Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Vancouver Island Polymer Clay Artists Guild

Yesterday we had a guild meeting . It was an "all talk" meeting and clay was left at home. Why would we do such a thing?! Once again- method to madness- we were formatting the 2008 Nanaimo Retreat! It's our first such undertaking and it promises to be a terrific experience. It will be open to members of the Vancouver Island Polymer Clay Artists Guild and our sister group The Vancouver Polymer Clay Guild . Both groups welcome new members if you live in British Columbia.

The retreat will run from February 22-24. Presenters include Wanda Shum, Tina Holden, Georgia Ferrell, Joan Tayler, Cheryl Trottier, Barb Alexander and myself.

Just to give you a bit of an idea of the inspiration in store, here are some pictures of Tina and Wanda's work-

Dragonfly Vase- Wanda Shum
Falling Leaves Necklace- Tina Holden

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Making an exception...

I've been trying steadfastly to stick to an economically sensible business decision to hold off on filling any gallery or shop orders until after my November Shows but I received a request to put work in an exhibit hosted by the Crafts Association of British Columbia at the Canadian Diabetes and Endocrinology Conference at The Trade and Convention Centre in Vancouver. It was impossible to say no as my 18 year old daughter Genevieve was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes when she was just 18 months old. When it comes to being brave, patient and responsible, she's an inspiration to me. I hope the people attending the conference have a wonderful time and are inspired to continue the search for the cure!

So with a bit more incentive to get my nose to the grindstone I spent a day making Fusion Bangles while the printer cranked out dozens of labels for the Moxies I put together this week.

Here's a Fusion Bangle-

Photo by (new Mom) Genevieve Jenkins.

I love this Font! "Ugly Face".
This is the label for the BeachStone Stemware Box.
I'm undecided on capitalising the B and S. (lol) What do you think?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

It Was Moxie Madness

....the mystery items were stands for Moxies. Moxies are made in hanging or standing formats. I also make smaller Moxies to be worn as pendants or pins.

DrMom commented that the stands could be for holding notes or recipes- great suggestion! That would be a good small gift item at shows and they could certainly be used for holding little signs in the booth.

TGIF! Tomorrow I'll be getting together with fellow local Polymer Clay Artists at our Vancouver Island Polymer Clay Artists Guild Meeting here in Victoria. We're excited because we're planning a Polymer Clay Retreat which will be held in Nanaimo in February 2008.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Method to the Madness- part 2

...stage 2. Any guesses? I'll reveal the completed item tomorrow.

Method to the Madness

Here's stage one of a production run... stage 2 tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results....

....a quotation attributed to Albert Einstein. I can relate (no pun intended) as I view my table top piled high with polymer clay BeachStones & Stemware charms in stage 2 of production.
When you sell at shows, galleries and shops production is all important. Having established "lines" at a good price point are usually the mainstay of a craft-related enterprise. Maintaining a supply can challenge the sanity of a creative person though! To maintain my marbles and to avoid repetitive movement injuries I try to change the work on a daily basis... Moxies on Monday, BeachStones on Tuesday and so on. I'm fortunate to avoid Einstein's prescription for insanity in that even though the items are all created using the same process, each one is unique upon completion.

Here's my worktable- midpoint in assembling a batch of Stemware Charms.

Monday, September 24, 2007

BeachStones, Wires and a Fine Wine

...spent a crisp autumn day with the wire cutters and made sets of BeachStone Stemware Charms. This is always fun but terribly hard on the hands- by the end of the session my thumb was deeply bruised. The only recourse was to open a bottle of "Cycles Gladiator 2005" a Syrah from California. My husband chose the vintage- I wonder if it was because of the label? The wine was delicious... a bouquet that reminded me of arugula which sounds weird but was lovely.

Have I digressed?
The stemware charms are presented in boxed sets of four- the wire has a springiness and the charms click on the stem and hold in place.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


I've been blessed to live by the sea here in British Columbia all my life. I share an obsession with many of my friends in that I'm unable to stroll the shore without filling my pockets with beachstones. To me each one is a tiny beautiful work of sculptural art. Hand crafted polymer clay beachstones were one of the first things I tackled when I began to be drawn to polymer clay. I made little pebbles as tag embellishments many years ago when I was making BeachStone Soaps. Soapmaking was abandoned for polymer clay shortly thereafter. I use my beachstones for jewellery and household decor items.
Yesterday I spent the day making BeachStones- two pounds of them! I'll be busy through the week!

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Today's star is Amy June Beeney who sent me pics of her Secretive Woman "Starlight". This lady is so beautiful- the colours are a feast but my favourite feature is the gentle expression on her face. Amy is currently working on a second Secretive Woman- keep us posted Amy!

