Sometimes, you just need a “creative jumpstart” to get your mojo flowing, or a road trip, or a combination of both. My best crafty pal Vicki O’Dell and I decided that we’d do just that and headed down to the International Polymer Clay Association retreat last week, which was held in our home state of Ohio!
I’m not gonna lie- Vicki and I are like peanut butter and jelly and we have fun anywhere we go. But this was an amazing event because we got to be silly and crafty and get totally inspired by some amazing artists.
While the conference started early in the week with full workshops, I could only get away for 2 full days. During that time, there was open workshop space, hourly demonstrations, giveaways, swaps, and shopping!
We hit the ground running with a demo-nar given by the amazing Syndee Holt. She showed us how you can paint, transfer, and silkscreen on polymer clay.
Now… I didn’t take photos of every demonstration….but I can tell you that they were all informational and chock-full of new ideas!
I also got to meet some folks that I “know” on the internet- as online pals. It was SO COOL to meet two of them, Penny Jo Couch and Barbara Forbes-Lyons at last!
Barbara Forbes-Lyons is commonly known as @PenguinTrax on Twitter, and is the co-host of Craft Social. She also is a wonderful clayer and helped organize the event.
I also participated in a swap and serendipitously and received a set of salt and pepper shakers that she covered in clay. LOVE them!
I can’t believe the folks I didn’t get pictures of and/or with! I took in some of the amazing work of Patricia Kimle, who make beautiful metal components to go with her beads. She even took a moment to show me how to hammer a brass escutcheon pin into a rivet, joining it permanently to polymer clay. Here’s a photo of her lovely work.
She also led the workshop on caning with the new Sculpey Souffle clay, and I really learned a lot. It makes me more anxious to use it some more!
The scholarship recipient was Eva Haskova, an amazing artist from Czech Republic. Her spirals sent my head spinning too….
She showed us how she makes the lovely textured spirals and then integrates them into her work.
There was an (optional) pin challenge- make a pin on the theme of “Arches.” I love how so many different artists interpreted the theme. Some were already done at the start of the retreat, but other artists were working on long tables all during the retreat and created them on site. Here are a few:
I wish I’d taken more! But that’s the thing about a retreat, right? You are supposed to be RETREATING from world, and TREATING yourself to a wonderful experience. And that I did. I even met some new folks in the greater Cleveland area that are interested in starting a guild. HUZZAH!
I met so many nice folks, and conversed with long-time pals (looking at you Lisa Pavelka!) and even learned about some new charities to contribute to. But we’ll save that for another day, as well as my tips for planning and packing for a retreat.
Are you a polymer clayer? What kind of clay work do you enjoy? I’d love to hear from you!
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