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FINE JEWELRY MAKING

ARTIST Annual Mixed Media Issue

glass & metal clay

Display Jul/Aug/Sep

2013

$8.99 US - $9.99 CDN

Jungle Party Necklace | Graceful Petals | Skipping Stones | Polymer That Pops | Bronze Swing Earrings | Commemorative Silver Spoon

Artist Profile: Lesley Messam www.metalclayartistmag.com

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Our Tools... Your Treasures

As artisans ourselves, we understand how top-quality tools and materials enable artists to create their best work. That’s why we continue to develop new tools and techniques designed to push creative and technical boundaries. The ClayMill™ metal clay extruder, available exclusively from PMC Connection, was developed in consultation with Hadar Jacobson. It was designed to meet the unique challenges of working in base metal clays and to multiply the creative options of all metal clay artisans. With the ClayMill™, artists are discovering even more possibilities in metal clay and creating new approaches to design. We’re thrilled to be a part of “what’s next” in metal clay.

“At a recent seminar with Hadar Jacobson, where I was first , I was introduced to the ClayMill™ able to make a plate for a leather cuff and two architectural pieces. The remaining extruded clay came home with me and resulted in six additional pieces, all of which turned out beautifully. The time saved was amazing. I normally have to extrude new clay after only one or two mixed-metal pieces.

I love the idea of being able to create larger organic mixed metal patterns using the ClayMill.” — Cynthia Pope

Leather Cuff by Cynthia Pope, Peaceofshine. ClayMill is a trademark of PMC Connection, Inc.

www.pmcconnection.com

866-PMC-Clay (762-2529) VOL 4 • I S S UE 3

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EDITOR’S LETTER

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”

—Steve Jobs

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IT’S EASY FOR ARTISTS TO FALL INTO THE rut of focusing on a single medium when creating a new project. Even when we create mixed media work, we may find ourselves using other media mostly as accents or embellishments rather than taking full advantage of each medium, both individually and as part of the whole. Challenging ourselves to fully integrate different materials into a holistic, artistic vision is a wonderful way to spark our creativity! Increasingly, artists are creating intriguing and unusual work by combining metal clay with other media, and we have featured many wonderful examples in this issue. Some of these artists are inspired by the materials. For example, Holly Gage is well known for the metal clay jewellery she designs to complement and enhance freeform titanium shapes. We’ve featured one of these as the first piece in our mixed media gallery. Other artists in the gallery have integrated enamel, beads, gemstones and even moss with metal clay. (Why not send us one or two photos of your best new work? We might feature it in our gallery section in a future issue! See page 10 and 39 for details.) One of the keys to combining media effectively is to take advantage of the essential characteristics of each medium. I’m sure that, like me, many of you have always wanted to make a cuff bracelet in metal clay but have been concerned about strength, durability and fit. In this issue, Candace Steppes shows us how to form a lovely metal clay flower and then solder it to a sturdy cuff made from sterling silver sheet. Cindy Silas is known for her jewellery designs that integrate metal clay and polymer clay in stunning and complementary combinations, and I know you’ll be as inspired as I am by her wonderful bronze clay and polymer clay earrings project. I also am planning to make silver spoons for some special babies in my life, thanks VOL 4 • I S S UE 3

to Aleksandra Marczukiewicz’s beautiful photos and project instructions. Another thank you goes out to the members of the ISGB for sharing their wonderful images of glass beads with metal clay. Gazing at the photos of coloured glass with metal clay makes me want to learn how to make glass beads. (I need more hours in the day and more days in the week in order to try all the ideas presented in this issue!) Our last issue was a smash hit. We sold out of nearly every newsstand copy! That issue featured a stunning cover piece by Angela BaduelCrispin, and many readers wrote in asking about her technique for setting a river stone in metal clay. I’m really excited that Angela has graciously shared how she does this in a project in this issue. Sometimes we can use other media with metal clay without the other medium being part of the finished work. If you’re a doodler like Catherine Witherell, you’ll enjoy following her process for turning inspirations into scribbles and doodles, transferring them Scratch-Foam® (or foam food trays) and then using them to impress metal clay to create some truly fabulous jewellery. As always, our MCAM staff would love to see photos of your work and we also love to hear your feedback! You can send your images, comments and article ideas to editor@metalclayartistmag.com. Sincerely,

Jeannette Froese LeBlanc Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Editor@metalclayartistmag.com


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contents

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Vol ume 4 , I ss ue # 3 Editor-in-Chief Jeannette Froese LeBlanc, B.A., B.F.A., M. Ed. Managing Editor Joy Funnell Senior Editor Margaret Schindel Photography and Art Editor Evelyn Pelati Dombkowski Video Editor Wanaree Tanner Feature Writers Pat Evans, Lora Hart, Lisa Pavelka, Julia Rai, Michael David Sturlin Senior Graphic Designer Ofelia Infante Graphic Design Artifactworks Cover Design Anne Ellen Geiger Advertising and Promotion Ad Sales Manager Kristin Roark (kristin.roark@brysellapublishing.com) and (adsales@metalclayartistmag.com) Ad Sales UK, Europe and Asia Julia Rai (Julia@metalclayartistmag.com) Customer Service Manager Bernadette Mizal (bernadette.mizal@brysellapublishing.com)

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Publisher Brysella Publishing SUBSCRIPTIONS: 1 or 2 year print subscription: $29.50/$49.50 USD to USA and Canada, for EU subscriptions visit www.metalclayartistmag.com. 1 or 2 year print subscription: $59.50/$99. USD for all other locations*. 1 or 2 year digital subscription: $24/$44 USD http://www.metalclayartistmag.com/subscribe.html *European Union - Order print subscriptions direct from www.metalclayacademy.com l-888-316-1552 We are not responsible for mail that is not forwarded or for change of addresses not received before an issue’s mail out. Metal Clay Artist Magazine® E-mail: info@metalclayartistmag.com Metal Clay Artist Magazine® ISSN 1920-5562 (print) – ISSN 1920-5570 (online) All rights reserved. Metal Clay Artist Magazine® is registered with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. This publication may not be reproduced in part or in whole without the written permission of the publisher. We welcome editorial material. We reserve the right to edit for clarity, grammar, length and technical issues. While we will try our best to test and question new techniques, we are not responsible for errors or omissions. Send your manuscript with step-by-step photos to the editor at editor@metalclayartistmag.com. The jewellery and designs presented in Metal Clay Artist Magazine® may not be made for sale, presented as an original design or taught without permission of both the author and the publisher. Metal Clay Artist Magazine® (2154127 Ontario Inc.) is not responsible for any liability arising from errors, omissions, or mistakes contained in the magazine. Readers should proceed with caution, and observe proper safety requirements and instructions from their products’ manufacturers.

EDITOR’S LETTER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 NEW AND NOTABLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 IN THE STUDIO When Inspiration Hits, Move On It! - Catherine Witherell - USA . 12 STUDIO INSIGHTS Activating Awareness - Michael David Sturlin - USA . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 BOOK REVIEWS - Pat Evans - USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 METAL CLAY CONVERGENCE Polymer That Pops! - Lisa Pavelka - USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 ARTIST PROFILE Lesley Messam - Julia Rai - UK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 FEATURE Glass + Metal Clay: The Perfect Union - Stephanie Crider - USA . 40 PRODUCT SHOWCASE - Pat Evans - USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 MOTIVATING MOMENT - Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

Cover Art Credits: ARTIST: Diane

Sepanski.

The vessel is lampworked glass over a handmade core formed from steel wool. Handles made from Hadar’s Clay™ copper clay were embedded into the hot glass. Chain links are metal clay and steel wire.

www.centurypublishing.com 800-824-1806

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PHOTO:

David Orr.

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METAL CLAY PROJECTS

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Graceful Petals Candace Steppes - USA

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Skipping Stones Angela Baduel Crispin - France

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Bronze Swing Earrings Cindy Silas - USA

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Commemorative Silver Spoon Aleksandra Marczukiewicz - Poland VOL 4 • I S S UE 3

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January 2014

J E W E L R Y

Be inspired. Be creative. Be yourself!

A new venture from the publishers of

ARTIST

Accepting subscriptions ... visit www.creativefiremagazine.com! 8

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NEW AND NOTABLE

Saul Bell Design Award Wanaree D. Tanner, First Place Metal Clay. MCAM: Congratulations Wanaree! What was your reaction when you received news that you were one of the finalists? WDT: It was disbelief and excitement all smashed together! MCAM: Your winning piece was made using digital cut-outs of metal clay. Did you plan the piece to use this cutting system or did the piece grow organically as you were working? WDT: I’m not much of a planner; I often feel I’m led from one thing to another without any real idea as to where I’ll end up. Definitely an organic process, where the developments are a direct result of questions posed. MCAM: You’ve spent the last year traveling and teaching...two classes a month! What are your plans for this coming year? WDT: I’d really like to begin working on an exhibition that brings my love of mythological symbolism and ceremonial art into an experiential realm… one that engages the viewer to actively participate in a little bit of the otherworldly as opposed to just wrestling with it conceptually. It’s truly in the beginning stages of development and it will probably take years to complete, but I do hope to incorporate metal clay and metal work with a broader spectrum of media and the written word. Just talking about it gets a bigger picture going in my mind, and at this point it feels like anything is possible so long as I can find the time to really focus on bringing it to fruition. MCAM: Since you’ve been on the cutting edge (pun intended!) by promoting the use of a digital cutting system for metal clay, do you have any ideas or predictions as to what is next in metal clay? WDT: 3D printing! It’s the next progression. The inherent nature of metal clay could easily be adapted to be extruded through a 3D printer, and then fired into a solid metal piece. It’s just a matter if time.

Metal Clay Retreats Unlike previous years when we had one major conference we could attend, this year metal clay artists can attend two retreats. These retreats have been organized by groups of artists and not a metal clay manufacturer. The changes promise to be exciting! Metal Clay Mojo Conference September 5-8, 2013 Guest House Retreat Center, Chester, CT www.metalclaymojo.com

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Metal Clay By the Bay August 9-12, 2013 San Diego, CA www.metalclaybythebay.com

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NEW AND NOTABLE

Glass and Metal Clay Thank you to the members of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers for sharing images of their work in glass and metal clay in Stephanie Crider’s article on page 40. There is plenty going on in the ISGB and there are opportunities for lampworkers and artists of other mediums at every level. Find out about the many ways that the ISGB is making a difference in the arts or become a member at www.isgb.org.

Upcoming Gallery Call We would like to extend a call to artists for an upcoming gallery in MCAM that will showcase the work of teachers and their students. We’d love to see a “portfolio” piece from the teacher, the class project sample and a student’s interpretation of the project. Please send images to gallery@metalclayartistmag. com. It is most helpful to us if the files are renamed to the artist’s name, state/country, and piece name. For example:

Mary Smith Ottawa Canada The Witches Eye.jpeg. This ensures that your name is spelled as you wish and that we know which photos are yours! Please also include a short write-up (approximately 50 words) telling about your piece, the project and your student’s work. Please include the name of the photographer for each photo so we can give credit. We can’t wait to see what is being done in your classes! gallery@metalclayartistmag.com

Bead and bead caps by Claudia Trimbur-Pagel

The ISGB is the leading organization for the promotion, education, and appreciation of the art of glass beadmaking for wearable, sculptural, and functional art. Our mission is to preserve the rich and diverse traditions of the art of glass beadmaking and glassworking techniques; promote educational initiatives and professional development; and encourage innovative use of complementary mediums among artists and craftspeople. We invite you to join us on our journey through collaborative creativity in the worlds of glass, metal clay, and design. For information about a membership level that suits you, please visit us at www.isgb.org or call 614.222.2243.

