Thursday, July 12, 2012

Call for Entries

Now Accepting Calendar Submissions for The Art and Design of Metal Clay Jewelry 2013
Deadline: Aug. 15, 2012
Release date: Late - October 2012

We are seeking images to feature in the next annual calendar, The Art and Design of Metal Clay Jewelry 2013. In addition to including jewelry as in the past, this year ALL Metal Clay forms will be included - necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, brooches, vessels, objects and other items will be considered. Unique and diverse design styles and techniques are desired. Metal Clay should be the predominant material and all types and brands of Metal Clay will be considered, but other media - resin, gems, metals, enamel, and more may be incorporated into the design. High digital images will be accepted by mail or e-mail:

Christine Norton
c/o Calendar Submission 2013
13754 Knight Court, Gainesville, VA 20155

Artwork submitted must represent work that is unique and original in design. New unpublished/unseen work is preferred. Group shots or individual pictures will be accepted. Limit 3 entries, no more than 2 shots per entry. Please don't send actual pieces. Professional photo quality is a MUST. Please consider the fact that viewers will only see your photo, not your original work, so clear, uncluttered photos with an accurate representation will be priority for the selection process. Images should be 300 dpi, in tiff, jpg or psd format with no compression. The image size should be no smaller than 5". However ONLY large format photos 8 1/2 x 11" can be considered for the prominent cover position.

Artwork for inclusion will be selected based on:
- Design
- Innovation
- Craftsmanship
- High degree of excitement
- Unique use of metal clay and degree of challenge
Hint: The above is a great checklist for submissions

Artists retain copyright of their work and receive a free copy of the calendar if selected. Each calendar page measures 8.5” x 11” and measures 11” x 17” when opened.

Please include the following information with your submission. Missing information may forfeit your position in the calendar: (Please consider over 300 photos arrive for review)
1. Name
2. Address
3. Website or e-mail (indicate if this information should be included on the calendar)
4. Title of piece
5. Materials used
6. Dimensions in millimeters
7. Brief Description of process and/or motivation to how it was conceived. An interesting, well written statement is encouraged, 50 words or less. (This information will be published so put your best foot forward. Entries may be edited.)
8. File name
9. Has your file been retouched?
10. Is your file 300 dpi?

Please direct all inquiries to:

To see a sample of last year’s calendar go to:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Design Contest Winners: Metal Clay Plus

We were happily surprised to see the nearly 200 entries for the Metal Clay Plus Contest. We saw pieces with polymer clay, resin, enamels, fibers, ceramics, wood,etc. All the pieces were beautiful and very innovative.

Thank You to our contest sponsor, PMC Connection and to CEO Jennifer Roberts for her support. Also a big thank you to the judges, Lora Hart, Celie Fago and Joy Funnell.
We also want to thank all the wonderful artists who submitted images for the contest for taking this opportunity to share your art with all of us.

After the judges carefully scored the images the winners were selected and are as follow.

Kimberly Nogueira
Lost Point of Origin
©Kimberly Nogueira
Fine silver, sterling and bronze clays, Mica, Vitreous glass enamel, Paper, Thread, Tourmaline,Found object,
Pearl, Etched and pierced copper sheet, Fine silver wire, Sterling silver sheet, wire and tubing.

Noortje Meijerink
Speedy bird
©Noortje Meijerink
Porcelain clay and copper clay

Liz Hall
Inner Works Pendant
©Liz Hall

Fine silver clay, Polymer Clay, Fine silver wire, Glitter, Iridescent powders, Liquid polymer.

Milica Bubanja
Vintage Fabric Silver Clay Ring 2
©Milica Bubanja

Congratulations to all !!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

PMC Conference 2012

The last PMC Conference will take place next week. Yes, this is the last conference and I am sad about it. I attended my first conference in 2010 and it was an amazing experience, I was able to finally meet so many talented artists that I have admired their work for a long time.

 My traveling companion was the amazing Vickie Hallmark, I was so thankful she was with me since I am terrified about airplanes. I am sorry Vickie had to deal with my excessive talking , you may think it was because I was nervous but NO this is my normal way of being. ;o)

The Conference is not only a place to see demos by incredible artists and listen to great lectures, the conference is also the best time to connect and socialize with so many people who comes from so many places. People that maybe you only know from social networking sites like Facebook. This is a great time for you to talk and make friends, to share and to be inspired.

If you are coming to the conference I sure hope I can meet you. I will go again with the best traveling companion, my friend Vickie Hallmark.

Be ready to have lots of fun and make great memories !!
See you there !

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Truer Words Have Never Been Spoken

I have grand plans for future blog posts that delve into the many ways polymer clay and metal clay intersect. There is so much to explore: how artists use both types of clay in mixed-media designs, as well as how polymer clay is such a versatile tool for creating shapes and textures out of metal clay.

I recently taught an introduction to copper clay class to parents and kids. Some of the children were as young as 6. I really didn't know what to expect from the kids, but they all did an amazing job! Unlike many adults, who approach new mediums a bit hesitantly, the kids aren't plagued by creative doubts. Each one told me with confidence that she is an artist.

Ella, age 7, is particularly talented with polymer clay. She makes miniature accessories for her toys and all sorts of other very detailed creations. I tried to explain that she shouldn't touch her very metal clay very much to prevent it from drying out and that it is different that the types of clay she is used to working with. I didn't feel very successful since Ella is very tactile and every time I turned around, she was rolling the clay between her hands as she debated her next move.

Yet on the ride home, when Ella's mom asked her what she had learned in class, Ella responded

"I learned that each type of clay has its own attitude."

