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Sue Fleischer

Sue Fleischer
Baltimore, MD 21208
USA
Email: suze@casual-elegance.com
Website: www.casual-elegance.com

Background Information

Years Teaching:  12
Years Teaching Clay:  12
Years Working w/Clay:  16
School or Studio:  Studio
Freelance:  Yes
Specialties:  I create each piece with precision, be it a tiny bead or a finished piece of jewelry or home decor item. I bring polymer clay to a new level of craftsmanship.
First Experience With Clay:  I was working as a Director of Public Relations for a Publishing Company. They were having financial difficulties and downsizing. I stayed with the company at a reduced salary since I was newly separated and needed a job. I went to the art supply store looking for a product I could use to make up that $10,000 pay cut. I spent a year developing designs, a year later the publishing company went out of business and I started full time. I never did it as a hobby, but as a way to make money. I've built my business, raised my family, paid off my house and live with no debt and have even been able to save, all with polymer clay. That's the greatest accomplishment for me.
Past Teaching Experiences:  I've been doing craft shows for the past 15 years all up and down the east coast.
Publication Experience:  I've been in the City Zen Cane Polymer Clay Calendar. I will also be in Lark's new book, 400 Polymer Creations. I've spent much more time selling my work than trying to promote myself.
Teaching Level:  Professional

Lesson Information

Private Lessons:  Yes
How Far Will Travel:  2-3 hours, give or take
Reimbursed Expenses:  Travel and lodging accommodations
Group Lessons:  Yes
Minimum Number of Students:  6
Maximum Number of Students:  12
How Far Will Travel:  2 -3 hours, give or take
Reimbursed Expenses:  Travel and lodging accommodations

Class Prep Time:  A month, depends on my show schedule
Maximum Consecutive Days Teaching:  2
Class Listings & Descriptions: 

Basic Polymer Clay Workshop
This is the most comprehensive polymer clay class around. Four basic areas will be covered beginning with Basic Polymer Clay. We will start with tips on conditioning clay, mixing colors, color theory, marbleizing, baking, glues, lacquers, cookie cutter techniques, burnishing and laminating. Learn the properties and safety precautions of polyform products. You will make colorful fish pins ("Fish with an attitude") for your first project.

The second section of this workshop covers Surface Techniques and Toolmaking. Our goal is to make picture frames using a collage of different techniques. We explore mosaics, appliqué, embossing, making molds, carving, releasing agents, incising tools, metallic powders, and foils. We will also be making tools to use with the clay, so bring small drill bits and needles to class. You will learn how to plan and make a unique and useful picture frame.

The third section, Millefiori Caning, teaches how to make "canes" out of clay using an ancient technique of miniaturizing cross sectional designs. You will learn how to roll, stack, cut and reduce the clay into designs such as swirls, flowers and checkerboards. We will pay special attention to reducing square, round and triangular canes.

In the Beadmaking section you will learn to make your own buttons and beads in any color or shape you desire opening the door to endless possibilities in jewelry design. Master the snake and make marbleized, polka dot, wrapped snake, shell, folded, millefiori, metallic, jelly roll, square, cylindrical and biconal beads.

Materials Fee: If you have your own clay and tools, feel free to bring them. Otherwise there is a materials fee of $29.00 + tax that will include plenty of polymer clay to get you through the entire workshop, a slicing blade, a clay roller and skewers. If you want additional supplies, I carry a full line of products. My clay is priced below retail prices.

What to Bring to Class: Lunch (for all day classes), an empty shoebox, a pasta maker specifically used for polymer clay if you have one, sandwich baggies, a drill bit 1/8 inch or smaller, long sewing needles, thin and thick, textures to share with the rest of the class, i.e., buttons, a piece of jewelry, an embellished piece of silverware, interesting coins, fabric, toys, etc.
Tuition: $160 Deposit: $40

Precision Beadmaking
This is a class I've been asked again and again to teach. One of the most noticeable qualities of my beads is that they are very precise in shape and design. This class is designed to help you end up with the same precision and accuracy with your beads.