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The ISGB is proud to introduce our new publication, Glass Bead Evolution, with content that complements our new mission. Glass Bead Evolution is a magazine created by beadmakers for beadmakers and yet is inclusive of other artisan mediums. Each issue will feature a complementary medium while maintaining a strong emphasis on glass. For a copy of Glass Bead Evolution, please visit www.isgb.org.


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IN THE STUDIO

When Inspiration Hits, Move On It! BY CATHERINE WITHERELL - USA

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IN THE STUDIO

Who really knows when inspiration hits? It can come at any time and culminate after a string of ideas join together in your mind. Some loud clicking noises that only you can hear later . . . and voilà! A pretty detailed idea congeals in your sticky brain and it’s time to move on it. Here’s the story of how this necklace came together for me. First, I am a big fan of an artist I found on Etsy™, jennifer judd-mcgee. Her shop name is Swallowfield and her drawings are detailed and sublime. If I could draw—hey wait, I CAN—I would want to be able to do it like she does. Second, I’m on Pinterest, and I see a fun picture of a garland made of two-sided leaves and a light bulb flicks on for me. Third, a friend of mine, metal clay artist Wanaree Tanner, tells us all about a craft medium called Scratch-Foam® and I get some to try it out. Fourth, I visit a new friend, jewelry artist Susan Brooks. In addition to making beautiful jewelry in silver and gold, Susan also draws and makes marks on her stamped metal pieces with tools inherited from her sculptor father, and the pictures look like small drawings.

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I go home and start doodling because my head is full of stuff, ideas… nothing solid, just some little bits of squiggles and cartoons and LEAVES! So then I just filled a sheet of Scratch-Foam with my two-part leafy drawings, made with a very finetipped gel pen [1]. I thought I could make a few of these in metal clay and then create something, earrings, a bracelet? Hmmm, no, a necklace, a garland with my cartoony drawings. Each pair would be different, a celebration of pattern, a party necklace for spring, summer, a vacation . . . yeah! The resulting greenware pieces, made using PMC3™, were sanded and then ready for firing [2]. I like to use a small UltraLite Beehive Kiln when I don’t have three-dimensional pieces. I placed the leaves on the ceramic disc, layered them loosely with thin strips of ceramic fiber blanket, and added four layers of leaves [3]. For this kind of firing I always turn the rheostat down to 1300°F (704°C), otherwise the pieces on the bottom get so hot from the insulating effect


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of the fiber that they melt. Once cool I brushed the fired pieces with a brass brush [4]. My next challenge was how to assemble these into the image I had in my head, inspired by the garland. I made more drawings [5]. I tried lots of ways to connect the leaves and finally decided to solder strong Argentium® wire to the back of each piece. I heavily burnished the place on the back of each metal clay piece where I was going to attach the wires [6]. Metal clay

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will absorb solder if it is left unburnished, because it’s very porous. To texture the Argentium wire I covered it with copper mesh and hammered it with a texturing hammer [7], flipping the wire and getting both sides equally textured [8]. I used 18-gauge (1 mm) wire, but if you’re new to soldering I advise using 16-gauge (1.3 mm) which is thicker and less likely to melt. Using medium sheet solder cut into little bits and Handy® VOL 4 • I S S UE 3

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Flux, I soldered two wires to each piece using a small butane torch [9]. I shaped the wire differently for the center pendant section so that I could attach a few pieces together to hang down [10]. Then I soldered three of the leaf pairs together to form a loop for my toggle to fit through. First I taped the pieces together the way I wanted them to be in the final loop and marked the outlines with a black fine-point SharpieÂŽ. I removed the tape, filed the pieces down in the spots where they would be overlapping and also bent them a little more toward each other so they would lie flat. I laid my pieces on some ceramic fiber blanket on a firebrick [11], then I used chips of medium sheet solder to solder them together. (I use the fiber blanket because if for any reason my metal clay gets so hot that it melts, it will never stick to the blanket but it will stick to the brick.) The toggle was made from another pair of leaves with a loop soldered on. 16

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I made a short length of Argentium link chain with some of the textured wire to add to each end [12]. The main goal here was to make sure the whole necklace would lie flat when worn. You can solder the links or you can fuse them. I fused mine, so I set my loop into a depression I scratched out of the firebrick so that the link I was adding lay flat [13]. Then I fused each link with the butane torch. Next I set up the pieces in a pleasing arrangement and then shaped and laced the wires together [14]. Since I gave each section plenty of wire so there would be a way to close the connection, I wrapped the wires in such a way as to make loops and a second connection that I then soldered back onto the leaves with easy solder [15]. (The easy solder melts faster and at a lower temperature so it doesn’t loosen your previous connections made with the medium solder.) The wires now looked like vines connecting leaf to leaf. With the little lengths of wire that were


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sticking out I made a little loop here and there, but not on each piece [16], for a later addition of gems. And the toggle looked wonderful, even if I do say it myself! [17] At this point I cut off all the wire ends that I no longer needed and ran over each connection with a grinding bit on my flex shaft to smooth down all the sharp wire ends at the back of the necklace. After all the soldering and pickle and cleaning were complete, I gently bent the leaves at the ends to give the necklace a sense of movement and make it more interesting than if the leaves just lay flat. I applied patina with liver of sulfur and lots of salt for rich colors and then polished it off the high points [18]. See how I added tiny blue topaz briolettes to look like

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drops of water to my tiny loops? [19]. Don’t forget to sign your work. I’ve done it here with a rotary engraving tool [20]. The happiest day is the day you finish a complicated project and it worked! Many thanks to everyone who played a part in this design process. It’s my jungle party necklace!

CATHERINE WITHERELL is a maker and artist who is always on the lookout for her next best idea. “I’m a mixed media artist working in metal clay and sterling silver. I love to learn and then mix the ideas together based on images in my mind. I’m inspired by society, pop culture and my memories of the fairy tales I was told as a child and I’m happily challenged when making something. When not working in metal, I use paper, fabric, paint, . . . whatever I can find.” You can find her work on her blog at www.happydayart.typepad.com or in her etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/happydayart and email her at catherinewitherell@gmail.com

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STUDIO INSIGHTS

Activating Awareness BY MICHAEL DAVID STURLIN

DOES SOMETHING ABOUT THE TITLE OF THIS INSTALLMENT SOUND SOMEHOW FAMILIAR? Is it starting your mind’s search function, trying to recall where and why? That, dear reader, is the activation of awareness. Even though it is just a glimmer, if you are a seasoned pursuer of this column you’ll recognize the reference to awareness because I’ve mentioned it at least a few times here in Studio Insights. Awareness is something very specific and valuable, although we might mistake it for other things: intuition, knowledge, wisdom, memory, experience. Awareness is really the gateway to each of those things. It is the connector that plugs in and empowers each of the preceding. Awareness is also an attribute. It is one of a pair of attributes. Awareness is the twin that is tethered to mindfulness. We can’t have mindfulness without awareness, but we can have awareness without being mindful. Granted, that implies awareness is not at 100% in the moments when mindfulness is absent, but being absent of mindfulness doesn’t mean awareness isn’t still functioning. That sounds kind of peculiar doesn’t it? I know, but, indulge me just a bit more to get to the correlation. We can be aware that we aren’t fully mindful in the same way that we can be mindful of our awareness. This isn’t just an empty play on words. It is an insightful way to enhance our activation of each attribute and extract the benefit of both. When we are engaged in an activity we are simultaneously the doer and the observer. Or, if we are not, we should endeavor to become so. We should be aware of both aspects: doing and observing. Being both aware and observant is the path to the fullest experience of creative expression. One of the keys to improving any activity or endeavor is to develop proper awareness of cause and effect as well as full appreciation of action and result. It’s easy to see the truth of this in visual arts. The manipulation of material and the application of technique develop best when we realize causation and result within the very moment of making. The same is true of design and expression. Being able to assess and analyze, to experience and evaluate the subtlety of how we interact with both design and material and how we apply 18

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both concept and technique brings us closer to a point of fluency. Awareness of the implications of small changes and variations in the creative use of both material and technique enables us to interpret the effect and make use of the most beneficial information. This may sound a bit abstract, so let me offer an example. This is something I teach in my design workshops and retreats. Let’s imagine we are interacting with an aspect of design. We have shapes and values and are working with the arrangement of elements in a composition. Perhaps we are looking at the effects of color and size and shape and juxtaposition. As we change and alter and adjust the content and placement, we notice some things improve the way we feel about the evolving design. If we move and alter and adjust the content in other ways this becomes less so. That recognition of effect is the beginning of awareness. Observing that some things are better a certain way is the first step—awareness. Determining why is the second step—mindfulness. It takes two steps, together, to get anywhere. One step might mean we are moving, but two steps mean we are traveling a distance. Awareness paired with mindfulness engages us at a deeper level by developing the ability to realize why a change or adjustment is effective. Making a mental note of the effect of a change, and mindful observation and examination of the

reason for the result, affords us the best mileage. Two steps are better than only one. It is the awareness that “This is better if I move it here because it creates balance.” Or, “This is better if I change the size because it creates contrast.” Or, “Altering the color, texture, shape, or dimension works better because it makes the design more dynamic.” All have much more value and benefit than simply saying “I like it better like this.” This activation of awareness in the development of design as well as in the action and result of tool and material, process and technique increases our skill exponentially. It is by being mindful that we get better at whatever we do. Awareness paired with mindfulness in equal proportion is what brings us to the point of intuition. That is really where our two steps are taking us. The intuitive ability to design and execute more freely, fluidly and fully is our ultimate destination in the studio practice as visual artists. Knowing why design works, why subtle or dramatic changes have effects, and what enhances or detracts allows us to extend our range and utilize our creativity in a more successful expression. Don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself. Check it out. Tune in to awareness and engage mindfulness as you make. Watch how it works and be perceptive of why. I’ll bet you’ll see increased mileage, and you can thank me later.