How true! What type of attitude does your clay have? Do the different brands and various formulas speak to you in different voices? I think it would be fun to assign each one a persona - after all, we spend a lot of time with them! Please leave a comment and have a wonderful day!

- Cindy Morris, gogoshebogo design

Monday, March 5, 2012

Kiln Maintenance - Relay Replacement on a Paragon SC-2 Kiln

The day was bound to come when my Paragon SC-2 kiln would need some maintenance. I got a bit of warning that there was trouble coming when I started to hear a whining noise after the cycle had completed (after the regular beeping completion alarm). Eventually, I got the whine during the cycle, turning on and off as the relays clicked. When I called Paragon service, they suggested it might be a relay nearing failure, so I ordered a replacement to have at the ready. Then I decided to replace it immediately, as I read stories of the relay failure leaving the kiln full on to maximum temperatures. No melted silver for me, please!

The relay is the part that opens and closes, giving a clicking sound, to allow electricity to flow to the kiln heating elements. By turning the elements on and off in varying proportions, the kiln can adjust to any temperature. Relays have a limited lifetime, with only so many clicks in them. Failure is guaranteed, eventually. The failure may be either in the open or closed state. If open, the element fails to heat. If closed, the element can't turn off. For larger kilns with more than one element, losing a relay can be somewhat compensated for by the computer brain and the other elements. But with only one element on these small kilns, there's a potential melt down risk, with a total loss of glass or metal work inside the kiln. That's a risk I decided to avoid, thanking the kiln gods for the early warning.

The relay arrived with no instructions, so I started a web search to find out how to do it. The Paragon kiln instruction manuals are all online, including the SC-2 manual. The manual has detailed instructions for replacing the relay, with plenty of photos. If you're a visual learner, you may prefer the video demos available at Cherry Heaven. In either case, be sure to unplug your kiln before starting any repairs. As well as relay replacement, there are instructions on both sites for thermocouple and controller replacement, as well as lots of other helpful details such as programming instructions. Read more about relays in kilns on the excellent Paragon blog.

After all this research, I decided to make my own slideshow/video (a learning process in itself), and recruited my son to take photos for me during the ten minute procedure. Perhaps it will convince you that this is a simple process that all kiln owners can manage on their own.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Metal Clay Artists are Setting Trends!

In the worlds of fashion and art, it is sometimes impossible to tell who inspired whom, or who is copying whom! The fashion industry has very little copyright protection. This forces fashion designers to constantly innovate and make their pieces unique and hard to replicate, or to build their brands so that even if knock-offs are available for less, their target markets will stay loyal.

Although I'm a blue jeans and hoodie kind of girl, I find it really interesting to watch the trends . For example, feather jewelry and hair adornments are not new, yet feather accessories have definitely had a recent upswing in popularity. Why? Most likely celebrities like Steven Tyler had something to do with it.
Personally, I find his rings to be way more interesting than his feathers, but I digress. 

So how does this relate to metal clay artists? Well, TierraCast®, an American manufacturer of pewter jewelry components, recently released a new line of buttons featuring leaf and shell patterns. 

If I didn't know better, I would have thought these were handmade from metal clay. Leaves were one of the first textures I wanted to impress into my metal clay. I'm not alone - pretty much every beginner's metal clay book features a leaf project! Handmade metal clay components featuring organic shapes and patterns are widely available and very popular on sites such as Etsy. This represents real income for real people, so while a part of me is sad to see "mainstream" industry capitalize on their efforts, another part of me must say:

Congratulations metal clay artists! While you might not agree that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, you must admit that metal clay is having a direct impact on jewelry trends. It is a milestone worth noting!

~ Cindy Morris, gogoshebogo design

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Metal Clay Design Competition

Start your year by challenging yourself and enter this wonderful competition organized by Metal Clay Artist Magazine and sponsored by USA-based PMC Connection.
The theme for the competition is "Metal Clay Plus...." You can use any type of metal clay and another non-metal material to create your piece. This can be a great opportunity to start experimenting and playing with materials that you may have not use before.

Design requirements:
Metal clay needs to be feature prominently in the design. You can use one or more non-metal materials like resin, glass, polymer clay, enamel, cement, paperclay, fabric, found objects, etc.

©2011 Lorena Angulo
FastFire Bronzclay, Creative paperclay cabochon
with colored pencils.

Judging Criteria:
Pieces will be judged based on their workmanship, originality, presentation, creativity and effective use of materials.
Artist may enter up to 3 pieces.

Any independent artist who neither is employed by a metal clay manufacturer nor is a staff member at either PMC Connection or Metal Clay Artist Magazine may enter his or her work into the contest.

All designs entered in this competition must be original. Winning pieces from other competitions are not eligible to be entered. Each entry must be accompanied by a description of the design, inspiration, construction technique and materials used.

Images must be .jpg labeled
 using the following format:
Artist Name_Name of piece(optional)_brief description_country.jpg
(example, Jessica Wong_Morning Mist_PMC Pearl Bracelet_Japan.jpg).

Image dimensions:  minimum 4" x 6"
resolution: minimum 300 dpi

Send photos to

with the subject line "MCAM Design Competition"

1st Price $300 gift certificate from PMC Connection
2nd Price $200 gift certificate from PMC Connection
3rd Price $100 gift certificate from PMC Connection

Winning pieces will be feature in a PMC Connection ad and an article in MCAM.

Entry Deadline:
Pieces must be submitted by 11:59 Eastern Time on February 29th, 2012.

Winners will be determined by a panel of jurors

Availability of winning entries:
Winning entries will be showcased in Metal Clay Artist Magazine and must be available to be photographed professionally (if necessary).

You still have time to make something and share your creativity with us !


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