Kilns: Fiber or Firebrick?

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Kilns: Fiber or Firebrick?
By John S. Hohenshelt

There has been much discussion regarding the differences between brick and fiber kilns in light of the introduction of bronze and copper clays into the marketplace. This article explains the differences in these two insulating materials for kilns in relation to the firing requirements of the different metal clays. Continue reading…

Beginner Project: Go-Go Silver Earrings by Jeannette Froese LeBlanc

finished Here’s an easy project that teaches you many useful skills for metal clay jewelry making.

  • How to use metal clay tools, including slats, roller, templates, textures and butane torch.
  • How to properly handle metal clay for ease of use and to economize the material.
  • How to incorporate other jewelry making techniques with metal clay.
  • How to enjoy  metal clay!

Hollow Barrel Beads by Jeannette Froese LeBlanc and Margaret Schindel

10393547_10152501674108157_5796246438284297048_nProject and Photos by Jeannette Froese LeBlanc. Step-by-step instructions by Jeannette Froese LeBlanc and Margaret Schindel

This tutorial shows how to make the textured barrel beads as seen in the image of the mixed media necklace. Barrel beads use very little clay, yet have a lot of volume. And since they are not formed over any sort of burn-out material (i.e. wood or cork clay) they can be fired with a torch rather than a kiln.

When I finished making some barrel beads for this project I thought I needed a “beauty shot”; a photo that would inspire others to want to try making these beads. That was my “rabbit hole”! A month later…I strung this necklace. The other beads in the necklace include round bronze and silver beads, silver bead caps, vintage red plastic beads, rubber beads and rubber cord. It’s a real mix, but it is fun and that’s why we make jewellery!

 

Photography: The Live Model By Marcia B.

 

_MG_8662_Retouched-3c_RGB[Editor’s Note: When we started to put models on the cover our readers noticed!  The first issue with a live model featured a beautiful cover photograph of Kathleen Nowak Tucci’s piece Unidinia on a live model. This eye-catching shot generated so much positive buzz in the forums and on Facebook, we decided to go in-depth for our readers and ask a photographer for her point of view on jewellery photography.]

Shooting fashion and beauty is a creative endeavor that entails exploration in order to attain a meaningful photographic expression.

When producing a shoot as a photographer/stylist, I start off with a concept. Along with the input of my creative team, I let the photo-shoot process take on a life of its own to see what can be accomplished. First—I scout a model that suits the look I am aiming for. 1_Photography_Marcia 34221In terms of styling—with the established concept in mind, I proceed in getting the right clothing and accessories to accomplish the planned look. I then consult with my make-up artist for complimentary beauty looks to match the concept. It’s an enjoyable process that allows freedom to transform ideas into even greater ideas. Last, I seek a location that coincides with the theme of the shoot. Finding the right location with the right amenities for make-up, hair and wardrobe prep can be tedious at times. It is very exciting when all components come together on set and the creative process comes alive. When shooting, I keep my concept in mind and continue to evolve as ideas arise on set. Continue reading…

Collaborate, Connect, Communicate: Three Goals of the Impact Artist Project

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2nd Place winner in the Metal Clay Category of the Saul Bell Design Award 2015 is Holly’s necklace, “Je’taime, – Dual Flame.”.

Holly Ginsberg Gage has had a busy year. She won Second Place in Metal Clay at the 2015 Saul Bell Design Awards and now she is heading up IMPACT Artist Project: International Metal Clay Project Advancing Creativity and Talent. Holly has set up a 25K fundraiser on Kickstater to fund the project. We caught up with her during her fundraiser to hear more details.

Holly tells us that if 25K is raised that it will be just enough to launch the project, “25K is the bare minimum to get us out the door with our most basic goals, which is growing the resources on our website, and maintaining the forum, IMPACT Activity programs and Rewards, and free webinars.” If 50k is raised with Kickstarter, Holly will give away a free book to everyone that has donated.   “The Journey of Self Discovery Through Metal Clay, This book is yet to be published, and will be given away as an e-book.” Continue reading…

Bill Struve’s New Invention: 3-D MetalCreator

Bill at Metal Clay Mojo 2015Every once in a while, if we are lucky, we meet someone who is truly a giving person. Someone who doesn’t expect something in return. Most of us know people who will look for the “what’s in it for me” before they give, such as: a tax receipt, their name listed on a donor page or carved onto a corner stone. But then there are those who quietly give. In the artistic community, artists are often preyed upon to “give” and “donate”. But in this case a scientist and an artist are giving to artists! Bill and Lacey Ann Struve are well known in the metal clay community. They have invented and produced several base metal clays under their company Metal Adventures and now they have a new invention to share with the artistic community. Continue reading…

How to Take Your Studio on the Road.


Tintype_photoboothIt’s true that traveling to take a class to learn a special technique can be costly, but I encourage everyone who can to do so once in a while. Meeting other artists and taking part in a class led by an instructor with whom you haven’t studied before will help you step outside your comfort zone and encourage you to try new things. I have traveled long distances to attend classes several times, and I’ve learned a lot about how to make the most of these experiences. Continue reading…

Mixed Media Bracelet by Jeannette Froese LeBlanc

Bracelet_beauty2aSince I rediscovered polymer clay this year, my mind has been spinning with ideas about how it could be used with metal clay. Add in glass clay to the mix, and my creative juices have been really flowing! Well-known glass artist Paula Radke made the glass cabs out of her glass clay.

I am the first to admit that I’m learning polymer clay and while my finished bracelet is not perfect…there are several ideas to take away and try in your own work:
a) Polymer clay is fun!  I love that I can work with both fired and unfired clay.
b) Carving polymer clay is addictive!  I took a class with Celie Fago and she showed us how to carve polymer clay and the importance of creating test pieces of polymer clay so that you can test that the clay cured after baking it.
c) Glass clay is divine!  Oh the colours!  Paula’s cabochons remind me of something I’d find at a European flea-market.