31 10 2012

Happy Halloween fom my little dragon!

With Hurricane Sandy behind us, it’s now time for the clean-up.  While we only lost power for 12 hours and sustained no damage to home or car, the fate of others has been weighing heavily on my mind.  Along with this natural disaster, I’ve had friends who’ve lost people close to them, which in turn has reminded me of my own losses.  My Dad Oct. 19, 1986 and my sister in 2003 (her birthday was Oct. 5th).  Daddy would have been right there to help others if a disaster were to occur.  Just plenty of reminders to hold those who mean the most to you close and let them know how much you care.  Reach out and donate to the American Red Cross or other charities helping those who have been displaced.  Here’s just one company, Amway, who will match our donations up to $100,000.

Which brings up the reason for this post – I really haven’t forgotten about you all, really!  Just been busy behind the scenes in pulling things together and working on some of my own work.  Registrations have been opened for a few months and the response has been great.  For those who have not yet sent in their registrations, below is an update on where we stand on spots available in workshops.

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

Pre-conference instructors include:

  • Rosa Martha Celorio Aceves – Appliquéd Bisque Bead Pendant  – AVAILABLE
  • Jana Roberts Benzon – Glazed “Stoneware” Beads   – CLOSED – FULL
  • Lindly Haunani * – Translucent Innovations – Exploring Folded Bead Forms (2-day)  – AVAILABLE
  • Doreen Gay-Kassel – Ganesha Triptych  – AVAILABLE
  • Ellen Marshall – Color, Surface Treatment, and a Little Bling  – 9 SPOTS LEFT
  • Iris Mishly – Skyscraper and Flakes   – 8 SPOTS LEFT
  • Nan Roche – Loop-In-Loop Chaining  – AVAILABLE
  • Sarah Shriver – Intricate Kaleidoscope Caning with a Twist   – 7 SPOTS LEFT

Conference instructors include:

  • Jana Roberts Benzon – Wruffled Whimsy    Mon. 8AM  – 5 SPOTS LEFT
  • Jana Roberts Benzon – Wruffled WhimsyTues. 8AM  – 6 SPOTS LEFT
  • Christi Friesen – Spectacular Stained Glass Pendants Wed. 8AM   – 5 SPOTS LEFT
  • Christi Friesen – Fe Fi Faux Fabulous Wed. 1PM – AVAILABLE
  • Lindly Haunani – Bodacious Bubbles: Keepsake Blade Holder      Mon. 1PM  – 4 SPOTS LEFT
  • Lindly Haunani – Bodacious Bubbles: Keepsake Blade HolderTues. 8AM  – AVAILABLE
  • Tommie Howell – “I’ve Been Framed”  – AVAILABLE
  • Doreen Gay-Kassel – Sculptural Birds and Beasts    – AVAILABLE
  • Iris Mishly – Brocade Hemisphere   – Mon. 1PM  – 7 SPOTS LEFT
  • Iris Mishly – Brocade Hemisphere   -Wed. 8AM  – AVAILABLE
  • Kathryn Jo Ottman – It’s About Coordination!  – AVAILABLE
  • Marie Segal – Between the Space Canes Tues. 8AM  – 8 SPOTS LEFT
  • Marie Segal – Shadeplay Caning Wed. 8AM  – AVAILABLE
  • Lynne Anne Schwarzenberg – Hooray for Polywood! – Mon. 8AM  – AVAILABLE
  • Lynne Anne Schwarzenberg – Hooray for Polywood!- Tues. 1PM  – 7 SPOTS LEFT
  • Sarah Shriver – Mini Acorn Earrings and Pendant – Mon. 1PM  – AVAILABLE
  • Sarah Shriver – Mini Acorn Earrings and Pendant – Tues. 1PM  – 6 SPOTS LEFT
  • Laura Tabakman – Polymer and Wire Earrings – Mon. 8AM  – AVAILABLE
  • Laura Tabakman – Polymer and Wire Earrings -Wed. 1PM  – AVAILABLE
  • Cynthia Tinapple – Join the Rockettes – Tues. 1PM  – AVAILABLE
  • Cynthia Tinapple – Join the Rockettes -Wed. 1PM  – AVAILABLE

Soon, I’ll be bringing you some stories from behind the scenes and what our attendees have been doing for the past year as well as sharing a challenge with each of you…one you won’t want to miss.

Take care, stay safe and warm and cherish your life and the people in it!


