Our class spent the day with Robert Dancik, getting a brain dump on the use of an incredible range of alternative materials. He did demos with concrete, resins, faux bone, and membrane (in this case pantyhose) stretched over wire armatures. Along the way we also talked about metal forming, a simple faux bezel, mark making, rivets and more. He's doing his best to compress a couple of two week classes into 3 days - which is the amount of time we'll be with him while his class is learning some basic beading techniques from David.
Robert has a wonderfully original and irreverent view on art and material choices - anything is fair game for exploration. And it's great to be working on a scale that's not micro-miniature!
Between these techniques, some of David's bead work ideas and the flameworking, a whole new world of options is opening up in terms of focal beads for my work. Rather than having to use a beautiful, interesting or intriguing bead made by another artist, I'm developing a whole new set of skills for customizing my work from start to finish. (With a little experimentation and practise, that is). :)