13 02 2015

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Creating under pressure can often be stressful.  But I realize each year as we begin Cabin Fever, that attending for some is their get-away, a time for relaxing and allowing their inner artist (many are doctors, nurses, IT people with a lot of daily pressure) to come out to play and be massaged.

We had an exciting first day of Cabin Fever Creative Arts Fest 2015 and the rooms were abuzz!  And, goody bags overflowing – but it’s just the beginning.  We have 6 more days of immersing ourselves into our art and absorbing what we can from the over-abundance of creative talent.

Nan Roche, Marie Segal, and Eugena Topina were our first instructors up and they didn’t disappoint.  Today, Nan and Marie come back for their collaborative workshop on Bauhaus design, the Mitchell sisters bring on their engineering and design expertise, Robert Dancik shows us how concrete is not just for sidewalks any more and Christi Friesen shares how to dramatically adorn ourselves.

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Tonight also begins the first of two nights of our newly added mini-workshops which are open to public registration.  Maureen Carlson, Anke Humpert, and Mags Bonham join us for tonight.  Cost is $35 and you can register onsite. Can not wait!



10 11 2014

We, as artists, crafters, creators, draw inspiration for our art from all around us. Some of us are tactile, others more visceral. Some see lines and shapes while others see colors that inspire them.

No matter, we all draw from different places, but need that something to ignite that “creative spark.”  Each year, as I plan for Cabin Fever, I consider carefully the mix of instructors who will be teaching.  The variety of instruction offered is important – most are not coming just to learn from one instructor, but several.  What is it that draws you to their work?  How do you connect with it?

Let’s face it, we don’t all want to do just caning, or just sculpture, or just surface treatments.  So, who will inspire you this year?  Let’s begin with sculpture:



Maureen Carlson, with storytelling adventures and development of whimsical her characters?



Dayle Doroshow, with her tales of France, fields of flowers and images of simpler times?



Or Christi Friesen with her dramatic flowing creations and gentle waves of color?

Cabin Fever has it all – you just need to pick and choose carefully.

****** CFCF 2015 Registration Form and Workshop Descriptions ******



28 09 2013
Gwen Gibson 1934-2013

Gwen Gibson 1934-2013

As the Summer closes and Fall begins, I look back and think about why we are here. What happens as the seasons of our lives change?  Earlier this week, seasons changed in the polymer world as a true icon left us. Gwen Gibson (1934-2013) was truly an innovator, not only in the world of polymer, but in the world of the creative and inspiring spirit.  In her words, she had  “An appetite for fresh experience and the need to keep moving (to) take me places I would never have imagined beforehand. Because I find the unknown tempting, I’m often drawn to projects that have no predictable outcome…” We lost the physical person of Gwen this week on September 24 at 4PM PDT, but her spirit and influence will live on, driving many to experiment in their work and take the next step, not knowing where it will lead, but knowing that they will enjoy the journey getting there. With the approval of her husband, Jerry, we will be paying tribute to

Gwen Gibson - Kabuki Cuff photographer unknown

Gwen Gibson – Kabuki Cuff photographer unknown

Gwen during the CFCF 2014 evening celebration, including awarding a CFCF creative scholarship in Gwen’s honor.  Dayle Doroshow, Sarah Shriver, and some of Gwen’s other friends will share with us many good memories about her gentle spirit and creative genius.  In addition, attendees are invited to make Gwen-inspired beads to donate and trade. If you’d like to help us celebrate Gwen’s life and to join us for one, two or up to eight days of creative fun and celebration, click HERE to download the registration form and workshop descriptions.  Then, warm up your clay, put on your thinking cap and let your imagination take you to where you’ve never been before.


18 10 2012

OTTMAN – Faux Bone Earrings-Ring-Stand

Art and creating has always been a part of Kathryn’s life.  Her artistic passions began at a very young age, sculpting elephants and other animals from modeling clay. Her interests have continued to grow over the years, dabbling in many different mediums including painting, wire sculpture, decoupage, knitting and crocheting.

She began working with polymer clay in 2000 after picking up a Klutz for Kids book on polymer and that was it-she was hooked.  Her designs are one-of-a-kind and eclectic at times, ranging from art jewelry to 2- and 3-dimensional artwork and sculptures.

