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A Message From the National Polymer Clay Guild President

June 2005

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What a great time it is to be a polymer clay artist! We are so fortunate to have all the products we have today. Can you imagine . . . there just used to be plain white polymer clay. No liquid clays. No one knew about pasta machines or clay gun adapters or bead rollers or armatures or mica powders or . .  . you name it!

In the dark ages, before Nan Roche's book, The New Clay, there wasn't even a book on working with the clay. Oh, there were a few booklets from the manufacturers, but nothing so comprehensive or inspiring. Magazine articles? There weren't any. Retreats, guilds, conferences, workshops were just daydreams. Most artists worked alone or perhaps with a friend. Learning was by experimentation, techniques were developed, sometimes by accident, and polymer clay was simply a toy for children or a craft medium for bored stay at home moms, or possibly an artistic medium for an experimenting artist.

LOOK AT US NOW! There are several brands of clay available on the market both in your favorite craft store or online complete with tools and all the necessities such as pasta machines (and motors!); special clay blades: stiff ones, flexible ones, and even wavy and zigzag ones! And don't forget all the finishing techniques, the surface decoration techniques, the inclusions, the molds, both purchased and hand made, the videos, the books and the magazine articles and our own clay dedicated magazine, Polymer CAFÉ; the National Polymer Clay Guild newsletter, the POLYinforMER; and last but not least, this great, free pcPolyzine! And try a subscription to "It's All About the Clay," too -- another great online resource full of useful information. What an overwhelming amount of information there is available to us now.

Oh, and don't forget the marvelous Glass Attic (www.glassattic.com) by Diane Black, the online suppliers with their great how-to’s, and the manufacturers with their lesson sites.
Polymer clay is no longer in its infancy, but it is still quite young, possibly in the pre-school age. We are at the forefront of an ever-evolving medium that is suitable for children, students, parents, crafters, hobbyists and artists of all ages and skill levels. It is with this in mind that I greet all of you as the President of the National Polymer Clay Guild. Some of you might not even know the guild exists. Some of you may have been a member at one time and some of you might be a member now. Greetings to you all!

NPCG LogoI am extending to you an invitation to re-join us, join us or continue your membership. We are here for you, but we need you to be there for us.

The present Board of Directors has some very skilled and eager members who are determined to help the NPCG become an advocate for you to the rest of the world who look askance when they see you "playing with that play dough stuff." You are real and so is your art and we want to serve you in the best possible way. However, without knowing your wants and wishes, we can only strive to guess at your desires. Won't you please let me know what you would like us to do for you? You may e-mail me personally at: pbarnes@the-i.net. Tell me how we can best serve you. Voice your wish list, air your complaints, ask your questions and in general, let us know what you want the NPCG to do for you. I can't promise you the moon, but I can certainly promise you a star to wish upon!

Patty Barnes, President
National Polymer Clay Guild