It is finally, truly Spring!

After a long, cold winter (at least for me here in Eastern Canada) I have been eagerly waiting for signs of Spring. We’ve had some sunny days, but the snow was hanging around at Easter. Believe it or not…it is snowing outside right now as I type this. It’s April 23! But I have faith that the better weather is coming.

A sure sign of Spring is when Rio Grande announces the Saul Bell Design Award finalists. As if timed with the blooms of the crocus flowers, slowly people are showing off their work and revealing that they are finalists. I’m working on our annual article that profiles the artists and their work, please look for it soon. In the meantime…I have a “Throw Back Thursday” item to share from the Metal Clay Artist Magazine (MCAM) archives. A few years ago Wanaree Tanner won the Saul Bell Award in the metal clay category. Being infinitely talented, she also made MCAM a video showing HOW she made her fantastic bracelet. Thank you Wanaree for sharing and best wishes to this years finalists! (Click on the image below to go directly to the video for the cover story)

577596_10150873702148157_1491587953_n

 

Gallery Part Two: Beautiful Metal Clay Jewellery Donated to MCAM Auction

Looking for inspiration? Check out the beautiful jewellery from artists all over the world in our gallery. It is quite fitting to publish part two of the auction gallery this week, as my husband and I secured our mortgage just days ago. The lien on our home was erased by our readers and advertisers. (If you are not familiar with the background to the auctions, you can read about it here.)

april gallery page 1
Continue reading…

In Business: My First Exhibition by Jeanne Pring

I would like to thank Jeanne Pring for being our first guest author and for sharing her experience at her first exhibition! I met Jeanne through the MCAM auction site set up on Facebook. I was not familiar with her work before seeing her name pop up on the auction page, but now I feel like old friends. Jeanne is quick to share her story, images of her work and lesson’s learned. Jeanne’s article will be the first to appear in the category of “In Business”. Our goal with this section of articles is to create a place for artists to share their experiences selling their work and to create a dialogue that will benefit all metal clay artists all over the world.
~Jeannette Froese LeBlanc editor cre8tivefire.com.

In Business with Jeanne Pring ~United Kingdom:
Firstly, let me introduce myself. My name is Jeanne Pring of Jkhoo Designs. I started making jewellery when I was not able to find anything suitable to accompany my dress for my wedding … and certainly not to my budget. I therefore decided to teach myself how to make my own jewellery for my special day. I received so many positive comments on the pieces I made that I decided to teach myself more and start a business.

Page_2_Image_1With Trisha Williams – the event organiser

Continue reading…

Summertime Bling Necklace by Joy Funnell

Making chain requires patience because it takes time to make all the individual links. But the sense of satisfaction you will feel once you are holding your finished handmade chain will be wonderful and will make all the effort worthwhile. This chain is linked in the greenware stage and fired fully assembled with a decorative clasp worn at the front. It has a sinuous, slinky feel, plus the stones add a nice bit of bling.

SummertimeBlingNecklace_1_JoyFunnell2

Level: Advanced
Project by: Joy Funnell
Edited by: Jeannette Froese LeBlanc and Margaret Schindel

 

Continue reading…

Framed Bezel by Robin Ragsdale

cover shotGoldie BronzeTM is a beautiful material.  When constructing a bezel for a cabochon gem we need to treat the bronze clay differently than silver clay.  A common method used with silver clay is to make a plug from jeweler’s investment to stop the metal clay bezel from shrinking smaller than the size of the stone. However, jeweler’s investment creates a nasty crusty black layer on fired bronze clay that can be impossible to remove. This dilemma led me on a quest to find a repeatable process for making bronze bezels. After months of experimentation and a box of failures I now have a reliable method that works every time!

This how-to article is made possible by Robin Ragesdale and her business www.evenbetterimages.com

Level: Advanced
Project by: Robin Ragsdale
Project editors: Jeannette Froese LeBlanc and Margaret Schindel.

Continue reading…

Cool Tip: Improve Your Jewelry Photos

Photographing our work is just one of the many hats we must wear as artists.Getting decent photos for online sites, show applications and to submit for media coverage…is very important.  How your work looks says a lot about   you. A jewellery maker friend of mine, Kathleen Nowak Tucci, always, always has wonderful photos of her work.  Even the on scene shots are wonderful. One teacher I took a class from, (Rona Sarvas Weltman) told us that she never puts out any images of her work unless they are professional shots.

1234972_10151874415434687_140511682_n
A behind the scenes shot from a shoot for Kathleen Nowak Tucci— with Rebecca Lynn, Janine Kirsten Jøffe, Paris Lemon and Kathleen Nowak Tucci. Photo by: Janine Joffe Photography

Excellent advice from a guru of jewellery making!  And advice I will follow once my work is “at that level”.  Until then, I will look for ways to improve my own photo-taking skills so that my shots look less “homemade”.

A few years ago, Hadar Jacobson posted a how-to take better photos using a semi-transparent garbage can as the light box.  I have been meaning to try that idea, and was reminded of it when I saw this blog post: turn a plastic bin into a light boxphoto-setup3 from www.quirkyoak.wordpress.com.

(Here’s the link to Hadar’s post from 2009!  Hadar’s Photography tip)

Do you have any tips for photographing jewellery?  Any pitfalls to avoid? (Click on “read more” to add your comments.) Continue reading…

Metal Clay Basics-Fire Silver Clay with a Torch

Torch firing is a great way for beginners to get started in metal clay, but it can be tricky if you don’t follow some basic rules. Learn how to torch-fire like a pro from CreativeFire editor Jeannette Froese LeBlanc.