She currently teaches for the Glen Echo Partnership for Arts and Culture and the Baltimore Bead Society and has taught around the country.  Her work has appeared in Niche, American Style, and Metal Arts magazines and  is exhibited and sold at fine arts and craft shows and galleries around the country. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a B.A. in Business and a minor in Fine Arts.  Her work as a professional fundraiser has taken her all over the country and in 2005, she decided to combine her love of art and her fundraising skills and started Polymer Clay and Creative Arts Fests/Cabin Fever Clay Fest. To date, the event has raised over $12,000 for charities.  The event has been a success, offering opportunities for instructors to teach and for attendees, local and international, to learn from some of the best.  She founded the Central MD Polymer Clay Guild and is a former board member of the National Polymer Clay Guild.

Most importantly, Kathryn is mother to a beautiful 2-year-old boy, Christian.  Visit her website at and find her on Facebook here.

******   Download registration forms here and detailed workshop information here. ******

OTTMAN – IT’S ABOUT COORDINATION! (4-hour workshop)   Sun. 6:30PM

This workshop is SOOOO packed with fun!  We will make earrings, a ring, and a stand to display them!  Transfer images onto faux ivory using a ball stylus or a stamp and learn how to make and use simple inlay in your pieces. The photo is one representation of what can be made. Bring your scrap canes and imagination!   There will be a small kit fee for the class, but clay will be donated by Polyform Products. NOTE: This workshop will only be taught once during CFCF 2013.


9 10 2012



Lindly’s roots go way back in the polymer clay world, which is one of the reasons she was selected in early 2012 to receive the Creative Pioneer and Innovator Award at CFCF’s February 2013 Conference in Laurel, MD.  Lindly is a founding member of the Potomac Polymer Clay Guild as well as the National Polymer Clay Guild.  She began teaching workshops way back in 1990 and continues to enjoy traveling around the world to lecture and inspire other artists.

Lindly Haunani

Her passion for food and cooking (I’ve heard she is a gourmet chef) provide a basis for her inspiration and is often expressed via color, construction techniques and form.  Her work is part of the permanent collections of the Racine Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Newark Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Meinge International Museum in San Diego. She has a BFA in Printmaking from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.

She is co-author of two books, the first with Pierrette Ashcroft,  Artist’s at Work: Polymer Clay Comes of Age and her latest book  Color Inspirations with Maggie Maggio.   Color Inspirations has quickly become the color reference manual for the polymer community and artists working in other mediums. She has starred in several video workshops and has been featured in numerous polymer and arts magazines, including Bead and Button Magazine.  Her work has appeared in more than fifty invitational and juried shows and was awarded the prestigious Niche Award in 2009.

At CFCF 2013, she is teaching a two-day Masterclass on Friday and Saturday, February 15-16, 2013 and two 4-hour workshops during the conference.  A special celebration will take place on Tuesday evening to celebrate her career and contributions to the creative world.  Come celebrate with us in February and honor Lindly.

******   Download registration forms here and detailed workshop information here. ******

LINDLY HAUNANI – Translucent Innovations – Exploring Folded Bead Forms (2-day pre-conference) Intermediate to advanced skill level (or confident beginner)

Master the art of designing and mixing scintillating vibrant and clear color palettes using translucent polymer clay. You will begin by making your own personalized translucent mix color swatch deck that will be used as a reference to create your personalized palette.
Lindly will guide you step by step as you make a set of color-coordinated canes that will feature both translucent clay blends and opaque accents. You will then use your canes to explore several different interlocking folded bead forms.
You will then choose- just one bead form or several? Alternating color or gradated color? Add something to your mix from the group “pool” or not? Once you make your beads for your necklace, you will learn how to make an embedded matching toggle clasp and learn about options for stringing your folded bead necklace.  Come prepared to have fun, laugh, and learn new approaches to working with polymer clay while increasing your color confidence.- And leave with a stunning, folded bead necklace.