MICHAEL DAVID STURLIN is a studio jewelry artist, educator, writer, consultant, and awardwinning goldsmith who shares his insight and expertise with students at all levels through hands-on workshops, retreats, lectures, and individual instruction. www.michaelsturlinstudio.com

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BOOK REVIEWS

BY PAT EVANS

DRAWING FOR JEWELERS: MASTER CLASS IN PROFESSIONAL DESIGN By Maria Josep Forcadell Berenguer and Josep Asuncion Pastor, Schiffer, 2012. There are surely plenty of jewelers who can create stunning jewelry but who can’t (or think they can’t) draw their own jewelry. The more you learn about drawing jewelry and making technical renderings of designs, however, the more you will find that those drawings inform your work before you ever set foot in the studio. A rendering can help you work out details of proportion without wasting metal, visualize which of several patinas might be most effective, or test a rounded versus a squared-off edge—all far more quickly than by trial and error or even by making models. Jewelers who work on commission are at an advantage if they can quickly sketch out ideas for their customers. Maria Josep Forcadell Berenguer and Josep Asuncion Pastor bring their years of teaching students at the Escola d’Arts i Oficis de la Diputació de Barcelona to the page in this heavily illustrated, highly detailed book on every aspect of drawing jewelry. Although the subtitle is Master Class in Professional Design, the emphasis of Drawing for Jewelers is not on design concepts. Nor does it explore any techniques or discuss the uses of various materials. The book assumes that the jeweler already knows how to come up with a starting idea and how to put those ideas into practice. The focus of the book is entirely about how to draw jewelry in such detail that the finished illustrations will help the jeweler to use those illustrations to make design, construction or material decisions or to share his or her ideas with customers or assistants. This is not an easy book. In fact, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I suffered the first migraine of my life while reading it. Many of the technical drawing concepts were new to me and I had to study the illustrations carefully while reading and re-reading the explanations in order to make sense of them. Despite the difficulty, even in my first scanning of the book I had some “aha” 20

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moments that will make my next sketch more effective. And the detailed instructions for each little step of a particular problem break drawing various shapes and styles into manageable pieces. Whether you dip into sections needed to help you solve a particular sketching problem or you choose to work through in a systematic fashion, Drawing for Jewelers has a treasure chest of material for artists who want to add jewelry rendering to their tool kit. It’s a book I will study and turn to for reference repeatedly.

BENCH TIPS FOR JEWELRY MAKING: 101 USEFUL TIPS FROM BRAD SMITH By Bradford M. Smith, 2012 Brad Smith, a studio jeweler, lapidary and jewelry instructor in southern California, presents 101 tips for jewelers in this smallbut-mighty book. In 96 pages and helped by 82 black-and-white illustrations, Smith presents enough money- and time-saving tips to cover the cost of the book and more! Some of my favorite tips were the ones for extending the life of tools or materials. Are your knife-edge silicone polishing wheels losing their edge? Use a diamond edge file to sharpen the rotating wheel. Regular files, Smith explains, are softer than the wheel, so if you use them, you’ll grind down your file. Don’t have a diamond file? The author suggests you sacrifice the part of your file near the handle, a part not used in day-to-day work. OK, that may be obvious to some of you, but it hadn’t occurred to me! Has a tube of paste solder dried up? Smith uses petroleum jelly to bring it back to life. Or what about making a mobile flex shaft stand from the base of an old office chair? Smith gives brief yet detailed instructions. Many of Smith’s tips are aimed toward traditional jewelry tools or methods, but metal clay artists will find plenty to help them in their work, too. From making a branding iron for marking wood-handled tools to how to quickly smooth the tip of an earwire, Bench Tips for Jewelry Making will help you solve problems you didn’t even know you had!


Subscribe today Subscriptions for USA and Canada: 1 Year Print Subscription: $29.50 (4 Issues) 1 Year Digital Subscription: $24. (4 Issues) To order a subscription or for other countries see our website:

www.metalclayartistmag.com Bench Tips for Jewelry Making is self-published. You can purchase it in paperback or as an e-book from online booksellers such as Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.

MULTISTRAND JEWELRY: SECRETS FOR SUCCESS From the publisher of BeadStyle magazine, Kalmbach Books, 2012. Often when I am working in metal clay I make a pendant and attach it to a chain; anything more would detract from the focus I want on the metal clay. Sometimes, however, a design calls for more— more supporting beads, more strands, more variety. That’s where Multistrand Jewelry: Secrets for Success comes in. A successful multistrand necklace is exponentially more complicated than a single strand. A careful balance of elements is required in order for it to drape correctly, have visual balance and end with a streamlined finish. The 31 multistrand necklace and bracelet projects in this book from a number of gifted artists showcase a range of styles. For artists planning to use this book as a jumping off point for their own designs, each project has one or more “design alternatives” to give further insight into how the technique can be adapted to different materials. Each project also has “Secrets for Success”, tips to help the reader create more professional-looking pieces. Some of the “Secrets” are obvious to anyone with any jewelry making experience (“make sure the jump rings are closed tightly”). Others are truly helpful, such as the reminder to shape the piece into a complete curve before finishing so that there is enough slack for it to drape properly. The book also has a basics section that covers tools, materials and basic techniques. In this section you’ll find some helpful specifics on specialty tools that make it easier to work with multiple strands. Beautiful photography and straightforward instruction make this book a great addition to the library of beginner and intermediate jewelers who are tackling jewelry in multiple strands.

PAT EVANS keeps her hoard of jewelry making tools in San Jose, CA. She is a Senior Art Clay instructor and holds PMCC Level III and Rio Rewards PMC certifications. Pat has been teaching about crafts and creativity to both children and adults for more than 20 years, and she loves to encourage students in finding and playing with their inner artists (generally along with a nice selection of tools). Contact her at pat@metalclayartistmag.com 38

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Bracelet by Celie Fago

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METAL CLAY CONVERGENCE

Polymer That Pops! BY LISA PAVELKA - USA

Experience Level: BEGINNER-INTERMEDIATE

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Four techniques combine to create a mixed media project with dimensional appeal. A simple metal clay frame and a shimmering embedded crystal or stone add the “Wow!” factor to this domed polymer pendant with a crackle finish and a striking striped edging. You’ll also learn how to add a hidden, non-twist suspension for polymer clay— an ideal way to hang your pieces or to add a dangling element for extra panache. VOL 4 • I S S UE 3


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Adding striped veneers and borders to polymer and metal clay pieces is a great way to make them “pop.” Striped clay offers both surface and three-dimensional enhancements for your work. This project focuses on a basic stripe using the same width for both colors, but you can easily vary the colors and widths of each stripe to create unlimited variations. And while making striped loaves is easy in theory, the tips I’ve provided are essential to achieving clean, sharp stripes.

MATERIALS • FIMO® Soft – one bar each of white or light color clay and a darker color for striping • Fired and finished metal clay frame • Silver composition leaf (imitation silver leaf) • Black ink stamp pad (either pigment or dye ink – I used Clearsnap® brand) • Lisa Pavelka Poly Bonder™ High-Temp Brush-On Adhesive • SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS crystal or other faceted stone • Two-part epoxy or jeweler’s cement • Eye pin, jump ring and crystal drop or charm (optional) • Pinch bail, jump ring or eye pin

TOOLS, SUPPLIES & EQUIPMENT • MCAM Basic Polymer Clay Set-Up (see http://tinyurl.com/MCAMtoollist) • Scissors • Disposable gloves • Crafting apron (optional) • Baby wipes and alcohol wipes • Deli paper or waxed/greaseproof paper • Tweezers • Packing tape or other adhesive tape • Sharp, pointed craft knife (e.g., X-ACTO®) • Acrylic clay roller • Texture (such as coarse sandpaper) • Hand drill (if drilling a hole for a bail or jump ring) • Two pairs of flat nose or chain nose pliers (or one of each), if using eye pin(s) VOL 4 • I S S UE 3

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STEP 1: Condition, roll out, cut and add silver leaf to the polymer filling. Condition some white or light color polymer clay, either by hand or with the pasta machine. Then roll it through the widest setting on the pasta machine and then through successively narrower settings, down through the third- or fourth-widest setting. Cut a piece from this sheet slightly larger than the metal clay frame you are filling. Use scissors to trim a piece of silver leaf to approximately the same size as the clay and gently burnish it onto the surface of the clay with your finger [1]. Tip: Cutting the leaf with scissors rather than tearing it wastes less material and makes the leaf easier to work with. Note: Use inexpensive metal leaf and not genuine leaf, as it is too costly for this type of application. I like silver composition leaf (which actually is aluminum) because it’s easy to tell if you’ve inked the surface well. STEP 2: Crackle the silver leaf and cover it with black ink. Pull the leafed clay very gently along two of the edges to stretch it slightly, and then do the same in the opposite direction [2]. Don’t stretch the clay much; even though the cracks in the leaf might not be visible, the finest crackle lines provide the best results. If you can see large cracks now, the lines in your finished piece will be too wide. Things start to get rather messy at this point, so I recommend wearing an apron and disposable gloves and putting some baby wipes and alcohol wipes within easy reach for quick clean-ups. Turn over the black stamp pad and press it onto the leafed surface of the clay A R T I S T M AG A Z I NE

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repeatedly [3] until the leaf is completely covered with ink. Don’t be concerned if the ink begins to bead across the surface; thorough inking now ensures that ink will seep into even the finest cracks so it will be visible later when the clay is domed. STEP 3: Attach the metal frame and dome the clay. Brush a few light strokes of Poly Bonder glue on the back of the metal frame. Don’t use much, just enough to tack the clay to the frame temporarily, since it will need to be removed after baking. (Using too much glue now will make it difficult to separate the baked clay from the metal frame later.) Working over a piece of deli paper or waxed paper, center the frame on the inked clay and press it down into the clay. Gently lift up the framed clay and peel away the deli paper from the back. Turn the framed clay face up and use your fingertip to press a slight dome into the polymer clay from the back [4]. Roll some scrap polymer clay into a ball and flatten it against a smooth surface, forming a slightly domed patty just a bit smaller than the domed clay inside the frame [5]. Gently cradle the framed clay upside down and place the scrap clay in the center of the dome’s cavity [6]. Turn over the piece face up onto a piece of deli paper, then gently press to adhere the domed clay to the scrap clay “filling”. STEP 4: Embed the crystal then trim and bake the clay. Use tweezers to place a large crystal in the center of the clay dome [7] and press it down to embed it. Trim the excess clay from the outer edge of the metal clay frame, holding the craft knife blade perpendicular to the frame [8]. Then place the piece on the ceramic tile. Use an 24

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oven for curing the clay that has been calibrated with at least one thermometer. Preheat it to 230° F/110° C and bake the framed clay (with the crystal in place) on the tile for 15 minutes. When the piece has cooled, gently slide the tip of the craft knife in between the cured polymer and the metal frame to separate the two pieces. Gently and carefully pry out the crystal/stone with the tip of the craft knife. See our website for Tips for BakingCuring Polymer Clay: http://metalclayartistmag. com/resources_a/248.htm STEP 5: Remove the excess leaf and reattach the metal frame and crystal. Press a piece of packing tape or other adhesive tape against the inked leaf repeatedly until most or all of the leaf is removed [9]. If a few flecks remain, you can leave them to accent the crackle effect or gently scrape them away with the flat edge of the craft knife. Use Poly Bonder to reattach the metal clay frame to the clay, then glue in the crystal using two-part epoxy or jeweler’s glue. Allow the glue to set while you create the striped clay for the border. STEP 6: Create a striped polymer clay loaf. Roll out some of the conditioned white or light clay through the third-widest setting of the pasta machine and trim to a 2” x 3” (5 cm x 7.5 cm) rectangle (or larger if you wish to produce bigger striped loaves). Repeat with the darker clay and stack the two sheets, avoiding trapping any air bubbles. Use a sharp clay blade to cut this stacked sheet into four equal strips 3/4” (2 cm) wide. Stack the strips with the colors alternating to create a striped loaf.


