Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Polymer Clay Classes are Back!

  Polymer clay has become a powerhouse of opportunities for people to express themselves.  It can behave as clay, fabric, paint, and more.  The scope of possibilities can be seen on any bookstore shelf that has more than 5 books on the shelf dedicated to it.  It is accessible to the home hobbyist and super-star artists whose work is found in museums.  Just like any art technique, it is best to start at the bottom and work your way up if you are starting from scratch.  Building a foundation of steps will afford you an arsenal of skills that you can have at your disposal when you decide to create something new.

  The year 1995 was the start of a 20+ year love affair with polymer clay. It became my sole expression of choice.  The clay satisfied any mood I felt or wanted to create in a piece of jewelry, set of unique buttons or small art pieces.  I created my company Ovenfried Beads, and my "claim to fame" was the Stacker Bead.  The volume of Stacker Beads that I made allowed a full and long-lasting line of jewelry that found popularity locally and around the world.  Mokume Gane, surface textures and stamps, and other experimental techniques that have no name are my favorite techniques.  Combining polymer clay pieces with bead embroidery, like here and here, is an extremely fun way to make your clay work pop. The multi-media possibilities are endless.  Just check out the book 400 Polymer Clay Designs and let your mind be blown~!

  Now I am again offering my popular private polymer clay classes for adolescents and adults in the Greater Cincinnati Tri-State area.  My classes are a LOT of fun, but I take them very seriously and want to offer the best instruction. 

Beads made from cane slices from class.

Basic Cane Building   -   Students will learn how to layer different colors of clay to create a cane or loaf, that when sliced, will reveal the same pattern per slice.  (Think of sushi.)  Four layering techniques will be taught, then if time allows, students will be able to experiment.  Use of pasta machine and long blade and piercing tool.  

Go crazy with color or monochromatic for a more subdued effect.

Mokume Gane   -   Mokume Gane is my favorite technique, achieved by layering several contrasting colors of clay into a brick, distorting with piercing tools, and slicing to reveal elegant wood-grain-like organic patterns.  Each slice is different.  Use of pasta machine, long blade, variety of piercing tools.

Extruder Cane Fun  -   Clay extruders provide a way to create small detailed canes.  When the right color combinations are used, eye-popping designs result.  This class will focus on the grid design you see here.  Use of clay extruder and sharp blade.

Commercial and hand-made stamps used in these leaves.

Texture with Pearl Surface   -   Choose commercial stamps, hand-carved stamps and textures from unexpected places.  Add some pearl powder to give a jewel-toned sheen and accentuate the surface shapes.  Use of pasta machine, long blade, stamps and texture tools, a variety of shaped cutters, pearl powder and polyurethane coating.

Stacker Beads   -   Stacker Beads look tough to make, but the technique is simple.  With practice you can make your own Stacker Beads and WOW your friends!  You will create both beads feature above.  All you need is your hands and a long blade. 

   Fine print: 
There is no supply list to purchase, as the class fee covers the clay and use of my large selection of tools acquired over the years.  If a student has clay and tools they previously purchased, it is fine to incorporate them into the class, but the class fee remains the same.  You can come to my beautiful home on the West side of Cincinnati or I can come to you.  If I come to you, I will have some space and electric plug requirements, and I only teach in non-smoking environments.  Very young children and rowdy pets are distractions that will slow the process and diminish your experience, so plan accordingly.  Good dexterity is necessary in both hands.  Students keep all of their creations...including beads, buttons, pendants...whatever the student makes. Basic jewelry construction is not covered, but can be a separate class if desired.  I prefer to keep class sizes 1-4.  Cost:  $65 per 4 hour session or $75 per 5 hour session,  per student, ages 10 and up.  The class categories above cannot be combined in one class, but multiple sessions can be scheduled if one desires to learn more than one technique. 

To see more of my current work and stay tuned to what is happening, follow my AmyEclectic page on Facebook or AmyEclectic on Etsy.  Interested in scheduling a class?  Contact me here

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