2015 Saul Bell Design Award Finalists-Metal Clay Category: PART 3 of 5

Our third interview is with Terry Kovalcik from the USA. Terry’s locket “A Tear for Icarus” (2005) was the first piece that caught my eye and made me really look at metal clay. As you can see by Terry’s finalist piece for the Saul Bell Design Award, his attention to detail and excellent craftsmanship have not wavered at all.

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A Tear for Icarus (2005)

Creative Fire: How long have you worked in metal clay? Is there one kind of metal clay that is your favorite? 
Terry Kovalcik: I was first introduced to Precious Metal Clay in 1999 and have worked with it ever since. So that makes it 16 years. As for a favorite, it’s hard to say, I do find myself using the 960 hybrid PMC clay a lot lately. My approach is to pick the best clay for the job. PMC 960 works well for many different techniques, it’s strong and versatile. Continue reading…

2015 Saul Bell Design Award Finalists-Metal Clay Category: PART 2 of 5

The second finalist in the metal clay category to be interviewed is Anna Mazoń  from Poland. We fell in love with her work and profiled her in Metal Clay Artist Magazine in 2012 as “an architect of Poland’s Metal Clay movement.” There are many fabulous Polish metal clay artists, but one who really stands out for her work is Anna Mazoń.

closeupCreative Fire: How long have you worked in metal clay? Do you have a favorite? Do you have any favorite tools for metal clay?
Anna Mazoń: I started working with metal clay in 2008, so it’s been almost 7 years – time flies. Since then I tried really a lot of different metal clays, from different brands and the more I try, the more I am tempted to say, that it really doesn’t matter what you use. The only thing that matters is your talent and perseverance. Continue reading…

2015 Saul Bell Design Award Finalists-Metal Clay Category: PART 1 of 5

Recently one of our favourite jewellery supply companies announced the finalists for in their annual design contest.  The 15th Annual Saul Bell Design award, sponsored by Rio Grande, is named after the father of one of the owners of the company.  If you are not familiar with the contest or Saul Bell, here is a lovely video explaining the history of the contest and a short biography of its namesake.

The mandate of the contest is clear, “We’re looking for an original vision, a fresh take on traditional methods and materials and a mastery of your craft. We want you to stretch the boundaries of your capabilities as a designer and as a jeweler.” (For more information about the contest and the judging please see their website.)  Every year fellow artists enjoy seeing the finalists and guessing as to who is the winner.  This year is no different, and so over the next few days we’ll present a brief selection of Q&A’s to the finalists in the metal clay category along with an image of their piece.

First up, we interview two time winner, Ivy Solomon.  Yes that’s right–she has won twice in the metal clay category.

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2004 Saul Bell Design Award First Place-Metal Clay Category- Ivy Solomon.

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A Pendant by Any Other Name…an Art Rant by Ann Robinson Davis

Editor’s note: Ann Robinson Davis is the author of one of our most popular articles. “Clean your Studio Heal your Artself!” (From Metal Clay Artist Magazine Winter 2012) We received the most interesting notes from readers about this article…including a letter from one person who credits this article for having saved her life!  The article dealt with letting go and cleaning up our studios.  We are pleased to share another article by this author. This time it is a “HOT TOPIC” among artists!

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“Lagoon” by Ann Robinson Davis

There has always been a fierce debate in the art community (all the arts) about whether to name or not to name your work.

In school, back in the 60’s I was never taught to name anything. If I produced a crazy lace agate ring, well that was what it was called, with the added place it came from, such as Mexican Crazy Lace Agate Ring. As I matured as an artist I began having specific ideas about my work and how I wanted to express an idea. The urge to create was subjugated to the urge to have meaning. Continue reading…

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)

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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.)

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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

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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.

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

 

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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.

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