woman-with-computer copyCITY-O-Clay is a Yahoo Group. It’s an email group where when you send email (post to the list) everyone who is a list member can read it. The topics range from general polymer clay technique, to jewelry, to miniatures and sculpting. Learning about polymer clay is aided with free webcam demos, websites full of tutorials and demo logs, to supplement email from the list.

CITY-O-Clay‘s chatty, informal, and focused on nurturing the artist that resides in each of us. It is not focused on sales, craft fairs, cost of booth rental, or tax codes for crafters who sell. There’s other Yahoo Groups that deal with that. Since CITY-O-Clay is not focused on sales but rather on helping artists get a grip on their clay, SPAM from clayers who want to sell their work is highly discouraged.  Please check the CITY-lists join page for our other lists that DO focus on those topics.

CITY-O-Clay‘s volunteers are dedicated to providing an environment where artists’ delicate sensibilities won’t be exposed to “flame wars”. A “flame war” is when there’s a back and forth argument between list members. We believe that a nurturing and safe environment is better for developing creative skills.

The COCModSquad, a dozen volunteers, are determined to keep the peace for everyone’s sake. If a list member writes something that is hurtful to others they will be put on Moderated Status, meaning their posts will have to have approval of a Moderator. That list member will be emailed privately to attend a “One to One” chat with one of the Moderators to clarify what we mean by keeping the peace.

The reasons for this peace keeping effort are many. The main one is when someone is just starting out learning a new medium there’s enough of a learning curve that is already daunting, being exposed to negative energy will be counter productive. We ask everyone to “clay nice”.

It has been written about CITY-O-Clay that we’re nice to beginners. We were all beginners in something at one time or another. There are no stupid questions.  In fact, questions are highly encouraged no matter what your skill level is.

How Did CITY-O-Clay Get Started?

In 1999, I posted a comment to forums for miniatures and polymer clay how I thought that polymer clay would solve the problem of wood grain being the right scale for miniatures. The result was resounding silence. Like a great collective “Huh?” took place.

Except for one reply, which was an invitation to join a Yahoo Group called MiniScenesAndThings, which was new and an off shoot of the disbanded Ocelots, another mini list. I was asked to share my thoughts on polymer clay and miniatures on MiniScenesAndThings.

So I shared my thoughts about how polymer clay can be reduced and the scale of wood grain could fit any room box or doll house. The response was so overwhelming a separate list was created, MSATClayArt, and that was in June of 1999. The list started with 50 experienced miniaturists who knew a little about polymer clay and myself who knew near to nothing about miniatures and little about polymer clay.

Since I was experimenting and exploring polymer clay myself I just shared my clay journey, the good, the ok and the disasters. I used Geocities for two websites and PhotoPoint for pictures of clay technique.  PhotoPoint went out of business. Geocities had bandwidth limitations and too many ads. Time to get my own domain, NoraJean.Com.

On the COCModSquad page you can see the names of all the former Moderators for the clay art list. All of the services we render for the list members were created by the former Moderators.

In 2002 I began to do free live webcam demos. The earliest Demo logs and pictures can be found in the archive.

In 2003 I moved three years of content from the Com site to another website NoraJean.Biz. The Com site was going to be current work and the Biz site was going to be archived items. All the MSATClayArt content was on both sites.

On January 2005, MSATClayArt changed its name to CITY-O-Clay and CITY Lists was founded. CITY Lists included miniatures and has other Sister Cities that have other topics as well.

In 2005 I deleted the MSATClayArt content off of my Com site when the list name was changed.

January 2013 there’s over 2,100 list members world wide. 

What is CITY-Lists all about?

This site,, will have sections for each Sister CITY in time. This CITY-o-Clay section will be just one of a family of lists that are dedicated to “Creative Indulgence Totally Yours” That’s where CITY comes from. The Motto is “Create what you love, love what you create”. The name for the list family and the motto were suggested by the Founders, the former ClayArtMods. All volunteers are part of CITY-Leaders and get the same orientation to insure consistency between CITY lists. New CITY lists will be created and some will be retired as time goes on. If you have an idea for an interesting CITY list contact me. Who knows, you may be the next person writing an “about” page for your Sister City.