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Birthday Meeting Report

Posted on May 27, 2012 by London Polymer Clay Group

On the 27th May we celebrated our 5th birthday. It’s wonderful how the group has grown steadily from when I met beader Jean Power in the coffee shop in Waterstones bookstore in Piccadilly in 2007. She’d emailed me out of the blue about my book and I said let’s meet. So over coffee we admired each others work and I jokingly said that it was the first meeting of the London Polymer Clay Group. I posted a short account of our meeting on my website with the date for another meeting. At the next meeting 5 came.

As our numbers doubled we soon out grew our welcome at the coffee shop and we began meeting in our homes. After about a year we needed to hire a venue. I hired the rehearsal room at The Bubble Theatre in Rotherhithe near my home and my partner Derek and I carried tables there and spent the day before each clay day cleaning. Apart from the large room the facilities were limited with no kitchen so it was necessary to take every including washing up bowls, mugs, kettles and all the refreshment needs for each clay day. After a year carrying tables along to the road to the Bubble we moved to a community hall near Old Street. We were there several months before needing to move again. We are now in our 3rd venue which we hope will be our home for a long time.

The venue –The Hugh Cubitt Centre in Pentonville is large and light, with a coffee bar called Niko’s on the ground floor. The manager, MJ, serves breakfast, lunch, snacks and lattes throughout the day and now very kindly prepares our first floor hall for us with tables and chairs – a luxury and a long way from the early days.

We have over 170 members now and on 27th May 39 had booked on-line and came to celebrate our special landmark day.

A warm welcome to new members Chu-mei, Dawn, Carole, Ariane, Dani, Elinor. And welcome back to Ana who moved to Birmingham a year ago, we hope she’ll make the journey to our meetings.

After a greeting and a few notices about the day ahead, Emily kindly took a group of 5 beginners for an introduction to cane making.

While the lunch orders were being prepared by Niko’s, I did a demo on making a flower and a leaf cane for those wishing to make one for the large flower garden cane that we were to reduce later in the day.

As the weather was glorious many sat on the terrace for lunch, after which we walked across the road to the Grimaldi Park for a group photo to mark our 5th birthday.

After lunch there was plenty of time to make flower and leaf canes which Ann and Emily gathered into appropriate clay brands and checked all the canes were the same height in preparation for the grand cane reduction.

But before the actual cane reduction the party table was prepared with eats and treats. The centre piece was a special cake made by Clare McKnight to celebrate our 5th birthday using her own chicken eggs. After lighting the candles and singing happy birthday, Chris was chosen to blow the candles out. While the cake was cut into portions, the large flower garden cane was reduced and cut into portions and distributed to all the contributors.

LPCG member Chris Hobbs recently downsized his bookcase and offered for sale some of his polymer and bead books at a knock down price. I suggested we buy them and begin an LPCG library. Another member June Smalley had a duplicate copy of a polymer book and some copies of PolymerCafe magazine which she offered to our newly formed library. Thanks, Chris and June. We haven’t worked out how we will operate this new facility but we will let you know. If anyone has any books, dvds or magazines on polymer that they no longer need and would be happy to donate them, please let us know.

We will continue to meet bi-monthly as this works well with alternate clay day meeting at the satellite groups such as the South of the River group.

If you have any photos of our 5th birthday celebration that you would like to share on the website, please send them to

The next LPCG meeting will be 29th July when we will be having our AGM. Now 5 years on we need to formalise arrangements and the running of the group. We promise it won’t be boring as we are planning other events for the day. So mark your diary and hope to see you then.

Till we see you all at the next meeting have a great summer wherever you are. Hopefully the weather will be better than it was for the Queen’s Jubilee river pageant!

Thanks to everyone for coming on 27th and I hope you enjoyed our 5th birthday celebration and look forward to another 5 years of ‘playing’ with polymer – the best material ever! Three cheers to the LPCG and three cheers to the inventor of polymer! Hip, hip! Hooray!

And good luck to all the Olympic and Paralympic athletes in the London 2012 games.

Carol xxx

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