Classes, Events & Workshops

mini-perfume-studentCreativity is fun to share! Learn a new skill or practice one you already enjoy.

Classes and workshops can be geared to fit the needs of participants–children or adults, highly skilled or new to the medium.

Prices are varied based on class length and intensity as well as other factors such as items included for use in class. Contact me for more details.

I’m offering instruction through Tinkemill in Longmont CO, and scheduling them via MeetUp. These events will be announced through Tinkermill’s MeetUp account and through my newsletter. Sign up to receive information about upcoming events and classes.

Classes are also offered by arrangement, so let me know when you are ready and we will set things up!

Contact me at sarajane@polyclay.com for details about booking a workshop for your classroom or group, or through the contact button here.

Click the link on the category or the class name to go to the class description. There are two pages of class listings now to make loading faster.

Upcoming Classes


POLYMER CLAY


An Introduction To Polymer Clay

tools for use with polymer clayThis course starts at the beginning and takes an intensive look at the creative uses and embellishment potentials of polymer clay. Participants are encouraged to take all three sessions focusing on polymer clay.

We will cover a wide array of techniques including the basics of preparation, color blending, millefiore or “cane work”, stamping, additional surface decoration and inclusions, mica shift, and creating textures and faux effects (mimicking bone, wood, coral, etc) storage and baking as well as safety issues, and finishing options.

Participants will create sample tiles, buttons, or charms for a collection of techniques in mosaic or jewelry form. Many of the items used during the course are provided, but participants are expected to provide their own clay.Students are encouraged to have Premo, Kato, Fimo, or Cernit brand polymer clays as they are the sturdiest. Clay purchasing options and local sources will be reviewed.

Participants will need:
several blocks of pre-conditioned polymer clay (approx. $1-$2 each at your local art supplies store) in different colors, a sharp blade (approx. $5 or under at your local art supplies store), and work surface (acrylic plate or ceramic tile). If participants have a pasta machine this is also strongly encouraged. The clay and sharp blade can be purchased at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. Participants will also review tools. If the student does not already have tools they will be available during the course. (Minimum class size is 2 and 20 maximum.)

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Canework: Millefiore Technique

polymer clay millefiore canesThis course builds on previous course. Millefiore is the Italian word for “thousand flowers”. This technique is thousands of years old in the glassmaking trade. Today’s polymer clays also make great use of this imaging process, with far more control of color and form available in this medium. Participants will take images in colored clays and build them into millefiore “canes” and then reduced to form amazingly detailed designs.

Starting with simple geometric canes like stripes, checkerboards, bulls-eyes and spirals and progressing to floral and other detailed forms. We will learn how to build and combine components to make items that range from simple to stunning.

Variations such as square repeats, tessellations and recombined complex canes will also be covered. Color shading techniques such as the Skinner Blend and 3D stacking layers will be used to give even more depth to the images.

Successful cane building requires some attention and effort, as does the reduction, and there are things to do that greatly increase your success. Learn the tricks of the trade, and build beautiful canes, plus how to reduce them with less distortion and hand strain. Once canes are built and reduced, slices can be used to create beads and embellish decorative objects of many kinds.

Participants will need:
several blocks of pre-conditioned polymer clay (approx. $1-$2 each at your local art supplies store) in different colors and a sharp blade (approx. $5 or under at your local art supplies store). If participants have a pasta machine this is also strongly encouraged. (Minimum class size is 2 and 20 maximum.)

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Making Beautiful Beads

polymer clay beads This course builds on previous courses and begins with shape and color moving through many decorative techniques including mold making, textures, stamping and impressing, inclusions, filigree, granulation, metal foils and mica powders, carving, and more.

Using multiple techniques on a single bead to create elaborate effects can bring about some incredible looks! By using a limited palette of selected colors, all beads can “go together” or be used as individual focal pieces in multiple wearable art pieces.

Mokume gane and mica shift are just a few of the many different approaches to clay manipulation in addition to millefiore that can be used to create beautiful beads. Finishing techniques such as sanding, buffing, and glazing with polyurethanes will be covered in class.

Participants can use the beads created in the session along with any others to create a stunning one of a kind necklace. (Minimum class size is 4 and 20 maximum.)

