Monday, August 1, 2011

Metal Clay World Conference

After much anticipation, the MCWC finally arrived!  I packed and loaded my car and headed off to the airport.  But it seemed that between the heat and road blocks in my area, and the freak thunderstorms in the Chicago area, I was not to make it there.  But eventually, I did and boy was it worth it!

Yup!  That's right-- 37 degrees! (That's 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit!) Who says Canada is always cold?

 Don't they know I'm trying to get to the airport to catch a plane and go to the Metal Clay conference????

Chicago--as close as I got to it at least!
This year’s conference was the best MCWC to date!  Great work Jackie, Tom, Katie and staff at Art Clay World, USA.  The accommodations, workshops, lectures and presentations were top notch!  I attended as many conference presentations as I could--if only there were more days to the conference.  I had a very hard time choosing which lecture to attend.
I was so busy at the conference, I forgot to take many photos!    This photo is from the presentation by Deb Wajnarawski.  She is demonstrating soldering, and the live video is up on the screen.
The shopping was also most enjoyable! Talking with the vendors, many of whom are advertisers in our magazine is always interesting.  Some vendors save new products to unveil at the conference--so it is always cool to be in on something brand new! My credit card was squeaking by the time the vendor room closed…so I headed over to the polymer clay retreat room and did some damage in there finding great beads, pendants and rings for sale by the artists who made them.
This beautiful polymer clay ring is by Ponsawan Sila.

I enjoyed attending a pre-conference workshop with Ronna Sarvas Weltman. Along with learning some tricks for polymer clay, making new friends was serendipitous!  Meeting the people who have written for the magazine, or that I’ve chatted with online or on Facebook is the best part about attending a conference!! 
Pictured is Joy Funnell and a larger than life version of the cover which showcased her piece on the cover.  The second cover (bottom) is a piece by Hattie Sanderson.
Me, Pam East, Lorrene Baum-Davis, Hattie Sanderson and Mary Ellin D'Agostino.

Many people wore jewellery that they made, so walking anywhere at the conference was like attending a live art show!  After losing most of my pieces to a thief in airport security last year, I had to grovel and beg to borrow pieces from my friends.  Lucky for me, I have talented friends! (In the photo above I'm wearing a necklace by Kathleen Nowak Tucci.  Besides the necklace, also in this picture is Judi Weers, me, Ann Davis, Lorrene Baum-Davis, and Sherry Chaples.)

I also had fun celebrating the magazine's second birthday with birthday cake of course!

 During the conference, I presented a lecture on “How-To Write a How To”.  I know that it is rather surprising for me to talk about writing articles for a magazine!  Part way through my presentation, I asked everyone to “change hats” from a magazine reader and to put on their “writer's hats”.  What good sports everyone was! Thank you!

If you were not at the conference and you’d like copies of my handouts, please e-mail me: I'd be happy to send them to you. I gave out two handouts—one was a "fill in the blank" form. When all sections are filled in, the article you are writing is almost complete!  How easy is that?  The other handout is a completed sample. 

Everyone has a story, a technique or a unique way of doing something.  I look forward to having articles printed in the magazine from new artists, and from artists we all know and love!  Each issue of our magazine has been filled to the brim with outstanding articles and awesome projects, all written by metal clay artists! Come on--pitch your ideas!

~Jeannette Froese LeBlanc


  1. Love to read about your experience and fun times at the MCWC !!
    I wished I was in your lecture !!

  2. Thanks Lorena! I wish you had been at the conference.

  3. Sounds like a great conference! My bookstore finally put out the current issue of the magazine and I was able to get it today.

  4. The How-To was great - especially the hats. ; )

  5. Hi Leslie, Glad to hear that the magazine is out at your bookstore!

    Jen-thanks so much! I was quite nervous! I was so awestruck by those attending each of my presentations...I'm such a metal clay groupie!

  6. Thanks for showing off my ring :)Is there anyway I can get the "How to - How to". I have a few "How-to" to share :) Nice to meet you.

  7. Hi Ponsawan--you know I'm a big fan of your work now! I had a hard time not showing off my entire "Ponswan Ring Collection" in this post! E-mail me at and I'll send you the handouts! It was so nice to meet you too!


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