I first fell in love with Wendy’s work when I saw it in an ad showing her Saul Bell Design Award necklace in 2010. Her necklace had so many interesting parts and it told a story. Over the years Wendy’s work has evolved and become more sophisticated. Her necklace (shown above) “Thorn Bird” was a finalist piece in 2017. Wendy created a companion brooch and is sharing her process with us. This project is presented by PMC Connection and Mitsubishi Materials.
To begin her project, Wendy sketched ideas.
The brooch and the necklace pendant compliment each other.
Liz was brought up in Western Pennsylvania. “I grew up on a dairy farm with my six younger siblings, and was known for planting the straightest corn rows in the county. You could see from one end of the field to the other down the rows.” She currently lives in Pittsburgh. “I have two great kids, and we all love animals, so we have several different kinds of pets – dog, cats, chinchillas, rabbits, guinea pig, and fish! The crowd makes our home very entertaining, and never lonely.”
I asked her about her studio as with such a busy household I imagined that a home studio might be a bit tricky. “My studio is in my home, but was scattered all over – garage, dining room, kitchen, basement – complete chaos! I have been working to consolidate more of the different tasks to the space where my flex shaft is located – a slow process, but turning out to be much more productive all together.”
She has always been creative. “One of my earliest memories is deciding to decorate my bedroom by drawing pictures on the wall, somewhere around 1st grade. I didn’t want to get in trouble, so I mimicked my younger sister’s drawing style, and well enough that my parents believed they were her drawings!” she laughed.
I asked Liz how she discovered metal clay. “I remember seeing silver clay in the Fire Mountain Gems catalog several years before I started making jewelry,” she began. “I dreamed of trying it someday. That day came when I was looking for ends or bead caps to complement my lampworked beads, but couldn’t find any commercially available options that worked for me. So I signed up to teach some after-school art classes to students at my children’s elementary school, and used the instructor pay to purchase a kiln. The first things I made didn’t sinter correctly. It was a frustrating month of testing and research before I found a good firing schedule that worked with my kiln. After that, it was pure love!” Continue reading…
“Swanlake Pendant” by Liz Sabol is the ninth project in our series and it is proudly presented by Cool Tools using EZ960™ Sterling Silver Clay. Once again we are blown away by the level of work by this master artist. In this step-by-step, Liz shares how she creates her Saul Bell Design Award winning work. Liz’s project is so detailed, we had to break her project in two parts. Click the link at the end of part 1 to go to part 2.
The basic idea of Champlevé is a design that utilizes colored depressions in a solid piece. There are many different methods available to achieve a Champlevé look. The tools and supplies needed vary vastly for each technique. You can customize the tools and supplies to suit the equipment you have available, or to the technique you are most comfortable with. I use oil paint and epoxy resin, but there are many other methods: vitreous enamel, alcohol inks, colored pencils, gilders paste, acrylic paint, colored resins, and even nail polish! Continue reading…
A solar eclipse is rare and unusual, so is this creative bracelet by Cynthia Thorton! Create something unique with this multi-media project that combines EZ960™ Sterling Silver Clay, resin, polymer clay and beads and finishes of your choice! Thank you to Cool Tools for sponsoring this series of projects. Continue reading…
In January we put out a call to those interested in a design challenge. We offered up identical boxes of vintage jewellery making supplies from CJS Sales in New York City. Each designer received the same collection and could make whatever they wanted to. The only parameters were: -You can use the materials you were sent any way you want and with any media. -Must use 4 pieces of design kit in your finished piece. (1 piece = 1 bead, 1 component, or 1″ of chain)
Twenty packages of vintage jewellery components went out to artists in 4 different countries!
Our Judge: Donna Greenberg, a mixed media artist from New Jersey. She enjoys mixing materials, colours, and textures in her jewelry and sculptures in unexpected ways. “Pairing smooth, dull surfaces with a coarse piece of glittering pyrite; delicate pearls perched in a volcanic explosion of highly textured polymer; low end man made materials paired with the luxury of silver or bronze are the kind of studies that gets my heart beating loudly. The thrill for me is in balancing these diverse elements into a cohesive statement.” Continue reading…
Syringe clay is a fun and whimsical way to add delicacy and design interest to your work. Unfortunately, most of the metal clay artists I know seem to be adverse to working with syringe clay because it can be difficult to control. It’s true for me too! However, using the water brush method described below, most imperfections in application can be easily corrected so don’t limit your possibilities. Syringe away!!
I have been fascinated by automata since childhood visits to the Science Museum in London. I remember turning the handle on the Archimedes screw exhibit and seeing the little man turn his own handle in time with me. As the water came up through this cause and effect, I was totally fascinated by how that worked. When I first saw Kim Nogueira’s metal clay automata I was blown away by the ingenuity of the technical aspects but also by the stories and themes behind the pieces.
Kim was born and raised in the small New England town of Northampton, MA and now lives in St John, in the US Virgin Islands. “For the past 25 years, this little island has been my home, where I raised my wonderful son,” she explained. “Two thirds of the island is protected by the National Park, and the hiking and snorkeling is fabulous here. It is a very tiny island however, measuring about nine miles by 12 miles. Elevation reaches from sea level to 1200 feet, which if you ever run or walk our annual famous 8 Tuff Mile Race, which runs through the center of the island from one end to the other, you will get to experience most of that elevation change. I have only done this once, and that was enough!”
Rachael Osborne has created with the help of Lisa Cain’s expertise, quite possibly the largest item to date in metal clay! The bowl pictured measures 290mm x 140mm (approximately 11.5″ x 5.5″).
Their epic journey began with Rachel winning the prestigious Goldsmiths Precious Metal Bullion Award in 2016. This enabled her to recreate her pewter bowls in sterling silver. As Rachael and her tutors at college pondered over the construction of such a bowl, they considered several traditional silversmithing options. Casting, Etching, Raising and so on. However, each technique presented specific obstacles. Continue reading…
This special series of projects by master metal clay artists is proudly sponsored by Cool Tools. (Please note: click on images to enlarge.)
The beauty and enchantment that I am surrounded by here on this extraordinary planet keeps me feeling like I never grew up. I share this child-like feeling of awe and wonder with others by adding the surprise of movement to my jewelry. I hope you give it a try too!
For this advanced project, I will be making a hollow form box pendant with a side lever that creates a seesaw movement of two figures inside. In mechanical terms, this is a fulcrum; in jewelry terms, it’s magic! The pendant has a back panel that can be removed by a screw. Read through the instructions several times to get an idea of the steps involved and the design possibilities, considerations and challenges to watch for as you construct the piece. Continue reading…