Participants will need:
several blocks of pre-conditioned polymer clay (approx. $1-$2 each at your local art supplies store) in different colors and a sharp blade (approx. $5 or under at your local art supplies store). If participants have a pasta machine this is also strongly encouraged. (Minimum class size is 2 and 20 maximum.)

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switchplate covers with polymer clay Home Décor

With a little paint, some fabric accents and the right details, decorators will tell you that any room can be given fresh style. Polymer clay can give you some amazing details and decorator touches in a multitude of styles.

Bring swatches of fabric and learn how to mix colors and create faux finishes that provide just the right touches.

Use polymer clay and  objects to cover that you bring to class along with  rubber stamps, texture sheets, molds and other tools supplied for use in class to cover wall plug plates, switch plates, knobs, boxes and bottle tops and much more!

You can purchase wall plug plates and switch plates at hardware stores, usually for a dollar each or less. New plastics can be baked at the temps required for curing polymer, but not all older ones can be baked.

Metal plates are more expensive, but also last longer–either kind will work.

switchplatesWooden, metal ceramic and glass knobs can be covered or decorated. Make finials and pulls!

Participants will need:
several blocks of pre-conditioned polymer clay (approx. $1-$2 each at your local art supplies store) in different colors and a sharp blade (approx. $5 or under at your local art supplies store). If participants have a pasta machine this is also strongly encouraged. (Minimum class size is 2 and 20 maximum.)

 

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polymer clay facesMaking Faces with Polymer Clay

Learn how to sculpt an original face using polymer clay, and then how to create a mold using RTV silicone rubber that can be used to make as many faces as you choose.

Use them in making dolls, collage and assemblages, mosaics, jewelry and other forms of wearable art.

Tools, scrap clay, and mold making material are provided in class.

 

 

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new-doll-2Ball Joint Dolls

Sculpting all the parts in sections, we will create a fully pose-able 6-9 inch ball joint doll using Kato brand polymer clay, supplied in class. (Students can provide their own clay if they wish to use another brand or make a larger doll).

After finishing all the pieces, dolls are strung together, painted, and wigged. Different styles, ages, modes, proportions–all kinds of “looks” are possible with polymer clay doll making. Learn the techniques, and add your imagination!

 

 

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miniature polymer clay tea setMiniature Tea Set

Make a scale version tea set that includes plates, cups and saucers, sugar and cream, a teapot, a vase with flowers and a platter full of cookies.

Use them with your favorite dolls, a diorama, or  make them as jewelry components for pendants and earrings.

Flatten the backs and make them into magnets!

Find out what scale conversion is all about, and fit things just right.

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polymer clay miniature vanity setMiniature Vanity Set

Create a set of miniature accessories for a doll or diorama.

Trays, perfume bottles, cosmetics and more are easily formed using polymer clay and beads, along with simple tools provided for use in class.

AR-toiletries

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METAL


etch-patinaMetal Etching 1 – Etched Bracelets & Beads

Start with copper and brass tubing and 24 gauge sheet metal/pre-made brass cuffs. Add your own artwork, and then etch using electricity!

Cutting and creating tube beads and  is easy and addictively fun. Learn how to start with blank metal and use different masking techniques for etching. Create pieces that are uniquely your own!

Instructor Sarajane Helm will guide you through this fun journey into the areas where science and art meet up to form wearable art.  Included will be an overview of patinas used on metal like Liver of Sulfur and Midas Blue, and the use of alcohol inks.

 

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Metal Etching 2 – Etched Jewelry Components

We’ll start with 3 inch squares of brass and copper and wire, which will be treated with several kinds of resist media. Then they are etched to create metal pieces that can be cut, filed, and wire wrapped to form jewelry. Pieces can be used to create bracelets, necklaces, pins, earrings–simple components that add up to great wearable art pieces.

Students can also purchase additional metal including nickle silver or bronze.

 

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color-metal-plate-16Color on Metal 1

Get your creative juices flowing with alcohol inks on aluminum, brass and copper, exploring a great number of decorative techniques.

Various protective sealants will be discussed and used.

Find out how to use hand tools to cut and smooth metal, and use simple wire wrapping to create beautiful jewelry or components.

