NWPCG Clay Camp – May 18th – 22nd, 2017

The NWPCG holds this popular event every year in May at Camp Huston, right next to beautiful Wallace Falls State Park near Gold Bar, Washington. Clay Camp registrants enjoy the 24-hour workroom, comfortable bedrooms in cabins, delicious meals prepared by Camp Huston’s staff, beautiful trails to stretch your legs, and the opportunity to sign up for a variety of inspiring classes taught by experienced polymer clay instructors!

This year there are a limited number of single occupancy rooms available (full registration+single room= $540) on a first come, first-served basis for guild members not receiving scholarships. If you are interested, please select the ‘Single occupancy’ option when registering.


REGISTER for Clay Camp and Classes


APPLY for a Scholarship (members only)

Clay Camp workroom 2016

Everything You Need to Know About Clay Camp, Well Almost… by Kim Day

Our favorite time of the year is coming up! Nah, I don’t care about the weather, I mean Clay Camp! To prepare for the big event, here’s a little guide about what to expect from May 18-22nd.
Length: You can choose how long you want to attend, the whole weekend, one day or even day camping if you live nearby.
Claying: The best part of Clay Camp is the 24-hour workroom (ovens available as well). When you are inspired to create or when you need inspiration or just want to socialize, there is a room full of clayers to talk with and learn from.
Food: The food is absolutely wonderful! The cooks are very accommodating with special dietary needs (gluten free/vegan; just let us know about any special requirements when you register). There is also a wonderful salad bar to accompany each meal or to replace it should you choose. Plus, no cooking preparation or dishes to wash, glorious!
Rooms: The rooms are small and dorm-like with a table and chair, two beds, towel rack by the door, and a place to hang your clothes up. Bring your own towels and blankets or sleeping bag. Rooms are shared but there is a separate cabin for Late-Nighters vs. Early-Risers to help each person get the sleep they need to fuel clay creativity.

Happy Campers!

Local Craft Store: There is a Ben Franklin about a 20-minute drive from our Clay Camp venue. With all the ideas flowing around, people usually think of something they can’t live without for a few days. Join one of the spontaneous group trips to this fun craft store and browse their sale rack.
Snack Table: We usually have one table in the work area overflowing with snacks people have brought to share. Anything that doesn’t require refrigeration is welcome. I bring toffee each year, I think I’m required to now!
Free Table: There is one table where you can leave things that you no longer need or want but may be useful to others. Think of old beads you’ve never used, a new supply you have extra of – there are no limits here but please remember to take home any of your unclaimed items.
Sale Table: We experimented with this last year and I think we are doing it again. You may bring any items you wish to sell (maybe just put a few at a time on the table, no elaborate craft table set up), marked with your name and price. If someone wishes to purchase it, they can find you and give you the money.
Bottles of Hope Challenge:  We decorate small medicine glass bottles (provided) and donate them to cancer patients in a local treatment center (see more information further down this page). These are always amazing! We all vote on our favorites in each category and the winners get an extra special ribbon handmade from sparkly paper. The voting and awards are done on Saturday, our busiest day.
Other Challenges: Last year we added an additional challenge, bowls. These were for fun and the creators get them back after the competition. This year’s challenge-Altoid Tins! We will provide the tins for you to cover with your creativeness.

Maria Brown’s charms for the Swap 2015

Swap: A few years running now, this activity has covered subjects such as charms and inchies. At last year’s Clay Camp, we voted on this year’s topic and the winner is: bead pairs! Make a matching or semi-matching bead pair (like fork and spoon are meant to be a pair), give them to me on Saturday afternoon and I will work on swapping them in an as unbiased a manner as possible. After your receive your swaps, you can make them into anything you like – earrings, charms, stitch markers, a funky necklace, etc.
Here are the nitty gritty technical details: if you make one bead pair, you will get one back. If you make 30+ bead pairs (no upper limit), I will do my best to get you 30 pairs back but this depends on participation. If all of your beads are identical, I would try and swap once with each of the participants’. If some people only do a few bead pairs, only a few people will get beads from them. If you have a variety of bead pairs, I can do swaps between the same people multiple times. I believe we had around 20 participants last year with many people making multiple groups of swapping items (10 of one type, 10 of another type, etc). Consider putting your bead pairs in a little baggie with your name so people know who they came from! Pictures will be in the Clay Camp edition of the newsletter to show all the swap items that came in. If I explained this badly, like I’m sure I did, please feel free to ask questions about how it works!
Brown Bag Exchange: Yet another Saturday activity. If you wish to participate, bring something in a plain, unmarked brown bag (luncheon type brown bags provided, if you wish). Those who brought bags take turns either choosing an unopened bag from the table or stealing an item from an opened brown bag (only one steal per item and then it’s no longer available to steal). Put in something you would be happy getting in return, this is not a white elephant exchange. Popular items in the past have included clay, handmade clay items, clay supplies, chocolate and gift cards.
Non-raffle Raffle: You may donate any item to this Guild fundraiser. Items will be displayed with a cup in front of each. Tickets are sold for $1 each and you put your tickets in the cup corresponding to the item you want to win. All proceeds go to the Guild scholarship fund. Members that have been in the Guild for a year may apply for a 50% off Clay Camp waiver, to help enable people that wouldn’t normally be able to attend. We typically see lots of lovely handmade clay (or crochet!) items, clay books, clay supplies and other craft supplies. It is always a fun show to watch as well! This happens on… you guessed it, Saturday!


