Clay ConneCTion 2010 Registration Opens

Clay ConneCTion 2010, August 5 – 8

Registration for Clay ConneCTion 2010, the Southern CT Polymer Clay Guild’s biennial retreat, opens for guild members at the April meeting this morning, April 17th.  Registration opens to non-guild members on May 1st.  (feel free to send in your registration any time, we’ll hold them until May 1st)

Clay ConneCTion is a wonderful opportunity to spend a weekend with 75 polymer clay enthusiasts, share ideas, watch demos, shop with Polymer Clay Express, and generally have fun.  This year we are expanding to 4 days, Thursday through Sunday, August 5 – 8.  This is not a retreat with formal classes, instead attendees provide a wide variety of demos throughout the weekend.  The retreat is held on the campus of Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut.  Accommodations are in dormitories (newer, clean and surprisingly comfortable), single or double occupancy.  Meals are provided from Thursday dinner through Sunday lunch.

Costs are:  $285 Thurs-Sun or $230 Fri-Sun (commuter costs are $205 or $180)  $10 discount for IPCA members, additional $10 discount for SCPCG or NYPCG members.

Registration form can be found here.  General information about our retreat can be found here.

Some features of our retreat:

  • greeting by Twinkle the clown when you arrive on Thursday
  • an entire 6 foot table workspace per attendee
  • Polymer Clay Express store on site
  • Massage therapist(s) available on site
  • 1-inch tile swap
  • Bottles of Hope competition
  • Wine & cheese gathering Thursday night

We hope to see you this summer.


Klay Karma

I had a lovely weekend at the Klay Karma polymer clay retreat in Nashua, New Hampshire.  My guild, the Southern Connecticut Polymer Clay Guild, hosts a weekend retreat every other year.  Klay Karma is a polymer clay retreat run by a group of Massachusetts and New Hampshire polymer clay artists scheduled for the off years of Clay ConneCTion.  It’s great to have a polymer retreat to look forward to every summer.

It was a great weekend, very mellow.  The whole thing was incredibly well organized and a delight to attend.  There’s a special kind of buzz in the air when you fill a big room with more than 50 polymer clay artists at work.  It was great to see old friends and meet some new ones.  Watch some great demos, eat delicious food, shop and play with clay.  Surprisingly I even finished a fair number of things.  I made a few ikat canes and used them to cover the nifty silver bead cores from Metal Clay Findings.  This was the first time I covered the smaller 1/8 inch cores.  I’d only used the 1/4 inch cores previously. I really like the skinny little spacers interspersed with the larger beads.


Diane Villano spent the weekend working with the silver bead cores too.  She sat across from me and we both fielded a lot of questions about covering them with clay.  Diane’s beads have wonderful flowers on them.  We traded and I got this lovely bead:


I turned one ikat cane into a set of earrings and a pendant.    Then I gave them to a friend who had generously opened her home to me when I was in her area taking a polymer clay workshop last year.  She injured her shoulder this year and hasn’t been able to do anything creative for quite a while.  She showed up in a light blue t-shirt which matched the set I had just finished and I decided they needed to go home with her.



It was a really happy weekend all around.



It’s amazing how quickly I can forget all the frustrations with a project once it’s done.


This weekend is my annual church retreat.  I have been going to the Our Lady of Calvary Retreat House since E was a year old.  The only year I missed was the year we were in New Jersey, so this will be my 17th retreat.  (a fact that both stuns me and makes me feel rather old, LOL)  It’s a wonderful weekend apart, a refuge of  friends and prayer and serenity.  One of the most precious gifts of this weekend is the opportunity to tap into a well of inspiration.  It doesn’t happen every year, but when it does, it’s amazing.

See you next week.  I’ve got a great Studio Snapshot ready for Monday.


Clay ConneCTion 2008 Highlights

The Southern Connecticut Polymer Clay Guild’s 6th polymer clay retreat, Clay ConneCTion 2008 was this past weekend at Connecticut College in New London, CT and it was great! Conn College was a new venue for us and I think the consensus was that it was a keeper.

Clay ConneCTion is a 3 day (Friday noon to Sunday afternoon) gathering of approximately 75 polymer clay artists primarily from the east coast, but we always have a few enthusiasts who fly in from far away states. Check-in usually involves meeting one of our professional clowns:


In case you thought I was kidding, that’s Twinkle and Cynthia**. Twinkle helps welcome everyone on Friday and get the event off to a cheerful start. The workroom in our new location is nice and big and bright. Plenty of room for every attendee to have a 6 foot worktable each.


Polymer Clay Express set up a store of polymer clay related goodies at the back of the room. (You can see a tiny bit of it in the back of the photo above) They brought all sorts of goodies, plus some real bargains and even a few giveaways. It always makes me laugh how we all bring so much stuff with us to a retreat and yet, we still find things to buy from Rob & Wilma.

Friday night, as our opening ice breaker event, Tracy and I reprised “Iron Chef Polymer Clay”.


That’s me failing to keep a straight face over something that Tracy said in Chinese. (btw, if you were there, Tracy was really speaking fluent Mandarin Chinese. We both majored in Chinese in college, oh so many years ago. She kept hers up. Mine is beyond rusty, but I can manage to understand a bit of what she’s saying apart from the script, which makes the whole skit even funnier for me.) The secret ingredient this year was dried beans of various shapes and colors. There were so many fantastic bean and polymer clay creations!

Saturday was a very full day. There were more demos, loads of demos.


(that’s Helen demo-ing soldering simple silver bezels Friday afternoon)

This year we moved the demo area to a separate room and I think that worked really well. I don’t know how many demos there were over the course of the weekend, but the schedule looked really full and everyone seemed to be enjoying them. We also held the giant raffle on Saturday, which was a huge success. It was so much fun to put out all the wonderful artist donations, and hear the oohs and aahhs. After the raffle was over I visited one of the two massage therapists we brought in and had a wonderful relaxing massage.  I think I went to dinner after that, but all I remember was being really relaxed.

Saturday night Diane and Debbie ran a group creative challenge called “Creature Feature”. Participants were divided up into teams and given a profile of an imaginary creature. We then had 30 minutes to work together and create a physical representation of our creature. Think polymer clay meets Mr. Potato Head meets junk yard challenge. It was a lot of fun. Here’s one of the creatures.


And here’s my group and our creature “Pilfrey Wugglelump”:


Sunday always goes by super fast. We had the traditional Bottles of Hope Challenge. Debbie roped me in at the last minute to help judge. It’s so hard to pick winners since all the bottles are really beautiful and fun and inventive. Here are the winners (minus Tommie who disappeared at picture time):


Sunday we also raffled off a mosaic tray made from all the 1-inch tiles provided by the retreat attendees.


I’m still so tired that I feel like I am not making too much sense. It was a great time. The creative energy in the work room, the opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones, the demos, the silly activities… all wonderful.  Thanks to everyone who made the weekend so great.
**Thanks also to Cynthia Douglass for providing most of my pictures. I only took a few (the fuzzier ones) with my phone. Most of the time I was busy doing things ,and didn’t manage to even think about taking pictures.  I didn’t manage to do any claying either. I brought all sorts of tools and supplies.  I just never got around to using any of them.  I’m really looking forward to next summer’s Mass/New Hampshire retreat where I get to clay. It’s fun being one of the coordinators, but it’s nice to be a plain attendee too.

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