In June, we are very lucky to have Karen Lewis (aka Klew), one of the premier polymer clay artists in the industry, for our member meeting and a workshop for members.
Klew’s Polymer Beads … Polymer Clay has been used as modeling clay for many years. A technique called “caning” is borrowed from the Venetian Glass bead makers. A cane is a bundle of colors painstakingly pieced together to create a picture when viewed from the end or cross section. “Millie” means a thousand flowers in Italian and refers to the slicing off of the cross sections of the flower “cane”. In polymer the colored clays are formed together like a thick puzzle, once the desired picture or design is achieved the “cane” is compressed, rolled, stretched, pulled, squeezed, & smoothed resulting in reducing the diameter of the “cane”. With this process the design reduces within the cane. Slicing off slices of this cane results in a repetitive pattern with each slice off it’s cross section! I take these slices and veneer them onto a ball of clay and roll them smooth. Little by little I layer the slices from many types of canes to create my mosaic bead. Once the shape is reached I then make the hole and either bake it or add more sculpted slices for additional interest. The finishes are achieved from many grits of wet/dry sandpaper.
Guests are welcome to one meeting per year.
Karen’s workshop we will explore the foundation of caning complex canes using the fundamental spiral pattern as the first of three segments. In the second segment we will design canes with translucent and opaque clay. The third segment will be bead shaping and finishing techniques.
There is no experience required for the workshop but Karen recommends that you know how to condition clay and how to use a pasta machine. We will be offering a mini workshop for anyone who is new to polymer clay prior to this workshop to teach conditioning and use of a pasta machine. Please let us know your experience level at registration so we can include you in that mini workshop. There will be no charge for the mini workshop. Karen asks that you come to the workshop with your clay conditioned since this is so time consuming. You will need approximately 12 to 15 blocks of clay for the workshop. A materials list including clay and tools will be emailed to you after registration.