Roxan Waluk Artist Profile by Julia Rai

I first met Roxan Waluk at one of the US conferences and have followed her work ever since. Roxan told me a bit about her home. “Originally a third generation Texan, in 1983 my husband drug me out to Virginia kicking and screaming for his work. After over thirty years here, we have migrated out to the middle of Virginia’s beautiful wine and horse country. We live in the small town of Delaplane situated about an hour’s drive outside of Washington DC.”

“I live on three acres with my husband Joe, and our four legged children,” she went on. Continue reading…

Artist Project Series: Creating A Vessel Pendant By Janet Harriman

 

Many times we set out with an idea of how we expect a project to turn out.  In this article Janet Harriman takes you through her plans and what she expected and how she repaired and recovered her piece.  Thank you to Cool Tools for sponsoring this project.

I had a young apprentice who insisted that I try silver metal clay. As a metalsmith with a fine arts background, I was a snob. But just for fun I did try the clay, worked with it for years and then I ended up demonstrating at the National PMC conference at Purdue University. Metal clay is a tactile pleasure. It is magic. Continue reading…

Artist Project Series: Dino Bracelet by Gordon K. Uyehara

~ Cool Tools and Creative Fire are proud to present another project in this series by Gordon K. Uyehara.  Gordon’s work is always interesting and his projects are sure to inspire artists from all levels.  Having a chance to look over the shoulder of Gordon as he works is a treat for metal clay artists worldwide. 

Dino Bracelet by Gordon K. Uyehara
What does one do with two leftover pieces of double-knit Viking weave chain? Dig it out of the drawer after many years and make a bracelet. I envisioned a focal piece and end caps created out of silver metal clay. Although it seemed rather straightforward at first, I encountered some challenges along the way. I detail them below. You may choose to steer around some of them.

I learned how to weave the chain in a workshop many years ago, and unfortunately, I don’t recall how to do it. However, I do recall we used a starter wire shaped like a flower and a wooden dowel to weave around. The chain was pulled through a vinyl drawplate (made out of cutting board) with different size tapered holes. This was for drawing down the diameter of the chain. The source book was, “Great Wire Jewelry” by Irene From Petersen. With a little imagination this project can be modified to work with other types of chain or cord. It is a good idea to peruse the entire project instructions first before proceeding. Continue reading…

Enchanting Silver Quilling by Astari G. Swatantri

I have long admired quilling, but I had never tried this wonderful form of art before until I had an opportunity to participate in the Silver Quilling Certification training at the Art Clay Headquarters in Japan, I had zero expectations. I was so lucky to have Ms. Motoko Maggie Nakatani, a renowned quilling artist, as my teacher. She was also the curriculum supervisor of the certification program. (Top Image: Astari’s award winning piece from the Silver Accessories Contest: “DoPositive” combines many metal clay techniques including silver quilling. Click image to enlarge.)

Continue reading…

Hot Topic: Copy Cats by Harriete Estel Berman

cop·y·cat by Harriete Estel Berman

Editor’s note: We orginally published this article in May 2016.  But it is a hot topic once again in our community so we are bumping it up on our site for a re-read!

copycatˈkäpēˌkat/
noun: copy-cat
-(especially in children’s use) a person who copies another’s behavior, dress, or ideas
-denoting an action, typically a crime, carried out in imitation of another.

Continue reading…

PMC Presents: “Light Bringer” by Anna Mazoń

The story of the “Light Bringer” – PMC Sterling hollow stag pendant with branches and foliage by Anna Mazoń.
“I came up with the idea for this piece around Winter Solstice – the darkest time of the year, when the day starts getting longer again. There is a lot of folk tales and legends associated with this astronomical event and one of them tells the story of the Oak King and the Holly King. Holly King reigns over the half of the year when the Sun is getting weaker, days are getting shorter, so since the Summer Solstice till the Winter Solstice. On the day of Winter Solstice the Oak King takes over again and reigns till the longest day of the year. For me, in this legend, the Oak King is the bringer of a new light, new sun, and in my mind I somehow always associated him with a young stag. His antlers are overgrown with fresh foliage – the sign of the spring which will come inevitably after the end of winter. For me it’s a symbol of hope, new beginning, little light shining in the darkest night. You can see that light between his antlers. This kind of „green” stag is actually a popular symbol. You will find it depicted both in paintings all over the world and also various kinds of crafts. I wanted to try my hand at it for quite some time now, and I am really happy I finally did.”

Golden Bronze Egg by Sabine Alienor Singery

Eggs play an important part in many cultures around the world. Here I will show you how to make a beautiful hinged egg in Goldie Bronze with a magnetic clasp.

This could be a lovely present as it is or a wonderful container for something very special. You could also adapt this project to make a smaller egg pendant as a delightful locket.

Product Review: Leave Your Mark by Jeannette Froese LeBlanc

I find some jewellery items are hard to tag or mark with my studio name, especially necklaces. Years ago I had some very nice sterling silver tags made.  They cost a fortune so it was always a debate for me as to what necklace was worth adding a $2 sterling tag.  So most of my work has gone out the door without any branding and I still have a pile of tags on my bench.  Recently I found an alternative to my sterling tags.  Impress Art sells base metal tags that you can stamp and they now make custom stamps. Continue reading…

Feeling Funky? by Jeannette Froese LeBlanc

Every winter many artists in my area fall into a creative funk. The days are short so those with seasonal affective disorder feel the lack of sun first.  Then there are those who feel “let down” after the hustle of shows and sales before the winter holidays. Some artists have pushed so hard to create lines and new work and once the shows are over, they are depleted.  Starting over is sometimes hard.  Others just fall into a creative funk seasonally.

Every February I’d beat myself up for not creating.  Spring shows would be coming up and I’d look at empty shelves with no desire to make.  One year I was talking to a local potter and he said he once charted his funky moods and found that if he didn’t give into them, he was even less productive.  So when they came, he did what he felt like doing–if it was reading–he read.  If it was the desire to take a dance class–he did.  Eventually he learned that by giving into these “unproductive times” he was ultimately more productive. I think of him every February and wonder what crazy creative thing he is giving into and then I wonder why I’m fighting my own creative funk.  This year I feel very, very far from my studio.  I’m working a regular teaching gig.  A painting teacher at the school invited me to sit in on his class…so I’ve dug out my paint brushes.  I haven’t taken a painting class since 1993.  It’s good.  I’m starting to dream of colour combinations and to look at light and clouds creatively and not just with the sigh of an artist in a funk. Continue reading…