Sunday, March 26, 2017

With everything that's going on in the world today, I find my anxiety and stress levels at an all time high. Stress levels can take years off of your life, so I try to find ways to find inner peace, remain calm and relax.  One of my favorite things to do to help me relax is make things. I've always been into art and crafting projects. When I was in elementary school I was invited to join Art Enrichment, an after school program for students that showed a talent in the arts. My skill was drawing. I don't really draw any more, but that experience basically sealed the deal for my love of the arts.  

And while I love creating things, it's difficult to find time to do it on my own. But luckily, my friends over at Pop Shop America have my back with their monthly workshops that I can plan for ahead of time in my schedule. I attended my first workshop at Pop Shop America several Fridays ago.  At the end of a long work week, participating in a relaxing crafting activity on a Friday night is just what the doctor ordered.  This particular workshop focused on making ring dishes and geometric jewelry from clay! The workshop was held at Pop Shop America's new location in the Heights. It's a great space, and the workshop was full! I arrived a little later than expected, but I was just in time to start the activity.  

Brittany and Melissa are the co-owners of Pop Shop America and they led the workshop.  Even though I love DIY I'm always a little nervous that I'll mess it up, so I never skip ahead with the instructions, and I always ask a lot of questions. Thankfully Melissa and Brittany are very patient! They kicked off the workshop by showing us examples of a marbled ring dish which is what we made first before making the jewelry.  

Melissa giving instructions to the class for making the marbled ring dishes.
Everyone started off with strips of white clay, which was the base color for all of the marbled designs. 
Each table had a package of colorful clay colors that we could choose for our dishes. I knew that my ring dish would sit in my blog office, and the color scheme of my blog office is white, black, gold & grey, so I chose black, gray, and gold for my marbled colors.
The first step is to roll all of the clay pieces into "snakes". 
Then you twist all of your snakes together once....
And then twice.
Once you have all of the clay twisted you roll it up into a ball.
I loved the colors that the lady sitting next to me put together, so I wanted to share her ball of clay as well!
After rolling your clay into a ball, you flatten it out with a roller pin, or anything that's cylindrical like a pin. I used a long candle holder.
After your dish is flat, it's time to create the edges. You can use cups etc to aid in forming the edges, but I did mine mostly freehand. 
The final step is to set them in the oven at 250 degrees for 15 minutes. After the clay hardens you can remove it from the oven. You do the same step for the dishes AND the jewelry.  I made several ring dishes and pieces of jewelry.  Pop Shop had gilding paint to paint the edges of the ring dishes, so I painted the gold, black,grey, and white one with gold on the edge!
For more information on this DIY and Pop Shop, please visit their site.

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