Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Potomac Polymer Clay Guild is one of the oldest polymer clay guilds in the country, and is dedicated to exploring the use of polymer clay as an art form. While polymer clay has been available for some 40 years it's only in the last 15 years or so that it's use as an adult fine arts & crafts medium has grown to include jewelry making, mosaics, sculpture, fine art & more.

It has been described as "pure color" that can be molded, stamped, modeled, painted & sanded--to name but a few of the artistic techniques it embraces. It can be combined with inks, spices or mica powders, and can be made to imitate stone, ivory, jade or metal. Projects run from Japanese inro to dolls to photographic beads.

A sample Guild project was its participation in the fundraising gala Spirited Away, (sponsored by The Bead Museum), which was held on June 17, 2006 at the Naval Historical Society in Washington D.C.

Members donated hand-crafted polymer beads that were given to each gala attendee. The ‘Sprited Away’ theme of the gala inspired guild members to create art beads using the full range of polymer clay’s aesthetic potential -- beads ranged from a tiny acorn in its own gift box (accompanied by a small book about the acorn's use in mythology) to a dragon’s face, mokume gane, caning, and beautiful millefiori techniques.
The Acorn, Myth & Symbolism-Terresa Leopold

While the Guild generally serves southern Maryland, the District of Columbia, and northern Virginia it has attracted members from New Jersey, Pennsylvania & West Virginia.

The Potomac Guild has also sponsored workshops with some of polymer clay's best known artists. Recent guest artists have included Grant Diffendaffer, Jeff Dever, and Judy Belcher. Examples of Judy Belcher's work can be seen on the Judy Belcher page which appears on the Polymer Clay Daily web site.

Photo left: bead samples by Jeffrey Dever

The Washington Metropolitan area is fortunate in that many of the early Guild members reside locally & offer a wealth of talent and experience that can be easily accessed for either workshops or informal demonstrations at guild meetings. Guild Claydays offer another opportunity to improve technique or complete a project in the company of fellow clay enthusiasts. Claydays are held once a month at the Packard Center in Annandale in conjunction with the Northern Virginia Polymer Clay Guild.

The Guild meets on the third Monday of the month (except in December), at the Kensington Row Bookshop in Kensington, Maryland. Meetings start at 7:30 pm with a video rental library exchange, followed by show-and-tell and announcements. The program follows at 8:00 and usually features a demonstration of an art technique or clay tool, a mini-workshop, a visiting artist, or a slide show. Visitors are welcome; no charge. Information about polymer clay classes, meetings, shows, sales, and other artful events is posted on the guild listserv on an ongoing basis.

For further information:

Georgia Sargeant at
Potomac Guild at
Elisenda Hopper at Kensington Row Bookshop:

The Washington DC Metropolitan area is home to four polymer clay guilds. Many members belong to more than one guild:


Meets at Kensington Row Bookshop on the 3rd Monday of each month
Serves southern Maryland, the District of Columbia, and northern Virginia. Offers monthly meetings, clay days, & workshops. Contact Georgia Sargeant at


Contact Deirdre Woodward at for more information.


Serves polymer clay artists/enthusiasts in Maryland, Washington, DC &Northern Virginia. For additional information, please contact Kathryn Ottman at


The Northern Virginia Polymer Clay Guild meets in Annandale at the Packard Center on the second Sunday of the month from 11am - 5pm. For additional information contact Cindy Silas at


The National Polymer Clay Guild is a national trade association for polymer clay artists and hobbyists. On this website you'll find news, event announcements, galleries, and can find a guild near you or start one of your own.


Bead Gala Photo: Cindy Silas
Acorn Bead: Terresa Leopold
Jeff Dever Demo Beads: R. Gancie

Elisenda Sola-Hopper
3786 Howard Ave.
Kensington, MD 20895
Phone: (301) 949-9416

Kensington Row Bookshop Website

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