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Important tips for getting crisp, neat stripes: Always make sure the stack is oriented so that one of the solid colors is facing up and the stripes are going horizontally! Look directly down at the top of your clay blade to make sure you are holding it straight and perfectly vertical; angling the blade will result in wedges rather than slices. As you slice downward, switch your viewing angle so you are looking at the loaf from the side to make sure you are keeping the blade perfectly vertical as you cut. No need to trim the sides of the loaf to make it neat; the idea is to maximize the usable striped area. STEP 7: Make a long strip of striped border trim from slices of the loaf. Roll out a very thin strip of the darker clay through the pasta machine on the fifth- or sixth-widest setting. The strip should be long enough to wrap around the outside of the metal frame. To make a continuous length of striping, cut as many slices from the striped loaf as needed to cover the solid color backing strip you just made. (Follow the tips in Step 6 to make each slice as uniform in thickness as possible.) The slices need to be thick enough so that the stripes will be clearly visible from both the top and side of your pendant, approximately 1/8” (3 mm) thick. Place the slices end-to-end on the backing strip [10]. Cover the strip with deli paper and use an acrylic clay roller to roll lightly across the top in the same direction as the stripes (so you don’t distort them) to adhere the striped layer to the backing layer [11]. Then, with the paper still in place, pass the striped strip through the second- or third-widest setting of the pasta machine with the stripes

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facing vertically. Trim the top and bottom edges of the strip so the strip is slightly wider than the thickness of the edge of the framed, cured polymer piece. STEP 8: Attach and cure the striped polymer clay border. Brush Poly Bonder along the edge of the framed polymer piece, covering only 1/4 to 1/3 of the perimeter of the piece with the glue. Attach the striped clay strip to the glued area, aligning the top edge of the strip flush with the metal clay frame [12]. Continue gluing and attaching the strip, covering 1/4 to 1/3 of the perimeter at a time until the entire perimeter of the metal frame has been bordered with the striped clay. Trim the excess border strip at the edge of the nearest stripe that will allow the cut ends to be different colors (so that the stripe pattern will be continuous and the seam will be invisible) and butt the ends together. If cutting the strip at the edge of the contrasting color results in it being a bit too short, gently stretch the strip, lengthening it just enough so you can butt the contrasting color ends together. Turn the piece over and slice away any excess border clay, trimming it flush with the bottom edge of the cured polymer clay backfill. Bake the piece again for 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 230° F/110° C. STEP 9: Add the backing sheet (and an optional eye pin for a dangle, if desired). Roll out some of the darker color clay through the second- or third-widest setting of your pasta machine to create a backing sheet slightly larger than your piece. Place the baked, framed piece VOL 4 • I S S UE 3

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lightly on top of the backing sheet and trim around the edges with the craft knife, taking care not to press the piece into the backing sheet. After trimming the backing sheet, lift off the framed piece. Optional: To add an eye pin for a dangle, make several bends in the eye pin at right angles to the loop, then press the wire into the backing clay so that the top of the wire is flush with the clay and the loop is right at the edge of the clay and perpendicular to it [13]. If the embedded wire presses all the way through the clay backing, start over with a thicker backing sheet. Turn over the framed piece and apply several thin lines of Poly Bonder glue to the back of it, then press it onto the backing sheet. Texture the backing with the texture of your choice (I used coarse sandpaper) [14] and trim any excess clay from the edges. Bake the piece again for 30 minutes in a preheated oven at 230° F/110° C and allow it to cool. STEP 10: Add a bail and an optional crystal bead dangle or charm. To add a pinch bail similar to the one shown on the finished pendant, use a hand drill to drill a small hole through the cured clay, then slide on the bail and pinch it closed. Alternatively, you could drill a hole and put a large jump ring through it as a bail, or you could embed an eye pin into the clay backing at the top of the pendant using the same method as in Step 9 (orienting the loop of the eye pin at the top of the pendant). If you embedded an eye pin at the bottom, use pliers to attach a crystal drop or a charm to the exposed loop with a jump ring. RESOURCES: Clearsnap inks: www.clearsnap.com FIMO clays and silver leaf: www.staedtler.com Lisa Pavelka Poly Bonder Hi-Temp Adhesive: www.lisapavelka.com SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS: www.create-your-style.com

LISA PAVELKA is a firm believer that everyone is an artist, they just have to find their canvas. She travels the world to share her passion for creativity, especially when it comes to metal and polymer clays. Lisa is continually open to finding inspiration everywhere and achieves great joy in helping others along their creative journey. When she isn’t traveling or in her studio, you can find her cuddling with her “bend and pose” Weimaraner, Dexter, on the sofa.

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ARTIST PROFILE

Pythagoras Theorem Nesting Ring

Lesley Messam BY JULIA RAI - UK

Lesley Messam and I have been friends for many years and I’ve always been a big fan of her designs. She works in a number of different media and we’re friendly rivals in the Metal Clay Masters Registry programme, both hovering at Level IV. We often compare notes on the projects and each of us has our nemesis as far as Level V is concerned!

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African Voodoo Doctor Mask

Lesley lives in the cathedral city of Chichester in West Sussex, a county in South East England. It’s an ancient city with Anglo-Saxon and Roman roots and has some of the oldest churches and buildings in Britain. “I have always lived here and would never move from this beautiful walled city with all its history and charm,” Lesley says. She and her husband Keith own a hardware store in the centre of Chichester which has a bead shop in the basement. Lesley cycles to work each day, “I love my Pashley,” she says. “It’s a hand built ‘sit up and beg’ bike made in England.”

Lesley sells her work from the shop and I asked her what advice she’d give someone wanting to sell their work. “Don’t undersell your work, it’s hard work making handmade jewellery and it should be priced accordingly,” she said. Lesley is a naturally gifted designer and I asked her about her earliest creative memories. “I can remember as a child having a lap tray and I would sit for hours making Plasticine houses, furniture, animals and clothing, anything that popped into my head, but my favourite was making little houses. Funny that I am doing that VOL 4 • I S S UE 3

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in silver at the moment,” she explained. She discovered metal clay some time ago. “I was at college in Portsmouth working towards an NVQ in Jewellery Making which I passed in 2008, and at that time a friend said have you heard about this metal clay stuff,” she explained. “I was intrigued and booked a class and from that point I was addicted.” Lesley uses a number of other techniques in her work. “I get bored really easily so go from one thing to another although it is all jewellery related,” she explained. “I started traditionally with metal work in silver and still love the old techniques. I have a kiln for glass fusing and make large bowls, candle holders and just recently cat clocks; I also have a ceramic kiln and love combining ceramic with silver. I have a lamp work set-up as well and enjoy this too but metal clay is my passion.” I asked Lesley about her studio. “I have a beautiful studio, which is in my back garden so not far to travel to,” she laughs. “It is 16 feet by 12 feet, purpose built with under floor heating. I spend a lot of time down there and have to be very tidy as I teach in it as well. I am the messiest person when I work so have to tidy every time I finish otherwise it would be a disaster area.” Lesley teaches a variety of subjects but I asked her what she likes to teach best. “The class I love to teach is beginner’s metal clay. It’s the thrill of seeing a complete novice make a piece of their own designed jewellery and finish it all in a day. Such a buzz.” Lesley is such a prolific artist, I asked her about the creative process she uses. “When I was at college my tutor would always go on and on at me to draw my designs,” she explained. “I was a bit of a rebel and refused of course, but truly as my work has progressed I have to admit she was completely right. I draw all the time even at work in the shop. Keith is always telling me off for drawing on the headed paper which is expensive. ‘Sorry Dear’, he’s right of course! I would honestly recommend drawing even if it’s only a doodle. As long as you understand it, that’s all that matters. I also make up models in either Plasticine or polymer clay really just to have a vi-

The Utilitarian Collection (Pens, whistles and perfume holders)

Elizabethan Ruffle Necklace

sual of the piece. This saves me a fortune in clay.” Lesley’s favourite tool is a needle tool. “I use it to cut out fine detail,” she says. She also uses a variety of techniques in her work. “I think being able to solder and rivet are such an asset, no more gluing if you can do these.”

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Woodland Shield

Lesley is influenced by historical references. “I love to visit museums and am often influenced by the historical acquisitions, like buildings, costumes, masks and much, much more, I am such a visual artist.” These influences are reflected in the style of her work. “My style is most definitely Art Nouveau. I had a gentleman once say to me ‘your work is quite Gothic’. I was really offended but now I understand what he meant. Art Nouveau is very Gothic and quite macabre when you look at all the fine detail.” She’s also currently working on pieces which reflect this influence. “I have three projects that show how much I am influenced by what I’ve seen at a museum; the ‘Voodoo Mask’, the ‘Elizabethan Ruffle Necklace’ and the ‘Buildings’. These were inspired by a visit to the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum near my home. The museum covers 50 acres, with nearly 50 historic buildings 32

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dating from the thirteenth to nineteenth centuries, along with gardens, farm animals, walks and a lake.” I asked her what else she’s currently working on. “I have been working on a few things, mainly working with sterling silver clay. As I was taught traditionally there are benefits for sterling, the main being strength, and as this is a fairly new product I wanted to see what I could do with it. So I’m doing lots of fine work with CZs, filigree, chain making and building—literally building— little houses!” I also asked her what she does to relax. “Making flame work beads,” she said. “Your mind just flows with the flowing glass. It’s a great way to unwind.” As well as being at Level IV of the Masters Registry programme, Lesley holds a number of other qualifications in metal clay covering both brands of silver clay. I asked her if she


Pythagoras Theorem Nesting Rings

took many classes these days. “I’ve taken lots of classes in the past and I still do—I’ve just taken the Rio Grande Certification with Patrik Kusek,” she said. “I can honestly say that my work has not been influenced by one teacher in particular though. I have gained a great dictionary of tips and tricks that have helped my work move on and for that I thank every instructor that I’ve had the privilege to spend time with.” She went on to explain how she chooses the teachers she trains with. “If I’m looking to be taught, I’ll look at the instructor’s work; if I like it then I’ll look into the instructor in more detail on their website, but usually the work speaks volumes to me.” As the Masters Registry is a shared passion —or maybe obsession—of ours, I asked Lesley why she entered it in the first place. “For me the reason why I started the Masters Registry

is that as I’m a self-representing artist, I am no longer challenged,” she explained. “I need a challenge. As I said before I get bored, so the challenge of the unknown is exciting and new. On the Masters Registry, I have been challenged at every level. I would never have made a hallmark stamp or a cone, sphere and a cube. All of these projects have removed me from my safety net. I’m glad I’m taking part.” Lesley has three pieces that have already passed at Level V so she has only a little way to go to achieve the pinnacle of the programme. Lesley’s work has been included in a number of books and competitions. “I have entered a few competitions and I came first in the Art Clay Guild Competition with ‘Medusa’ in 2011,” she explained. “I have come second twice in the British Bead Awards. I am not great at entering though as I can’t stand waiting and the not VOL 4 • I S S UE 3

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The Market House

knowing, so I tend not to enter things at all.” Her book credits include the ‘PMC Guild Annual’ and ‘New Directions: Powder Metallurgy in a Sheet Metal World’. “The latest book that I will be published in is the new Lark Books ‘Showcase 500 Art Necklaces’ due out in June 2013. I am particularly proud of being in a 500 book because it is juried,” she explained. “It’s a book with the most talented jewellery artists from around the world and they are makers from all types of backgrounds.” So what’s next for Lesley? I asked her what she would like to achieve artistically or creatively

in the next five years. “I think right now I would like to finish the Masters Registry,” she laughs. “In five years, who knows, maybe some day a book, but I’m not sure! I have no idea where I’m going with my metal clay work but I am enjoying the journey.” To find out more about Lesley, visit her websites Web site: www.silverwithlesley.com Blog: www.silverwithlesley.blogspot.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/silverwithlesley Retail: www.dmessam.co.uk

JULIA RAI is a teacher and artist working in a variety of media. She finds inspiration in science fiction and fantasy and loves a good story where disbelief can be suspended in favour of wonder. Her practical and ultra-organised side is always vying for attention alongside her creative and messy side. Each is trying hard to learn from the other and live in harmony.

