The Philadelphia Guild’s very own Sherman Oberson recently became President of the American Regional Board of the International Polymer Clay Association. Congratulations Sherman! Sherman is also President of our local guild and one of the forces behind Clayathon which had a record 80+ attendees this year. When he is not teaching polymer clay classes at one of the many art centers around Philadelphia, Sherman is busy consulting and designing for Penn State Industries who chose him to help them expand their marketing reach from wood crafts to polymer clay.
Sherman’s work is pretty spectacular too. To have a look, press here and here.
Here is a video Sherman made for Penn State Industries.
This months’ meeting is all about texture and we are pleased to have member Kate Clawson share her ideas and techniques. This is a meeting you don’t want to miss! Which is why you need to start thinking about travel plans for Sunday.
Philadelphia is hosting the Philadelphia Marathon this weekend which will make traveling to the meeting and parking a little more challenging than usual. On-street parking will be limited because there will be a lot o people in town. Some streets will be closed because of the marathon.
Sunday, November 17
- Kelly Drive to Ridge Avenue will be closed from 5:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Inner lanes of Benjamin Franklin Parkway (including cross streets) will be closed from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- The 22nd/23rd Street entrances from Route 676 will close on Sunday morning (5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.). Please plan alternate routes to the start.
There is absolutely NO PARKING along the GORE-TEX® Philadelphia Marathon course on Sunday, November 17, beginning at 5:00 a.m.
The marathon route is at
The Philadelphia Eagles play the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field this Sunday too and the game starts at 1:00 PM. So make plans accordingly.
Need a parking lot? These will be crowded too but you’ll find it easier to find parking in a lot than on the street. Press HERE for a list of nearby lots.
Guild member Maisha Sullivan’s many community projects have sent her around the world. So how does she find the time to found and run a multimedia crafting group? It must be a labor of love because it lets her combine her passion for community activism with her other passion, art.
Maisha organizes a crafting workshop every four months as therapy for a group of women who are social activists in Philadelphia. The next one, which will be held on September 14, is a Clay Play Day. These women, who deal with some tough social issues, enjoy a place where they can can kick back, relax, learn about a new craft and enjoy a pot luck lunch.
Each workshop has a minimum of thirty women and girls participating and a minimum of four different craft projects with preference given to projects made from recycled materials. Participants demonstrate for one another.
Tomorrow, Ellen Marshall and I will crank up our pasta machines and head to West Philly to demonstrate polymer clay techniques for the group.
Read more about Maisha’s involvement with the community here and here. To learn about Maisha’s art, press here.
College Prep Classes and College Tours
by Arlene Groch
It all started when my son Mike called from San Diego, and asked if I would cover a resin deer’s head with clay to hang on the wall of his office.
When I stopped laughing, I realized he was serious. Always game for a challenge, I agreed. He sent me the head; it came broken. That gave me a spare ear to test in the oven. The ear didn’t melt or send us running out of the house to escape poisonous fumes. So I called Mike and told him to send me another head. He must have really wanted this badly because the second head arrived in the next few days.
Mike wanted the deer covered with a hounds-tooth pattern. I scoured the Internet for ideas and found a tutorial for a hounds-tooth cane. I made some samples and Mike chose the plain pattern without the red silk screened design. I smeared the deer with Genesis and then covered all of its skin/fur with a medium thickness of “junk” clay. Then I applied the cane slices all over the deer’s head, chest and ears blending in the seams of each section to match the pattern. I blended the seams of each section together using Dan Cormier’s rag paper smoothing technique.
When Mr. Deer was ready for curing (some 30-40 hours after his arrival at our home) I had to use our regular kitchen oven because Mr. Deer’s head was too big for my convection oven. I settled him on a cookie sheet, wrapped him in tented tin foil and baked him for about 45 minutes at 300 degrees. I added a few clay patches on missed spots behind the ears, and some very thinly sliced canes where needed to improve the overall design. I cured those with a heat gun.
Mr. Deer was ready for sanding. Rough sanding to clean him up and smooth a few bumps was all the sanding I felt a deer deserved, no matter how cute.
After a good apres-sanding bath, it was time to finish him off. I applied three coats of matte red Golden paint to his antlers. I tried clay tips on the antlers, but both Mike and the Deer felt that it was too much so off they came.
Following Mr. Deer’s final photo session, George and I escorted took him to the Fed Ex office for some serious bubble wrapped, double boxed packaging and sent him off via ground transportation to his new home across the country. When the Fed Ex guy asked for a value for insurance purposes, and I just laughed and told him, “A week of Mother Love — it’s invaluable”.
I hope you enjoyed Mr. Deer’s journey, and do say a prayer [or just send some good vibes] for his safe arrival. And now for the pictures
Ellen Marshall led this month’s meeting with a session on necklace design. Ellen brought in some of her early work and pieces by Kathy Amt and Maggie Maggio to illustrate design principles and explain how to solve design dilemmas. Members brought in their own work and we had a lively and friendly discussion. And we were graced with the presence of the inimitable Yetta Colodne who brought three necklaces for Show and Tell.
Thanks to Ellen for such an instructive and inspirational presentation. If you would like to read the article by Ronna Savaras Weltman that Ellen recommended, “Principles of Good Design,” in the December 2010 Step-By-Step Wire Jewelry, press here.
Special thanks to Sarah Sorlien for arranging for members to park in the Hillman garage instead of having to look for scarce street parking on Philadelphia Marathon day. And congratulations to Sarah on her election as guild president!
It was a great end-of-the-year meeting. But we’ll keep the blog posts coming during the break.
Martha Aleo, Deputy Blogger
See the work of an eclectic mix of 30 artisans. Crafts range from woodworking to up-cycled glassware, textiles to decorative housewares and accessories, from Judiaca to beautiful jewelry. There will be live music performed by a klezmer-style band and delicious baked goods and refreshments offered for sale. Plus, our very own Denise Petit will be selling her unique mixed media jewelry and artwork.
Chanukah Craft Fair Extravaganza
542 S. New Middletown Road
Media, PA 19063
Sunday, November 18, 2012 9:30 am – 1 pm
Click here for info
Denise will also be exhibiting and selling her work at
Friday, November 23
6 – 9 pm
Saturday, November 24
10 am – 4 pm
Twentieth Century Club
84 S. Lansdowne Avenue
Lansdowne, PA 19050
Click here for info
This means that Arlene’s work will be displayed at the Philadelphia Buyers Market of American Craft. She’s not sure which piece she entered was selected. I think it’s a safe bet it would be any of them.
This means Arlene is moving in some pretty fast company. What do I mean? Check out the 2012 list of polymer clay finalists here.
For more information on the Niche Awards, press here.
Martha Aleo, Deputy Blogger