This was the first meeting of 2013 and after early rain in the day the sun was shining when everyone arrived at the Centre for a fun day playing with Polymer Clay. The room was swarming with excited voices and everyone was busy setting up their workstation for a 10:30am start. Around 40 clayers met today, amongst them two Newbies. Welcome to Laura and Martina.
As for previous meetings there was a waiting list of people who could not come today due to the capacity of the room, it really helps to book early as soon as the invitation e-mail comes out.
Carol started with some housekeeping to update everyone on a number of points relevant for running the LCPG group. Two committee members, Sue Margetts and Susan Rimmer, have stepped down due to their day jobs. Carol thanked them for their services and then welcomed Wendy Meister as the new ‘Administrator’ and Elly McRae who volunteered as the new ‘Treasurer’.
Progress has been made by Carol and Veronika, during some spare time in Prague recently, where both taught classes, on the LPCG website and Facebook page. The intention is to further activate the FB page which will become the platform for members to share work and chat. On the website there will be new information sharing, links to interesting sites and a gallery of works from members. Any member interested in being featured should contact Veronika (Nickky0077@gmail.com ) with a set of up to four pictures of their work; this is open to all members at any level, from beginner to advanced.
The subject of a communication platform and the Polymer Clay World might be a nice subject for a future meeting. There is a wealth of options out there: Facebook, Flickr, Pinterest to name just the main ones, as well as online tutorials galore. Many members told me today that they are checking out ‘Polymer Clay Daily’ every day. Furthermore, a couple of LPCG members have joined a Flickr group ’12 Polymer Projects 2013’. This group was started by Elvira Krick a Dutch clayer, and is now a worldwide group of approximately 255 members all committing to their own monthly project. It is great fun to do and
exciting to get varied and constructive feed-back from likeminded people.
Now, back to today’s meeting, Carol mentioned that Angela Garrod one of the London members has won ‘First’ in the Beginners section of the Progress and Possibilities competition run by the International Polymer Clay Guild and her winning pendant was featured on our LPCG website recently. Unfortunately, she could not come today as she tripped over one of her dogs and cracked her ribs. This sounds very painful, I hope Angela will be better soon and join us again for the March meeting.
The next point covered was the bulk buying from ‘Clay Around’ which is managed by Ann Parker and a great way for members to buy clay at a discount. Ann described the time needed to place the order, receive the goods and bring them to the meeting. If this is new to you please contact Ann via the website for further details.
New member Martina had a one to one beginners class with Emily and in the one hour class they did several techniques. Emily does her Nursery class at each clay day and sometimes there are up to 6 newbies attending.
The LPCG library is slowly growing and some new magazines were shown today, books and magazines can be borrowed by members for a small nominal amount via Ann. We have 4 DVDs on order from the States for the library and will be available to borrow at the March meeting.
After an introduction, Bridget Derc started her demo of ‘Natasha’ beads eagerly awaited by all participants. As always the group fitted around the demo table or watched it on the screen set-up. The demo was broken down into four sections, starting with the ‘Lizards tail’ technique, following the description in Julie Picarello’s book ‘Patterns in Polymer’ published during 2011. Bridget used some small pieces of polymer clay which at first were simply stacked like a stripy cane and then rolled and twisted like a candy cane. The magic happens when cutting into the piece to reveal the inside. By shaping the twisted pieces of clay into different forms various shaped beads are created. Following the first technique Bridget explained further variations of this by integrating with the coloured stack a cane (could be any, as long as it is in reasonable condition), a black and white layer and finally a Skinner blend. Each variation created amazing patterns, twists and turns, and unusual colour combinations. Once the pattern emerged Bridget took special care to line up the patterns very neatly which creates the unique mirror image. Depending on how the clay is shaped before it is cut, the cabochon can be formed in any shape desired. After baking the cabochons are sanded and polished to a high shine by Bridget and often further embellished with seed bead bezels and chains. Bridget shared a book for anyone interested in beading and highly recommended ‘Creating Crystal Jewellery’ by Laura McCabe. There was a lot of picture snapping going on by the audience during the demo to get a step by step guide for trying out the technique later. Going round the room during the day it was apparent that many members were hooked by this quite easy but very decorative technique. Cabochons were made in many different colours and patterns, each one unique and beautiful. Bridget’s demo certainly was inspiring a lot of work and it will be interesting to see the finished pieces on the ‘show & tell’ table in March.
Coming back to ‘Polymer Clay Daily’ a number of people were busy during the meeting creating the ‘Scribbles Cane’ from a tutorial of Nat Gernigon featured on 24 January 2013,http://polymerclaydaily.com/2013/01/24/off-center-polymer . This is a neat tutorial probably tried by thousands of clayers around the world after the PCD mention. Inspiration for work can be found in many places, but this daily post is one of the best!
On the ‘Show and Tell’ table were some recent works of members and some lively discussions between the maker and the admirers. The table even featured the first Easter eggs covered in polymer clay, the first rays of springtime.
Our next meeting will be on Sunday 24th March 2013, this is not the last Sunday due to Easter.
Till then, hope you find time to do some claying.