I’ve known UK based metal clay artist and tutor Tracey Spurgin for many years, so long in fact that I can’t remember when we first met! Tracey lives in the small village of Walkington in the East Riding of Yorkshire which is in the north of England. Tracey and her husband Steve were regulars at the US conferences that ran every year and which a group of us from the UK used to attend. I last saw them at the You Can Make It conference in the UK in March 2018 and it was good to have a catch up then.
I thought it would be interesting to interview Tracey to find out about her background, so I started by asking her about her family. “I have two adult boys, both in their twenties and engaged to be married,” she began. “They’re both very settled in their careers and have homes of their own. The eldest lives in Edinburgh and the other in Manchester.” Continue reading…
UK Jewellery Artist Tracey Spurgin is the next master to present in the “Artist Project Series” proudly presented by Cool Tools. Tracey has challenged metal clay artists to create a nesting ring and shows us step by step in close up photos how to create two beautiful rings. This Nesting Cocktail ring is a stunner, the design allows you to wear each of the two rings individually as a stand alone, or simply nest them together to make one statement cocktail ring.
Sourcing beads and jewelry making supplies can be highly addictive. You start with a small collection of seed beads, and then before you know it, you have hundreds of thousands of beads cluttering your design space and getting in the way of your creative process.
Decluttering your space is the first step to a more creative and productive jewelry making operation, whether you design as a hobby or for a living. While you could simply throw all your beads in a jar, you need storage solutions and organization strategies that complement the way you design, allowing you to easily view, select and access your materials. So here are some handy tips on how to keep your creative space tidy. Continue reading…
Last week memories of metal clay conferences started popping up on people’s Facebook feeds. People all over the world have been sharing memories and commenting on how much they miss going to a metal clay conference! Well there’s still time to attend the Metal Clay Artists symposium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina! MCAS is being held August 23-26 at Sawtooth School for Visual Art. You’ll see lots more info on the website https://www.mcas2018.com/
This exciting 4-day event, at the Sawtooth School for Visual Art (SSVA), features the most innovative workshop leaders in a creative environment, sharing inspiration, techniques, and cutting-edge technology with the metal clay community through hands-on workshops, breakout sessions, free Technique Discovery Workshops, Meet and Greet opportunities, vendor shopping, a month-long metal clay exhibit and more! MCAS General Registration is $55 and includes the Product Playground, the Metal Clay Round Table, Vendor Shopping, two Breakout Sessions, an invitation to participate in the “Metal Clay Expressions 2” exhibit, exhibit reception and awards, Instructor Meet-and-Greet, Charm Swap with coffee and donuts, and NEW 2-hour Sunday Technique Discovery Workshops.
The Featured artist this year is Cindy Pope, right now all of her classes on using the Silhouette cutter with metal clay are sold out, however, there are lots of other classes and workshops still with space! Check out these wonderful workshop ideas with many more online. https://www.mcas2018.com/workshops.
I first met Roxan Waluk at one of the US conferences and have followed her work ever since. Roxan told me a bit about her home. “Originally a third generation Texan, in 1983 my husband drug me out to Virginia kicking and screaming for his work. After over thirty years here, we have migrated out to the middle of Virginia’s beautiful wine and horse country. We live in the small town of Delaplane situated about an hour’s drive outside of Washington DC.”
“I live on three acres with my husband Joe, and our four legged children,” she went on. Continue reading…
Many times we set out with an idea of how we expect a project to turn out. In this article Janet Harriman takes you through her plans and what she expected and how she repaired and recovered her piece. Thank you to Cool Tools for sponsoring this project.
I had a young apprentice who insisted that I try silver metal clay. As a metalsmith with a fine arts background, I was a snob. But just for fun I did try the clay, worked with it for years and then I ended up demonstrating at the National PMC conference at Purdue University. Metal clay is a tactile pleasure. It is magic. Continue reading…
~ Cool Tools and Creative Fire are proud to present another project in this series by Gordon K. Uyehara. Gordon’s work is always interesting and his projects are sure to inspire artists from all levels. Having a chance to look over the shoulder of Gordon as he works is a treat for metal clay artists worldwide.
Dino Bracelet by Gordon K. Uyehara
What does one do with two leftover pieces of double-knit Viking weave chain? Dig it out of the drawer after many years and make a bracelet. I envisioned a focal piece and end caps created out of silver metal clay. Although it seemed rather straightforward at first, I encountered some challenges along the way. I detail them below. You may choose to steer around some of them.
