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May 2013 meeting report

On the 26th of May we celebrated the 6th birthday of the London Polymer Clay Group. Our group has been growing from strength to strength since 2007 and nearly 35 members came to celebrate this special event.

At previous birthdays we’ve held a joint polymer project such as the group Flower Cane and this year we had the Mystery Jigsaw Challenge. The jigsaw was based on the London Tube map which when assembled would reveal two messages. Everyone participating chose one of 40 envelopes. In each envelope was a 2 x 2 inch piece of paper with a design in black and white representing a piece of the jigsaw. Also in each envelope was a 2 x 2 inch square of baked scrap clay on which each participant would make their jigsaw piece. I had pre-made these so each piece of the jigsaw would fit together.

The only rules were to use black and white polymer clay for the lines but where there were areas of small dots any colour could be used. I had made several different canes in black and white that matched the lines in the design and everyone could cut a slice from to use in their jigsaw piece.

We had several ovens working throughout the day so the pieces of jigsaw could be baked at any stage and we had the whole day to complete each jigsaw piece.

During the day the library was open for browsing and borrowing the new additions including the latest magazine ‘From Polymer to Art –Wind’.

The show and tell table was full and represented well the many diverse styles and techniques our members use to create their pieces.

Penny Vingoe’s online shop made a welcome visit to us on Sunday and the stand was busy doing trade all day. We’re hoping that ClayAround will be with us in November as we all love to see and touch the goodies Penny has for sale.

Also making a special appearance at our meeting was The Sisterhood Necklace. Everyone had the opportunity to be photographed wearing the necklace, albeit for a few moments, in exchange for a donation to the Samunnat charity in Nepal.These photos will join others on Facebook taken by Christi Friesen in Australia. The money we raised during the day for the Nepali polymer bead makers is presently just over £177. As soon as all the promised donations are in we will forward it to the organisers of the charity. A huge thank you to all in the London group who donated so generously to help fellow bead makers in Nepal.

Aniko Kolesnikova said a few words about her website project called My Clay Fantasywhich she runs on Facebook where all polymer clay artists gather together and show their work. You can see them on Flickr pool, too.

Dawn Dietman provided lunch of salad and sandwiches and much to our surprise the café was also open. After lunch we all gathered in the small park to take the group photograph to mark another year and then held the Early Bird Raffle draw where the lucky winner is refunded their entrance fee.

While the jigsaw pieces continued to be baked, the eats and treats table was prepared with Clare McKnight’s cake. A mountain of delicious brownies took centre stage and the 6 candles were lit. Gradually more finished pieces of the mystery jigsaw gathered on the table where people pondered over it and began assembling the pieces.

The Hugh Cubitt Centre has been our home for about 18 months now and we have enjoyed the space and light but we’ve encountered some basic maintenance problems which have prompted us to find another venue. We’ve found a fabulous venue which ticks all the boxes on our wish list. Thanks to Elly Mcrae for doing the search. It’s called Greenside Community Centre in NW8 and the nearest station is Marylebone. So the next clay day will be there. We will post all the necessary information on the website and a reminder of our move in the Early Bird email which goes out to all members a month before clay day.

Thanks to everyone for participating in the Mystery Jigsaw and helping to mark the 6 years that the London group has been going. The two messages in the jigsaw were the 6 years celebration and stars marked our 3 previous venues around London including the 4thstar for our new venue. As the jigsaw wasn’t fully completed on the day, members of the South of the River group run by Ann Parker will complete the puzzle at their next clay day.

Mark your diary for the next meeting 28th July which will be our AGM. We will have a demo by Elly Mcrae on photographing our polymer pieces to get that professional look and remember we will be at our brand new Greenside venue in Marylebone. I hope to see you there.

Report and photos by Carol Blackburn

Edited by Vero Sturdy

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