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GALLERY

HOLLY GAGE Bowmansville, Pennsylvania, USA Sea Goddess Fine silver, rainbow crystalline titanium, turquoise, peridot. Don't get lured into her seaweed web as her powers will seduce you and you will be under her spell forever.

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GALLERY

MONIQUE PERRY Pennsylvania, USA Spring Transparent enamels on copper, fine silver foil, 24k gold foil, fine silver metal clay, Swarovski crystals, sterling silver chain. This is the beginning of a series inspired by the Spring season. I love watching and hearing the birds in the trees in my yard, especially this time of year. SHRUTI DEV Haryana, INDIA Moonlight Serenade Silver metal clay, dichroic glass shards, pearls, Swarovski crystals, fine silver wire. My intent for this piece was to make something unusual and challenging. A tube of dichroic shards that had been sitting pretty in my studio since 2005 inspired me to try fusing shards in tiny bunches and then fusing those baby lumps into one cab‌letting serendipity do its work.

BARBARA BRIGGS llinois, USA Round and Round Fine silver metal clay, seed beads. This piece combines my love of beading and working with metal. Measuring 22 mm in diameter, the large metal clay bead and hefty clasp required the addition of an equally bold element. The heavy beaded spiral complements the metal clay components perfectly!

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GALLERY

KATRINA LUM New Mexico, USA Mother Earth Copper metal clay with Red Creek jasper beads. This piece was inspired by the logo of an all-female gallery that I'm in. The way the woman's hair flowed in the logo reminded me of mountains, so this piece was born.

LISA BARTH Atlanta, Georgia, USA Unexpected Inspiration Fine silver metal clay, hand-dyed leather, suede, lab alexandrite, base metal brads. Inspired by a knob on my bathroom cabinet door, I made a mold of the knob and used that to make the silver center piece. The lab alexandrite was fired in place. I dyed the leather a deep purple to go with the stone and backed the bracelet with suede for comfort. This piece is a testimony that you can find inspiration in the most unlikely places, if you keep your mind and your heart open. VOL 4 • I S S UE 3

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GALLERY

AGA SOBEL POLAND Dreams Come True Fine silver metal clay, natural opals and peridots. The opals remind me of the inner human potential, plenty of opportunities, whereas the peridots have a green colour of hope. Butterflies between the drops of opals and peridots symbolize the dreams that lead toward a better and more beautiful future, shown in the form of an unusual flower. I wanted this piece to emanate joy and hope. I think that dreams can be

TY SLAUGHTER

a great driving force changing lives for the better.

MICHELLE HOUSTON Milford, Connecticut, USA Fine silver metal clay, moonstone. These leaves were picked out by the barn after a rainstorm. They looked so succulent and veiny, I had to make a texture of them right away. During the firing, a natural inclusion in the moonstone changed the stone with what appears to be the image of a face.

CINDY LOUGEE Cordova, Tennessee, USA Blooming Lotus Blossom Ring Fine silver metal clay, clear CZ. This ring is in the shape of a lotus blossom in full bloom, sitting on a lily pad, which is on a pebble-textured band with a secret little baby koi tucked under the pad on each side of the band. There are approximately 60 petals on the ring and it was a crazy fun process to figure out.

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GALLERY

SUE McNENLY Ontario, CANADA Morning has broken Fine silver, reindeer moss, enamel paint, resin. Framed at 14” x 14”. Baby birds are 12 mm high.

How to submit photos for the gallery Please send 4" x 6" digital images of your work (minimum 300dpi resolution) in JPG format. E-mail the images to Gallery@metalclayartistmag.com Images must be labeled in the following format: YourName_Country. (e.g., MarySmith_Canada). In addition, please include a few details about the piece—the name (if it has one) and the type of metal clay. “Like” us on Facebook (Metal Clay Artist Magazine) to stay up to date on calls for images for the gallery.

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FEATURE

Glass + Metal Clay: The Perfect Union BY STEPHANIE CRIDER - USA

Susan Matych-Hager and Jennifer Stenhouse Silver metal clay, silk ribbon, crystals, glass.

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Beadmakers often dabble in other mediums and/or collaborate with artists in other mediums. This makes for great art, giving the maker(s) an entirely new element to use in telling their story. Sometimes it feels like a gift to have that extra component to use to express an idea, thought, or feeling; other times it’s a challenge to accommodate another medium into a familiar process. It’s always an opportunity to experiment, to grow, to engage in creating something unique. The ISGB is pleased to showcase its members’ work combining glass with metal clay. From bead caps to painting with slip, from components to full integration, metal clay and glass prove to be the perfect union. www.isgb.org.

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Nina “Sam” Hibler and Lisa Connell

Lee Woodburn

Silver metal clay, sterling silver, peridot, carnelian, glass.

Silver metal clay, sterling silver, peridot, jade, gaspeite, glass.

The International Society of Glass Beadmakers, the leading organization for the promotion, education, and appreciation of the art of glass beadmaking for wearable, sculptural, and functional art, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The organization has experienced tremendous growth since its inception and it is still growing and changing to continue serving as a resource for artists. In fact, the ISGB has recently updated its mission to include the goal of reaching out to artists of other mediums: To preserve the rich and diverse traditions of the art of glass beadmaking and glassworking techniques; promote educational initiatives and professional development; and encourage innovative use of complementary mediums among artists and craftspeople.

As a first step in fulfilling that part of the mission, the organization released its inaugural edition of Glass Bead Evolution in March of 2013. Glass Bead Evolution provides its readership with robust content that includes insight into artists’ private worlds, tours of fascinating venues, tips and techniques for both glass and complementary mediums, a showcase of exquisite work, and reviews of tools, materials, tutorials, and books. The publication replaces The Glass Bead (the organization’s primary publication in previous years) and is designed to serve more than just lampworkers. While Glass Bead Evolution is written by beadmakers for beadmakers, each issue also includes other art forms. The first issue showcases metal and explores how VOL 4 • I S S UE 3

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Diane Sepanski

Karen Richard

Bronze metal clay, silver, steel, enamel, glass.

Brass metal clay, brass, glass.

glass and metal together can create amazing and beautiful pieces of art. By highlighting other mediums and the possibilities that exist to include glass in these art forms, the ISGB serves as a resource not only for lampworkers but for artists, designers, educators, studios, galleries, suppliers, and museums as well. Some people do not realize that while glass beadmaking dates back at least 3,000 years, the art form is still relatively young in many parts of

the world. In fact, lampworking didn’t become popular in the U.S. until the 1900s. Even then, for many years these artists worked independently of each other and without support from fellow artists. That all changed in 1993 when Kristina Logan, who is featured in the first issue of Glass Bead Evolution, and her contemporaries formed the Society of Glass Beadmakers. It all started at a mini conference at a juried show. The show was called Contemporary Glass Bead Exhibition and was held at the Bead Museum in Prescott, Arizona. Kristina and her compatriots came together at that show and decided to figure out a way for lampworkers to stay connected and to share their love of glass not only with each other but also with the world. They called the group the Society of Glass Beadmakers – now known as the International Society of Glass Beadmakers. Twenty years later, thousands of people are reaping the benefits of their hard work and dedication. Since its inception, the organization has grown into an

Jennifer Becker and Scott Burraw Silver metal clay slip, glass.

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Aja Vaz Bronze and copper metal clay, glass.

Claudia Trimbur-Pagel Silver metal clay, silver, glass.

international entity that serves not only lampworkers and glass lovers; the ISGB also reaches out to galleries, businesses, museums, and artists in complementary mediums like metal, fiber, and clay. In fact, one of the society’s selfproclaimed primary goals is “… to foster the rebirth of ancient glass beadmaking traditions through the sharing of techniques and information among both members and the public.” This is accomplished in many ways. The ISGB produces publications and puts out calls for art throughout the year, hosts an annual conference called the Gathering, and partners with other entities like metalsmithing groups and Bead&Button Show to showcase the work of lampworkers and provide opportunities across mediums for artists, consumers, and other interested parties. To that end, the ISGB has several membership levels that offer many options for members. Membership levels include students, individuals, families, professionals, affiliates, and corporations. There truly is something for everyone.

Liz Sabol Bronze metal clay, glass.

STEPHANIE CRIDER is a lampwork artist and metalsmith. She is also an editor for a national children’s publication and a weekly community paper in North Carolina. Stephanie treasures the time she is able to spend working in her studio and the joy that comes from making original, one-of-a-kind wearable art. An ISGB member since 2008, she loves sharing her passion for glass and metal with others.

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Michael David Sturlin take takeyour yourstudio studio practice practice to tothe thenext nextlevel level

. .visiting visiting artist workshops workshops individual instruction . .individual instruction

. .professional development professional development business coaching coaching . .business

. .private private consultation consultation 480.941.4105 480.941.4105

michaelsturlinstudio@cox.net michaelsturlinstudio@cox.net

ThompsonEnamel_MetalClay QTRad.pdf

the home of the metal clay community in the UK

Do you work with any type of Metal Clay? Are you keen to learn more about these exciting materials? Why not join other enthusiasts in the Metal Clay Guild? Some advantages of membership: ◊ Subscription to the Guild Newsletter, published three times a year ◊ Reduced rates at Guild events, including the Conference ◊ The most up-to-date information about metal clay products, tools and accessories ◊ Entry to Guild Competitions ◊ Opportunity to display your work on the website and in Guild exhibitions Go to our website www.metalclayguild.co.uk to learn more, and to join us.