I learned how to weave the chain in a workshop many years ago, and unfortunately, I don’t recall how to do it. However, I do recall we used a starter wire shaped like a flower and a wooden dowel to weave around. The chain was pulled through a vinyl drawplate (made out of cutting board) with different size tapered holes. This was for drawing down the diameter of the chain. The source book was, “Great Wire Jewelry” by Irene From Petersen. With a little imagination this project can be modified to work with other types of chain or cord. It is a good idea to peruse the entire project instructions first before proceeding.Continue reading…
I have long admired quilling, butI had never tried this wonderful form of art before until I had an opportunity to participate in the Silver Quilling Certification training at the Art Clay Headquarters in Japan, I had zero expectations. I was so lucky to have Ms. Motoko Maggie Nakatani, a renowned quilling artist, as my teacher. She was also the curriculum supervisor of the certification program. (Top Image: Astari’s award winning piece from the Silver Accessories Contest: “DoPositive” combines many metal clay techniques including silver quilling. Click image to enlarge.)
Editor’s note: We orginally published this article in May 2016. But it is a hot topic once again in our community so we are bumping it up on our site for a re-read!
-(especially in children’s use) a person who copies another’s behavior, dress, or ideas
-denoting an action, typically a crime, carried out in imitation of another.
“No one likes a copycat”….in fact I’d rather the word was stronger when it comes to artists stealing ideas from artists. Last week we posted a video on FaceBook that started a lot of conversations. Which is EXCELLENT! What a wonderful use of technology to have artists all over the world talking! But will things really change? Will you stop seeing derivatives of artists’ work? “If you copy someone’s else, that is a derivative work. It doesn’t belong in a gallery or showcase and it should not be published anywhere—this includes your website and all social media.” -Sean McCabe (quote from video)
California artist Harriete Estel Berman has written extensively on the topic of copyrights and copycats on her blog: Ask Harriete. “The issues are serious. By our silence, we in the arts and crafts community are cultivating a climate of copycats. Bringing this issue into the open is not going to be popular, but the undercurrents are eroding our economic, ethical and legal boundaries.”
Here are some links to select articles by Harriete. Be an informed artist!
Until awareness gains traction in every “craft corner”, workshop, retail fair, wholesale show, online forum, manufacturer, retailer, designer, internet site, and becomes a public discussion, the copycat thieves will continue as pirates of our work, our ideas, and our content.In the “Age of the Internet” and digital technologies we can no longer go back to the studio and come up with the next idea fast enough. Ideas and images are stolen at the speed of light.
Are you prepared to protect your work?
Do you understand the concepts of Fair Use under Copyright Law?
A guild member takes a workshop, then comes home to show everyone else the workshop’s techniques, tips and tricks.
Guild members distributing copies of handouts that they did not create or own.
A member demos a skill learned in a magazine tutorial.
A guild hires a copycat workshop instructor instead of hiring the original innovator of a skill or technique.
Ironically, all this sharing is usually rationalized as “helping” each other. But with some reflection, this “feel good” cloak of generosity is concealing ethical, legal and moral issues that, in the long run, have an impact on our community.
Has anyone ever purchased your art or craft work and then started copying the original? I’ve seen this issue discussed online. Or people write to me when they find out about unauthorized copies of their work, especially when other people are profiting from their designs. The situation is frustrating and nearly impossible to stop – once it is out of control.
The story of the “Light Bringer” – PMC Sterling hollow stag pendant with branches and foliage by Anna Mazoń.
“I came up with the idea for this piece around Winter Solstice – the darkest time of the year, when the day starts getting longer again. There is a lot of folk tales and legends associated with this astronomical event and one of them tells the story of the Oak King and the Holly King. Holly King reigns over the half of the year when the Sun is getting weaker, days are getting shorter, so since the Summer Solstice till the Winter Solstice. On the day of Winter Solstice the Oak King takes over again and reigns till the longest day of the year. For me, in this legend, the Oak King is the bringer of a new light, new sun, and in my mind I somehow always associated him with a young stag. His antlers are overgrown with fresh foliage – the sign of the spring which will come inevitably after the end of winter. For me it’s a symbol of hope, new beginning, little light shining in the darkest night. You can see that light between his antlers. This kind of „green” stag is actually a popular symbol. You will find it depicted both in paintings all over the world and also various kinds of crafts. I wanted to try my hand at it for quite some time now, and I am really happy I finally did.”