have 6 more days of immersing ourselves into our art and absorbing what we can from the over-abundance of creative talent.

Nan Roche, Marie Segal, and Eugena Topina were our first instructors up and they didn’t disappoint.  Today, Nan and Marie come back for their collaborative workshop on Bauhaus design, the Mitchell sisters bring on their engineering and design expertise, Robert Dancik shows us how concrete is not just for sidewalks any more and Christi Friesen shares how to dramatically adorn ourselves.

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Tonight also begins the first of two nights of our newly added mini-workshops which are open to public registration.  Maureen Carlson, Anke Humpert, and Mags Bonham join us for tonight.  Cost is $35 and you can register onsite. Can not wait!



2 02 2015

Maureen has been working with polymer for decades and chances are, one of the first face or foot molds you used were one of her designs.  If you’ve ever visited her studio, Maureen Carlson Center for Creative Arts in Jordan, MN, you’d see just how spirited she is – even down to the real faerie door in the tree by the creek!


We are honored to present this year’s Creative Pioneer and Innovator Award to Maureen.  She has blazed the trail for many of us and created inspiration all around.  Her spirited work and thoughtful creative process has helped many focus on what’s important – just living.

If you are interested in attending or would like to send a congratulatory note, please email Kathryn at or leave a comment below.

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