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Work by some of our members:

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Pat Waddington

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METAL CLAY PROJECT

Graceful Petals

Incorporate metal clay into traditional metal working with soldering CANDACE STEPPES - USA

Experience Level: INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED

Providing elegance and sunshine to everyday, flowers can always brighten a mood. Create a flower of grace and splendor with carved leaves for that added touch of detail. I will then show you how to solder the foliage to a sterling silver cuff that will allow you to take the flower with you everywhere. VOL 4 • I S S UE 3

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MATERIALS: • • • •

20g fine silver clay 5g fine silver clay syringe with a medium tip 1”x 6” (2.5 cm x 15 cm) strip of 18-gauge (1 mm thick) sterling silver sheet Medium solder (wire, chip/paillon or paste)

TOOLS, SUPPLIES & EQUIPMENT: MCAM Basic Metal Clay Set-Up MCAM LOS Patina Set-Up (www.tinyurl.com/MCAMtoollist) 3/4” (20 mm) circle cutter or template Domed drying form 1/2” (12 mm) oval cutter or template Large drinking straw 1/2” (12 mm) teardrop cutter or template 600- and 1200-grit sandpaper (or substitute a 3M™ superfine or ultrafine sanding sponge for the 1200-grit) • Micro file, escapement file or other carving tool • Jeweler’s saw frame with 2/0 blades (or metal shears and a hand file) • Bench pin • Hand file • Chasing hammer • Steel bench block • Bracelet mandrel (or a baseball bat) • Nylon mallet • Soldering brick (charcoal is recommended) • Third hand tweezers with stand • Solder pick • Jumbo Max Flame butane torch (or propane torch from a hardware store) • Quench bowl (glass or metal preferred) • Copper tongs • Pickle pot • Pickle • • • • • • • •

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STEP 1: Make the metal clay petals, leaves and base of the flower. Roll out the clay to 3 cards (.75 mm) thick. Cut out a 3/4” (20 mm) circle of clay and place it on a domed drying form, using your fingers to gently make the clay conform to the shape of the dome. Allow it to dry [1]. Roll out more clay to 3 cards (.75 mm) thick. Cut out ten 1/2” (12 mm) oval pieces for the petals of the flower. Carefully drape each oval over the large drinking straw to create a gentle arch [2]. Place the straw across the warmer and allow the ovals to dry. After a few minutes the ovals can be removed from the straw and placed on the warmer to finish drying without losing their shape. To make the leaves, roll out more clay to 3 cards (.75 mm) thick. Cut out seven 1/2” (12 mm) teardrop shapes. Carefully drape three of the teardrops over the straw at an angle to create curling leaf shapes [3]. Set them aside on the warmer to dry. Overlap the rounded ends of two of the remaining teardrops with the points of the leaves facing outward as shown [4] and attach them with paste or syringe. Repeat with the remaining two teardrops. Dry all the pieces well.


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STEP 2: Refine the edges and assemble the flower. Sand all the dry clay pieces, smoothing the edges and any surface imperfections with 1200-grit sandpaper or an extra-fine sanding sponge. Turn over the dome so the opening faces up, like a bowl. Use a damp paintbrush to lightly moisten the inside surface and edges of the bowl and the back of one of the petals. Attach the moistened petal to the edge of the “bowl” with syringe [5] so that it drapes over the edge. Attach four more petals around the edge of the bowl, spacing them evenly, and allow this first layer of petals to dry completely. Lightly moisten the center area of the bowl, the attached petals and the back of a loose petal. Use syringe clay to attach the new petal, centering it between (and overlapping) two petals in the first layer [6]. Add the rest of the petals in the same manner, slightly overlapping them in the center of the flower. Allow the flower to dry. STEP 3: Add the details to the flower and leaves. Lightly lubricate the palm of one hand. Pinch off a very small piece of moist clay, place it in the lubricated palm and use your index finger to roll it into a little ball [7]. Repeat to make additional small balls that will be added to the center of the flower. Three balls were used in this

example, but more can be used if desired. Allow the balls to dry fully, and then attach them to the moistened center of the flower with small dots of syringe clay [8]. Use a damp paintbrush to clean up any excess syringe and allow to dry. Carefully use a micro file (or dental carver or escapement file) to carve line details into the petals of the flower [9] and to create veining on the leaves. Sand the bottom of the flower assembly flat on the 600-grit sandpaper [10]. STEP 4: Fire and burnish the flower and leaves. Place the flower and leaves on a bed of vermiculite in a firing pan [11]. Fire at full ramp to 1550°F ( 843°C) and hold for 30 minutes. Leave to cool to room temperature or remove from the kiln and quench in water. Burnish the metal in all the areas that will come in contact with the bracelet band, either by hand using a metal or agate burnisher or by tumbling them for 30 to 60 minutes. The pieces will not solder properly if the clay is not burnished well. Make sure that all of the pieces are completely dry before they are soldered. STEP 5: Make the sterling silver bracelet band. Mark the ends of the sterling silver strip with the desired shape for the ends of the braceVOL 4 • I S S UE 3

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let. Cut the ends of the sheet metal with the jeweler’s saw and a 2/0 saw blade to create rounded ends or any other shape you want [12]. Support the work on a bench pin while sawing. Alternatively the ends can be cut and shaped with metal shears and rounded with a hand file. File and sand the ends smooth with hand file and 600grit sandpaper. Texture the band as desired with the chasing hammer while supporting the piece on the steel bench block [13]. Texture the entire surface of the sheet metal on one side only. The bracelet may start to curve while hammering. Gently flatten the metal again if the curve gets in the way of the hammer strikes. Round the bracelet on a bracelet mandrel (or baseball bat), using a nylon mallet to gradually conform the metal strip to the mandrel [14]. If using an oval mandrel, adjust the bracelet to fit your wrist better; if using a round mandrel, remove the bracelet from the mandrel and shape the bracelet by hand to get more of an oval shape and then fit the bracelet to the wrist.

London Metal Clay

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STEP 6: Solder the leaves to the bracelet ends. Place the bracelet on the charcoal block, supporting it with the third hand, so the bracelet opening is facing upward [15]; this will help create a more level surface for soldering the leaf pairs to the ends. Place a small dab of paste solder onto the back of one leaf pair [16] and smear it across the back of the leaves. Paste solder has the flux and solder mixed together. If using wire or sheet solder, you will need to apply flux to the bracelet and components first to help the solder flow. Place the leaf pair where you would like it to sit on the bracelet end, with the solder sandwiched between the leaf pair and the bracelet band [17]. Heat the bracelet band thoroughly [18], and then focus the heat onto the end of the bracelet with the leaves, soldering them to the bracelet band. Pick up the third hand with the bracelet still in the tweezers and quench both the bracelet and the tweezers portion of the third hand in water. (The tweezers may get quite warm and you will need them again). Then use copper tongs to place the brace-

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Comprehensive metal clay training in London www.londonmetalclay.com 07710 393525


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let into the pickle pot. Wait 5 to 10 minutes for any oxidation to be removed from the silver. Remove the cleaned bracelet from the pickle pot with the copper tongs and rinse to remove the pickle residue. Dry well before repeating this step on the other end of the bracelet with the other leaf pair [19].

dividually, as the leaves may slide around if you try to solder them on both sides of the flower at once. Add paste solder onto the back of one leaf and place it in the desired position. Heat in the same manner as before until the solder flows. Cool, pickle and dry and then repeat the process for the remaining leaves [22].

STEP 7: Solder the flower to the bracelet. Secure the bracelet in the third hand, this time with the center focal area of the bracelet held level at the top for soldering. Place paste solder onto the flat spot on the back of the flower [20]. Place the flower onto the band [21] and begin to heat the band only, getting it hot before warming the flower. Continue to heat both parts until the solder flows, then immediately remove and turn off the torch. Quench the bracelet in water and use copper tongs to place it in the pickle pot. After pickling, rinse and dry the bracelet, then secure it in the third hand as before. Place the curved leaves around the flower to decide on their placement. Solder each leaf in place in-

STEP 8: Polish and finish the bracelet. Brush the bracelet with a brass brush or burnish in a tumbler for 30 to 40 minutes. Use liver of sulfur or another antiquing/patination agent to accentuate the carvings in the metal, and then use a polishing cloth to remove patina from the high points to highlight the design. Enjoy your beautiful bracelet.

CANDACE STEPPES is an instructor and artist of metalsmithing and certified in ACS. She is inspired to combine the two methods together any chance she gets. Candace finds that the joy of using hammers, saws and files joined with the intricate magic of metal clays makes the adventure never-ending.

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METAL CLAY PROJECT

Skipping Stones Galet of the Ricochets Collection BY ANGELA BADUEL-CRISPIN - FRANCE

Experience Level: INTERMEDIATE

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The combination of bronze and pebbles came about when I was invited to take part in an exhibit at the Pole Bijou Baccarat called “Entre Bois et Pierre” (“Between Wood and Stone”). I had lots of natural black pebbles lying around, and the contrast with the golden colour of bronze seemed to work well. I designed a partial type of bezel, while leaving “wiggle room” for shrinkage so the pebbles could be fired in place. Since each pebble is different, the shrinkage room is gauged by eye, leaving about 1 mm between the pebble and the bronze. I was thrilled when the pebbles captured in bronze survived the carbon firing and came out perfectly set! I’ve made a number of these since and would like to share my technique with MCAM readers. I’ve been using European bronze clays in powder form, mostly Goldie Bronze™ and Météor bronze, and I recently started testing NobleClay™ Bronze. The pieces in this article were all made using Goldie Bronze™, so the firing schedule is specific to that clay. Follow the recommended firing schedule for the type of clay you are using; you might need to fire some test pieces first to adjust the firing times and temperatures to your kiln. VOL 4 • I S S UE 3

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MATERIALS: • 30g Goldie Bronze™ clay (amount needed will depend on the size of pebble used) • Beach or river pebble, 2.5 cm–3 cm (approximately 1” to 1 1/4”) long

TOOLS, SUPPLIES & EQUIPMENT: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

MCAM Basic Metal Clay Set Up (see http://tinyurl.com/MCAMtoollist) Gloves In A Bottle® Bowl with a smooth surface (plastic, stainless steel, glazed ceramic, etc.) Spatula, fork or spoon (to mix the clay) Plastic report cover Activated coconut carbon Stainless steel firing pan Steel brush, coarse sandpaper or coarse steel wool (for hand finishing) Sandpaper in medium through fine grits (for hand finishing) Dust mask for sanding Mini fiber wheel coarse (brown) (for rotary finishing) 3M™ Radial Bristle Discs, coarse through fine Felt polishing attachments and polishing compound (optional) Cotton mop (optional) ProtectaClear® coating

Before you start working with any of the base metal clays, I suggest completely protecting your hands with Gloves In A Bottle® or a similar protective hand barrier cream or lotion.

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STEP 1: Prepare the Goldie Bronze clay. Shake each bronze clay powder container well to mix the powder. I use a 50/50 mix of Goldie Bronze Hard and Goldie Bronze Soft as I like the texture and I get the advantages of each type, easy to texture plus added strength. The clay comes in 100g bottles. I prefer to prepare 200g of clay at once so I don’t have to worry about proportions. The clay retains its moisture quite well and is easily re-hydrated. Put the powder into a bowl [1] and mix well. Measure out approximately 20 ml (2 teaspoons) of water for 200g of powder. Add about half of the water and mix well with a metal spoon, fork or spatula (a regular plastic spoon will break). Add the rest of the water a little at a time so you can stop when the clay reaches the ideal consistency. The clay should start sticking to itself and not to the bowl, much like bread dough. If there is too much water the clay won’t stick to itself but will stick to everything else. If this happens, either add more clay powder or allow the mixture to dry out a bit. Once the ball of clay sticks to itself, remove it from the bowl and fold/knead it firmly by hand a few times. Then place it inside a lightly oiled plastic report cover or page protector and roll out the clay as thin as possible. Scrape and fold the clay and roll again. Initially you may see tiny bumps on the surface. This means the clay still needs to be conditioned more, so repeat until the surface of the lump is completely smooth, which indicates that the clay is ready [2].


