Pieces completed on the day.
On 3rd November 2013 Curborough was again alive with the sound of happy Polymer clayers as we welcomed Karen Walker and her wonderful Christmas creations to the conservatory.
She had brought a stunning display of her works with her, not just Christmas pieces, such as snowmen, angels, Christmas trees, and figures from nativity scenes which were beautiful, but also samples of buttons, which look even better than they do in the photos in her well known book “20 to Make Polymer Clay Buttons”.
Once we had finished admiring her creations we were ready for our first piece the Christmas tree decorations and earrings featuring the modern design twist that is so evident in all of her work. Karen had already condition and rolled out all the Cernit clay we needed for our trees so after her demo we were able to get straight down to work. Soon a whole forest of trees had been created and while they were in the oven Karen showed us how to assemble our trees, adding dots of paint to finish off the design.
After lunch Karen showed us how to transform the plainest bauble with a friendly snowman, including tips for baking the snowman off the bauble to avoid that melted bauble syndrome if using plastic baubles.
Karen rounded off the workshop with her adorable Russian doll design which we were all keen to have a go at, producing little dolls in a range of sizes.
Karen is a consummate teacher, throughout the day she was on hand to offer advice and assistance where needed, her instructions were easy to follow and all the hard work she had put in preparing the clay for us meant we were able to get creative straight away and we all went home with a collection of Christmas goodies and loads of inspiration.
This was a wonderful day, and certainly put everyone in the Christmas spirit, so thank you very much Karen for a very enjoyable day.
Review by Angela Smith and Fiona Abel-Smith
Having fun making Christmas pieces.
Some of Karen's work she brought with her.
The Guild had another great stand at the NEC show from 7th – 10th November, when our volunteers not only manned the stand but gave demonstrations throughout the event for members of the public. As always our stand is extremely popular, and it is amazing how many people admit to ‘dabbling’ in Polymer Clay, but are then stunned by the highly professional standard and variety of work that we had on display.
We had loads of people interested in the Guild and our various branches, so hopefully quite a few of those will come to this site, click on the Regional Branches tab and get in touch with their local group.
As to the stand itself, the miniature pieces by Allan Marshall were a huge talking point, as people admired the detail of the work and the skill involved, as were the covered Tea Pot and Piggy bank by Kath Jackson. I think we had 4 examples of dragons made by Guild members who went to Birdy Heywood’s workshop earlier this year, (2 from Nikki Killinger, Jessica Whetton and Angela Smith) and Angela Smith’s allsorts bracelets were not only much admired but could have sold several times over, had we been allowed to sell anything on the stand!! There were so many other beautiful pieces there, that it would be impossible to mention them all, and everyone, but thank you so much to all of you for your support in lending your works of Art. It really is appreciated.
We were very lucky to have volunteers on the stand from around the country, so thanks to Allan Marshall, and all his work not only being there every day, but organising the stand and volunteers, and along with Angela Smith going to the NEC on the Wednesday as well to set everything up. So a quick shout out of thanks to Allan Marshall, Cara-Jane Hayman, Penny Vingoe, Rachel Warren, Sue Corrie, Angela Smith, Joanne and Jessica Whetton for volunteering, as well as a thank you to David Frowd and Debbie Bulford who volunteered but were unable to get there on the day due to illness. (Hope the two of you are feeling better, and that I haven’t forgotten anyone!! Oh yes, I was there too.)
One last thing to add, a special thank you to Jessica, who I believe is our youngest member at age 11, who not only helped man the stand on the Sunday but also demonstrated how to make a beautiful teddy bear sculpture – so thank you Jessica.
I took some pictures on the Sunday through a couple of quiet moments, so if any of this makes anyone want to volunteer in future, just let us know, I can certainly vouch for it being a great and fun experience.
Pieces on display.
Great news for members in the southwest - a new "South West Polymer Clay Group" in Devon! Sherril Olive is the organiser, and if you would like to find out more you can use this page
Our latest email newsletter has been sent out today. This is a general newsletter for anyone interested in polymer clay (as opposed to our members-only newsletter, "Polynews"), so if you would like to start receiving the newsletter please click here
The Miniatura Show at the NEC in Birmingham on 21st and 22nd September 2013 has been booked by the Guild for some time now, but is desperate for people to help man the stand.
This is not a strenuous task, means you get free entry to the show and you do not have to be a miniaturist to help out, but it is
a great way of promoting the Guild and Polymer Clay.
