Carol Blackburn

London Polymer Clay Group (L.P.C.G.)
Polymer Clay    

Background In May 2007, I was contacted by beader, Jean Power, who had seen my book and was keen to get started with polymer clay. I suggested we meet in the coffee shop of Waterstone's bookstore in Piccadilly and we both brought work to 'show and tell'. We arranged to meet there again the following month and so the London Polymer Clay Group was formed. I posted a flyer on the British Polymer Clay Guild website and the next meeting attracted 5 people. During the year we had several clay days at my studio before deciding to take it in turns to host and write an account of the day. We now need to hire a venue due to the number of people wishing to join in the fun. We usually hold our bi-monthly meeting on a Sunday.

If you would like to join in the fun please email me for details at  .

We now have a website so do have a look at our latest clay day reports and photos. 

                                                            Best wishes, Carol  

The 2012 meetings of the London Polymer Clay Group will be:

Sunday 25th November.



  September Meeting Report

read moreWe arrived for our September meeting to find Nico’s cafe was closed. What a blow. I was so looking forward to breakfast – a bacon sandwich and latte.

We were expecting 38 for the day and they soon started arriving. On discovering there were fewer tables than usual and the little kitchen needed tidying, we all pitched in and helped. Jo volunteered to go for milk, others cleared space in the kitchen and prepared tea and coffee, while the rest of us helped set up the room, ready for the day’s activities. We used whatever tables could be found, including the two halves of a table tennis table and a snooker table which became the ‘show and tell’ table. None of this dampened our spirits and as we know, polymer people are the best at improvising.

Read more......



  July Meeting Report

read moreAs Olympic fever has well and truly gripped our nation Team LPCG had a very loose Olympic theme for our July Clay Day. Based on the 5 colours of the Olympic Rings we had demos of various faux techniques. Lapis Lazuli was demonstrated by Cara Hayman for the blue and malachite by Sue Margetts for the green. Debbie Carlton demoed faux bone/ivory and sheets were given out with instructions for cinnabar, amber and lava stone.

Read more......



  Birthday Meeting Report

read moreOn the 27th May we celebrated our 5th birthday. It’s wonderful how the group has grown steadily from when I met beader Jean Power in the coffee shop in Waterstones bookstore in Piccadilly in 2007. She’d emailed me out of the blue about my book and I said let’s meet. So over coffee we admired each other’s work and I jokingly said that it was the first meeting of the London Polymer Clay Group. I posted a short account of our meeting on my website with the date for another meeting. At the next meeting 5 came.

Read more......



  March Clay Day Report

It was a sunny spring day for the March meeting and 39 people came, many having had an early start to travel to London to attend. It was a pleasure to welcome our new members Marina, Caroline, Coby and Lee.

After a few announcements about future polymer events, London member Angela Garrod led the workshop with a demo of her hollow boxes. Angela has recently been featured on the Polymer Clay Daily and the Voila! websites. Her boxes were round and constructed using different size cookie
cutters to cut rings which formed supports for the boxes.. 

Read more......



  January Clay Day Report

Despite a foggy morning we had another fantastic turnout of 42 members at our now well established Hugh Cubbit Centre. We would like to extend a very warm welcome to all our new members and hope you have a very enjoyable day. Nico’s coffee shop was open as per usual and lots of us took advantage of having breakfast before we started.

Read more......




  Meeting of the London Polymer Clay Group November 2011

The atmosphere was buzzing with anticipation for Sue Heaser’s demo on her pietre dure technique.  The show and tell table was set up, but with such a packed day ahead, it was left as an informal ‘have a look’, and not the usual discussion about all the pieces.

Read more......



  Meeting of the London Polymer Clay Group 31 September 2011

The September clay day was extra special as we have moved into our new home, the Hugh Cubitt Centre in Islington.  This is the 3rd venue since the group began in 2007. 

Read more......



  Meeting of the London Polymer Clay Group 31 July 2011

The 31st July meeting was held on a beautiful summer’s day at the Betty Brunker Hall.  As is the norm now for this exciting group, it was extremely well attended with a waiting list of people hoping to attend.  People arrived and there was a lovely atmosphere. It’s heartening to see how warmly people greet each other and how eager they are to share with and learn from each other.

Read more......



  Meeting of the London Polymer Clay Group 29 May 2011
    LPCG - Our Birthday Party!