 

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Color on Metal 2

Discover how to safely use chemical patinas and heat to create color on brass and copper. Some will also work on bronze and nickle silver. 

We will explore the use of easily available household chemicals as well as commercially available patinas.

patina-tiles

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Metal Flowersmetal-flowers-6

We’ll start with 3 inch squares of brass and copper, wire and a few beads.  Students  will use simple hand tools to cut, file, form, and wire wrap jewelry. Metal can be left as is, or colored with simple uses of patinas and inks.

Students can also bring metal from a previous etching or color on metal class if desired, or purchase additional metal including etched or inked metal.

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metal-pieces-4 Jewelry Findings & Components 

We’ll start with copper wire, sheet metal and a few beads.   Students  will use simple hand tools to cut, file, form, hammer and wire wrap components for jewelry (supplies are included, students are encouraged to bring their own round and flat nose pliers.)

Learn how to make:

  • simple and decorative eye pins and head pins
  • S clasps
  • hook and eye clasps
  • jump rings, split rings
  • earring wires
  • chain links
  • loop and coil bails 
  • earrings, charms and pendants

findings

 

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bangle1Bronze Wire Bangles

We’ll start with bronze wire in different gauges and cut, file, solder, and hammer to create a set of bangle bracelets.

Smaller circles can be soldered for jump rings to make charms. Once you have the technique down, you can make these in other metals and build a collection!

all supplies included

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wire-pendantHammered Wire and Beads

Make a pendant, scarf clip or hair ornament using bronze or copper wire and beads!

String it up into a necklace later, or use jump rings (made in class) to add to your own ribbon or chain to create a one-of-a-kind piece.

Learn simple hammering and coiling techniques, add your choice of beads.  Suitable for all ages, no experience required.

All materials included. 

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boho-3Twisted Wire & Silk Boho Bracelets

Using twisted copper, brass and bronze wires along with silk ribbons and beads, learn how to create these beautiful bohemian style bracelets. Making charms is fun and easy using wire, sheet metal discs created in class, and beads. 

All materials are supplied to create one multistrand cuff, or make more by purchasing extra supplies available in class. 

 

 

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boho-7strandBohemian 7 Strand Bracelet | Necklace

Channel your inner gypsy with this bohemian style bracelet or necklace.  Make it long or short, 

Sari silk ribbons, hand dyed silk & cotton ribbons and cords, leather, etched metal and beads all join together to form this beautiful eclectic piece. 

Learn how to wrap and coil wire to create charms and decorative pieces. 

Wire is also used to form the clasp ends, and several varieties will be demonstrated in class.

Etched and hammered metals are cut to form coin-like discs.  

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Hammered Metal Jewelry

Start with sheet metal (bronze, brass, copper and nickle silver pieces of 26 gauge are provided in class), and use a variety of hammers to create a multitude of textures! Then use templates, disc cutters, saws and the metal shears, dapping tools, files and more to create shaped components for jewelry. Design your own earrings and pendants and put them together with cold connections.

 


boho-earringsBead and Wire Earrings

Using copper, brass, and bronze wire, learn how to make your own beautiful hammered earring wires. Then learn how to create headpins and loop and coil methods of attachment.

Add beads and create 3 pairs of earrings of your own design!

This class can also be scheduled as a party! Have a birthday, bridal shower or creative-night-out coming up? Talk with me about scheduling your group. 

All materials supplied in class as part of the included kit fee.


wire-beadsWire Beads

Using copper, brass, and bronze wire, learn how to create amazing metal beads and chain links.

With techniques like twisting, coiling, hammering, soldering, and wire wrapping, you can combine wire and beads in many ways.

Start with one, and keep going–make your own sampler necklace including a wire wrap hook and eye clasp or a hammered  S clasp and loop.

All materials supplied in class as part of the included kit fee. Bring your own found objects or beads to include if desired. 


wire-twistTwisted Wire Choker with Beaded Pendant

Using copper and bronze wire, twist up a choker with wrapped hook and eye clasp.

Wrap wire and beads to create a delicately beautiful pendant, or an ornament for a festive tree. 

All materials supplied in class as part of the included kit fee.