The Ripple Effect: Like-Minded Polymer Clay Enthusiasts Create a Cycle of Creativity
Enthusiasm is contagious. For better or for worse, humans are emotionally connected to an uncanny degree. We’ve all noticed how one person’s dark mood can permeate the room in seconds—but you’ve probably also experienced another person’s joyful exuberance spreading just as quickly.
ABOVE: Learn how to make 10 polymer clay beads and charms in Christi Friesen’s new online workshop!
Hobbyists gain great pleasure from being around others with similar passions. That’s why there are festivals and clubs for everything you can think of, from building model railroads to unicycling to noodling for catfish (apparently, that’s a thing).
The Interweave community—including you!—is evidence of this ripple effect of enthusiasm. Just look at Bead Fest, Yarn Fest, and all the other events that exist to bring like-minded people together. There’s something magical that happens when you drink in inspiration from everyone and everything around you, with the chance to impart a spark of your own creativity to someone else as well. The cycle of inspiring and being inspired repeats itself infinitely at these events, filling the participants with ideas to take home to their studios and giving them just the nudge they need to dive back into a hobby.
I recently experienced a wave of community inspiration myself. I have created with polymer clay since childhood, when my sister and I outgrew homemade play dough. Thrilled by the qualities of polymer clay for making long-lasting, sculpted creations, we jumped into making monsters, dragons, trolls, animals, and anything else that struck our fancy. Now that I’m older, I make monsters, dragons, trolls . . . well, pretty much the same thing. My own children have followed suit, eagerly ransacking my collection of polymer clay and tools to make axe-wielding orcs, two-headed goblin kings, giant spiders, and brightly patterned beads (for the relatives). We have fantastic fun creating with polymer clay. Even so, after all these years, I have barely even scratched the surface of what you can do with this medium.
Polymer Clay Creative Rave with Christi Friesen
Enter Christi Friesen, polymer clay and mixed-media artist extraordinaire. This spring, Interweave had the pleasure of filming four new workshops with Christi. While she was in Colorado for the week, she also hosted a Creative Rave at Denver’s The Great Create. I had the unique opportunity to attend, along with my family and fellow Interweave producers. Talk about a rush of inspiration!
As we entered the venue, we wove our way through tables full of artists busying themselves with projects until we came to our own creative space. Ball tools, needle tools, pasta machines, paintbrushes, blades, powders, glitters, canes—it was all at our disposal. Periodically, Christi would give demonstrations, creating a wild jungle flower of swirled colors and shiny powders or a big-eyed clay creature with a patterned tail. The rave-goers huddled around, drinking up the creative ideas before gathering up bright cubes of polymer clay and heading back to their tables.
As my kids jumped right into mixing and sculpting, I was amazed at how much my world of polymer clay had expanded. How had I never thought to use powders with clay before? Now both mica and chalk powders are on my list of items to purchase.
As Christi says in all her polymer clay workshops, powders can take your piece from “really good!” to “aMAZing!” When I look at my sampling of clay creatures that keep me company at my desk, I can’t help but think how some shading and highlighting could really bring them to life. I’m so excited to start incorporating a lot more into polymer clay than just the clay itself.
Master Polymer Clay with Christi’s Online Workshops
Luckily, through Christi’s online workshops, you’ll be able to share in the inspiration for yourself! If you want to take your polymer clay art to a new level, take a peek at Polymer Clay Jewelry: Learn 10 Beads and Charms. You’ll be blown away with all the bonus options just waiting for you to try, like applying powders, creating sgraffito on gold leaf (below), and crackling foils.
You’ll also learn all about patterns and color to produce marbling, mokumé gané, and canes in polymer clay (below). And don’t forget sculpting, using molds, carving, and embellishing with crystals and beads! There’s so much in this polymer clay workshop that you’ll be shocked to find out that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Be sure to stay tuned for more from Christi.
These workshops are just one more way for all of you polymer clay enthusiasts to share your passion for what you do. You’ll love Christi’s inspirational and light-hearted teaching style as you expand your repertoire of polymer clay techniques. And since these workshops have a built-in discussion board, I challenge you to chime in and pass along some of your own creative spark!
Producer for Bead & Jewelry
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