Our Birthday Party!
On the 29th May the London Polymer Clay Group celebrated its 4th birthday as a special clay day celebration at the Betty Brunker Hall near Old Street. Thirty four polyclayers came to themeeting, some traveling a long distance to be with us.

Read more......



  Meeting of the London Polymer Clay Group 30 January 2011

The meeting started with Christine leading us through the show and tell items.  As usual there was a wide variety covering different styles.   Allison had brought along the Christmas copy of ‘Making Jewellery’ with her featured tutorial, along with the finished necklace and bracelet. .

Read more......




  Meeting of the London Polymer Clay Group 28 November 2010

It was good that so many people managed to get to the meeting despite the cold weather and the tube strike. We cranked up the heating system and had a warm and cosy clay day.

A warm welcome to new members Pat, Nina, Cara, Marilyn, and Nancy.

Read more......



  Meeting of the London Polymer Clay Group 26 September 2010

Our first demo of the day was Alison Gallant’s ‘Faux Turquoise’ technique. This was a very well prepared demo, with Alison providing the graters and paints required, so that we could all have a go afterwards, which everyone was keen to do. This was very impressive and also very messy.

Read more......



  Meeting of the London Polymer Clay Group 16 May 2010

It was the group’s 3rd birthday on Sunday and I’m sure Carol must be thrilled that it’s grown to over 20 members and is so exciting and diverse. Congratulations, Carol!

Read more......



  Meeting of the London Polymer Clay Group 22 March 2010

The London Polymer Clay Group is growing and going nationwide with people travelling from Gloucester, Manchester and Kent to join us and at the March clay day 22 came, some new and some old hands.

A warm welcome to new visitors Angela, Toni, Selina, Mel and Christina.

Read more......





  Meeting of the London Polymer Clay Group 29 November 2009

Clay day activityOur  November 29th clay day was held in a smaller room at the London Bubble Theatre as our usual room upstairs was being used for panto rehearsals.  Although it was so near to Christmas 12 people took time away from doing their Christmas shopping to join us.  We had a festive theme for each of our demos and had a guest visitor, Mr Robin Elsey, who has been working with polymer clay and metallic foils..

Read more......



  Meeting of the London Polymer Clay Group 27 September 2009
    Clay day activity

It was lovely to see so many at our September clay day and a very warm welcome to new visitors Janet Roemmel, Aazar Zare, Madel Potgieter and to Sue Margetts who travelled from Manchester to join us.

Read more......



  Meeting of the London Polymer Clay Group 26 July 2009
    Clay day activity

The first part of our clay day was devoted to those new to polymer clay or in need of a refresher course. My one hour 'crash' demo for newbies included conditioning and storing of clays, basic canes such as Bull's Eyes and Jelly Rolls, mixing colours and making a Skinner blend with the pasta machine.

Read more......



  Meeting of the London Polymer Clay Group 24 May 2009
    London Polymer Clay Group 22 May 2009

After introducing ourselves and welcoming 5 newcomers, we kicked off the day with a demo of twisted cord making. Having the option to construct our own cord means that we can make one that is exactly the right style and colour to match or set off a focal or pendant bead.

Read more......



  Meeting of the London Polymer Clay Group 22 March 2009
    London Polymer Clay Group 22 March 2009

For our March meeting we hired a room at the London Bubble theatre company in Rotherhithe as we had outgrown my studio and the homes of the other group members.

Report and photos by Carol Blackburn

Read more......




Lisa Pavelka workshop hosted by the London Polymer Clay Group
18 February 2009

Report by Harriet Bligh





January 18th marked the 11th meeting of the London polymer clay group

Report by Carol Blackburn

Necklace by Carol Blackburn
Necklace by Carol Blackburn

Throughout the previous year we have taken it in turns to host the day at our homes and now we have come full circle and it was my turn again. We were pleased to welcome Harriet and newbie Gloria to the group. We soon set up our work places and within a few minutes polymer clay creations were unwrapped and displayed alongside our mugs of tea and coffee.

Read more......






Joint Meeting of the London and Mid Southern Polymer Clay Groups
30th November 2008

Report by Susan Rimmer

It was a cold, wet and windy day out in the wilds of Berkshire when the London and Mid Southern Polymer Clay Groups had their first joint meeting. People travelled from various places including the Isle of Man(!), the far side of London, Surrey and 100 yards down the road. Cookham Dean Primary School was the venue for the meeting and once we had sorted out the heating proved to be a useful venue with space to spread out......

read more....





