Events

Here is a listing of some of the classes and workshops that I teach.

Contact me at sarajane@polyclay.com for details about booking a workshop for your classroom or group.

 

POLYMER CLAY

An Introduction To Polymer Clay | $70

tools for use with polymer clay

This 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 Michaels. Participants will also review tools. If the student does not already have tools they will be available during the course. (Minimum class size is 4 and 20 maximum.)


Canework: Millefiore Technique | $70

polymer clay millefiore canes

This 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 4 and 20 maximum.)


Making Beautiful Beads | $70

polymer clay beads

This course builds onprevious 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 4 and 20 maximum.)


SPIRIT DOLLS

Spirit Dolls 1-Construction |$70

Spirit Doll

Spirit dolls, totems, icons or decorative poppet–no matter what you call it, express yourself with a very personal art project. We’ll use fanciful fabric, trims, beads, clay and more to create and adorn a figure that expresses whatever mood or thought you choose. Celebrate the divine, turn trauma into treasure, use the power of art to focus your awareness in creative, transforming ways!

Start off in part one with your choice of hand dyed fabric (provided in class) or bring your own material to cut, sew and stuff into a doll body using the provided simple patterns. For those that would rather not sew, there are premade cotton doll bodies available for purchase. Then we’ll use fabric paints and Shiva textile paint sticks to further decorate the fabric.

Also included in the cost of the class is a polymer clay face that can be glued or drilled and sewn to the doll body.

We will cover how to recognize and gather the many elements that become a particular doll, and to know when to add more or to take away. Sometimes you already have a plan, and other times dolls seem to almost collect themselves into being as you go. Many design options will be discussed and compared as we prepare for the the Spirit Doll 2 class.

Students will need:

  • needle and thread
  • other fabric for body if desired (1/4 yd)s
  • sewing machine (or premade doll body option
  • fiberfill stuffing

Hand dyed fabric, pattern and a polymer clay face are provided as part of the class fee along with paints and oil sticks for use in class. Additional kits are available for purchase as well.


Spirit Dolls 2- Costuming and Embellishments |$70

Now that the doll body is created, we can add all sorts of costume elements and embellishments. Polymer clay, fabric or painted details can be used to make shoes; add faerie wings or other clothing details to embellish your doll.

Make it beautifully decorative or scary enough to ward away monsters!

beaded doll by Laura HumenikMany fabric scraps, lace and trims, feathers, sequins and embellishments will be provided, and you can also bring your own baubles and bits to add to your project.

Old costume jewelry and buttons can become crowns, breastplates, armor and more! Embroidery floss or beads that you provide can become hair or decorate hair created from leftover strips of your fabric.

We will cover simple bead embroidery techniques that can be used to accent or completely cover your doll. There are no end to the options when making a Spirit Doll, as they can be expressive of anything you choose…let the spirit move you to creativity!

Students will need:

  • needle, thread
  • beading thread (nymo)
  • beads, including seed beads and larger beads
  • collected jewelry, charms or other embellishments
  • fiber, yarn or other trims as desired

THE BUSINESS OF ART

The Business of Professional ArtAre you an artist or entrepreneur that would like to showcase your work on the web? Do you yearn to earn from sales without the bother and huge expense of opening a store and staffing it every day? You can showcase your business on the internet without spending thousands of dollars by learning how to set up and maintain a website and an online store. This four part series of classes will walk you through all the aspects you need to know whether you are just getting started or ready to fine tune your presentation.

Students will need:

  • a working knowledge of basic computer use (how to open and save a file, etc)
  • small notebook and pencil or pen for notes

all computers in the lab are MACs, and students can bring their own laptops if they prefer

The Business Of Art – 1
Setup & Graphics |$70

We will touch on how to create a business plan, legal issues such as licenses, sales and business income taxes, what to name your business and highlights of of copyright, patent and trademark issues that artists need to know. We’ll use Adobe Photoshop CS5 to design or revamp your logo and use it in creating business cards, letterhead, hangtags and headers for packaging and more.

Students will need:

  • a working knowledge of basic computer use (how to open and save a file, etc)
  • small notebook and pencil or pen for notes
  • any business graphics or files they currently have on flash drive or cd

all computers in the lab are MACs, and students can bring their own laptops if they prefer

The Business Of Art -2
Photography & Editing |$70

Students will bring in up to five pieces of artwork to photograph, or can bring digital photo files to edit. Several digital photo setups will be used and compared. We will learn about effective composition that showcases your art, backgrounds that accentuate rather than compete with your work. The instructor will shoot pictures and students are welcome to bring their own cameras to shoot as well. Then we will use Adobe Bridge and Adobe Photoshop CS5 to edit the photos and save them both for print and web use. Learn how to fix images that are off-color, too dark, or remove elements that are distracting or misplaced. With a few tricks you can be editing your images to look their best. Then those images can be used to sell the artwork directly or to embellish your business graphics, or to sell as images on cards or even fabric!

Students will need:

  • a working knowledge of basic computer use (how to open and save a file, etc)
  • small notebook and pencil or pen for notes
  • 5 items to photograph or images they currently have on flash drive or cd

The Business Of Art -3
Websites & Storefronts |$70

In this section we will cover how to setup a WordPress blog/website and and an Etsy storefront. Students can use the free files from WordPress.com or WordPress.org (come find out what the difference is!) to create a site that is hosted by wordpress at no cost, or purchase hosting from a company like justhosts.com and get a free domain name with your account. (students who already have a domain name and host can use that, but will need to bring their account access information such as user name and password). We will discuss and compare the uses of different “templates” and how to use Photoshop to create a banner that fits the feel of your site and can also be resized for use with your Etsy.com storefront. Students will also learn how to open a storefront at Etsy.com and prepare for next week when we begin listing items for sale! (opening etsy stores requires the use of a bank account routing number, as does setting up a Paypal account. We will discuss the uses of Paypal both for online shopping and for taking credit card payments at shows using their Virtual Terminal.

Students will need:

  • a working knowledge of basic computer use (how to open and save a file, etc)
  • small notebook and pencil or pen for notes
  • routing number of savings or checking account to set up etsy and paypal accounts
  • paypal account information if already a member,
  • etsy account information if already a member,
  • credit/debitcard if you wish to purchase hosting/domain name (purchase of hosting and domain is optional) OR current hosting account and domain name info

The Business Of Art -4
Ad Copy & Content |$70

In this final section of the Business Of Art series, we’ll compose effective, keyword-rich descriptions of items and list them for sale using etsy.com (and talk about why etsy can be far more effective and economical at reaching your target market as an artist than ebay or other online venues). Then we will create posts and pages using WordPress to advertise items that we list in the individual Etsy stores, paying particular attention to well written descriptors that reach not only your customers but also the “robots” and search engines that are so important to ranking well in searches such as google or bing. Learn how to cross link and promote your site as well as your product line.

Students will need:

  • a working knowledge of basic computer use (how to open and save a file, etc)
  • small notebook and pencil or pen for notes