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Gathering Threads

Mental ones.

There are courses and workshops I'd love to take, and ones that would be good to take for what I'm currently doing, and I need to find the best intersection of those two sets, while also factoring in time, money, and location. So far, I've signed up for one: a 2-day 3D sculpture workshop ("in wire, wire mesh, and paper") at the DeCordova museum, based on a Bauhaus foundation course and taught by Walter Gropius's daughter. Which, gotta admit, is cool.

In actual work, I have pieces I want to do but I need to take the time to test materials, to make samples.
1) One piece needs to be stone turned to water, and so I need to play more with the fake stone recipes in polymer and the type of polymer clay "mortar" to use, and the right surface texture to have it register as both stone-like and water-rippled.
2) Another piece would be made from those plaster-soaked gauze bandages, but I don't want it to smooth out. I want the texture to show, and then I want to spray it to a shiny black lacquer finiah while still keeping the texture, but with enough paint to make drips. Which means I may have to make fake paint drips in clay or plaster and apply to the surface before painting?
3) Raku fired clay. There must be some combination of polymer clays and powdered pigments that could mimic that?
4) And I have an idea for finishing the bones-in-clay piece, except there are too many bones, so I need to make another. Luckily, I have extra bones.