HAUNANI – Bodacious Bubbles

LINDLY HAUNANI – Bodacious Bubbles: Keepsake Blade Holder (4-hour workshop) All Skill Levels   Mon. 1:00PM/Tues. 8:00AM

Lindly will share some of her insights into polymer clay color mixing and strategies for intensifying; de-saturating and/or skewing your rainbow Skinner blends. To help aid in your decision there will be dozens of samples on hand. Some of the possibilities include: going “gold”, softening the contrasts, pumping up the neon, cooling the look or adding warmth.

Using two specially prepared Skinner Blends you will learn how to make a laminate sheet of this dramatic textile inspired pattern. You will then make a magnetic, laced hinge blade cover = useful memento of color mixing possibilities and a 2013 Cabin Fever Clay Fest Keepsake.



2 11 2010

Registration is now open for CFCF 2011.  Registration forms can be found by clicking Cabin Fever Clay Fest 2011 Registration Form. Registrations are taken on a first-come, first-registered basis using the envelope postmarked date as a reference.  Below are the descriptions of the pre-conference workshops followed by the regular conference workshops. You can register for pre-conference, the CFCF conference or both.  Please read the form carefully and follow the instructions.  Email Kathryn at with any questions you may have.  We look forward to having you join us in the fun!


DAVIS-Stone setting

DAVIS:  Stone setting in Metal Clay (Sat.)

This seven hour workshop will focus on making  four different kinds of stone settings. The stones will be set in a Studio Sampler that can be worn as a pendant or used a reference tool in the studio.
Class kit ($95.00) includes:

*Lorrene’s book “Setting Gemstones into Metal Clay and Making a Wearable Studio Sampler”

*Bezel set small round stone

*Bezel set too large of a stone for metal thickness

*Marquise set stone

*Flush set stone

*27 grams of Art Clay Silver Slow Dry clay

Registration forms can be found by clicking Cabin Fever Clay Fest 2011 Registration Form.

DEVER: Thinking Outside the Box – Imaginative hollowware vessels (Fri./Sun.)

DEVER: Pod box

There’s a wide array of forms and shapes that can be created as imaginative vessels, from traditional boxes to free-form sculptural pieces.  In this class we will design and build hollowware vessels, fashioned over original forms of your own creation.  We will use multi-cycle curing and layer-building techniques to construct various vessels with lids.  Surface ornamentation and finishing will be discussed as time allows.  NOTE:  This is not a beginner’s class.  A good working knowledge of polymer clay is a prerequisite.

Registration forms can be found by clicking Cabin Fever Clay Fest 2011 Registration Form.

EAKES: Face cane sample

EAKES:   Festive Lady Face Cane (Sat.)

Julie is quickly becoming one of the most sought after caning instructors and has just been selected as one of the NICHE Award Finalists.  In this full-day workshop, she will teach students how to make a complex face cane, developing features as you go. This is not a workshop for beginners. Photo to come on this workshop.

Registration forms can be found by clicking Cabin Fever Clay Fest 2011 Registration Form.

HAUNANI: Damascus Ladder Magic (Fri.)

HAUNANI: Damascus Ladder

Lindly will walk you through making three different skinner blend canes – with color coordinated lights and darks – that will be combined to make a dynamic version of a Damascus Ladder.

Strategies for constructing drum beads (which you could choose to make into a sampler bracelet) and flat laminated pieces will be demonstrated along with some valuable finishing techniques.  Photo to come.

Registration forms can be found by clicking Cabin Fever Clay Fest 2011 Registration Form.

KASSEL: “Tile Story” Workshop (Sun.)

In this workshop we’ll make a tile, or tiles, depending on the subject matter you choose.

Learn to take a ceramic tile & create a design or a ‘story’ on the surface, using polymer clay in relief. I often use letter & number stamps to add interest & help tell that ‘story’, or just to add an inscription or visual interest to the tile. The tiles are finished with a felt backing & a saw tooth hook, or can be displayed on an easel.  My pieces are texural & whimsical, yours can be as silly or serious as you are.

After the ‘scene’ is sculpted onto the tile & baked, we’ll use a technique involving oil paints to bring out all the texture, incising & general charm of the piece. The way the art POPS after the technique is applied & then the subtle colors that the oil paints bring to the tile is truly exciting!

Registration forms can be found by clicking Cabin Fever Clay Fest 2011 Registration Form.

OTTMAN: Intro to Bronze and Copper Metal Clays (Fri.)

