1 FIMO Symposium, 4 Teachers, 70 Students and 140 half Hemispheres -
The 1st FIMO Inspiration Symposium in Staedtler's headquarters
How often do you spend 72 hours with 12 nations polymer clay artists and play with clay?
The 1st FIMO inspiration took place in Staedtler's headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany will be remembered as a wonderful weekend.
Play with polymer clay? we sure did, and we got inside Staedtler and FIMO production line and it was beyond my expectations.
Staedtler's team - Mr. Nils Henssen and Mrs. Gerlinde Karg along with dedicated Staedtler's people put together an amazing event. No other words can describe it.
The first day started with an opening gathering, we had an enjoying morning coffee saying hello to all 70 students coming from 12 nations - Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Russia, Israel, USA and many more!
My collogues teachers - Sarah Shriver, Sabine Backer and Bettina Welker along with my self were introduced to the students and then off we went to our intensive One day - Three tours day.
The first stop was Staedtler's pencils production line. Going through endless colored and graphite pencils, markers and pens, huge machines, micro technology, smart production are only a part of this fascinating process (sorry, no photos were allowed...).
Packaging is enormous and brilliant as well, we've been inside huge warehouses where computers are running all stocks, building a box of all "ingredients" of any order starting from a single item to millions.
At this age where writing is done with computers and printers, its great to see that pencils are still so popular, in demand and valuable. It's similar to reading book and an ebook, we do both will continue do both, and we enjoy both.
The look of all these colorful pencils immediately made me want to grab a color and sketch.
Next stop was the FIMO production in Neumarkt - huge mixers, colorful piles of FIMO, like colorful yummy sugar paste.
Machines creating blocks for the entire world! This was unbelievable.
The clay is extruded and molded into portions and packaged in small packages - 100 packages per minute!
Last tour was a "medieval style" city tour in old Nurnberg, walking around the old city at night and listening to ancient stories about battles, Napoleon and old ages celebrities.
We ended up the day in a lovely restaurant eating traditional franconian cuisine and headed to bed to have our beauty sleep just before we start a new day.
Thursday morning started with workshops, workshops and more workshops, I gave my popular Brocade Collection purse workshop and each student made his/her own wonderful purse (I had 2 men on board! Yay!).
2 workshops a day, fresh beverages flowing and pampering, great lunch and then in the evening a luxury dinner at the industrial museum including a fun auction selling all 4 teacher's special edition pens. My set got a new warm and comfy home and was purchased by nice lady from Switzerland :)
Staedler's team did everything they possibly can to make us feel comfortable, gave their full attention to every detail, made sure we are enjoying good food, music and an entertaining show.
The following day was once again packed with workshops, group photos and a closing ceremony, giving the students fancy certificates signed by all teachers and organizers.
Did I say already I enjoyed every minute?
I had an amazing weekend, met lots of new and old friends and what's important, enjoyed seeing my students smiley face when they finished their cute little purses, some of them already placed them on their bag as a decoration, plan to use them as christmas gifts or even a bag for their baby pacifier!
There is something about the "together" atmosphere that fills your heart with joy forgetting for a minute all the laundry, dishes and sleepless nights.
Learning new things, improving your skills, helping simplify things, discovering a new trick, or even exchanging ideas - priceless!
So thank you my dear students and thank you Staedtler for making this happen. I am looking forward to my next trip to Maryland, US, having fun with more Brocade purses, meeting old and new friends on CFCF.
More photos are posted in my facebook, you are welcome to take a look.