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Show Season Push

I'm facing a calendar that is edging into October and I have two craft shows in November and one in December and my inventory boxes are somewhat empty. It's time for that big push to get work done to fill the shelves of the booth! I just received over 30 lbs of clay from Bernie at KJP... I have a big order from Shades of Clay incoming and creative inspiration from Beeks Lane so I'm set!

My plan is to be working on small "production" items for the next few weeks- once I'm comfortable with the supply I can focus on larger One of a Kind items.
Currently I have 40 headless little moxies sitting on my work table, hopefully they'll be completed and tagged by the end of the day!
Each Moxie is approx 10cm/3.5" & the little hands are magnetic hematite.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

"Carolyn"- A Secretive Woman & a perfect polymer parasol.

Here's Georgia Ferrell's Secretive Woman "Carolyn". I love the edginess with the neck (yes- I AM inspired!!) ... so much fun with theme, attitude and colour going on here! Her poly-parosol is the perfect finishing touch.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

aMusements in Polymer Clay at Beeks Lane

I'm home again from teaching my Secretive Woman Workshop at Beeks Lane. We had a terrific group with great energy, talent and humour! Each September Georgia coordinates a delightful working weekend experience with a beautiful rural setting, delicious meals and lots of fun, laughter and inspiration for all! Keep an eye on Georgia's website for news of next September's Workshop with guest teacher Wanda Shum.
Here's a picture of iggy and I.

I'm always inspired by what I learn from each workshop I do. Teaching is a Creative Process and it's incredible how each Workshop shapes the next. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching this group- I began by sharing a process that I am very familiar with then as the hours passed I stepped back as each clayer gradually took the "reins" and followed their own path allowing me to me to reflect upon my own approach both as a teacher and as an artist. Each workshop changes and enriches my own creative outlook.

I used to feel concerned when the workshop ran out of time and some of the Secretive Women weren't completed. Happily I'm concluding that the feeling was a holdover from my public school teaching background. I'm coming to learn that it's impossible to put a time limit on creativity and incomplete work usually reflects an artists delight in savouring the process rather than problems with my timing. Most of the Secretive Women were bundled up at the end of the day in various stages of completion and they were aptly named as each held the secret of who and what she will finally be! We all are waiting eagerly for pictures of the completed characters!

Janice Van Beek has sent me a picture of "Jillian". She's a stunner!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Starting to Pack!

I'm packing to go to Ontario to teach a two day Secretive Woman workshop at Georgia Ferrel's Beek's Lane Studio in Godfrey Ontario . It's going to be wonderful to "meet" Georgia (aka iggy) and so many other friends that I've known for many years through Clayamies!

I love teaching this class. There's a certain magical colour event that always happens fairly in the process and then the fantastic moment when the woman's personality suddenly appears in the last few hours of the course! There are also weird unexpected things that can happen too- like the time a Secretive Woman fell over on the oven element and we had to scramble to repair her- happily it all worked out. There's ever a dull moment!

Here's one of my favourite Secretive women. Her name is Guenlillian. She is usually my teaching assistant for workshops but she's so fragile after all her travels that I decided to leave her at home. I'm taking a partially completed understudy to take her place. Just as well, Guenlillian would have insisted on a seat in business class at the very least!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Echinacias, Lavender and Fibre Findings...

I like the way the echinacia design worked and I made a teapot to start the day! This design will end up on more teapots, a vase and a Muse in upcoming weeks. The colours are really lovely and I'll be searching for fibres to set off a Muse design. I usually find fibres first then base the theme on the colours- that's how the Lavender series started- a wonderful discovery of hand spun and dyed wool at The Red Tree Galley on Pender Island. I wish I had time to spin and dye my own yarns but the search can be a creative process too!

Here's today's Teapot and "Lavender" - a wall hanging Muse. She sold recently at The Sooke Harbour House.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

In the garden....

I love echinaceas . The form, colours and textures are wonderful. I've been doing lavender, poppy and tulip themed designs and I think I'll play with echinaceas for a bit. I took this photo as inspiration... see the bee?

Saturday, September 8, 2007


.. got up at 5 am today. There's lots to do with back to back shows in November & a workshop in Ontario next weekend! I finished a few teapots and am close to completing a Secretive Woman who will help me to teach next week's workshop! (She's not too happy about the idea of travelling in a suitcase.)

Here's a fish Teapot- these are a lot of fun to make!

Friday, September 7, 2007

September 7th

What am I doing today? Besides feeling pleased that I finally launched this blog, I'm making fish! they'll be used on vases, teapots and wallhangings... here's a sample of one that's part of a wall hanging. the photo was taken by Shelley Poole at our recent Polymer Clay show at the Sidney Museum.

Welcome to My Blog!

I'm a full time polymer clay artist from Victoria BC Canada. I hope you'll drop by every now and then to see what I'm up to with my work, upcoming shows and workshops!