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.


15 10 2012

ROCHE – Loop-in-Loop Necklace

Nan Roche is a polymer artist uniquely qualified to bring us this technique…she developed it years ago when trying to recreate the look of wireworking and chainmaille.  Nan has been working with polymer clay since the late ’80s.  As she learned from some of the pioneers of polymer, she felt it might be helpful to gather the info in a book.  As a result, she became the author of the very first book written on the subject, “The New Clay” and appropriately was the first to receive the Creative Pioneer and Innovator Award in 2010, given by the CFCF.  She is bringing her wit and years of experience to the Cabin Fever Clay Fest for the sixth time.  She is one of the best and brightest … eager to share her experience with all.  Her work was showcased along with other polymer pioneers, at the opening of Terra Nova last year at the RAM in Racine, Wisconsin.  We welcome her as always.

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

  • NAN ROCHE – LOOP-IN-LOOP CHAINING (Pre-conference)    Fri. 15 Feb.

ROCHE – Double Knot Pendant

These structures are borrowed from the metalworking world using wire.  We will be extruding our own “wire” from polymer clay. This class will teach you three forms of loop-in-loop chaining using our own clay “wire” that we will extrude using a clay gun adapted to fit into a caulking gun or a Makins clay extruder.  Each technique is a little more sophisticated than the next.  Start with a simple long chain lariat necklace, then a loop-in-loop single flat chained collar necklace and finally a double loop simple pendant.  Polymer clay is exciting to use because we can adapt shapes, colors and sizes more easily than using these techniques with metal.  We will learn to use methods of extrusion that will generate Mokume Gane layered colors, sanding and polishing finishing techniques with the final construction using rubber cording.


11 10 2012


Tommie Howell is an award winning sculptor who resides in Connecticut.  While having no formal art education, he credits his Junior High School art teacher with instilling the desire to create things out of blobs of color or lumps of clay.  “I’ve always doodled, drawn, painted, and played around with art, but it wasn’t until my grad school roommate foisted (forced) a Sculpey III sampler pack on me in the 90’s that I found that thing for which I had been searching.”  Tommie admits that sculpting didn’t exactly come to him naturally, but it was something that he wanted to do badly enough to stick with it.

Stuck with it he has, and has made a name in the polymer clay and sculpting communities.  He has won awards for his figurative sculpture on both the national and local levels, his work has been shown in places from local galleries to the Bead Museum in Washington DC.  “I used to write more than I sculpted.  I still get emails from people who find old articles I had written about polymer clay safety or artistic ethics.  Finally I won a best in show award at a CHA event some years ago and was happy to be recognized for something other than having a big mouth.” Tommie has also taught in many venues around the country and we are pleased to have him join us at CFCF 2013.

Tommie lives and works with fellow artist Lynne Ann Schwarzenberg and her family.  They share together in the care for three highly eccentric canines and a couple of small rodents.  When not sculpting, teaching or assisting Lynne Ann, Tommie likes to keep up on current events, watch horror movies, and prepare for the zombie apocalypse.  His favorite quote is “Hold on a minute, I have to get some heads out of the oven.”

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

TOMMIE HOWELL – “I’VE BEEN FRAMED!” (4-hour workshop)       Sun. 6:30PM

HOWELL – Old Woman Face

In this workshop, students will be provided with a proportional blank face that they will build upon to create their own one of a kind sculpted face that will double as both a framed wall hanging or table top ornament and a piece of wearable art.  Students will learn basic art anatomy of the face and how to combine basic shapes into a complex, hand sculpted finished product.  All skill levels are welcome.  The workshop will not only produce a finished sculpt but will also provide techniques that can be used and built upon for many future projects.  The instructor will have a variety of sculpting tools to loan during class and for sale in the store.  Students are encouraged to bring any sculpting tools they own and while optional a pasta machine can be helpful for certain tasks.  All clay will be provided by Polyform.  Class will include a detailed handout that will cover not only the steps involved in the class but information on anatomy, tools, and a list of recommended products and suppliers to be used if the student chooses to further pursue sculpting as part of their polymer clay art. As each piece is one of a kind, photos provided are representative of what can be created and not meant to show exactly what will be made in the class.  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.



28 08 2012
Doreen is another instructor who returns to Cabin Fever Clay Fest, bringing her colorful imagination and characters to share.  She

GAY-KASSEL – Ganesha Tryptich

began her career in illustration and design and then found another love in polymer clay.  She creates her fanciful creatures made of polymer and paper clay, found objects, wire, glitter, and paint. She looks forward to working in her studio every day and feels fortunate to be able to create her whimsical characters.