Meeting of the London Polymer Clay group September 28th 2008
by Debbie Carlton

It was a beautiful sunny day and with the best ever turnout for the LPCG things were looking up for a cracking time. We welcomed newcomers to the group Kerrie, June and Christine and started off with a 'show and tell' session which lasted virtually until lunchtime.

Kerrie - pendants and tile beadsKerrie kicked off with her pendants and her tile beads using Maggie Maggio’s colour scales as her starting point and also shared her tips for polishing and buffing using micro mesh cloths.





Carol had bought her amazing small bowls and talked through her technique for a no armature bangle. We discussed the trials and tribulations of deciding how to cost one's work for sale Carol - amazing small bowls(topic for another session).






Debbie - flower earrings and wrapped bangle



I had some new flower earrings to show and wrapped bangles using cheap and cheerful ‘blanks’ from Claire’s Accessories.




Christine - beautiful workChristine showed us her beautiful work entered for the Progress and Possibilities’ annual competition run by the National Polymer Clay Guild in the USA. As well as information about an exhibition of contemporary jewellery






Clare then shared with us her funky collection of bears and other animals and a beautiful harvest festival Clare - funky collection of bears and other animalsbasket.

Caroline had been experimenting over the summer using glass paints ( PEBEO) to create an unusual a dichroic effect and much advice was given about some ‘engineering for her reversible necklace.

Susan likewise had been experimenting after the Nottingham Clay Carnival weekend and influenced by Christine had some trumpet beads and a tactile Jeffrey Dever-esque pod.

  • Our discussions continued over a fabulous 'pot luck' lunch in the garden (highlight of the day?!) about our aims and aspirations for the LPCG and what were the best and most practical steps to take to put them into place.

  • A yahoo email group so we can all talk together

  • A flickr site with photo images or a simple website

  • Guest artists to spend the day with us. Lisa Pavelka will be teaching a workshop,18th February 2009 in Rotherhithe. Lisa is a leading polymer clay artist from Las Vegas. She has published several books on pc and has her own Q&A page in Polymercafe magazine. See her website,

  • PR overtures to relevant magazines and organisations i.e. The Craftsman

  • Craft Magazine

  • A ‘proper’ regular venue so we can have larger number of people

Susan - the tearaway techniqueAs usual we were running out of time and finished off with a good demo from Susan showing the tearaway technique (via Gwen Gibson, via Celie Fago, via Louise Fischer Cozzi etc etc!) She also bought some great black and white images from which worked really well on polymer clay.


We set dates for the next few meetings Sunday January 18th and Sunday 22nd March

For further details please contact Carol at or Susan at or Debbie at

My husband who had taken refuge upstairs said all he could hear were gales of laughter coming from obviously very happy people. What more can I say.

Debbie Carlton
photo credits, Carol Blackburn, Susan Rimmer, Christine Dumont





London Group - July 2008 Newsletter, by Caroline Schuck

The London Polymer Clay Group met on July 10 at Caroline's house. The day was a feast of clay and food sharing which flashed by with hardly a moment to draw breath.

One of the themes under discussion for the day was the need to expand the group and the members expressed an interest in attracting artists working in different media to increase the cross fertilisation of ideas. At present we have Debbie who also works with Precious Metal Clay and Caroline who works with pottery. The day started with five of us: Caroline, Claire, Carol, Debbie and Susan. We decided that we would be organised and have an agenda for the day, though our enthusiasm got the better of us once we had had some food, delicious as ever, and all thoughts of the agenda went out of the window.

We started with our usual Share and Tell. An exciting moment where new ideas and concepts are shared. There is a hugely generous sharing of techniques, websites and hot tips as well as honest feedback on each other's work. Each person opened up their boxes of recent work revealing the diversity of our visions. Claire who runs polymer clay classes for children shared two of her latest projects: a Father's Day card sporting three ties made of polymer and a noughts and crosses game in polymer both beautiful and quirky. Following on from our last meeting she also covered a hairslide with a complex cane. Caroline shared her latest work in which she incorporated hessian into clay. Susan had a range of beautiful objects she had made including one using extruded clay. Having seen this we all decided to do some extruding. She had also worked using piñata inks and also using Angelina fibres and gloss to achieve a dichroic effect. Carol had much wisdom to share and great examples of subtle gradations of colour made by Dan Cormier. Debbie brought new books to share as creative jolts and we salivated over them before admiring her work. Some of her pieces were crystal encrusted, she also worked out a way of making bangles using a foil armature, another idea we decided to work on later.

