Saturday, May 28, 2011

My First Polymer: Denise Graham

Sometime before 1997 I watched the Carol Duvall Show fairly regularly. Donna Kato appeared occasionally with the polymer clay FIMO. I don't remember what project or technique Donna had shown on Carol's show, but I was intrigued by the material. When I did finally locate FIMO, I selected blue and yellow, probably because I could then have 3 colors, or maybe those were the only colors available. 

When I broke open the packages and started working with the clay it was dry, brittle and near impossible to condition. I had no idea how to improve the consistency of the clay, and remember my hands were sore from trying to squish the clay into submission. I used a wooden brayer to sheet the clay and made a few little beads for book mark accents that you see here.

The difficulty in using the clay was a real turn off. I didn't again attempt the clay until my son took an after school sculpting class and brought home Sculpey. The ease of using this brand of clay hooked me. I dug out my pasta machine which I had received as a bridal shower gift and began using it for polymer. The first holiday show I did with polymer holiday pins was such a hit, I stayed up past midnight making turkey pins to increase my supply at the show. I worked in Sculpey for a while before discovering Premo, my go-to clay for almost every project.  The rest, as they say, is history!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Members Seen...Laura Tabakman

While perusing my many blogs I spotted a familiar "face." PPCG member Laura Tabakman's necklaces were featured today on as the coup de coeur de la semaine ("the favorite of the week"). Well-deserved recognition!
-- posted by Rebecca

Saturday, May 14, 2011

How My Obsession Began

by Rebecca, a.k.a., Artybecca
I made my first necklace in 1971 with “love beads” and have made jewelry ever since. Fast forward to 2007, on a car trip through West Virginia. We stopped at Tamarack, a West Virginia art center, and I saw a book featuring pretty beads and jewelry on the cover. I was shocked to learn they were made of polymer clay. I had no idea it could make such beautiful things!
Somewhere around 2004 I couldn’t find beads in magenta and hot pink so I thought of making them out of polymer clay. I bought clay at Michael’s but didn’t know anything about working with clay (and didn’t even know there were things I needed to know). As a result, my beads were sad and misshapen and I concluded that polymer clay was not the answer.
I bought the book – Polymer Clay Creative Traditions by West Virginian Judy Belcher -- and read every word. I got a pasta machine, bought clay, and started experimenting.
I just recently looked though the book again and discovered that works by several members of the Pittsburgh Polymer Clay Guild – people who are now my friends! -- are in it. If I hadn’t found that book, I might not know a bunch of great ladies and might not be happily obsessed with polymer clay beads today!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Studio Mojo

PPCG member Denise Graham shares this information...

Cynthia Tinapple of Polymer Clay Daily has a new monthly subscription-based premium newsletter called StudioMojo. It's for polymer clay power-users who want to take their polymer art, business, and creative "mojo" to the next level. It will feature artist interviews, product reviews, links, stories and rants that will bring you closer to the polymer clay insiders. All for a fraction of the cost of workshops and conferences! 
Right now there's a $6.99 per month Early Bird Registration. The link to subscribe is:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Workshop Creations!

Here's a sampling of finished work from our workshop with Ronna Sarvas Weltman. We did pendants, rings, enigmatic writing, vegan gut, and a whole lot more!

Wendy Casperson

Deanna Miller


Denise Graham

Diane Dick

Irene Hill


Rebecca Watkins

Selma Andrews


 Stephania Harden Martin