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: Looking Back

The National Guild asked  Synergy attendees to bring memorabilia to pin on a giant bulletin board in the back of The Big Room.   The idea was to commemorate milestones in polymer clay.  If I’d been more attentive, I would have noted things like Marie Segal adapting the pasta machine and Judith Skinner’s invention that ranks up there with antibiotics and air conditioning.  But I didn’t.  I was having too much fun.  This is what I got. I hope these pictures bring back some memories for you.

Synergy I: The History of Polymer Clay in Bead Making

2-kathleen-dustin-early-polymer-clay-beads-opening-lecture-20.jpg

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!

Happy Bracelets

Happy Bracelets

It’s a good thing that February is the shortest month, because it’s my least favorite.

Here’s something to make you happy–polymer clay Happy Bracelets.

I’m Not a Real Artist but I Play One on T.V.

Yes, I am a featured crafter on the third season of the HGTV show, That’s Clever, demonstrating how to make a polymer clay Keepsake Memory book and a polymer clay Festive Pen.  You can read the whole dirty back story in the Spring, 2008 issue of PolymerCAFE.  Ok, OK, so it’s not Britney running from the paparazzi while shaving her head, but it will have to do.

That’s Clever is known for having its crafters engage in  amusing physical antics in the first part of each segment.   They wanted me to do the same. I live in South Philadelphia where my garden is of a blade of grass growing under my front stoop, and drivers who barrel  45 mph down a one way street don’t think they have violated the law if their car is pointing backwards.    I wasn’t gonna be hula hoopin’ on my front lawn, that’s for sure. 

 

Here’s how this part of the production planning went down:

After we finished talking about the step outs, the producer started discussing ways to showcase me in wild and whimsical ways that have become the trademark of That’s Clever.

“We like to film crafters doing something physical for the intro,” she  explained, “Do you play a sport?”

Running from muggers, I thought. “No,” I replied.

“What about hopping on a pogo stick?”

I mentally flash forwarded into the future and had a startling vision of myself hanging over a hospital bed in traction. “I have a herniated disc,” I replied, “and the doctors have put me on a strict no pogo stick diet.”

“What about a scooter?” she pressed.

“Oh, no,” I gasped. If I didn’t fall and smash my head on the pavement, some driver would get me. Even if he had to come up on the sidewalk to do it. They make them tough in South Philly.

She paused. “Do you do anything?” she asked hopefully.

“I use to play jacks,” I offered. “I was pretty good, too.” In fact, I was even better than Margaret Mary who had hands the size of Montana and could suck up jacks like a magnet crane.

Maybe that will work,” she sighed, “I’ll see if I can find jacks somewhere.”

They never came up with anything physical for me to do which is how I lived to write this Blog entry.

To check out PolymerCAFE, press here. If you want to buy a pen like the one I made on the show, drop by  The Jurus Gallery in Baltimore, Md.

fb.jpg

mb1.jpg

South Jersey Polyaddicts Clayathon 2008

Arlene Groch and the South Jersey Polyaddicts have done it again!  I had three days of clay, friendship and whiskey in a Days Inn on Tilton Road in Pleasantville New Jersey.  I had so much whiskey I can’t remember everyone’s name, so I left the pictures unlabled.   The cute figurines are by Sherman Oberson.  The beautiful caned bowls are by Emily Levine.  The Zen Earrings are by my roomie, Patti Claypal Underwood.  I am sorry I don’t remember everyone’s name.  If you made something and would like people to know, please leave a comment.  Oh, yeah.  The guy wearing the skunk on his head is Rob Yost.  I think the skunk was dead.  Rob’s long suffering wife Wilma came to hang out and demo some nifty new products from her business, Polymer Clay Express.

Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild

I have been a member of the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild for over ten years.  Joining the Guild is one of the best deals around.

Aside from offering an extensive library of books and videos, clay days, field trips to Polymer Clay Express, and loads of good people ready to enable your clay adiction, the Guild has a twice-yearly newsletter, The Clay News, a Blog, a Flickr site, and our  yearly retreat held in May, Polydelphia.

During the time I have been a member, I have taken guild-sponsored classes with Gwen Gibson, Maggie Maggio, Lindly Haunani, Elise Winters, S.L. Savarick, Donna Kato, Grant Diffendaffer and Dan Cormier and Tracy Holmes.

And don’t forget the Guest Artist Program,  the only one if its kind.    Nationally known artists give classes  on a Saturday to Guild members who  pay tuition.   The  the artist attends the regularly scheduled Sunday Guild meeting and teaches and demonstrates for the entire Guild.  Or maybe the teacher comes to the meeting only, as a guest teacher.  The artist fees come out of member dues and Guild fundraisers.  How cool is that?  To learn more about this great program, click here, and read the story in the September 2007 issue of The Clay News on page 4.

If you want to join us, check out our web site.  Dues are only $30.00 a year.  At that price, how can you afford not to join?

Bruce Mau’s Incomplete Manifesto for Growth

Happy New Year! I was trolling the web today for examples of Memphis design when I found Bruce Mau’s Incomplete Manifesto for Growth.

His first declaration is “Allow Events to Change You.  You have to be willing to grow.  Growth is different from something that happens to you.  You produce it.  You live it.  The prerequisites for growth: The openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.”

Intrigued?  I was. And it only gets more interesting. For the rest, click Here. I am interested in knowing what people think,  if they would add anything, and what their favorite declaration is.  I am partial to “Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child).  I have a lot of ugly children!

More Ideas for Polymer Clay Christmas Ornaments

Here are two more ideas for polymer clay Christmas ornaments.   I made the one on the left by covering a store-bought paper mache form with a leaf cane  made from a Skinner Blend of Pearl and Forest Green Premo Clay.  The veins are done in gold with a bit of red sandwiched between the layers for depth.  While there are many versions of this cane, I learned this particular cane from Leigh Ross.  You can find her  instructions at Polymer Clay Central. I used balls of red clay to make holly berries. After the ornament was baked, I attached a store bought tassel.

For the doggy ornament, I scanned a picture into my printer,changed the background and printed it out.  I made a frame to hold the picture, decorated it with simple canes and made two matching beads.  After baking the frame and letting it cool, I laid in the picture.  I used  a level to make sure the frame was perfectly level before pouring a layer Envirotex Lite over the picture.  A level surface is vital when using Envirotex Lite. You also need a barrier, in my case the edge of the frame, because this material is self leveling and will run all over the place without something to stop it. I sprinkled some glitter in the background of the picture and let it cure for 48 hours. Then I attached the beads, tassel and a hanging wire.

I could not make a photo transfer ornament with my ink jet printer like I did last year because I had run out of the old Epson paper. You might know from Donna Kato’s announcement that the new Epson paper does not work. There are plenty of new ideas for photo transfers on Donna’s siteand on the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild’s blog, The Guild Reporter.

Last but not least, I also have a project article on how to make a silk screened polymer clay pendant in the latest issue of Polymer Cafe.polymercafe2.jpg