Her inspiration comes from her love of  E.H. Shepard (The Wind in the Willows illustrator), the Brothers Grimm, William Holbrook Beard, vintage toys and wonderful books of her youth.
Her many years as a children’s book illustrator has also given her inspiration to grow her characters.  She crafts each creature and tile story out of polymer and multiple coats of oil paints, giving them attitude and emotion. Her images have been used for books, magazines, toys, puzzles, posters, greeting cards, Christmas ornaments and textiles, with clients ranging from National Geographic, Unicef and the Smithsonian to HBO, People and Newsweek magazines.   She creates her quirky creatures in her Hopewell, New Jersey studio/storefront.

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

  • DOREEN GAY-KASSELL – GANESHA TRIPTYCH (Pre-conference)   Sat. 16 Feb. 

Create an iconic object of art out of polymer. In this class we transform a pre-made wooden triptych; we’ll wrap the wood with a thin veneer of polymer and then sculpt the image of Ganesha extending onto the three panels. The sculpting process is broken down into simple steps and she always circulates through the classroom, helping each student individually, so that even if you’re not a sculptor this is a perfectly doable piece! After the image and decorative elements are sculpted and baked, the piece is painted with burnt umber oil paint, which is rubbed off and then colored oil paints are applied and wiped off to achieve a subtle, vintage feel. Ganesh is revered as the Remover of Obstacles and Lord of Beginnings, patron of arts and sciences, and the dIva of intellect and wisdom.


KASSEL -BIRD AND BEAST ORNAMENTSIn this workshop, you’ll create your favorite avian & or four legged creatures in this workshop. Using simple sculpting techniques you’ll make your own flock of birds, pack of dogs, warren of rabbits, any beast of your choice! Sculpted over glass ornaments with polymer, the technique is full of texture and surface embellishment. After the ornament is sculpted, it’s baked, painted & rubbed with multiple coats of oil paints to achieve a vintage feel.
No worries if you don’t consider yourself a sculptor, she’ll break down the process into reasonable steps. Her students have been thrilled with their creations even if they were a little unsure about sculpting. NOTE: This workshop will only be taught once during CFCF 2013.


24 08 2012

Laura was born in Argentina and moved with her family to USA in 1989.  Although her background is in Architecture, she favored art.


After exploring several media, she discovered Fiber Arts which appealed to her because of its tactile quality, variety of textures and colors. In 1995, Laura began making jewelry with polymer clay, becoming attracted to its vivid colors, its dimensionality and the diversity of effects and textures she can accomplish with it. Visit her Flickr site here.

More recently, she began combining her fiber and polymer clay interests in mixed media sculptures and installations. She is particularly interested in process and exploring different approaches to materials and feels more comfortable working in three dimensions, using basic forms evocative of nature and primitive cultures. Time touches, alters and decays things. Seeing the marks of the passing of time moves her and tries to include these marks into the work.

She is a studio artist and teacher who exhibits and sells her work through galleries and juried art shows nationally and internationally. She is a member of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, the International Polymer Clay Association, the Pittsburgh Polymer Clay Guild, where she is currently the president, and the Fiberarts Guild ofPittsburghwhere she is in charge of exhibitions and was co-director for the Fiberart International 2004 exhibition.

Laura’s work has been featured in several publications: 400 Polymer Clay Designs– Lark Books, Polymer Clay Creative Traditions, Polymer Clay Color Inspirations, and Polymer CAFÉ magazine.  Laura also won the Best of Show Award in the 2010 Progress and Possibilities, a Competition organized by the IPCA, and Best of Show at the 2009 AnnualART+TECHExhibition – Pittsburgh Technology Council with a computerized polymer clay piece.

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

  • LAURA TABAKMAN – POLYMER AND WIRE EARRINGS (4-hour workshop)   Mon. 8:00AM/Wed. 1:00PM

TABAKMAN-Polymer and Wire Earrings

In this class students will design a collection of earrings.  We will be working on developing a vocabulary of simple elements constructed with polymer and wire. We will embed the wire into each polymer element therefore becoming an integral part of the design, at the same time using it as its structure and visual element. If time permits several configurations will be finished in class. This class is suitable for students of all levels. Start developing your color palette!

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