Special attention will be paid to help you recognize which designs are more forgiving and thereby make it easier to achieve perfection when making beads. With designs that are more difficult, you will learn methods of keeping the patterns from distorting during the construction and finishing process for your beads. Because sizing is so important in this process, this class is being presented as a two-day class. This will allow us to be able to make some precisely sized canes, the first step in achieving precision in beads.

Precision beadmaking depends heavily on using the right techniques. Learn the numerous and varied processes which I have developed through trial and error in my journey of becoming a production beadmaker.

Materials Needed: If you have your own clay and tools, feel free to bring them. Otherwise there is a materials fee of $22.00 + tax that will include plenty of polymer clay to get you through the entire workshop. For those who want additional supplies, I carry a full line of products. My clay is priced below retail prices. If you bring your own clay, you?ll need at least 8 colors of clay that includes at least 3 ounces of the colors you want most dominant. Please precondition the clay before class. Be sure to bring plenty of scrap clay that you have left over from other projects, the ends of canes or colors that have gotten mixed up.

Bring to Class: Lunch, an empty box and plenty of baggies, a new tissue blade (you may purchase them from me if you would like), a pasta maker specifically for use with clay, if you have one, a roller, bead piercing tools.
Tuition: $160 Deposit: $40

Shaded Canes and Bowls
This class features Judith Skinner's Shaded Cane Technique. A shaded cane is one in which the color blends smoothly from one shade or hue to another. We will concentrate on how to make different color blends and then apply them to cane making.

All of the students in the class will make canes large enough to share part of it with the other students. We will all then take our different canes and create bowls or other objects with the designed clay. Because our goal is to be as precision oriented as possible, you will learn how to get your canes to meet seamlessly without disturbing your patterns in the clay.

If you wish to premake some canes at home and bring them to class to incorporate into your work, please try to make fresh canes for this purpose as the technique works best when the clay is all the same consistency.

Materials Needed: If you have your own clay and tools, feel free to bring them. Otherwise there is a materials fee of $20.00 + tax that will include plenty of polymer clay to get you through the entire workshop. For those who want additional supplies, I carry a full line of products. My clay is priced below retail prices. If you bring your own clay, you?ll need at least 8 colors of clay that includes at least 3 ounces of the colors you want most dominant. Please precondition the clay before class. Be sure to bring plenty of scrap clay that you have left over from other projects, the ends of canes or colors that have gotten mixed up.

Bring to Class: Lunch, an empty box and plenty of baggies, a new tissue blade (you may purchase them from me if you would like), a pasta maker specifically for use with clay, if you have one, a roller, bead piercing tools.
Tuition: $160 Deposit: $40

Kaleidoscopic Initial Caning
When you learn to take your own initials and transfer the design into a clay cane, you also learn the important technique of taking any design and transferring it into a cane.

With the pattern created by using your initials, we will put together a kaleidoscopic design using the Millefiori technique. Then, with a laminating process, you will make a pendant or base plate from this kaleidoscopic design which will become the focal point of your necklace. You will learn to use the different parts of the initial cane to create an array of coordinating beads and component pieces that will enhance your centerpiece. By the end of class, you will have your own personalized initial beads and will put together a beautiful necklace and matching earrings.

You will learn how to find the best shapes for your jewelry, how to choose colors that will work together and how to “bridge the gap” with colors of your choice. You’ll have an incredibly beautiful necklace and earring set and plenty of “canes” left to make many more beads or component pieces for other matching wearable art or accessories.

Materials Needed: At least 8 colors of clay, making sure you have at least 3 ounces of the colors you want most dominant. Please precondition the clay before class. If you have your own clay, bring it, otherwise it is available for purchase here.

Bring to Class: Lunch, an empty box and plenty of baggies, a new tissue blade (you may purchase them from me if you would like), a pasta maker specifically for use with clay, if you have one, a roller, bead piercing tools.
Tuition: $160 Deposit: $40

Words of Encouragement to Novice Teachers:

"If I took a class from someone who didn't have answers to my questions I wouldn't appreciate paying for their lack of knowledge. When you can make quality items that stand out from others working with clay, you'll be ready and you'll know it."


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