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!

 

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.

Dome Ring and Matching Earrings– By Jane Font

Font_DomeRing_beautya

This ring combines several different design elements to create lots of visual interest. The earrings are a fun, simple and striking complement, and you can customize all these pieces just by varying the finish inside the domes.

Project and photos: Jane Font
Editors: Jeannette Froese LeBlanc and Margaret Schindel

Extruded Mosaic Canes by Lisa Pavelka

Readers of Creative Fire have been asking for more polymer clay techniques to use with the metal clay creations. You asked, we listened! In this installment of Clay Convergence we’ll look at a widely popular millefiori method that’s not only easy to make, but gives great results time after time. People with little or no polymer clay experience are often intimidated by the idea of working with polymer clay. They believe it’s difficult and time consuming to learn how to achieve complex looking effects. This is an often-held misconception that this project will hopefully dispel. While it’s true that some millefiori versions can be highly difficult, it doesn’t have to be the rule.

IMG_019211This method is one I learned from polymer clay artist Esther Anderson earlier in the last decade. This article doesn’t address how to create the metal clay bezels or frames that showcase this design. That’s up to you.

As you can see from the photo of the finished pendants a variety of metals, shapes, sizes and textures were used. You’ll have to bring your creativity to the bezel or frame you wish to create, but this step-by-step technique method will teach you how to create canes with a mod, tiled look.

Most directions for extruders call for using separate devices for both metal and polymer clays. Cross-material contamination is undesirable when using these tools. You’ll learn an easy tip on how to use only one extruder for both clays as well as how to keep the device clean between uses. Also included is an extra tutorial on how to create a coiled bail or fired and finished metal clay bezel settings and frames.

As for determining your color palette, this is your choice. I recommend working with three to four colors when creating your cane. Using more than four colors may create a mottled effect. Also, it’s a good idea to use at least one very light and one very dark value for maximum contrast and canes that pop! Using colors that have similar tones can result in muted results. This isn’t a no-no by any means, but it’s good to know what to expect when getting started. The best part is experimenting with color combinations as you create a myriad of mosaic tile canes for your metal clay projects. Uncured millefiori canes can last for many years when properly stored.

Copper-Poly Flora Fusion Brooch By Christi Friesen

 

It’s time for something fun!  And who better than Christi Friesen to lead this adventure?  Here she shares how to combine metal clay and polymer clay in a beautiful mixed-media brooch.  We love the lush colours.  Imagine making a version for yourself in fall colours. We feel very inspired and we hope you do too!

Project Level: Beginner/Christi Friesen_BEAUTYIntermediate
Author: Christi Friesen
Editors: Jeannette Froese LeBlanc, Margaret Schindel and Joy Funnell.

Pas à pas : Pique à cheveux – Par Armelle Burbaud

11187278_959719057406326_1372315045250571755_oJe suis très inspirée par l’Art nouveau en ce moment. Je trouve que ce style convient très bien aux
pâtes de métal et en particulier au bronze, métal que j’adore et qui a été beaucoup utilisé durant cette période. J’ai notamment fait plusieurs peignes et piques à cheveux inspirés par ce style. Voici le pas
à pas de la toute dernière pique que j’ai faite, pour laquelle j’ai utilisé un décor un peu différent lors
de la réalisation des photos de ce tutoriel.

 

Art Deco Inspired Hair Pin- by Armelle Burbaud

11174505_959719010739664_2806298429348475949_oMy present inspiration comes from the Art Nouveau period/movement. I find that this style is very suited for metal clays, in particular bronze, which I love and which was very frequently used during this period. I have made many combs and hair sticks inspired by Art Nouveau. Here is the step-by-step of my latest hair-pin.

(Translation from French by Angela Crispin)

 

Artist Project Series: Iwona Tamborska

The 3 Fish

This is the 5th project in our ongoing series of tutorials sponsored by Cool Tools.  All projects use their new silver metal clay EZ960™ Sterling Silver. This project is quite advanced, however, artists of all levels will learn something new! Be inspired by the way Iwona uses a drawing for the plan and layout of her pieces, or by her use of colour as she adds stones and coloured paste to this project!  Those who want to learn about hollow forms can follow along and learn about using a burn out media.  This beautiful pendant is wearable sculpture! Continue reading…

Metal Clay 101 – Firing Metal Clay – by Katherine Prejean

Depending on the type of metal clay you are using, from original fine silver to base metal clays, there are a number of options for firing. This may include anything from a kiln to a simple hand-held torch.

One of the processes of creating jewelry with silver metal clay that got me addicted was the ability to use a something as simple as a butane torch for firing. In as little time as two minutes, I could have a beautiful pair of earrings or a pendant ready to wear.

TORCH FIRING — —

When teaching a beginner class, I only demonstrate torch firing as a way to help the students understand how easy it is to set up your metal clay studio with minimal cost. Continue reading…