OTTMAN: Bronze Clay Earrings

This workshop will introduce you to simple techniques for working with metal clays. Using If you’ve wanted to try them but were afraid to, here’s an opportunity to get your feet wet.  Create polymer texture plates and your unique style in metal clay!

Registration forms can be found by clicking Cabin Fever Clay Fest 2011 Registration Form.

ROCHE-Luminous Lacquer

ROCHE: Luminous Lacquer: Japanese Inspired Surfaces (Sat.)

Japanese lacquered surfaces that decorate many Japanese works of art are elegant and precious to look at. In this class we will use Japanese image stamps, foils and liquid clay to recreate the look of these treasures. Students will complete one or more pendants using these techniques. Several other applications will be demonstrated. In addition, students will learn proper sanding, polishing and finishing techniques as well as working with rubber cording, a perfect complement to these beautiful pieces.

Registration forms can be found by clicking Cabin Fever Clay Fest 2011 Registration Form.


SKINNER: Skinner Blend Potpourri (Sun.)

In Judith’s workshop, you will design and create contemporary art jewelry using the Skinner blend (of course). We will complete several of my production pieces during the workshop, including “Calla”, “Crescendo” and “… in the Wind”. In addition, I will describe and demonstrate many other pieces including “Threads and Clay”, “Glitz and Glitter” and “Geometry”. A handout with detailed instructions and photographs will be provided.   And of course, she’ll review the Skinner blend and variations.

Registration forms can be found by clicking Cabin Fever Clay Fest 2011 Registration Form.



COZZI: Mini Sasa Necklace

COZZI: Mini Sasa Necklace

Mon. 8:00AM or Tues. 1:00PM

You’ll learn to make beads with my Translucent Colors – oil paints, etching and colored graphites. This necklace will have 5 beads so it may be possible to finish within four hours.

You may use my shapes or you can use your own. We’ll make colored clay with oil paint, then etch it, cut out our bead shapes, then bake them. Sand the edges and apply 18K gold leafing pen plus varnish. We’ll add the oil paint and colored graphite and burnish it.

We’ll drill the perfect sized holes and add ball covered headpins and heishi beads to keep the necklace beads hinged. After it’s been put together, you will attach the snake chain, the clasp and the ring. You may connect  your necklace with silver or antique copper. Both kits are available in the store. I know you’ll enjoy your new necklace!

Registration forms can be found by clicking Cabin Fever Clay Fest 2011 Registration Form.



Mon. 1:00PM or Wed. 8:00AM

Mica is the magic in these shimmering seductive beads. Learn to create and manipulate the chatoyance, or “cat’s eye” effect possible with this clay. Make shifting variations of shade within any given color of clay and illusions of depth on a smooth surface. This class will focus on how to organize the mica, and how to bend it to create luminous patterns of holographic depth. You will carve, hand-manipulate, texture, backfill, and then sand and buff beads for a mesmerizing, lustrous, soft and supple finish.

Registration forms can be found by clicking Cabin Fever Clay Fest 2011 Registration Form.

EULER: Zentangle sample

EULER: Zentangle and Zentangle inspired art

Sun. 6:30 or Wed. 1:00PM

Zentangle is an easy to learn and relaxing method of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns. Zentangle is so easy to learn that it’s tempting to think that you understand it all. You might be amazed at how much more there is to it… so join Patti for this introductory class that will keep you coming back for more! Can easily be used to inspire wonderful polymer pieces! Learn the basics as taught to her in an in-depth certification course she recently completed. It’s repetitive and beautiful and satisfying, and a healthy way to leave the world behind, which makes it important.  A Zentangle Starter kit is included in the price, plus we will have more supplies available for purchase.

Registration forms can be found by clicking Cabin Fever Clay Fest 2011 Registration Form.

FRIESEN: Bamboozled

FRIESEN: Bamboozled!

Mon. 1:00PM or Wed. 8:00AM

Christi once again puts your imagination Polymer clay and mixed media, animal and plants and flowers.  Whoo hoo!

Final piece can be a wall piece or pendant.

Registration forms can be found by clicking Cabin Fever Clay Fest 2011 Registration Form.

