Long-story-short, ribs went out again. I had four chiro appointments in two days, plus my usual rounds of physio/massage/acupuncture appointments...
And in the end, nothing would settle down, so it was time for a few days of ice, lying still, and some codeine-heavy anti-spasm muscle relaxants. Fun, fun, fun. I'm still kinda loopy, hence the warning about spelling/wording mistakes/etc.
So, the seminar... I was excited about this for months. My grandmother always gives money for birthdays/Christmas (one of the perks of being 1 of only 2 grandchildren), and I always hang onto it until I can buy something nice/special... so it doesn't just disappear into grocery bills, gas, etc.
Since seminars are quite expensive, and since my arm/etc was in poor shape, I didn't sign up for any workshops at the convention, and I only signed up for the one seminar (but there was another one I would have liked to have taken...)
...which ended up being good because... essentially, I paid a lot of money to 'watch'.
I was able to do a bit of the prep stuff, but NO painting. It was very frustrating, both because I had been so excited and because I couldn't even control my arm enough to freaking load paint on it properly... it shook so badly that it globbed onto the bristles.
So I felt like a total faker/loser.
But I am still REALLY glad I took the seminar.
In seminars, everyone paints the same piece the same way. It's about learning specific techniques, and that (of course) works best when everyone is doing the same piece.
Here's a not very good picture of the piece (I pulled it off the web).
Just like Patrizia's method of painting gold on a black background is very unique (and normally very difficult), the main technique we were learning was painting regular paint on top of gold.
YEAH... again, her work is so different and amazing because it's like she turns the 'normal' rules around. Since gold is so expensive, usually you put it on last.
Just to put this out there for those who don't know, since these are seminar pieces, a student would never claim them as 'their' work or sell them as their work because the teacher paints on your piece to show you how to do it correctly.
So, here are the basic steps...
Then you tape the tracing paper (right side up) onto the porcelain and use this funny stylus tool (sorry, no pic of it) that is like a bent pin with a tiny ball at the end to draw over the lines. This will transfer a thin pencil line onto the porcelain (see next picture).
The only part that wasn't fun was, since I HAD to use my poor right hand to draw with the pencil, and then use the stylus tool to transfer the pencil to the porcelain, my right arm was shaking so bad I couldn't even hold the brush.
So... red resist all done with my left hand... which didn't get me the clean lines I would have wanted, and even though it took about twice as long as it would have, I did get better at it.
Oh, you'll notice there's different shaped plates. Mine is this square one. Yumiko used a different square one, but the other people in the seminar all used circular plates. So you'll see different shapes as I took pictures not just of mine (since I couldn't paint, mine was never finished).
Unfortunately, there was a mishap with the gold... there are different kinds of gold. Fluxed, which has (obviously) flux in it, and unfluxed. Flux makes gold, or paint, stick into the glaze... if you are painting gold on top of paint (like you normally do), you often use unfluxed because the paint you're painting the gold on already has flux in it...
BUT, we accidentally used unfluxed gold... so it actually wiped off when we tried to burnish it.
We lost an entire day because everything had to be redone, and we did some things out of order to try to make up the lost time...
OKAY, in the next few pictures, IGNORE when you see unfired gold (the black stuff) on the bamboo. Since we lost that day because of the gold mix-up, some of the seminar students started working on the frogs before putting on a second coat of gold, and did that later... but really, they're supposed to be on first... this was just so everyone could see/learn in the allotted time, and since the teacher was flying back to Italy, it's not like there was a way to extend by a day, or even by a few hours.
This is what the first layer of colour for the frog looks like...
And here's the first layer of the paint brushes...
I really encourage you to click on the photo and look at the details.
Unfortunately, that was the last picture I took... BUT, I watched closely, and several students took videos with their iPads/phones, and someone compiled them all onto a flash drive for everyone to have a copy, which was above-and-beyond nice...
Learning from Patrizia was amazing. Even though, when everyone heard I wasn't actually able to paint, they all said, aww what a waste of (time/money/etc), it was still an absolutely invaluable experience for me.
I loved it, and I would love to take another seminar with her in the future.