I have admired Janet Alexander’s work for many years. She has contributed articles to Metal Clay Artist Magazine and she took part in a very special charity bracelet project two years ago. We featured her bracelet on the cover. Her innovative design is a match of beautiful imagery of the mountains in her area, the helping hands of the charity she was spotlighting, along with the complexity of a hidden link system. Knowing her work, I was not surprised to hear that she is a finalist for the Saul Bell Design Award!
Creative Fire: How long have you worked in metal clay? Janet Alexander: I had been introduced to metal clay in 1999 but then started working in metal clay in 2009. Continue reading…
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.
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…
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.
Creative 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…
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.
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!
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…
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)
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.)
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.
Makingchainrequirespatiencebecauseittakestimetomakeall theindividuallinks.Butthesenseofsatisfactionyouwillfeelonceyouareholdingyourfinishedhandmadechainwillbewonderful andwillmakealltheeffortworthwhile. Thischainislinkedinthegreenwarestageandfired fullyassembledwitha decorative clasp worn at the front. It has a sinuous, slinky feel, plus the stones add a nice bit of bling.
Level: Advanced Project by: Joy Funnell Edited by: Jeannette Froese LeBlanc and Margaret Schindel