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Polymer Clay Polyzine

Copyright 2000-2004
Raleigh, NC
ISSN 1534-1038
All Rights Reserved.
 
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Parlez-vous Clay?
French-speaking Clayers Share
Their Polymer Passion

By Violette Laporte
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CREATIONFIMO. It all started with a message written in January 2001, by Claude Delattre who wanted to share her passion for polymer clay with other French-speaking clayers. The message was heard, and in no time CREATIONFIMO was well on it’s way to becoming the very active group that it is today. The original idea which consisted of sharing ideas, learning new techniques, showing work in progress, asking for critiques and getting them is very much what makes this group so much fun to belong to. Everyone, be they beginner, amateur or professional has much to gain and learn from each other.

In European countries, polymer clay is not yet well known: it is mostly promoted as a children’s medium. This reputation is changing and polymer clay is slowly but surely making inroads in all the countries: the growth potential is huge.  Although participants from France make up the largest part of this list, other countries involved are Belgium, Canada (Quebec), Italy, Switzerland and even the USA.

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Belgium
Canada
Italy
Switzerland

The fact that polymer clay is not well known in the French speaking community could be a handicap but in a way, it has become a great opportunity: we search, test and compare our experiments; every day, we discover new potential for this magical, addictive and fascinating medium. The list fills the need to discuss polymer clay in our own language; some participants do not speak English and it is hard for them to understand all the wonderful tutorials out there.  One step at a time, we are building up our own data bank and everyone can contribute her/his input.

CREATIONFIMO now has 212 members and five moderators and it keeps on growing. At this point, some members have felt the need to know and even clay with each other in person and this year, many meetings were organized. New and genuine friendships are being forged.

 Swaps, contests, challenges, Bottles of Hope, random acts of kindness take place on a regular basis.  Swaps are organized, and results are shown and discussed. Because of the distance factor, there is nothing like a good swap to learn other techniques: to actually see how things are made, what tools are used etc. There are also contests and challenges, to push the limits of creativity to higher levels. Members are often called upon to vote: for instance, this winter there was a figurine contest with many participants and prizes. Bottles of hope are covered and given to hospitals. There is also a random act of kindness list that is quite active, which allows the participants to surprise each other with no special expectation. Many packages have crossed the big pond: it is so lovely to receive something from a far away country: nothing like a little piece of Provence or Corsica to brighten your day….

Why does this list work so well? I will let the members speak for themselves, (and translate their comments):

Babette:“…What does this group bring to me? I wouldn’t be claying if it weren’t for this group. Reading Claude and Claudine’s messages on a beading list made me want to take part in this list… every day, I discover new advice and tips which are precious but also have a human touch…there is a lot of friendship on this group. When we show what we made, some one with experience and appreciation is always paying attention. I never feel judged for my incompetence but I always get sound advice. My impression is that I am being pushed to higher levels. OK, enough flowers but they are sincere.” 

Marie-Ange: “Our group is also a friendship corner where we can talk about ourselves, share the important events in our lives as well as the tiniest happy moments or everyday worries. Profound friendships were born here, regardless of the distance that sometimes separate us.

RAKs are sources or surprises. We set up a RAK list of members who want to send small packages, sometimes anonymously, containing clay accessories, beads, jewellery or specialties of our respective regions. In other words, it can be quite varied. Only with the intention of pleasing the person who will receive.”

Nénuphar:  “We learned a lot of techniques from the English speaking lists and once the technique mastered, we go beyond it to create our own combinations of form and colour and to create objects that mirror us. Many have discovered a style and inspiration that are clearly recognisable and different and this variety and diversity make up our wealth and our strength. Some love colour explosions or techniques, others look for simplicity and pure form and still others just love to try everything.”

Vero des montagnes:  “I want to say that this group made me evolve and has brought me to higher places…when I look at my first creations, I smile with indulgence…. What is fantastic is that we are all following the same path, that of discovery, creation and evolution. At the onset, I only wanted to make beads but now, I make a lot of other things and I am always wondering how to cover in clay the next object that catches my eye! In short, this group is fantastic because of the advice, the help and the support for anything related to clay and also for every day life.”

Finally, Claude Delattre who worked very hard and gave each artist special attention, put together a showcase for our “créations” (as we like to call them). You can visit our site at: http://creaplastic.free.fr/.

PS: We just had a new baby (Georges); he has a lot of fairy godmothers and one of our cybersisters got married a few weeks ago.

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Publisher's Note:
See more of the exquisite polymer clay art of these french clayers in our Gallery and also visit their website. Be sure to notice how beautifully their work is presented.