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The amount of clay needed for this project will depend on the size of the pebble and how much clay you want to show in your design. For a pebble about 2 cm x 3 cm x 5 mm (3/4” x 1-1/4” x 3/16”), you will need about 25–30g of clay. To mix up a smaller amount of Goldie Bronze, weigh out the amount of well-mixed powder you require and add the water a few drops at a time, then proceed as above. STEP 2: Make the backplate of the pendant. Roll out a slab of clay to 2 mm (8 cards) thick and about 3 cm (1-1/4”) larger on all sides than the perimeter of the pebble. Place the pebble on the clay. Choose a pebble that sits relatively flat on one side so it stays balanced when worn and that also has more volume at the front for visual interest. With a needle tool cut a freehand shape, roughly following the pebble shape and leaving a margin about 2–2.5 cm (3/4”–1”) wide [3]. Remove the excess clay [4]. Turn over the pebble on your work surface and drape the clay over it, making sure the pebble is centered. Lightly press the clay around the pebble with your fingers so the clay conforms to the shape of the pebble [5]. Avoid stretching the clay. There is no need to press the clay underneath the pebble; just press it enough to conform well to the shape of the pebble. The irregularity creates volume and movement. The pebble should fit comfortably but not too tightly, as the clay will shrink as it dries and when it is fired.

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STEP 3: Dry and refine the backplate. Allow the clay to dry over the pebble inside [6]. Once the clay is dry enough to be handled, carefully remove the pebble and allow the inside of the backplate to dry completely [7]. When you remove the pebble, you can mark the back and the direction (“this side up”) with a pencil or colored marker to make sure you keep the pebble in its original orientation. If the surrounding clay enveloped the pebble’s shape well, then it should be easy to tell what position the pebble should be put back in without marking. Once completely dry, use a half-round needle file, a coarse sanding sponge or sandpaper to thin out the edges of the backplate [8]. In some places sand the inner rim in an outward, rounded movement to join the back/outer rim, and in other areas sand the outer rim toward the inner rim. This gives movement to the overall shape of the pendant. Once you have defined the shape, sand with fine sanding sponges to create a smooth, uniform surface. Tip: Sand over a container that has a lid so the bronze powder doesn’t go all over your work surface. Use this powder to make thick paste for other projects. STEP 4: Make the bezel. Put the pebble back into the backplate. Cut a strip of clay 2 mm (8 cards) thick. The size of the strip will depend on the height and shape of your pebble. My strip is about 5 mm x 30 mm (3/16” x 1 1/4”). Cut the ends at an angle. This will help you fit the clay to the backplate. Moisten the strip and the area VOL 4 • I S S UE 3

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where it will be attached [9]. Stand the shortest side of the strip on edge against the backplate and gently push the clay around the pebble. The angled ends of the strip help it fit the rounded shape of the pendant. When applying the first strip of clay, push the stone slightly towards the strip (about 1–2 mm). It will seem like a tight fit, but this will allow for “wiggle room” once dry and will allow for shrinkage room when adding the second strip of clay. Using a clay shaper (cone shape or double chisel), press the clay firmly down and out in an outward motion, smoothing the surface of the clay strip toward the rim of the pendant. Leave enough clay covering the pebble for it to be held tightly after shrinkage. This depends on the pebble, but in the same way as traditional stone setting, the bezel should cover the widest part of the pebble. In the example the bezel overlaps about 4–5 mm over the pebble. Remember, this will shrink, so don’t make the rim overlapping the pebble too short. Remove any excess clay and smooth out the bezel with a wet paintbrush and/or your fingers [10]. Allow the bezel to dry completely. Remove the pebble and clean it. Sand and scrape any bumps on the bezel, fill in gaps, and sand it smooth. Add a little more clay if necessary so the bezel covers the pebble sufficiently. Put the pebble back in place and repeat the process, applying the second clay bezel strip on the other end [11] and then drying and sanding it smooth. Make sure the bezels are positioned so that both ends of the stone are locked in place. If the stone is angled a bit side54

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ways after drying, that’s okay as long it doesn’t come out too easily. A tiny drop of Elmer’s® GlueAll® on the back will hold it in place long enough for the clay to shrink-lock it into place during firing. STEP 5: Add a bail. There are many ways to make a bail. It can be a tube, a strip of clay over a straw, an extruded tube, a folded strip of clay, etc. (MCAM Vol 4 Issue 1 has an article about bails.) One way is to cut a strip of clay 2 mm (8 cards) thick, about 5–6 mm (1/4”) wide and 4–5 cm (1 1/2”–2”) long and drape it over a straw on a flat surface, allowing about 5mm of clay to lie flat above the straw. If necessary, trim the other end so there is 1–2 cm (3/8”–3/4”) below the straw. Dry well, then sand and clean the bail so it is smooth with parallel sides. Wet abundantly (almost soaking) the two flat ends of the bezel. Allow the moisture to absorb into the clay. Wet the pendant where the bail will be attached. Position the bail and press it firmly onto the pendant back. The wet ends of the bail will be soft enough to conform to the shape of the back of the pendant. Smooth the flat ends out with a clay shaper, making sure the clay from the bail mingles with the clay on the back of the pendant [12]. Remove any excess clay and allow the join to dry completely. Reinforce the inside of the bail, if necessary, with a tiny coil of clay pressed and smoothed into the join using a clay shaper. Allow to dry and sand smooth. Add a signature tag if you have one.


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STEP 6: Fire the pendant. Place the pendant face down on a 2–3 cm (1”) bed of activated coconut carbon in a stainless steel pan. Remove the plug from the kiln, if it has one. Fire at full ramp to 360°C (680°F) and hold for 1 hour (30 minutes might be enough, but I like overkill, especially for pieces for sale). Remove the pan from the kiln and place it on a heat-resistant surface. At this stage, the bronze should come out of the kiln very dark grey/black. Put the kiln plug back in place. Cover the bronze with another 2–3 cm (1”) of coconut carbon. Fire at full ramp to 860°C (1580°F) and hold for 2 hours. Again, 1 hour probably is enough but I prefer to fire longer, especially for large pieces. Allow the piece to cool in the carbon inside the kiln to room temperature to avoid firescale, which is difficult to remove. STEP 7: Finish the metal. The surface of bronze clay is a bit rougher and harder than silver clay after firing. To finish by hand, use a steel brush, coarse sandpaper or coarse steel wool to start with, to smooth out the surface. The steel will leave a light grey deposit on the surface, which will go away with later surface sanding. Use a burnisher, with quite a heavy hand, to further smooth out the surface, then use finer and finer grit sandpapers. For a matte finish, sand with coarse sandpaper after refining the surface, and always in the same direction. If using a rotary tool, use a coarse (brown) mini fiber wheel, which will do the job much quicker and go into all the nooks and crannies. For finer polishing

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the 3M Radial Bristle Discs are great. However, these get worn down quite fast and are more expensive than sandpaper and steel wool. For a smooth mirror finish, I use a hard felt mop with polishing compound to shine up the surface, and then use a cotton mop with compound to go into the crevices and leave a fine finish. If you used polishing compound, wash the piece thoroughly afterward and dry it completely. I have noticed that bronze tarnishes much slower when the surface has been smoothed as much as possible, including pieces that are matte-finished after polishing (vs. stopping when the piece looks “matte” just from sanding). Finally I apply ProtectaClear as a sealant and allow it to dry in a dust-free area. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and clean the surface with alcohol before applying the sealant. ProtectaClear takes only about 20 minutes to dry, but up to 4 days to be completely waterproof. This can be accelerated by placing the coated and dried piece in the dehydrator at around 80°C (175°F) for a couple of hours.

ANGELA is a globe trotting artist who was born in Brazil, went to school in Hawaii and now calls France home! Her work has graced the pages of MCAM since our first year! Angela’s style and work evolves every few years, usually after a prolonged time of reflection and time with her family. Working with river stones is part of her new line of jewellery, and as always, Angela is generously sharing her techniques with fellow artists. Family is of equal importance to Angela as art. She is the proud mother of two beautiful and smart kids who are growing up too fast. But as smart as they are, Angela is still able to win all disputes as she is the only one in her house to speak three languages!

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METAL CLAY PROJECT

Bronze Swing Earrings

Combining metal clay and polymer clay in a piece of jewelry is a great way to add color and contrast. To connect the two mediums, it helps to build some sort of connection into the metal clay that will allow the polymer to wrap around it or otherwise grab a foothold. In this pair of earrings metal clay ovals are connected with small blocks of metal clay, and once the polymer clay is added the connection is hidden. I’ve used bronze clay but you can use any type of metal clay.

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CINDY SILAS - USA

Experience Level: INTERMEDIATE


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STEP 1: Make the bronze clay ovals and connectors. Roll out the bronze clay to 6 cards (1.5 mm) thick. Place the clay on a texture plate, then roll it to 4 cards (1 mm) thick. Turn the clay over so that the textured side is facing up and place it on a nonstick surface. Cut out four 1” (25 mm) ovals. Punch out three overlapping 1/8” (3 mm) circles from the middle of each oval to create a starter hole. Roll out more bronze clay to 8 cards (2 mm) thick and cut two long, straight 1/8” (3 mm) wide strips with a tissue blade. Set all the pieces aside to dry naturally [1].

MATERIALS: • • • • • • • •

25 g bronze clay or other metal clay Bronze clay paste or matching metal clay paste 3 oz (75 g) translucent polymer clay Small amounts of cyan and magenta polymer clay Blue and green alcohol ink Polymer clay softener Liquid polymer clay 1 pair of earwires

TOOLS, SUPPLIES & EQUIPMENT:

STEP 2: Refine the bronze clay pieces. Hold two of the dried oval pieces together with the plain sides touching and file the outside edges of both ovals at the same time so that the shapes match. Carve the edges with a Ugouge or round file for additional texture, if desired [2]. Position an oval template over the non-textured side of one of the pieces and use a needle tool to score the outline of a smaller oval in the center of the clay oval. Cut out

• MCAM Basic Metal Clay Set-Up • MCAM Basic Polymer Clay Set-Up (see http://www.tinyurl.com/MCAMtoollist) • 1” (25 mm) oval cutter • 1/8” (3 mm) circle cutter • U-shaped gouge or round file (optional) • Oval drafting template • 1-3/4” (45 mm) circle cutter

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the center oval with a craft knife. Put the two matching pieces back together again and use the inner oval cutout as a guideline to score on the plain side of the second oval [3]. Cut and file the second oval so that the inner edges of both pieces match. Repeat Step 2 with the remaining two ovals. STEP 3: Join the ovals with the connecting blocks and fire. Slice several small blocks from the strips you made earlier. Moisten the non-textured side of one oval, then attach the blocks with paste, spacing them evenly [4]. The blocks should not be too close to the edges of the oval, so that when polymer is added later it can wrap around the blocks and conceal them. Attach the matching oval to the top of the blocks in the same manner [5]. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 with the second set of ovals. Dry both assemblies completely, then fire according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Finish the ovals as desired.

