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Polymer Clay Polyzine

Copyright 2000-2014
Columbia, MD
ISSN 1534-1038
All Rights Reserved.

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                   September 2004

MSAT Clay Art
A Portal to Tutorial Heaven

By Jeannie Havel

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For every faithful reader who tells us how much they long for more tutorials in pcPolyzine,  this article is dedicated to you.

MSAT Clay Art might seem to be just one more of those Yahoo groups of polymer clay fanatics who eat, drink, and breathe the stuff, but don't be fooled. This is one of the snazziest and jazziest places in cyberspace, and, it is your gateway to hundreds of polymer clay tutorials.

MSAT is the short way of saying Mini Scenes And Things, and MSAT Clay Art is just one of 42 in a list of communities devoted to miniature artists of all skill levels.

Wait, what's that you say? You're not a fan of miniatures? And you have no intention of making anything mini out of polymer clay?

Au contrare my polymer pal. If you pass up this website, you will have cheated yourself out of one of life's best kept secrets and most delightful pleasures. Trust me on this one. Read this story about how I came to MSAT.

My favorite aspect of polymer clay is making beads. I've made a gazillion of them and I've barely scratched the surface of how many polymer clay beads I intend to make in this lifetime. For that reason, I must be ever vigilant not to stack the ezine deck with jewelry projects only. There are many talented polymer clay artists sculpting everything from dragons and fairies to custom wedding cake toppers and life size animals. For about a year, an issue with a 'miniatures' theme has been on my publishing drawing board. I began researching and two names kept coming up -- Sue Heaser, the British polymer clay artist and well-known author -- and Nora Jean Stone. Nora Jean who? I was vaguely familiar with the name, but knew nothing about the woman.

Today, I am one of her thousands of loyal followers. She is artist - teacher - den mother. She is Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid movies. She is that gentle pat on the head when I'm sad, and that swift kick in the you-know-what when I'm feeling sorry for myself. But more than anything, she is the beloved guru and fearless leader of the MSAT Clay Art group.

Nora Jean, or NJ, as we call her, gives polymer clay tutorials willingly and with no price tag attached as part of her polymer clay "ministry." But this sassy and classy clay diva offers an innovative twist to the MSAT Clay Art group. NJ hosts live, online, absolutely free, polymer clay webcam demos! WOW! This is one of the coolest, if not the very coolest polymer clay spot I've ever visited. Every Friday night there is a webcam demo. NJ conducts the demo like a short order cook in a polymer clay diner as she asks, "What'll you have, Honey?" 

Spring OnionsA few weeks ago I joined the group for the first time, thereby earning the opportunity to request the demo of my choice. (My ego went out of control). I "ordered" Mexican and here's what I got. First, NJ dazzled us with miniature spring onions. I was gasping in disbelief as I watched her skilled fingers turn a green-to-white Skinner Blend into perfect little scallions.
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Next, she made salsa, guacamole, and a taco complete with meat, shredded cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, and, well, you get the idea. By the time she finished, I was so hungry I almost licked the monitor.

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Notice the various canes and logs used to make the taco ingredients.

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Taco Lady

This is The Taco Lady, a work in progress. Her shawl is the result of a faux malachite demo.

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