Clay Camp 2017 Classes

Classes for Clay Camp 2017 (Downloadable PDF)


RESIN BASICS & BEYOND with Meredith Arnold, Friday May 19th, 9:00am to noon (3 hour class)

What can resin do for you? Discover how you can create water, magnify a pattern, use it as a permanent sealer and more.  A variety of resins for different applications are included as well as some bezels and a ring blank for each student. Pictured in the photos are some rings that have thin polymer veneer covered by resin. Materials fee: $10.00 to be paid directly to instructor in class and covers different resins, bezels, a ring blank, papers, stamps and inks, glue, glitters, molds, mixing cups, stir sticks.
Students should bring: Scissors, optional-  rubber stamps and inks
Class cost: Campers $50.00, Non-campers $66.00, Materials Fee: $10.00



 WICKED LITTLE BOWLS with Marie Segal, Friday May 19th, 9:00am to noon  (3 hour class)

Explore the unique properties of translucent clay while making a beautiful bowl that can be used to hold rings, change or whatnot. The light play within the bowl will may make you wish to keep it empty. Construction techniques and decorative tips are all part of this fun process. The photos say it all! There is no materials fee for this class.
Students should bring: Pasta machine,  Blade,  Kemper cutters,  Scotch paper glue
Class cost: Campers $50.00, Non-campers $66.00, Materials Fee: none



ELEGANT INRO PENDANTS with Kim Day, Friday May 19th, 9:00am to noon & 1:30pm to 5:00pm (6 hour class)

Discover the steps to making hollow forms that can be translated to larger or even smaller boxes! Create your own inro, a traditional Japanese wearable box that is typically highly decorated, during this leisurely paced class. Our inro creations will include a rubber necklace cord that has a polymer bead and loop clasp as well as a matching polymer bead that helps keep the lid closed.  There is no materials fee for this class.
Students should bring: Polymer clay, at least 4 ounces: around 2 ounces of inside color, 2 ounces of outside color.  *No Sculpey III*
Something to decorate your inro:  texture sheets, mica clay for mica shift polymer canes, ‘clay safe’ ink and stamps, molds, acrylic paint. If you want to construct more than one inro, bring additional clay.
Class cost: Campers $100.00, Non-campers $116.00, Materials Fee: none




Friday May 19th, 1:30pm to 5:00pm (3 hour class) Discover how collage is like archeology in reverse! Instead of removing layers to uncover treasure, you actually create it by adding layers and seeing what happens. Unexpected materials come into play: napkins, embossing powders, watercolors, stamps and more. Explore how to add foils in for some magical shine and discover how each layer and addition builds to create unique treasure. A sense of discovery is a must but no previous experience is required! Materials fee of $5 to be paid to instructor in class and covers ephemera, watercolors, foils, embossing powders, watercolor paper, watercolors, some brushes, matte medium and some stamps and ink.
Students should bring:  Your own papers, if desired. Scissors, Optional- some black markers for doodling, additional stamps
Class cost: Campers $50.00, Non-campers $66.00, Materials Fee: $5.00


BEAUTIFUL JEWELRY DESIGN with Liz White, Friday May 19th, 1:30pm to 5:00pm (3 hour class)

Have you made a stunning pendant and need a necklace to show it off? Do you have an ever-growing collection of beads you would like to use up and don’t know where to start? Liz will help you lay out a variety of beads to best accent your creations. You will learn how to crimp the ends of your beading wire and attach a variety of clasps, and you will have a necklace or several bracelets when you are done. Basic earring creation included. Stringing materials, findings, and glass beads are provided – just bring your clay creations. There is no materials fee for this class.
Students should bring: Polymer clay made pendant pieces, beads, etc. that you would like to make into jewelry.
Class cost: Campers $50.00, Non-campers $66.00, Materials Fee: none



MIXED MEDIA DOLLS with Bea Grob, Saturday may 20th, 9:00am to noon & 1:30pm to 5:00pm (6 hour class)

