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First Clay Day of 2019 - Pattern-Making with Bridget Derc

For 27th January 2019 we've got a special look at pattern-making with large canes courtesy of Steering Group member Bridget Derc.

Polymer clay is an enticing medium for pattern making as Bridget will demonstrate at our January clay day. She uses the repetitive placement of cane slices in a systematic way to make fascinating patterns.

Check out Bridget's Pinterest page here, which will show some of the wonderful work she has created using these techniques.

In her demonstration she will show how she prepares geometric grids to ensure the slices of polymer canes are placed accurately and how to build up patterns that ‘flow’. She will take you through each step of the process, including choice of surfaces on which polymer can be placed. Attendees will be able to prepare a mandala or tile using slices of a cane that we will make on the day.

To ensure that everyone will have the opportunity to create patterns, attendees will have some homework to prepare for the clay day. Each person will be asked to bring a skinner blend bullseye cane, stack or simple layered stack. These will be used to build a larger cane on the day.

Further information will be sent out on booking, so please book early. This is going to be a packed day. So, it will be good for people to arrive for 9:30 if possible, though we normally start at 10:00. The clay day will be suitable for both beginner and experienced clayers.

Materials and tools

  • Approximately 120-180g clay made up as per instructions (preferably Premo, but Fimo can be used provided the cane is freshly made with well-conditioned clay).

  • Graph paper

  • Baking parchment (siliconized on both sides)

  • Ruler, compass* and protractor*

  • Cutting blade and scalpel (or similar cutting tool)

  • Usual tools for handling and burnishing clay

  • Fine needle (a beading needle best but sewing needle will do).

  • Sheet of toughened glass* large enough to layout a mandala or tile onto. A ceramic tile and/or baking parchment can be used instead. Plain glass is not recommended. Bridget uses glass retrieved from a scraped fridge. Single ceramic tiles can be bought from B&Q at a reasonable price as sample tiles.

  • A means to carry home your uncured work safely

* Items are optional

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