Return to the Guild and ATCs

A couple of Saturdays ago I was delighted to attend a meeting of the Rhode Island Polymer Clay Guild, or RIPCG, for short. I had become a member back in the fall of 2002 and happily went to the monthly meetings until around 2008-2009 when I had to turn all of my focus onto my unsettled personal life. Now that I’m all settled in my new place (6 months now!) and am feeling more grounded and balanced in my life again, I can bring art group fun back into my life. Yay!

My dear friend, Judy, mixed media queen extraordinaire, showed us how to create and embellish ATCs (Artist Trading Cards), using polymer clay, rubber stamps, paints, markers and a fabulous little invention called Stickles, better known as glitter glue. Oh, be still my heart! You can see Judy’s tutorial here. She’s an amazing teacher, so patient and inspiring. If you’re in the E. Bridgewater, MA area, she gives classes at the Scrapbook Cupboard. Her next class is in Sept. on how to make polymer clay buttons. Check it out!

Lookie, lookie, what we made.

Aren’t they fabulous?!!

The ladies put together a delicious pot luck lunch and we ate and chatted and then ate some more.

Words can’t describe my joy at being back with this gifted, creative group of artists who all inspire me so much. Their talents are many, including Chinese brush painting, Zentangles, acrylic painting, beading, pottery, quilting and knitting. And, of course, polymer clay!

As I painted my little pieces, I felt my heart sing. There’s something about painting that really gets my creative juices flowing.

I started envisioning how I could bring this fun into some jewelry pieces. Starting with my clown pendant pictured at the beginning of this post, I am expanding that vision into components for bracelets, necklaces and earrings. What do you think?

Stay tuned for how this idea shapes and evolves…

“As we give fully, unafraid to let others know the truth about ourselves, we receive unexpected rewards from unexpected sources.”

~Helene Lerner-Robbins, writer

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Glazed Face Cabochons

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Last week at my RIPCG meeting, some of us experimented with creating glazed face cabochons. We started out with various colors of polymer clay and some purchased face molds. I used a blend of ecru and white clay. After the face was molded, we rubbed small amounts of Pearl Ex powder on the faces and cured them for 10 minutes. The ones above have macropearl, bronze and gold, going left to right. After curing, we mixed a couple of drops of Pinata ink (I used 1 drop each of Baja Blue and Rainforest Green) with some liquid polymer clay. I used the Kato brand while some of my fellow members used the Sculpey brand. I save the sauce containers from my Chinese food orders and they’re perfect for mixing small batches of paint or glaze. The faces went back in the oven for about a half hour. We noticed that the faces with the Kato glaze came out shinier whereas the Sculpey faces had a matte finish. With the profile face, I experimented further with some Tim Holtz Distress embossing powder in a Tea Dye color (of course!). I rubbed it over the face and popped it back in the oven for awhile. When I took it out, it looked like nothing much had changed. The powder was still sitting on top of the face so I rubbed it off and it left behind some interesting spots. I glazed again to seal in those rusty looking spots.

I’m not sure yet what I will do with these faces. They might whisper to be used on one of my beaded journal pages. Or, perhaps a bead embroidered pin or pendant. Experimenting with glazing polymer clay has inspired me to create something for my January page that I’ve been puzzling over in my mind all month. It’s not done yet but I will post pictures once I have them made. A hint – pebbles on a path that spell out a message.

If anyone has any experience with glazing polymer clay, I invite you to share your story.

My polymer clay guild

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I’m a member of the Rhode Island polymer clay guild and last Saturday was our monthly meeting. It is a day of sharing ideas and delicious food, inspiring and being inspired, laughing and supporting and, most importantly, being part of a tribe of very creative and talented artists. I always come away from each meeting feeling rejuvenated, like my artist spirit has received a wonderful massage.

Dora demoed her version of a feather cane (shown above), cutting a Skinner blend up and stacking the pieces in a unique and interesting way to make the cane. I made a blend of blue and orange with white in between the colors so as not to end up with a muddy blend. I’m looking forward to creating something with it after the holiday season!

If you live in the Rhode Island area and are interested in joining us for a meeting, please do let me know.

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Another Saturday Morning Tea on Sunday

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As the early morning sun delicately lights everything up outside my window, I am preparing for another Saturday adventure. This week I’m going to my polymer clay guild meeting in Rhode Island. It’s an hour and a half drive so I’m up early to gather my art supplies together. I am looking forward to our demos today – a leaf cane and vintage buttons!

Tomorrow morning I will brew up a cup of a green Darjeeling called Emerald, a rare gem indeed because most of our Darjeelings are black teas.