Before lunch we practiced extruding and I am sure that this will spawn much new work for next times sharing. But as ever one thing led to another and as we were feasting our new member Helen Philips appeared fresh with her box for sharing. She soon discovered that she had been using quick drying clay and not polymer so a quick crash course in polymer ensued with demonstrations of skinner blends, skinny blends, jelly rolls and stacking. A lot of ground was covered in a short time and she made some objects from polymer for firing at home.

After this Caroline started to play with the idea of making a bracelet and helped by Debbie managed to achieve this managing to work out how to impress a texture on both sides of the bracelet without compromising its shape.

Despite wanting to organise the day in a more structured way the pull of the clay seemed to take us elsewhere and we all left filled with new ideas.

For next time we decided to set a theme, The Vessel. We are each going to bring some ideas with us and then build our object during the session. The idea is to share and to break new ground with the clay.

Next meeting will be at Debbie's house on Sunday 28 September 10-4pm bring lunch to share. If you would like to join us contact Debbie on:

Report written by Caroline Schuck





April 2008 Report by Clare Mcknight

It was our seventh meeting, and this time, it was my turn to host it at my home in West London.

Everyone arrived around 10am and once the kettle was on, we got straight down to catching up on what had been happening since we last met around two months ago.

The previous weekend had seen a popular event in the British Polymer clay calendar. “Polydays”. Several of us had attended and so we started by hearing all about what they had learned and done. This opened up many interesting and varied avenues of conversation.

At the last meeting, Caroline had shown us a technique for texturing clay, using a very simple little gadget. (Actually a spiked onion holder!) To our surprise she kindly gave us each one of our own, so that we too could make regular lines, curves, waves or holes to our hearts content! Often when working with polymer clay you will find that the most useful tools are small inexpensive things that you may already have around the home.

As always, we had a very impressive show and tell session, with some beautiful professionally made items of jewellery that Carol and Debbie had brought back from a recent visit to the US, together with peoples work from the Polydays workshops and other interesting “experimental works in progress!” I always look forward to this bit as there is always such a range of projects and ideas to see. Also, it has been very interesting to see as members grow and improve in their work.

After our coffee/tea and homemade muffins, we got down to actually having a go at a few techniques. We experimented with translucent clays, layering them with different coloured foils to great effect. This we made into beads and brooches.

Next, Carol showed us her “Chop & Change” method or Bargello technique. Which produces a wonderfully colourful sheet of patterned clay with a woven appearance.

Susan explained how she had been playing around with a thin sheet of clay one day and created a way of making the clay look like it had been smocked. This was fiddly but looked both very effective and pretty.

With every inch of our table space covered in our tools and creations, we moved into the other room for lunch, which was once again a gourmet affair. (A word to anyone interested in joining our London group, “it is worth coming, just for the lunch!”)

Lunch was followed my more endless chat and a bit more hands on claying, before we all packed up around 4pm.

The day always seems to fly past, I am sure we could just go on and on!

All in all the day was a very enjoyable exchange of creative ideas and friendly chat.

Our next meeting is scheduled for July 10th at 10am, in Swiss Cottage, London NW3. If you would like to join us, please contact Caroline at





February 2008 Report

'Image transfers onto polymer clay' was the theme of the February meeting of the London Polymer Clay Group but we began with our regular 'show & tell' session. This has become a much anticipated feature as everyone delves into tins or bags to retrieve their recent pieces, some finished and some as samples but all very varied. Many pieces were made at or as a result of classes that we had attended in the 2 months since the previous meeting.

We spent the morning experimenting with image transfers and baking samples though, as often happens, we ventured off at tangents to the main topic and explored various hollow forms and 'pillow' beads.

Another tangent was texturing and staining raw clay using spirit-based coloured inks. We also discussed using 2 part resins for a glass-like surface on finished pieces and canes made of translucent clay and foils. These are topics for future meetings.

After a 'potluck' lunch we continued with image transfers, trying out techniques learned at classes with Donna Kato and Robert Dancik and comparing inkjet and laser toner printed images. It seemed that the most successful transfer methods used toner prints on uncoated papers.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 17th April in West London. We have left the main subject open as it will be a few days after the BPCG 'Polydays' and we will have our class pieces to discuss at an extended 'show and tell'.

