The guild welcomes everyone – and this includes people who have never touched polymer clay or worked with crafts in any way. That said, our active membership has a huge range of skills:

  • absolute beginners
  • enthusiastic hobbyists
  • craft show and art fair entrepreneurs
  • nationally known experts and teachers

Any meeting is likely to have a mix of all these levels – but everyone has a few important factors in common – they are friendly, willing to share, ready to learn, and open to trying new things.

It’s not uncommon for guild members to zealously pursue the next new tool or product or gizmo. HOWEVER, beautiful results can be achieved with almost no tools at all. A workable MINIMUM STARTER KIT would include:

  • a few blocks of polymer clay in different colors
  • An acrylic roller OR smooth-sided glass jar to use as a rolling pin
  • Cutting blades (available at cost from the guild at meetings) or wall paper blades (from hardware stores)
  • A flat, smooth, nonreactive surface like a ceramic tile or sheet of glass to be used as a work surface
  • Plastic wrap
  • Small skewers or needle tools (purpose-made metal tools or wooden skewers from the grocery store for grilling kabobs)
  • Notepad and pen

There are dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of other things you can buy and use – but beginners would be wise to attend a few guild meetings and “tour” the toolboxes of other members to see what tools are helpful for creating the clay effects they’re most interested in trying. Also, at each meeting small tabletop ovens are available, so members can cure their work onsite if they wish.

The various brands of clay differ significantly in terms of workability, feel, strength, available colors, recommended curing temperatures, etc. Over time, members experiment with different brands and then usually end up selecting one specific brand as their go-to clay. Different members, however, have chosen different go-to brands. The most commonly used clay brands are Premo and Kato. If you’re starting from scratch, we suggest you buy a couple small packages of either brand to start. As you work, you’ll come to appreciate the characteristics of one brand over the others.

Typically, two guild members volunteer to “present” at meetings.

  • During the tool/product demo a member shares a new product or tool she’s discovered: how to use it, what results it generates, where it is available, and what it costs. Not infrequently, the tools and products are re-purposed items originally intended for other use in the kitchen or garage.
  • The “polymer clay technique” demos are much more detailed and extensive. During these demos the member shows a variety of finished examples of the technique, shows all the products and tools necessary to create the piece, and then executes the technique from start to finish. Members are encouraged to take notes, photographs, and even personal videos of the demo to study later. No question is too basic to ask; our demonstrators are the BEST and can explain and offer “work arounds” for most difficulties.

Terrific! Your first meeting is FREE and regarding what to bring, consider these two options:

  • Option 1 - Frequently people come to a meeting to see what it’s like, but not to work on clay during this “first look.” If this approach appeals to you, simply bring your camera and a notebook and pen. You might also bring a bag lunch and beverage as many of our members drive long distances to attend and eat lunch during the first part of the meeting.

  • Option 2 – Bring the MINIMUM STARTER KIT described above or whatever supplies and tools you already have, along with your camera and lunch. Anything else you might need for the specific demonstration on the day of your visit will be provided you by the guild members. Ask anyone and they will share.

At the meeting you fill out a membership form and pay either $25 (anual dues payment received in January), $30 (anual dues payment received in Feb-June), or $15.00 (2nd semester dues payment received in July-Nov). Payment options include cash, check, paypal, or charge.

No. You may attend your first meeting free. Thereafter, meeting attendance for non-members is $5 for each regular meeting visit and $10 for a clay day visit, payable at the meeting.

  • Visit the guild’s Facebook page where specific details about each month’s meeting are posted, along with photographs of the demonstration items and supply lists.
  • Also, Janet Hickey - will be happy to answer your questions.

Visit the MEMBERS page to see thumbnails of our members’ work and to access links to their websites (if available). The list doesn’t show all our members; it includes only the ones with websites for you to visit and/or fun photos to share.

Embellished Purple Necklace by Toni Carroll
Extruded Mokume Gane by Janet Johnson