Saturday, April 30, 2011

First day of Ronna's workshop!

Today was the first day of our workshop with Ronna Sarvas Weltman.

She showed us a method of making marbleized clay and how to make a variety of shapes for beads -- round, cones, disks, "bowls" -- plus eye pin loops, clasps, and dangles out of wire, as well as a clever way of creating a sturdy bail for the back of a pendant by hiding a metal bead under a strip of clay. We saw lots of tools to help form the shapes and others to add interesting finishes. After lunch we practiced with wire and some of the new clay shapes. Tomorrow we'll learn more component-making tips and then begin putting our new knowledge into practice.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

April Clay Day Demo: Beads

For our April demo, Rebecca demonstrated how to make simple beads:

1. Make a sheet of clay
2. Roll it up into a tube to create the center core
3. Cover the outside of the core with a single decorated sheet
4. Cut the core into equal pieces
5. Roll each piece into a ball
6. Pierce and place on a rack to go into the oven

Now, that's a pretty short list of steps, but within each step are multiple variations you can make to put your own creativity into the set. You might want to create mix-and-match shapes in different sizes, or flatten or stretch the ball to create oblongs or lentils. You can pinch the ends of your cut pieces to hide the clay in the core, or you can use a cane, a jellyroll, or a layered tube for your center core and let it remain visible. Instead of a decorated sheet you can cover the core with individual pieces of clay. There are a million possibilities!

For the demo on this day, Rebecca had purple and gold scraps so they became the source materials for the decorated sheet shown below. The scraps, along with some translucent clay, were rolled into a sheet until a pretty blend, sort of like an abstract watercolor painting, was achieved.

Below is the decorated sheet that was created with purple and gold scrap clay rolled flat, then sliced into strips, and laid on the base sheet with a tiny space in between the strips. The sheet of strips was run through the pasta machine several times to let the base clay (black in the sample below) squeeze up through the strips and create a third stripe in the pattern.

Then that sheet was applied lengthwise around the core, and then the core was cut into several pieces and shaped.

Here is what they became...

...and this.

PPCG Workshop: Ronna Sarvas Weltman

If you would like to join us for the Ronna Sarvas Weltman workshop next weekend in Pittsburgh, it's not too late!! And we'd love for you to join us!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Clay Day 2011 Schedule

If you've never worked with polymer clay before, don't let that stop you from coming by on Clay Day! There are always at least one or two members who can provide a "Polymer for the Beginner" lesson during every Clay Day. 

And whether you've worked with polymer just a short time, or you're an old pro, our monthly demonstrations will show you a new tricks that you can add to your repertoire.
Demonstration Schedule
April 17 – Fast and Easy Beads (Rebecca)

May 15 – Show and share how we've applied the techniques learned at the Ronna Sarvas Weltman workshop to our own work 

June 19 – Flower Canes (Marcy)  

July/August – No meeting

September 23-25  – Annual Retreat (no Clay Day meeting)

October 16  – Surface Treatments (Deanna and Irene)

November 20 – Make and decorate a case for your polymer blades (Denise)

Demonstrations will start around noon, and they are completely voluntary. You can watch the demonstration or continue working on your own projects.

Clay Day is always on the third Sunday of the month (except July, August, September, and December) from 10 am to 2 pm at the Stephen Foster Community Center in Lawrenceville.