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STEP 4: Prepare the polymer clay. Choose two coordinating colors of alcohol ink, such as blue and green. Divide 2 oz (50 g) of the translucent polymer into four or five equal amounts. Roll out each piece and add varying amounts of one or both inks [6] to create a range of tints. Allow the ink to dry, then blend it into each piece of translucent clay. Grate a small pile of each color [7] with a clay-dedicated grater, then bake the shavings for 20 minutes at the manufacturer’s recommended temperature. Mix a small amount of magenta polymer clay with cyan polymer to match the darkest blue baked shavings. This opaque clay will fill around the connecting blocks between the ovals. (If the tinted translucent polymer were used, the blocks might be visible after baking.) STEP 5: Add the polymer clay to the fired bronze ovals. Use a wooden toothpick to add the opaque polymer clay to the gap between the bronze ovals, filling in all visible areas on both the inside and outside of the ovals [8]. Leave a textured edge to the clay for added interest.


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STEP 6: Make and attach the translucent polymer clay shapes. Once the baked shavings have cooled, add a few drops of clay softener to them and mix them all together. Roll out 1 oz (25 g) of translucent clay, then blend in a handful of the mixed shavings [9]. Roll this clay out to 8 cards (2 mm) thick and cut out two 1-3/4” (45 mm) circles. If any baked polymer shavings are in the cutting path, use a craft knife to slice through them. With a tissue blade, slice off a little less than half of each circle and remove it. Position a bronze oval in the center of the remaining clay as shown in the photo [10]. With a craft knife, trim the straight edge of the polymer directly along the edge of the bronze oval and remove the excess clay [11]. Repeat for the second earring. Add a drop of liquid polymer clay to the newly trimmed edges of the polymer, then leave it a minute to absorb. Place the oval in the polymer cutout, making sure the opaque and translucent polymer areas join securely so that they will bond while baking. Texture the polymer clay with sandpaper, if desired. Set the earrings on a bed of cornstarch, then bake for 30 minutes at the polymer clay manufacturer’s recommended temperature. Add the earwires. I made my own with 20-gauge (.8 mm) gold-filled wire, formed around a mandrel and lightly textured with a hammer on a bench block. Now your beautiful Bronze Swing Earrings are complete. CINDY SILAS is a mixed-media artist, teacher, and author who’s been passionately working with metal clay since 2005, often combining it with other media such as polymer clay and resin. She is a finalist in the metal clay category of the 2013 Saul Bell Design Award Competition. Her work has been published in several magazines and books, and she is currently writing a book about combining metal clay and polymer. To see more of her work visit www.cindysilas.com.

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METAL CLAY PROJECT

Commemorative Silver Spoon ALEKSANDRA MARCZUKIEWICZ – POLAND

Experience Level: INTERMEDIATE

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I made this silver spoon as a present for Laura’s christening. With her name and date of birth inscribed on it, and a little clock on the handle that indicates the hour of her birth, this kind of gift is unique and one-of-a-kind and will be a beautiful souvenir for her as she grows up. I used silver clay for this spoon, but it can be made using other types of clay. Try adding different stones, enamel or UV resin to add individual character. The possibilities are endless.

MATERIALS: • • • •

20g fine silver clay Fine silver clay syringe Fine silver paste 2 mm and 3 mm stones that can be fired in place

TOOLS, SUPPLIES & EQUIPMENT: • • • • • • •

MCAM Basic Metal Clay Set-Up MCAM LOS Patina Set-Up (see www.tinyurl.MCAMtoollist) Oval cutter or template 30 mm (1-1/4”) long Oval doming form for the bowl of the spoon Small circle cutter or template Graver tool or small carving tool Empty plastic syringe with 3 mm opening (or metal clay extruder with 3 mm round hole disc)

STEP-BY-STEP PHOTOS: ALEKSANDRA MARCZUKIEWICZ LAURA’S CHRISTENING PHOTO’S: FOGSTUDIO (DAGMARA SZCZYPCZYK)

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STEP 1: Make the bowl of the spoon. Roll out the clay to 1.25 mm (5 cards) thick and cut out an oval shape about 30 mm (1-1/4”) long. Carefully form it over the back of a metal or plastic spoon or another oval doming form. If using silver clay, do not use an aluminium spoon or form, which will react with the clay. Dry well [1]. Smooth the edges and surface of the spoon bowl using sponge sanding pads. STEP 2: Make the handle embellishment. Roll out some clay to 1 mm (4 cards) thick and cut out a leaf shape freehand about 25 mm (1”) long. This will be the backplate for the clock face embellishment on the handle. For the clock face, roll out more clay to .75 mm (3 cards) thick and cut out a small circle that will fit nicely onto the leaf shape. Dry both pieces well. Sand the edges and surfaces of the leaf and circle shapes smooth. Use a small carving tool or graver to carve lines onto the face of the clock to represent the hours. Use syringe clay to carefully draw the two hands of the clock. For a christening spoon make them point to the time the baby was born. Leave to dry, then use paste to join the clock face to the backplate. Draw some decorative syringe lines like twisting vines. Leave to dry again, and then cut some tiny leaves out of clay and attach them using paste. Finally, set some 2 mm stones in syringe clay, placing some along the “vine” in between the leaves, and making sure the syringe covers the girdle of each stone [2]. Dry well. A R T I S T M AG A Z I NE

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STEP 3: Make the twisted handle. Put the rest of the silver clay into an empty plastic syringe (or use a clay extruder with a disc with a 3 mm round hole) and carefully extrude a long rope of clay. Cut the rope into two equal pieces and twist them together evenly to create the handle [3]. Leave to dry. If you want to engrave the child’s name and date of birth onto the handle, do that now. Use a graver, micro carving tool or sharp pointed tool to carefully write on the front surface [4].

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STEP 5: Fire and finish the spoon. Fire the spoon according to the manufacturer’s instructions for the type of metal clay you are using. Once cool, polish the spoon to a nice shine, and then add a patina. I used liver of sulfur. Use a polishing cloth to remove most of the patina and then burnish the edges and high spots to add sparkle. Place your unique spoon into a lovely presentation box and give your gift with love.

STEP 4: Assemble the spoon. Sand the ends of the handle to fit the shape of the handle embellishment and the bowl of the spoon. Then join these parts together using plenty of silver paste [5]. Join one end of the handle first and allow it to dry completely before joining the other end. Make sure the connections are really strong. Use sanding pads to smooth all the joins. Set a 3 mm stone onto the handle above the bowl of the spoon using syringe [6]. ALEKSANDRA MARCZUKIEWICZ. My artistic roots… My father is a painter, grandfather was a sculptor, mother studied history of art and I decided to become… a mechanical designer, even though part of me has always been an artist. In my spare time I design and create silver jewelry using mainly metal clay. The industrial world inspires me most, that’s why a lot of my works have some mechanical details like gears or screws often combined with floral shapes. I love designing, regardless of whether they are mechanical or artistic projects. They always capture the imagination and creativity. I think they complement each other to form my own world.

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PRODUCT SHOWCASE

BY PAT EVANS

SpeedFire® ElectricMini™ PRO Kiln

Kiln Lust is a disease that usually follows as a complication of Metal Clay Fever. With the growing number of base metal and sterling silver clays that require firing in a kiln, the need for metal clay artists to own a kiln has become even greater. Unfortunately, the high cost often is a stumbling block. The affordable SpeedFire ElectricMini PRO kiln is a welcome arrival on the scene. This little kiln can handle all metal clays and can also be used for fusing glass and glass clay and for enameling. The digital controller is what really sets this kiln apart from other small-scale firing solutions. It has a two firing modes, Ramp & Off and Ramp & Hold. The digital controls allow it to be operated without constant “kiln-sitting” while giving the artist greater control over the firing process. Although the simple digital controller doesn’t allow the programming complexity of larger kilns, variations in the programming can be made by hand during the firing process. This makes it possible to adjust for burnout schedules in metal clay or to add a “bubble squeeze” phase to a fused glass program. The digital temperature readout keeps you informed about the progress of your firing. The kiln is very lightweight (11 pounds) and uses approximately one-fourth the household current used by a blow dryer, so it is suitable for the smallest home or studio. I tested it in my

studio on an 80ºF (26.7ºC) day and didn’t find that it increased the temperature of the room unbearably. It is a fiber muffle kiln, which mean that it heats up and cools down quickly. The fiber muffle is a fairly soft material, so users will want to take some care not to dent it. You open the kiln by lifting the kiln and controller portion off the base. If you are doing processes that require opening the kiln while hot, you’ll want to use extra caution and have a heatproof surface at hand to set the hot kiln on. For glass and enamel you are advised to “peek” by tilting the lid. While the Ramp & Hold mode kept the kiln at an optimum temperature for firing enamel, I did find it a little difficult to manage removing enameled pieces from the hot kiln. As the name suggests, the kiln chamber of the Mini is small: 4.5”x4.5”x3.5”. With clays that need carbon firing, only a small carbon container will fit. (Metal Clay Supply offers one made specifically for the Mini that is 3”x3”x2”.) The small size is both a drawback and a bonus; even artists who eventually want a larger kiln with more programming options will find that they’ll want to hold on to this little gem for test firings or travel. The SpeedFire ElectricMini PRO is available from www.metalclaysupply.com for $389. VOL 4 • I S S UE 3

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PRODUCT SHOWCASE

ClayMill™ Metal Clay Extruder

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The ClayMill™ Metal Clay Extruder is the result of a collaboration between Hadar Jacobson and PMC Connection. Hadar had a homemade version of this extra-large extruder that she used extensively in her work, and she worked to have a commercial variation become available for her students to purchase. Kudos to both Hadar and PMC Connection for creating this handy product. The extruder’s 2” (5 cm) barrel allows much larger quantities of clay to be extruded, enabling projects such as cuff bracelets or barrettes to be created from a single extrusion. Also, production artists can quickly create large numbers of multiples of shapes for earrings or jewelry elements. The real excitement with this product, though, comes when experimenting with Hadar’s techniques of stacking various types of clay to create designs in mixed metals. Sample projects as well as tips for using the extruder are available on her blog, www.artinsilver.com/blog. The parts of the extruder that come in contact with the clay are PVC and steel, so it is safe for use with all types of clay. While it can be used with silver clay, the size makes it ideal for use with base metal clays, polymer clay and porcelain clay. Cleanup was truly easy—I just wiped out the extruder with a dry paper towel, so one extruder can easily be shared among several types of clay. I found the instructions to be extremely clear and I was successful in extruding right away. The plunger can be a little hard to turn if it is full of stiff clay, so PMC Connection is developing a round clamp for it. (Standard clamps could deform the barrel.) The extruder comes with the base unit and four shape dies, and additional die sets are available. The ClayMill Extruder is available from PMCConnection.com for $79.95.

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MOTIVATING MOMENT

Water

Are you struggling to think of new ideas or a new direction for your work? Our final thought for this issue is water. Can we inspire you? Smooth and reflective, undulating with dappled texture, rough and choppy, churned up in patterns, in stark monochrome or dazzling colors‌ there is so much to see in the surface of water when we stop to look. What do you see? If this motivates you to make something, please do send us a photo of your creation. You never know, we might even feature you in the Gallery section of MCAM or in our monthly newsletter! Send your photos to joy@metalclayartistmag.com. Thinking caps on then...and be inspired!

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Metal Clay Artist v4 i3 (Fall 2013)  

Metal Clay Artist features a wide range of metal clay-related content, including step-by-step projects, articles, how to's, guides, tips, te...

Metal Clay Artist v4 i3 (Fall 2013)  

Metal Clay Artist features a wide range of metal clay-related content, including step-by-step projects, articles, how to's, guides, tips, te...

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