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June 3 - Kay Garner- Polymer Clay

Kay Garner makes and sells jewelry at Collage, a studio and gallery in the Central Texas Marketplace.  She will demonstrate some of the things that can be done with polymer clay.  In particular, she will us how to make a design in clay and stretch it into a long tube, reducing the size of the design.  The tube can then be sliced into thin discs, each having a small version of the original design.  This is very similar to hard candy that used to be popular around Christmastime many years ago.  An example is at the upper right.  Another technique is shown at the lower right.

  Join us at the Waco Charter School, 615 N. 25th Street, at 1:30 for refreshments and conversation.  The meeting begins at 2, and the demo starts soon thereafter.  And bring friends.  Remember that first time visitors are free, and new members can join for $2/month for the rest of the year.  At this point, that's $10 for a regular membership.  Also, bring recent work to share at the break.

June 3 - Kay Garner and Sharon Gillespie - Polymer Clay

  1. Kay and Sharon Opened up a new medium to us.  Polymer clay can be used to look like semi-precious stones, turquoise, glass and many others. It can imitate many different art forms. It is a relatively inexpensive art form, requiring only a few tools. The most expensive tool, and the most convenient, is a quality pasta making machine.  Get a good one, but don't use it to actually make pasta after using it with clay. The pasta machine helps to condition your clay and to remove any air bubbles.  It is much more difficult to do this by manually kneading and hand rolling your clay.  You will also need a clay cutting knife, and a felt-tip marking pen comes in handy.  To clean your pasta machine, use alcohol instead of water.

    There are basically two types of clay: Kato is firmer and Primo is more durable.  Kato Clay has a 17 color spectrum but you can blend your colors.  Primo has 30 some colors.

    Before using your clay, you need to remove all the air and flatten it out.  It usually takes about 20 passes in a pasta machine to get the clay conditioned.  Kato clay will sometimes try to crumble on you when you put it through.  When putting your clay through the machine always put the folded end in first. The more you put your clay through the better it will hold together.  Feed your clay through in the same direction each time. To keep clay moist you can store it in cling wrap and in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it,

    Judith Skinner created the process of Skinner Blend.  In this process you put two different colors together, one on top of the other, to blend the colors.  Do not line up your clay when you do this process.  (See top left.)  This way you will have true color on each end and the middle will be blended. Fold your clay and run it through your machine around 25 times.  The number of times you run it through depends on the colors you are using and the effect you want to create.  Rolling different colors of clay together creates what is called a "Skinner's Bulls-eye" Cane.  (top right)  There are several different types of canes such as a Brain Cane, Rose Cane, Star Cane (lower left), Basket Weave (lower right), etc.

    Polymer clay must to heated to complete the finished product. You can do this in your oven at home but you must be very careful not to burn the clay. When overheated the fumes of the clay are toxic. You will also need to clean your oven after baking clay in it.

    Don't throw away your scraps after trimming your work. They can always be used in some way. You should let your clay rest between processes. Either rest it over night or put it in your refrigerator for half an hour. You keep compressing your clay to decrease its size down to where you want it. You can also buy different stamps to add designs to your work.

    Many thanks to Kay and Sharon for a fascinating presentation.  Thanks also to those providing refreshments and those who brought art for show and tell, samples of which appear below.

    Show and Tell
         Violet Piper                   Larry Garza                Rose Jacobson
      (family photo)                                                                                Nancy Cagle also brought art, but unfortunately we didn't get photos of it.



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