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Into The Forest Opens This Friday

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Into The Forest,  the long-awaited collaborative polymer installation spearheaded by Laura Tabakman,  Julie Eakes and Philadelphia’s own Emily Squires Levine.  opens this Friday at the Spinning Plates Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA. 

I can scarcely believe that it’s been more than a year since Laura announced the project at EuroSynergy in July, 2016 and requested contributions from the polymer  community.  They responded with enthusiasm: polymer artists from 27 countries around the world and 37 States around the US sent  an abundance of hand-fabricated floral and faunal elements inspired by their geographically-diverse environments.  It is a celebration of diversity and unity. A virtual global forest.

Into The Forest had its first public showing in Philadelphia as part of a larger “Constructing Organics” show which ran at the Park Town Place Gallery from September 2 to December 30, 2016.    Emily, Laura and Julie have spent  this past year working…

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What I Learned in Claire Maunsell’s Class

Another great class sponsored by the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild!

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11.ClassI learned how to make hollow stacked beads and hollow pod-shaped beads.

I learned that hollow pod-shaped beads were only a starting point and that I could take the clay wherever I wanted it to go.

I learned how to assess whether a given paint would work with polymer clay.

12.PaintsI learned that Claire is an incredibly generous teacher who prepares illustrated handouts bursting with information, ideas, resources and more.

I learned why Pan Pastels look so ##@&^#$@ gorgeous on polymer and I discovered that I need to buy them in all my favorite colors.  Like right now.  Or sooner.

I learned different techniques to crackle, seal, antique, enhance, texture,  carve, wax, paint, emboss, finish and (whatever else you can think of) polymer clay.

I learned about some new software that just might change my life. (Ok, that’s an exaggeration but Repper is pretty cool.)

If I have to  stop…

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Eileen Cressman-Reeder this Weekend!

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The New Clay: An Afternoon with Nan Roche

Shared from my blog.

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Who remembers discovering polymer for the first time and maybe running out and scoring a copy of  The New Clay?     The Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild was lucky enough to have The New Clay author and polymer innovator Nan Roche at a recent meeting where she recalled her introduction to polymer and how she came to write a classic work on polymer techniques and art.

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In the 1980’s Nan  was a hand weaver and had a studio at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA.     Someone, Nan didn’t recall who, came back from New York city with with a fascinating necklace from the Julie: Artisan Gallery in Manhattan.   The necklace made from an material that no one could identify until ceramic artist named Kathleen Dustin, who also had a studio at the Torpedo Factory, recognized the material as Fimo.  Dustin remembered Fimo from when she had lived abroad…

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Clayathon 2016

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Another Clayathon has come and gone. Laura Tabakman  shared her techniques and explained her design process and sources of inspiration.  I didn’t make many items this year but got to try my hand at making hollow triangle beads and other hollow geometric forms. We made a trip to the Shore Diner and the family-owned Athenian Garden where the service is slow but the food makes it more than worth it.  I brought a bottle of Tullamore Dew to share and it went rather quickly because so many people got to enjoy it. My brother and sister-in-law came to hang out on Sunday.  I made new friends, saw old friends amd enjoyed a drink before the fire on the Stocktom Seaview lobby.

Here are some pictures.

It was great to see Lisa Clarke who hasn’t been able to make the last few Clayathons. Read her blog post here.

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Wired and Inspired!

For those of you who took the wire class, here are links to my favorite wire working resources and artists.

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Photo by Sarah Sorlien

I taught a wire class at for first Greater Philadelphia Polymer Artists Meetup on March 15.

I was actually substituting for Olivia Surratt, who developed the class, chose the tools and materials, and provided excellent handouts (illustrated by Trish’s Pfaff) for the students.

I have learned a great deal about wire working from Olivia and also from Beading Yoda Jeri Schatz who introduced me to working with a torch and fine silver wire. But I have not taken any other classes and am basically self taught.  And I know that not everyone has access to good teachers or the time or money to invest in a class. So here are links to information and tutorials I have found helpful.

Wig Jig University has hundreds of free wire tutorials.  This is the site I turned to when I became interested in working with wire.  Connie Fox

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Clayathon 2010

Here’s what Martha does at Clayathon!

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I don’t know what I enjoyed more: watching Wilma Yost of Polymer Clay Express demonstrating the Dream Machine and trying it out for myself, watching Melanie West’s demos, catching some of Arlene Groch’s enthusiasm or having uninterrupted time to continue working through Polymer Clay Color Inspirations.

I clayed, drank whiskey, sat up until 7:00 am one night (morning?) claying and chatting, made new friends and saw old ones.
Everyone had a wonderful, relaxing time.  See you in 2011!

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