Thursday, February 23, 2017

2017 Workshop: Encrusted with Jana Roberts Benzon

Saturday and Sunday, April 29-30, 2017
This is a very cool technique. You'll be amazed by how ingenious it is! We'll create a bangle but this veneer can be applied to other surfaces too.

See samples of the technique here:

$190 for members, $215 for non-members
Send a deposit of $100 Marcy Morton by March 1. 
(If you see this after March 1 and want to attend, just send the full amount to reserve your spot).
Make checks payable to PPCG
 For Marcy's address and the supplies list, email me at berecca at aol dot com 
 Final payment due by April 1. 
Full refunds given by April 15; 50% refunds after April 15.

Swissvale Fire House    7400 Irvine Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15218
9 am to 5 pm each day
In a switch from past years, we're going to give everyone an hour to go out to lunch. There are several local haunts, fast food, Applebees, and a nice buffet and salad bar in the Giant Eagle grocery store cafe. We'll have a sheet with nearby options. You may also bring your lunch if you wish. There is a refrigerator (but no microwave).
Of course, feel free to bring any snacks to share. Can't go wrong with chips or chocolate!
Join us for dinner on Saturday at a nearby restaurant (separate checks).
Hotels in the Waterfront area or Bakery Square are a 10-15 minute drive away; Monroeville has less expensive options about 25 min away. 
There are many AirBnB options if you search "Regent Square, Pittsburgh
We need a 12 student minimum and due to space limitations our max number of students is about 20.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

PPCG Retreat 2016

Another Fun Retreat

We met again at The Spiritan Center for 72 hours of clay! Twenty-one of us from Ohio to Ottawa and all around the Pittsburgh area got together for our annual retreat.

There were demonstrations by:
Laura Tabakman -- an introduction to the Into The Forest project and some simple leaf shapes we can make
Les Polinko -- an ocean-blue goddess face that each person decorated with their own unique arrangement of coils and embellishments
Rebecca Watkins -- chalkboard finish on beads
Natalie Markoff -- crackle technique; translucent and silver foil veneer
Jeanette Kandray -- a cane to make a snake

The snake-making was a big hit. Almost everyone wanted to try it. Some people made couldn't stop making them. (I will label all the images as their creators claim them...)

The dates for next year are set - October 5-8. Barbara Kaczor has volunteered to be our retreat coordinator again next year. She did a great job of organizing this year and we all appreciate her time and trouble. Contact her on Facebook if you are interested in attending next year.









Friday, October 16, 2015

Pittsburgh Polymer Clay Guild Retreat, October 1-4, 2015

Thank you and nice getting to know you to our new friends Karen, Seana, Patty, and Sherman who traveled in from the east and Jeannette from the west! And our usual travelers Kirsten, Cathy, and Diane made their annual Fall trip to Pittsburgh to hang with the usual cast of characters...Judy, Denice, Denise, Bonnie, Steffi, Noreen, Jan, Bobbi, Marcy, Irene, Rebecca, Suzanne, Hannah, and Deanna. Special thanks to Deanna for planning the retreat and wrangling all us attendees.

Denise taught a mini-workshop to show her method for creating a polymer painting. Everyone who tried it ended up with a really nice flower wall canvas. 

We had a great time as usual... clayed all day, and some of us clayed nearly all night. (I'm lookin' at you, Sherman!) 

I don't know if 2016 dates have been reserved. I will post as soon as we know.

Judy Slater

Jan Pini

Friday, February 27, 2015

It's not too late to sign up! May 2-3, 2015 Spring Workshop with instructor Carol Simmons

Build Your Color Mixing & Finishing Skills 
in a Kaleidoscope Cane Workshop
with visiting Polymer Clay expert Carol Simmons

Saturday & Sunday, May 2-3, 2015    9 am to 5 pm
Swissvale Fire House   7400 Irvine Street, Pittsburgh  15218

Carol will show you how to choose a harmonious color scheme, create a complex Kaleidoscope cane out of polymer clay, and apply your beautiful design to a bracelet or pendant. 

You will mix color blends from primary colors, and learn how to modify your blends to maximize the light/dark contrast. (Clay will be provided.)

Next, you will combine the small canes to make a wide variety of detailed, repeating patterns. Then, using Carol’s special slicer, we will make perfect, wafer-thin slices to apply to a pendant or bracelet. 

Carol will share numerous tips on how to achieve the highest quality results including cane construction, veneer application, forming, sanding, buffing to a high shine, and drilling techniques. 

