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April 2007

April 2007 Meeting Notes

Christie Wright did a great job demonstrating the mica shift technique at April’s guild meeting. Mica shift involves using metallic clays and rubber stamps, then shaving off the top layer to leave an illusion of texture. We had five people there — and at one point of another, I think every person ran their fingers over the clay surface and expressed amazement that it was smooth instead of textured. It’s a fun technique, and Christie was a wonderful teacher. If you couldn’t make the meeting, be sure to catch her mica shift video.
Although time didn’t allow us to properly sand and buff the beads — which really heightens the illusion — Christie brought some of her tools and explained the process. She also gave us a handy tip about a place called Harbor Freight, which has a location just around the corner from the Hobby Lobby where we meet. That’s where she got the tools she showed us — a Chicago 3″ Multipurpose Bench Grinder and an Enkay 5 Pc. Buffing & Polishing Kit. The prices she mentioned sounded great, so it might be worth a visit. You can also order on their website, but Christie said their online selection varies a bit from their in-store selection.
In the business portion of the meeting, we discussed the following items:
* Penni Jo Couch won the group’s logo design contest. She also created the miniature logo we’re now using as our Flickr! group logo, and a “Proud Member” logo that’s available to everyone who’s paid their dues. Thanks to Penni Jo for her excellent logo work!
* Angela has sent out membership profile pages for those who have paid their dues. Members have the option of including their information on
* Our group has 6 members, with $189.37 in the treasury. A check for $25 will be issued for the contest award. [Note: Another member joined after Saturday’s meeting, so we’re now up to 7!]
* Angela recommended a points system for rewarding members’ contributions to the group. Members could earn points over the year by doing things like teaching a lesson or holding an office, then the next year’s dues could be discounted based on points earned. She offered to write an email to the group with more specific suggestions.
* Upcoming Events:
** Bottles of Hope Designer Challenge Contest: Entries must be received by May 1st.
** May 12 Meeting: Artist Trading Cards with Angela Mabray
** June 9 Meeting: Leaf Canes with Christie Wright
** June 30 Play Day: Open
** July 14 Meeting: Accordion Books / UTEE with Penni Jo Couch and Sue Kerr

April Meeting: Mica Shift Beads

Mica Shift Beads BraceletThis month Christie Wright will be teaching us how to make bracelets that feature an exciting technique called mica shift. Mica shift is an optical illusion — the beads appear to have a textured design, but they are as smooth as glass.
Several of you met Christie at our last meeting. She sells hand-crafted polymer clay items through DragonflyLane. Her site also features wonderful video tutorials — including a mica shift video you can watch if you want a sneak preview of Saturday’s lesson.
Here are the meeting details:
* When: Saturday, April 14, 2007, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
* Where: Hobby Lobby at I-40 and MacArthur, 6104 West Reno, Oklahoma City, OK. (The classroom is in the very back of the store.)
* What to Bring:
* 1 block of metallic clay. Christie uses Premo or Kato metallics. If you prefer, you can make a custom metallic color by mixing a small amount of a bright color clay to Pearl — if you’re doing this, bring 2 colors of clay (one of them metallic).
* A deeply etched stamp
* Pasta machine
* A thin, flexible slicing blade
* Acrylic roller (optional)
* A bead piercing tool (if you prefer to make bead holes before baking)
If you don’t own these supplies, don’t worry. We will have some on hand to share. We will also provide a spray water bottle, wax paper, and a toaster oven.
Mica shift beads don’t show their true beauty til they’ve been sanded and buffed. While Christie will go over how to do this, we probably won’t have time to complete these steps at the meeting. These are the “at home” supplies she recommends:
* 400 & 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper
* A high-speed polishing tool OR an old pair of denim jeans for buffing
* A small drill bit to make bead holes if you did not do so before baking.
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn an interesting technique from a great artist!

And the Winner Is…

OKPolyClay logo winnerCongratulations to Penni Jo Couch! Her logo was the winner of our guild’s logo design contest. She will receive a $25 gift certificate to a craft store of her choice.
Thanks to everyone who entered & voted!

March 2007 Play Day Notes

Our March Play Day focused on Bottles of Hope — and while this was our first experience with Bottles of Hope, it almost certainly won’t be our last! We had a wonderful time creating these bottles while sharing stories about loved ones. Amaco (makers of Fimo clay) very generously donated packets of their clay for us to use in creating the Bottles of Hope. And Penni Jo brought Cracker Barrel bottles for everyone to cover. Thanks to everyone for their generosity!
The group brainstormed topics for future meetings — and it sounds like we’ve got a lot to look forward to! In addition to our mica shift project in April, we discussed the following (still-tentative) items:
* May: Artist Trading Cards
* June: Christie will teach us how to make and reduce leaf canes. Her lesson will include the Skinner blend technique
* July: Penni Jo and Sue will demonstrate how to make an accordion book, featuring Ultra-Thick Embossing powder
A couple of other ideas were mentioned, such as suspending something in liquid clay (similar to Donna Kato’s layered dichroic effect) or a glass-like heart necklace. Interested in teaching something? Interested in learning about a different technique? Please get in touch.
The group also discussed discounting membership for multiple members in the same family. The group voted to set the policy as follows: For family members 18 years old and up, the charge for the additional family member will be 50% of regular dues ($18/year). For “junior members” (less than 18 years old), the yearly dues will equal their age — e.g., $10 for a 10-year-old.
Our next meeting will be April 14th, when Christie Wright will be teaching us to make mica shift beads.