New Leaves and Old Friends at Synergy 4

I attended  the Synergy4: A New Leaf » IPCA North American Conference this year, although other commitments limited me to  the opening reception and  first day’s programs. Fortunately for me,  the conference was in nearby King of Prussia and I was able to get a ride with a friend from Philadelphia who decided to commute to the conference. 

I attended  workshops  (how to unbox my creativity  with Anke Humpert and environment as inspiration with Beth Wegener),  drank lots of coffee, rekindled old polymer friendships and made new polymer friends.  The attendees were a very friendly and lively bunch!

The Monday sessions opened with Emily Squires Levine, Laura Tabakman and Julie Eakes talking about their global polymer installation, Into The Forest scheduled to open the weekend of November 10-11 at the Spinning Plate Gallery in Pittsburgh.

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They brought a little bit of the forest with them as a preview:

Something new at Synergy this rear was Retreat Plus, an option that allowed people to have a polymer workspace and see polymer demos along with attending  some of the conference programs.

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Karen Woods and Alison Galant share screen printing techniques in the polymer workroom

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No one ever gets out of the Synergy Gallery without spending something, but this year there were even better reasons to part with your cash.   I bought the beautiful  flower pin above to support Into The Forest.  And Ron Lehockey was there with a pile of hearts in support of his Heart Pin Project.  Who could resist temptation like that?  

Mann Beside Himself at Synergy

   

  Ok, so that’s a bad joke.  But there were a lot of new and interesting products at the Synergy Vendor Fair.  Jeweler Thomas Mann was there with his Studio Flux products. Eberhard Faber brought  Efaplast, a microwavable modeling clay that looks very intriguing. I got to examine some of the cured stuff. It seems buoyant, almost cork-like and they say you can carve it and paint it. They recommend you use a dedicated microwave for this product.

  Polymer Clay Express was there with their new Bracelet Angle Jig Kits. Wilma demonstrated making bracelets for six hours!  Ann and Karen Mitchell were there displaying products for Amaco and had a new pendant roller that I’m definately going to get.

 Dan Cormier was there with Cutting Edge Peelers and new tools he developed to expand  your Skinner Blend repertoire.  Kato PolyClay was there with new liquid clay colors I don’t see on the website yet. Robert Dancik sold Faux Bone and a neat beveling tool to cut it with. I bought one and am going to try it on cured polymer clay. 

Here are a few pictures from the fair.

Who’s that Gal with Betsy Baker?

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 Why, it ‘s Melanie West who is on a bracelet making rampage. Just when you think they can’t get any more  intriguing,  she tops herself.  You can see her latest creations on her blog,   Raven’s Caw.   Betsy’s no slouch either.  Go to Stonehouse Studio to see her mouth watering work.

More Synergy pictues to come.

Synergy I Banquet.

The highlight of the Banquet on the last night of the conference  was Cynthia Tinapple’s keynote speech, Watch Where You’re Going Effects Ripple Out. You can see the slide show from the speech on her blog, Polymer Clay Daily.

The conference organizers asked us to bring items to decorate the banquet tables.  Aside from the occasional snapshot of someone wearing something interesting (“Please, would you mind if I took your picture?”) these are the only pictures of polymer clay I took at the conference.   I will post more pictures soon, but you can feast on these for a while. And yes, the dessert was as good as it looks. 

Synergy I: The History of Polymer Clay in Bead Making

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Polymer clay came into use before the Internet and before pasta machines, tissue blades and the other tools we now take for granted.  Kathleen Dustin was there from the beginning, so she was well qualified to deliver a talk at Synergy on the history of polymer clay in bead making. (Most of us know that it was originally developed as a doll making material). If you want to see some of the pictures from the slide show, they will be posted soon on the Polymer Art Archive

In the coming days, I plan to put up slide shows from the pictures I took at the Synergy conference. Keep checking  for updates. The most convenient way is to add this blog’s feed to your news reader.  You can also subscribe  by email using the tools in the bar on the right hand side.

Synergy I: Moving Forward/Looking Back

 

Counting down the days before I leave for Baltimore Md for the National Polymer Clay Guild’s  Synergy I Conference.    In the meantime,  here are two copper bracelets I am donating to the auction.  One has polymer clay beads and the other is made with my lampworked beads. 

If all goes will, I will post a slide show of pictures when I get back.  Stay tuned!