We need to both cover the stand and have someone to run workshops.The workshops are covered, as Allan Marshall will do those, but he can't run the stand at the same time. We so far have 2 volunteers who have said they can each do 1 hour a day on the stand, but that is all. We desperately need more help to fully cover the stand.
Please, please, is there is anyone willing to help out - many thanks. We really need a response as soon as possible in order to make a decision as to whether to cancel or not. The Guild are also going to be demonstrating at the Hobby Craft show at the NEC on 7th-10th November 2013. We do have some cover for this show, but more is always helpful, especially on the Thursday and Friday. Again you get free entry to the show and this is a great way to let the public see the huge variety of work possible in Polymer Clay, and to help them know what the Guild is about. Do not worry if you don't know much about the Guild - we have an exhibition Guide at the shows to help you out with background information.For both events, if you can help, please contact Allan Marshall through this site.
Sarah demonstrating the Celtic cane
Day One – Celtic Canes
The Curborough Conservatory was buzzing with anticipation on Saturday morning, ready for the excited participants to begin their Celtic Cane workshop. If you have ever had the fortune of attending a Sarah Shriver workshop then you will know what a wonderful tutor she is. Right from the start she put us all at our ease with her gentle humour and supreme knowledge of the subject.
By the end of the morning we had all basically completed an initial Celtic Cane and then came the fun part in the afternoon when we all got to experiment and create new shapes and canes using Sarah’s methods. Smiles all round, and lots of “oohs” and “aahs” and “wow’s” as we started to see what everyone else was creating. It is always the sign of a great tutor when you feel confident enough in what you are doing to freely experiment; and that is what we did. In fact we were so busy experimenting making new cane patterns we forgot to make any beads (well most of us did anyway) so if anyone has any photos of what they made once they got home, please either send them to us at the Guild website, or add them to our facebook page.
All in all it was a fantastic day, and what was even better was that most of us were back the following day.
Day Two – Kaleidoscope Canes.
Sarah was again superb, right from the start she engaged us with her thoughts and suggestions about colour and its use and showed us how to take a Skinner Blend further than most of us had envisioned, all wonderfully interspersed with tips, anecdotes and humour.
There may have been a few worried looks late morning from people not sure how theirs would turn out, but by the magic of Sarah Shriver, once we started Kaleidoscoping the canes they all looked fabulous – no exceptions. Once again the rest of the day was experimenting with our canes, learning how to add and cut out extra bits to make different patterns, and how adding additional colours could change the whole look and feel of a piece.
By the time the course was due to finish, people were very reluctantly beginning to pack up, and by 5pm the Conservatory was again mainly quiet and empty, but the memories of two fantastic days of workshops will linger a long time.
Thank you Sarah, you are a wonderful tutor, we had a fantastic time with you and please come back soon.
By Fiona Abel-Smith ( fuller review to follow in the newsletter.)
Working on a Celtic Cane
Demonstrating the Kaleidoscope technique
Celtic Cane samples
Kay having fun.
Having fun with Kaleidoscopes
Examples of Kaleidoscopes
As Chairman (and Acting Membership Secretary at the moment), I would like to thank all of the existing BPCG members who have already renewed their subscription for the year. If you still haven't renewed your membership yet, please either fill in this form and send us a cheque, or (to pay via PayPal) fill in this form and we will give you the payment details.The committee are planning great things for 2013-2014, so please don't miss out! I look forward to seeing many people next weekend at Sarah Shriver's workshops.All the best,Kay Vincent
We had a fantastic day on 10th March when Birdy Heywood demonstrated how to create an amazing Dragon. We ended up with a good bevy of winged friends by the end of the day and were given wonderful tips along the way on how to create realistic (mythical) beasts. One of the fun parts was swapping canes with everyone else so that we had a multi-caned effect on our dragons bodies. I for one have already started another dragon at home, that's what happens when you go on these courses, you just get inspired to create more and more with your new found knowledge. More photos below.
Allan Marshall says: "Last week I found out that Karon Cunningham (Karon Cunningham miniatures) is trying to arrange an ‘Angie Scarr’ weekend of workshops. Proposed date is 14th/15th September and can be a 1 or 2 day session. "This is a fantastic opportunity for miniaturists to attend workshops run by a world-class polymer clay artist. If you'd like to find out more, please contact Karon: www.karoncunningham.com/en/pages/contact-us.aspxK
The latest BPCG newsletter
has just been sent out. If you are a BPCG member or have signed up via our subscription page then you should have already received it. (If you think you should have received it but haven't, please contact Kay.)K