We Asked, You Answered
In September 2019, the IPCA board was pursuing potential venues for the next Synergy event. I toured several locations in the Washington, DC area, looking for the perfect spot for the next IPCA event.
The COVID pandemic caused us to regroup, rethink, and retool many programs and events to meet our members' need for connections within the polymer community. It became obvious that we would not be able to host an in-person event for the foreseeable future and transitioned to twice-weekly Zoom talks and clay-days.
We introduced the first Global Exhibition of Members’ Work which was an enormous success with 170 entries and 74 participants from around the world. In fact, we just announced the dates for the second annual global exhibition.
It’s one thing for a board to try to provide content and another to fulfill a stated need. This summer, we surveyed current and former members of the IPCA about their program preferences, and we learned a lot! For example:
- If the IPCA were to hold a major event in the next 18 months, which formats appeal most to you?
The majority chose a hybrid (in-person/virtual) event followed by an exclusively virtual event. Hands-on classes, retreat, and conference were dead last.
- How likely are you to attend an event held online?
8 out of 10 said yes!
- What should be the focus of the IPCA?
Two thirds of you preferred monthly zoom programs such as audio tours, artist chats, themed discussions, etc.
In response to the survey, Kathryn Corbin, our VP of Program Development, has crafted a program designed to bring desired content to our members on a rotating pre-scheduled basis. Starting in 2022, we will bring you SUNDAY SPECIALS: TALK, TECH AND TOUR.
Polymer Community Puzzle
by Ann Marie Donovan
The community Puzzle was created to give us something positive to focus on during the harsh reality of what were all facing. Everywhere I looked I saw amazing things taking place in my own little home town of Franklin, Ma. and the world.
I felt the need to remind those of us in the clay world, while being hit hard, we were also being blessed. People were coming together, helping one another, supporting neighbors, and being very thankful to those on the front lines.
1st...The idea, how could we pull together and bring forth positive moments while in a global pandemic?
2nd....I wanted to bring recognition to Polymer Clay. It's something I am truly passionate about and always looking for ways to Spread the Word. This was going to be a project to be shared with many who had no idea what polymer clay was about. I wanted this puzzle to travel thru New England. Possibly further. I'm hoping it will be adopted by other guilds who may be able to help it travel. Our first scheduled tour will involve local libraries, art associations, and wherever we can get it to be shown.
3rd.... I drafted the idea, created a post in The Art Annex, and put out a call to anyone who wanted to be a part of the Community Puzzle.
IPCA Bylaws Update and Board of Director Elections
As a volunteer organization, our success relies on the service and leadership of our members. We strive to build a community of polymer clay enthusiasts, artists, and craftspeople. Serving on the Board is one of many ways our members can support the Association and we hope you will join the Board and help our polymer world expand and strengthen.
Read more: IPCA Bylaws Update and Board of Director Elections
2020 Global IPCA Exhibition
by Kathryn Corbin, IPCA VP, Program Development
What does an organization do when it’s international members can’t meet in person? Like everyone else in the Year of Covid, we learned and deployed Zoom. Thanks to our VP of Communications, Ann Hlavach, who was willing to host a regular members’ zoom get together every Sunday that moved monthly through all international time zones to accommodate those heading to bed when some of us were just waking, members were able to interact with each each other on a more or less regular basis in a more or less face-to-face manner. She later added a Wednesday morning meet up that is more topic-and demo-based. Still, these are fleeting, informal, in the moment. What could we offer members that was BIG? NEW? EXCLUSIVE? NO COST TO MEMBERS? REMOTE?
Curious to see what everyone was up to after a long, strange year of separation, we decided to try an event idea that had been discussed as a potential component of the next Synergy Conference….which never happened, of course. But it seemed like maybe, and maybe even better, a virtual exhibition could be that event to bring us together again.
Interview with Carole Monahan
President, Southern Connecticut Polymer Clay Guild
How would you describe the Southern Connecticut Polymer Clay Guild?
Our guild is in its 23rd year.
Our Clay ConneCTion the Home Edition was a condensed 2 day version of our retreat which is normally 4 days where we take over a college campus. We set it up as a free event this year since so many folks were out of work. On an average we get about 70 attendees but for the virtual event we set a limit of 50. Normally we have demos running all day long 30 mins to an hour each in a separate room. We limited it to two 1 hour demos per day and took advantage of the fact we could get people that might not normally be able to come.
From the President's Desk
Summertime is heating up the northern hemisphere, while our Southern Hemisphere members are heading into Fall and soon, Winter. Thanks to social media and our twice-weekly Zoom calls, everyone gets to experience the changing seasons and the lives of our members around the globe. It's a wonderful perk of IPCA membership.
Interview with Barbara Forbes-Lyons
President, Tallahassee Polymer Clay Art Guild
How would you describe the Tallahassee Polymer Clay Art Guild?
The Tallahassee Polymer Clay Art Guild was founded in 2006 by myself and Ellen Rumsey Bellenot after Karen Woods set us up on a polymer 'blind date'. We hold two Retreats a year - on in February and another over the U.S. Labor Day weekend.
Our retreat event, Clay-Bor Day, takes place annually over the United States' Labor Day Weekend. Traditionally, the event is three days but for health and safety reasons we held the 2020 event virtually over two days. The event included demos, show & tell moments, a scavenger hunt, and design challenge with an inchies swap related to the challenge. There was plenty of unscheduled time built in to the schedule so participants could socialize and clay.