Friday, 3 June 2016

Cleaning Pasta Machines & the Bottles of Hope Challenge

Have I mentioned that I joined the Northwest Polymer Clay Guild (NWPCG) early in the year? So many things are flying through my head, it's hard to catch a thread of thought. I actually looked up the Guild even before I got to the USA. Involving myself more in the art of polymer clay was one of my goals.

US - the land of plentiful polymer clay supply and mentors! Yebaaa! Unfortunately, life happens and there are many roadblocks to these goals so it wasn't until late last year that I was actually able to attend a meeting as a visitor. And I think it was January when I was finally able to sign up as a member. So far, I've been enjoying the monthly meetings, learning a lot and enjoying conversations with fellow artists! 

Only last meeting, a fellow member Maria Brown of Blonde Crow Studio walked us through how to clean our pasta machines which was a phenomenal experience! I was a cop-out though -- I was taking pictures for the newsletter (which by the way, I started editing and designing June 2016 issue onwards) -- so my machine was left untouched. Seeing everybody untangle the mess that is a broken-apart-pasta-machine can be a bit scary but I'm sure I'll get there one of these days.

Taking it apart and putting it back
together again: oh joy!

One of the Guild projects, which I've come to know is relatively new to the group too, is the Bottles of Hope Challenge (BOH). Our participation was brought on by the initiative of current NWPCG president Betty Mehlhoff and the decorated bottles will be given to Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma, WA. So cool! But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself, a little about BOH first. Here's the official description from the site:
Bottles of Hope are small glass bottles covered with polymer clay and given to cancer patients. They symbolize a wish and a hope for health. 
This project was started in 1999 by a Rhode Island cancer survivor and has spread internationally. Bottles are made by artists, students, survivors, seniors and many more who volunteer their time and love.
The official BOH Guild competition was held during NWPCG Clay Camp 2016 which I was not able to attend (Life!) and awards were handed out  then but the BOH project is ongoing and members (or even non-members! Anybody who wants to share some hope and joy are welcome to participate, just check out the links for details) can still decorate and donate bottles at any time.

The Guild was given a box of sterilized vials from the hospital, so I grabbed a handful and started my own collection which I'll be giving to Betty soon. Here are some of them:

I quite like how this mini fairy cottage turned out!
This is my fave so far, I call him Master Elvish Funji.

So here we have Mr Elf, Toothless and a heart capped bottle.
The heart is hallow, been experimenting on hallow clay creations.

It's really fun working on these little things and it warms the heart to know that they may make a cancer patient happy and filled with hope. I know my Dad would have gotten a kick if he received one of these.

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