Polymer Paradise

by Rose, Jewelry Production Specialist, Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®

What do you get when you combine three of the most preeminent polymer clay artists in the world, beautiful Caribbean islands, the world's largest cruise ship and 50+ polymer clay enthusiasts? Why, Polymer Clay Paradise of course.

Heart Polymerclay Pendant and Swarovski Crystal Necklace Fire Mountain Gems jewelry designers, Esther and Rose just came back from this extraordinary event presented by Art Across the Oceans. Their teachers were Lisa Pavelka, Christi Friesen and Maureen Carlson.

The trip began in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The participants met at The Spring Hill Suites for a pizza party and the start of a marvelous polymer clay adventure. Huge goodie bags were given to each of them. They were fabulous, full of tools, clay, bags, coupons, pens, molds, findings, rulers and more, all generously donated by Polymer Paradise sponsors including our very own Fire Mountain Gems and Beads. They also all received lovely parrot necklaces to identify them as one of the "claydies."

The next morning the claydies boarded the Oasis of the Seas for a week of clay, fun, food, sun and tropical destinations. That night they all gathered to watch the live musical Hairspray, in the huge ship's showroom. There were shows to enjoy every night including a high-diving aqua show, an ice show, comedy and more.

The claydies were split into three groups and on each of the three "sea" days they participated in 6 hours of workshops with a different teacher and a different technique. Lisa taught the "Sutton Slice" and the "Batik Technique." Christi taught oceans of designs with her sculpting techniques. Maureen taught a story necklace using mokume gane techniques. All the claydies were successful making beautiful pieces with the techniques they learned. In addition to the workshops, the teachers were always demonstrating other techniques and taking requests. Demos included a mermaid by Christi, Magic GlosĀ® by Lisa and a fabulous storytelling by Maureen and all the participants, which culminated in the creation of Sadie Minerva O'Flynn, a lovely polymer clay pixie who was given as a door prize to one lucky claydy.

When they weren't participating in workshops or attending demos the claydies were piling on even more fun. One night was pirate night and all of the claydies showed up at dinner in pirate garb. Mind you, it wasn't all the passengers, it was just the crazy claydies dressed as pirates. Another night was prom night for the claydies and they all got to be prom queens complete with a tiara, sash and scepter provided by Art Across the Oceans. Esther was Miss Inform, and Rose was Miss Spent Youth. Those that could find the time also enjoyed the many pools, ice rink, climbing wall, zip line, casino, putt putt golf course and surf simulator. There was so much to do and many friendships were made on the cruise.
Polymerclay Brooch

Sea Life-Themed Polymer Clay Necklace The ports of call were Nassau Bahamas, St. Tomas Virgin Islands and Dutch St. Maarten. The claydies were free to choose their fun on these days. They went snorkeling, shopping for fine jewelry or souvenirs, sight-seeing or relaxing on the beach. Rose even found a casino or two and went to a bar made entirely of ice in St. Thomas!

Our small and beautiful world was dramatically demonstrated to Rose and Esther by all the Fire Mountain Gems customers they met on the islands in various jewelry shops. They were even treated to a drum performance by a Fire Mountain Gems and Beads customer Shaka Zulu, (aka Charles) in full African Mardi Gras garb.

So many skills were learned and friendships made on the cruise that it truly was a Polymer Paradise. Many thanks to Lisa, Christi, Maureen, Art Across the Oceans and all the coordinators and sponsors who made this experience possible.

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Sea Life-Themed Polymer Clay Necklace