See Carol’s work on

To reserve your space in the workshop, or for more information, write to
berecca at aol dot com. Please put “Simmons Workshop” in the subject line.

$175 for PPCG members; $185 for non-members

Fee includes workshop, coffee, soft drinks, snacks, and lots of fun with friendly people. Optional pay-as-you-go items include lunch both days for $15 (one authentic firehouse fish fry lunch!) and we hope you’ll join us for a dutch-treat Saturday night group dinner. Contact Rebecca Watkins at berecca at aol dot com to reserve your space, find out how to submit payment, and receive the supplies list. 

Cancellations before April 18 will be 100% refunded. Cancellations after April 18 will be refunded 50%.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

January Clay Day...aaand we're back!

Our first Clay Day of 2014! It's good to be back with the gang!
Kathy was cranking the extruder, Rebecca was mixing clay colors, Denise was creating undersea creatures. We talked about our fearless leaders' (Barb and Les) soon-to-be opened gallery and studio space in Verona. Irene pondered the color blends to make Radiant Orchid and Judy was hatching plans for a frame for our bead strings. Laura told us about teaching a class in Argentina and Wendy dropped off a collection of hula hoops.

Our spring workshop is coming up March 15-16, 2014 with Christi Friesen. We'll be doing a floral wall hanging.

Clay Day agendas:

  • 10 - 11 am: Show and Tell. New items you're working on and/or the results of our latest challenges go on the table for all to see and admire
  • 11- Noon: Have questions about how to do something? Now's the time to ask
  • Noon - 1 pm: Demo of the Day
  • February : "Show and Tool Day"  bring your favorite clay tools or tricks to show to the gang or tell about a almost-disaster you wiggled out of with some ingenious solution!
  • March TBD: TBD
  • April 27: Etsy, Flickr, Blogger, Facebook, to use them all together (Rebecca Watkins)
  • May 18: Silhouette cutter system for polymer clay (Barb Kaczor)
  • June TBD: Finishing your jewelry -- hardware tips for clasps  (Kathy Bintrim)
  • July 20: Simple relief face sculpture (Les Polinko)
  • August TBD: 
  • September TBD: Pasta Machine surgery (take it apart, clean it, and put it back together better than new!)
  • 1-3 pm: Clay your own way!

All activities are voluntary but if you want to see the demo, make sure you're there by noon.
(The officers take a half hour out of free clay time for a board meeting.)

Visit our website for directions to the Swissvale Fire House

seated: Laura Tabakman, Kathy Brintrim, Les Polinko, Denice Girardeau
Standing: Irene Hill, Judy Slater, Barb Kaczor

"Now, what kind of fun can I have with all of these?" said Rebecca.

Kathy's got quite a collection of mica powders!

Wishing all of you a colorful new year full of creative ideas!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Found Object Challenge

This month's challenge theme was "found object."

Rebecca Watkins
Found object: piece of old dry branch

 Barb Kaczor
Found object: piece of turtle shell that will be part of completed dreamcatcher

Denise Graham
Found object: the cord from broken earbuds was used to string the beads

Selma Andrews
Found object: the stone inside

Deanna Miller
Found object: old key

Denice Girardeaux
Found object: teardrop crystal

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Taking Inspiration

After several of us attended Synergy and told our guildmates about Dan Cormier's Telephone Project and Christine DuMont's critique process, we embarked on our own version of an inspiration project to help us stretch our creativity muscles and continue developing our own design voices.

One of our members, Deanna Miller, is a photographer who has loads of creative Instagram photos. I asked if she would let us use some of her images as jumping off points and she kindly agreed. I chose about 15 photos and put each one in an envelope and each participant blindly chose one. Everyone was told not to show any other participant what they had.

We went home with instructions to make whatever we wanted using the photo for design inspiration. At the next meeting we would put all the items on one side of the table and the images face down on the other.

At the reveal session today, we flipped all the pictures over and as a group tried to match up the items with their associated photo. In most cases we were correct but a few tripped us up. We went around the table so each person could tell a little about their experience.

It was educational to see what everyone took from their inspiration. We had such a good time, in fact, that we decided to do it again. This time we're using a concept for our theme: Negative Space. Put your brainstorm caps on...the next reveal will be at our August meeting.

Judy Slater

Barb Kaczor

Denice Girardeaux

Selma Andrews

Irene Hill

Mavis Strakal

Rebecca Watkins

Denise Graham

Deanna Miller