Please contact Clare McKnight for details of the next meeting venue.






November 2007 report

Our November meeting was another lively exchange of ideas and trying novel pc techniques. We were pleased to welcome Susan Rimmer of the Mid Southern Group who joined us on her birthday -especially pleased because she brought a cake and wine to celebrate.

As usual we began with our 'show and tell' which sparked lots of talk on findings, of methods of making bracelets, of techniques such as ikat and bargello, as well as using PMC with polymer clay inlays.

Our group lunch, now an integral part of our day, was another 'feast' with everyone bringing food to share.  Later we discussed making canes using step blends, as taught by Dan Cormier at Polydays in 2005, and methods of cutting and using the veneers for pendants or bracelet tiles. One thing we touched on, but which needs further exploring at a later meeting, was the mica shift technique.

In our 'problem solving' slot we tackled 'How to stop translucent clays
discolouring during baking?'.  Suggestions ranged from tenting the work with aluminum foil to adding a pinch of white clay to the translucent mix.

Our next meeting will be on Saturday 2nd February 2008, 10.30am to 4pm, at my studio in Rotherhithe when the theme will be Image Transfers. If you would like to join in the clay fun, please contact me for venue details and if it's your birthday -don't forget the cake and wine.




September 2007 report

The September meeting of the London clayers was a whole day - and we needed it. There was so much to talk about and show each other that we almost forgot to stop for lunch, which was a 'pot luck', or rather a feast, as everyone brought something to share. A 'newbie', Michelle, joined us and at the end of the day went home knowing how to make a jellyroll and a bull's eye cane, cane reduction and the basics for getting started. Everyone brought their recent work, some as finished pieces and some as samples or work in progress. These pieces provided a structure to the day and stimulated many questions and swapping of ideas.

We played with the holographic effect of mica clays -the 'mica shift'- and experimented with paints and spirit based inks for colouring translucent and liquid clays. During the day we explored making texture tools and how to use them. We also compared notes on image transfers on polymer clay using laser and inkjet prints - a topic we hope to pursue further at our next meeting.




July 2007 report

At the July meeting of the London polymer clay group we spent the morning experimenting with various embossing, stamping and texturing techniques and the use of translucent clay sheets. As the morning flew by far too quickly we decided that next time we needed a whole day to 'play'.

So our next meeting will be on Saturday 8th September. We'll meet again at my studio in Rotherhithe, South London, begin at 10.30am and finish around 4.30pm, though people can leave at any time. We will have a 'pot luck' lunch where we each bring a dish to share as my cooking skills are rubbish.

Please contact me by email for details Looking forward to seeing you in September and do bring something for the 'show & tell'. Also feel free to bring some clay and tools.




June 2007 Report

The London Polymer Clay Group had its 2nd meeting on Saturday 2nd June at Waterstone's bookstore in Piccadilly. Five BPCG members came to 'show and tell' over coffee in the basement cafe.

Debbie Carlton showed her silver clay necklaces with inlays of polymer clay - a perfect combination. She also had a bag full of polymer clay samples each in a different technique. We all pitched in with ideas of how the pieces could be used as earrings or brooches.

Sarah Maloney showed her miniature food models and a tiny corked bottle with 2 of the tiniest gold fish swimming around. She explained how she had made the fish with an iridescent finish and how she put them into the 'scenic' water, (a new term for me from the world of miniatures).

Jean Power is editor of Bead magazine and came to Polydays two years ago. She brought a box full of the most beautiful and intricately stitched bead work bracelets and beads. This time-consuming work prompted a discussion on how to price such work for sale.

Kotomi Yamamura, a Japanese jewellery designer now living in the UK, joined us with several of her theatrical and dramatic necklaces and explained how she uses polymer clay as a frame and a mount to hold semi precious and glass stones.

I brought along two beaded necklaces using a spiral theme and several pieces of polymer clay jewellery that I made for my bead book.

It was fascinating to see how we are each using polymer clay in a completely differently way. We chatted and swapped suppliers addresses, websites and news till well into lunchtime when we felt we had outstayed our welcome having managed to make our coffees last more than two hours.

To keep the momentum going we plan to meet again soon to use some clay and demo techniques for each other.


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