HELM:Molds and Faces

HELM: Making Faces-Modeling & Moldmaking

Mon. 8:00AM or Tues. 1:00PM
This session begins with the fundamentals of proportion, scale, and anatomical placement. We will build miniature faces using scrap clay and simple tools. After baking we create molds, comparing the advantages of various formulations including Plaster of Paris, polymer clays, and RTV silicone molding compounds. Pulls from the molds we make will be manipulated and decorated in many ways. Apply acrylic paints in a variety of fashions that range from childlike innocence to sophisticated vamp! We will cover making stains and antiquing, faux wood and ivory finishes, and more. Registration forms can be found by clicking Cabin Fever Clay Fest 2011 Registration Form

MARSHALL: Adventures in Polymer Clay Surface Design

MARSHALL-Surface Design Beads

Sun. 6:30PM or Tues. 8:00AM

In this class you’ll start by creating polymer clay sheets that resemble hand-dyed fabric.   Taking a “layered design” approach, you’ll further decorate these sheets and, along the way, learn new tips and techniques for adding depth and dimension.   Finally, you’ll choose among your polymer clay ‘fabrics’ to create an art quilt pendant.    Bring beads, wire, and metal charms to make a mixed media piece.  Photo to come. Registration forms can be found by clicking Cabin Fever Clay Fest 2011 Registration Form.

SHRIVER: New Big Beads

SHRIVER: Fun New Big Beads

Mon. 1:00PM or Wed. 1:00PM

We’ll be making colorful big beads with cores of ultra-light clay in some great new shapes!  Using your own cane(s) from home, and/or one that we will construct quickly in class, we’ll make several veneers and apply them to both baked and unbaked forms. We’ll pinch, carve, inlay and backfill to get a variety of fun beads with strong graphic interest.  Registration forms can be found by clicking Cabin Fever Clay Fest 2011 Registration Form.

SILAS: Wired Enamel IllusionsSILAS: Wired Enamel Illusions

Sun. 6:30PM or Tues. 1:00PM

Cindy will teach you a technique that can easily be mistaken for vitreous enamel. To achieve a true cloisonné look-alike, you’ll learn how to shape wire and add it to asterling silver bezel, then how to achieve a genuine sparkle and clarity in the colors of your choice. You’ll also learn valuable tips for blending colors, a how-to on using a quick-dry and super-clear resin, and the best finishing touches for that final glassy shine. At the end of four hours, you’ll have a gorgeous silver pendant and new skills. A class kit will be available in the CFCF store. The kit price will be based on Feb. 2011 silver prices (would be $22 right now) and includes a 30mm round sterling silver blank bezel pendant, 12” fine silver bezel wire, and assorted other materials. A handout with detailed instructions will be provided.  Registration forms can be found by clicking Cabin Fever Clay Fest 2011 Registration Form.

TABAKMAN: Mixed Media Sculpture

TABAKMAN: Mixed Media Sculptures

Tues. 8:00AM or Wed. 8:00AM

In this class students will make three dimensional mixed media sculptures. We will use some molds as a starting point, but students will develop their own personal vision from there, with each finished piece showing her/his own personality and message. We will use polymer clay, wire, fibers, papers, beads, etc. Students are also encouraged to bring found objects or any material they would like to incorporate. This class is a great way of getting your creativity flowing and open new paths for your own work.  Registration forms can be found by clicking Cabin Fever Clay Fest 2011 Registration Form.

WELTMAN: Wireworking for Polymer Clay Artists

WELTMAN-Wire and polymer necklace

Tues. 8:00AM or Wed. 1:00PM

Tired of paying for store-bought mass-produced clasps? Learn how to make a variety of clasps that are a beautiful part of the overall design rather than looking like an afterthought. Students will also learn how to make their own earwires, headpins and eyepins for earrings and other jewelry applications, and how to finish a necklace with museum-quality techniques, including covering crimps with crimp covers or wire and using wire embellishments on leather and fabric cording. Students will also learn how to antique wire with liver of sulfur. Don’t worry if you’ve never worked with wire before. Ronna will get you up and running!  Registration forms can be found by clicking Cabin Fever Clay Fest 2011 Registration Form.

For additional information on CFCF 2011 or any other events we sponsor, please email us at  We look forward to hearing from you!

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