Stretch your creativity to make your own studio spirit or alter ego! Makin’s Clay air dry polymer clay is the basis for this project, combined with beads, Wire Knitz crocheted wire, paints, fiber and more. Bringing different materials together creates it own challenge. Discover all of the challenges and resolutions, creative tips and tricks for a delightful result. Materials fee: $20 to be paid in class covers Makin’s Clay, wire, Wire Knitz, pre-made legs, metal embellishments, Lumiere paints, powders, use of stamps, and tools.
Students should bring:  Assortment of beads for the arms, yarn and/or small ribbons for the skirt, Protective surface, roller for clay (if you bring a pasta machine, please make sure it is very clean), scissors (not your good sewing scissors, but some decent ones), Optional: acrylic paints, Mica powders, stamps, side cutters and pliers
Class cost: Campers $100.00, Non-campers $116.00, Materials Fee: $20.00



CARVING CLAY with Nan Robkin, Saturday May 20th, 9:00am to noon (3 hour class)

Discover how this fun technique will expand your possibilities in polymer! Carving baked clay offers a variety of directions, including creating your own original texture sheets as well as making printing plates for Artist Trading Cards or other small projects. All the tips and tricks will be covered from design transfer to execution. Bring your own toner based design (2.5 x 3.5″) or use one provided by the instructor. Materials fee of $3 to be paid to instructor in class covers: Handout/ including designs to use, Use of tools during Clay Camp, Paper to print on, Inks.
Students should bring: Up to two 1/8″ thick baked polymer sheets, 2.5″ x 3.5″ (lighter color is better) Optional: Toner based design to carve
Class cost: Campers $50.00, Non-campers $66.00, Materials Fee: $3.00



TRANSLUCENT GEOMETRIC CANES with Marie Segal, Saturday May 20th, 9:00am to noon (3 hour class)

Creating basic geometric cane shapes is the first step to building more complex canes. Translucent and opaque play in this class combined with caning techniques provides you with expanded possibilities in application to design. This class is guaranteed to get you on the right footing making canes and will give you lots of ideas for a variety of ways to use them. No materials fee is required.
Students should bring:  Small block of each of these clay colors: Opaque white, translucent, Ruby translucent, Amber translucent, Emerald translucent, Sapphire translucent, Violet translucent, Turquoise.  Pasta machine, Sharp blade, Ruler, Work surface, Notebook, Baking cardboard
Class cost: Campers $50.00, Non-campers $66.00, Materials Fee: none



RIPPLE BLADE ROUND UP with Marie Segal, Saturday May 20th, 1:30Pm to 5:00pm (3 hour class)

Learn some incredible techniques directly from the inventor using this unique tool! Marie Segal discovered a variety of cool things to do with one funky blade and a little help from her friends. There are so many applications and Marie is known for telling all so be prepared for a lot of information! This class is guaranteed to expand your polymer world into new realms. Instructor will bring glitter, foils, and things to play with. There is no materials fee required for this class.
Students should bring: Basic clay tools, Small and/or large ripple blade, and a fine flexible tissue blade, Gold or Silver leaf- a sheet or two is all you need! Shaped small cutters 1″ and under, An old pot holder or piece of old towel, Tiny drill bit and pen tool if you have one, Small 4″ x 4″ bathroom tile with a matt finish, Extruder and disks
Class cost: Campers $50.00, Non-campers $66.00, Materials Fee: none



LONG ZENADU PENDANT with Marie Segal, Sunday May 21st, 9:00am to noon (3 hour class)

It looks like an image transfer but this is a different, fail proof technique. Discover some new techniques combined with jewelry design to make a chic pendant like this. Your guide in this technique tour will supply you with the wire, some gears, paint and foil! There is no materials fee for this class.
Students should bring: a rubber stamp with a small fine design,  Two colors of Translucent Cernit,  Stazon ink pad in black,  Beads (smallish) to go with your pieces,  Wire neck chain or cable,  Chain nose pliers, Side cutters, Flat nose pliers
If you think of some finding or anything you would like to combine with your stamp and your pendant please bring it!
Class cost: Campers $50.00, Non-campers $66.00, Materials Fee: none

Clay Camp ‘B.O.H.’ Challenge

The Bottles of Hope* project was started in 1999 by Diane Gregoire, a cancer survivor and polymer clay artist. Diane found a way to use her special talents as an artist to cheer up the lives of cancer patients going through the ordeal of chemotherapy. She used polymer clay to decoratively cover small glass (non-toxic) medicine bottles and gave them to other patients as a symbol of hope. Bottles of Hope are now created and given worldwide.
As an ongoing friendly competition each year, we have a ‘NWPCG Clay Camp B.O.H. Challenge’ decorating Bottles Of Hope, thanks to the insightful suggestion of Betty Mehlhoff, past NWPCG President. Everyone may join in the fun and creativity and decorate a bottle or two (or seventeen!) that will be donated to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma, Washington.
Fantastic glittering ribbons are awarded and bragging rights bestowed on those clayers whose bottles are voted best in their category at Clay Camp! This is an on-going NWPCG project; members create and donate their decorated Bottles of Hope year ’round.
*Read more about Bottles of Hope at Bottlesofhope.org

A few Bottles of Hope 2016