Sunday, December 18, 2011


Metal Clay Artists Magazine is proud to announce that starting in the new year, the digital subscriptions and back issues will migrate to the Zinio (January 2012) and Nook Newsstand (February 2012) platforms. Being offered through these two platforms will greatly enhance the magazine's offerings and provide a better way to explore and enjoy the magazine. Customers will be able to view the magazine on their iPad, Mac, PC, Android (V2.2 and higher), Nook and Kindle Fire.

Stay tuned for additional details in the new year !

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

25 grams of PMC Sterling

I was very happy to have the opportunity to play with the new PMC Sterling back in November. Finally we can have a metal clay that it is stronger and can me mark as .925 silver (sterling).

I got a package of 25 grams and I got into my studio to make some pieces with it. The working time for this type of clay is longer and it gives you the flexibility to not worry about the clay drying too fast while you are working with it. The color of the clay is darker and the texture is great and easy to work with.

My plan was to make a ring, earrings and a pendant. The first piece I made was the ring, I hand roll a long snake and wrap it around a mandrel to form the band. The joining of the joints was easy to make and I just added some water to smooth the connections.
I decided to go 3.5 sizes bigger than the size I need it for the ring. I do not use any inserts in my ring when I fired it, I believe it is better to let the clay shrink all the way.

Carving is another thing I wanted to try with this clay since most of my work has carving in it. I was surprise to see how smooth and easy carving was with this type of clay. The carving went perfect and I saved my carving scraps to add some texture in my pendant later on. 

Since the clay has a longer working time before it gets dry, I knew hand sculpting will be easy and great to do. I hand sculpted a rose to add to my ring and it was perfect for sculpting.
I let the rose dry first before I added it to the center of the band, this way you will not deform the rose. Adding the rose was easy by using water and fresh clay to join the rose to the band. I do not like to use paste for this, I prefer to use fresh clay instead of paste. I continue to hand formed little rose buds around the center rose and some leaves.

For the earrings I wanted to use sterling jump rings and fire them in place. I embedded them in the earrings with fresh clay and hand formed flowers and leaves. In the center of the flowers I attached a CZ Garnet. 

For the pendant I play with textures and added my carving scraps on top of the heart with water. I carved and hand formed roses for the front and back of the piece. I always like to add something extra on the back of my pieces.

My firing schedule was different from the package because my pieces were thicker than 3mm. For the open shelf firing I fast ramp to 1000F and hold there for 40 minutes. I let the pieces cool down completely inside the kiln before I took them out to do the second firing.
For the second firing I added a coat of activated carbon at the bottom of the steel pot and added my pieces in one layer. I covered them with more activated carbon and closed the pot with the lid. I fast ramp the kiln to 1500F and hold there for 45 minutes. I also let the pieces cool down inside the kiln when the firing was over.

This is how the pieces look like when they are fired and out of the kiln. A white matte color and they do not have any oxidation or black coloring in them, not even in the sterling jump ring.

I brush them with a brass brush and soapy water, added LOS Gel patina and finally I polished them in a magnetic tumbler.

©2011 Lorena Angulo
PMC Sterling
Photo: Speedy Peacock
©2011 Lorena Angulo
PMC Sterling, CZ Hessonite Garnet, Pearls
Photo: Speedy Peacock
©2011 Lorena Angulo
PMC Sterling
Photo: Speedy Peacock

I want to continue experimenting and I am going to fire the clay to a longer time, maybe close to 2 hours. I will let you know how this goes and if the size of the ring shrinks more if I add more time to the firing.

I am sure you will all like to work with this clay and the best of all is that the price is very similar to PMC3.

Keep Playing, Keep Creating !!

Lorena Angulo

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kathleen Nowak Tucci: A wonderful innovative artist.

If you have the latest issue of Metal Clay Artist Magazine, you have seen the wonderful front cover piece made by this incredible artist, Kathleen Nowak Tucci. 

I remember the first time I saw her work, it was magical to see how she was able to transform recycled rubber bicycle and motorcycle inner tubes into amazing pieces of wearable art. I had the pleasure to interview Kathleen to introduce her and her work to our blog followers. 

How did you started creating your work and where?

I knew that I was an artist even as a little girl, but I was also good at Math and Science so I attended college and majored in Computer Science and minored in Biology.  My schedule never allowed time for any college level art classes however I always had some kind of art project that I would work on in my limited free time.

For the rubber jewelry, I initially began using industrial rubber products such as o-rings to construct jewelry.  Then I got an idea that needed thin rubber, the only rubber products that I could find were too thick.  I ended up going to a bicycle shop and asked them for the old inner tubes off the bicycles that they repaired.  My initial idea was a flop and the tubes sat in my studio for months.  I hated to throw them away so one day I just started to “play” with the rubber.  I soon realized that it was a great medium to work with, flexible, easy to cut and to manipulate.  One of the best things about the rubber from the inner tubes is that it is so lightweight.  I can make large, dramatic pieces with little weight.  

What inspires you?
Most anything visual is an inspiration to me.  I have been inspired by architecture, paintings, sculpture, nature and other artists.  There is nothing more fun for me than to visit a museum or art gallery and be inspired by the great talents of other artists both past and present.  Somehow all the visual information stews in my brain and then comes out reconfigured in my own original creations.  I am fortunate to always have ideas and only wish that there were more time to make everything. 

Why do you use recycled materials?
I really just stumbled upon making work in recycled materials.  I freely admit that it was the properties of the material of the recycled rubber that first drew me to create architectural jewelry in rubber.  As my designs progressed and I began to acquire cohesion of vision, the Gulf Coast was hammered with the Gulf Oil Spill.  I was struck by the devastation of the event, its numbing anguish and our own human interaction with Nature, for good or ill.  I began to see the relevance of my work as an Eco-artist and Eco-designer and am now proud to call myself an eco-designer.  

How did you know about metal clay and why did you started including it in your work?

I have worked in many mediums including, ceramic clay, polymer clay, silversmithing,  and most painting mediums.  Since I have always read art books and magazines, I must have learned about it though one of those resources.  The editor of MCAM Jeannette Froese LeBlanc and I meet at an Architectural Ceramics Class by Peter King held in Pensacola FL, in the Spring of 2001.  We talk to each other about this new medium and how interesting it seemed.  By that fall we signed up to take a class together in silver metal clay.  Because we had both had previous experience in ceramic clay, working metal clay was very intuitive for both of us and we realized that it was an amazing medium.  Though we live a great distance from each other, every time we were able to visit, it seemed that we always made some time to work in metal clay together.  So eleven years after our first taste of metal clay, Jeannette owns MCAM and I combined the metal clay with my rubber jewelry and am on the cover of the magazine!  It still amazes me and I am so proud of Jeannette!

Do you have any advice to a new beginner? 

My advice to a beginner would be to start off working in one of the base metal clays.  Take a class with an experienced teacher to skip over all the trial and much error of working in a new medium.  Also don’t expect a masterpiece the first time you work in any medium.  Even those of us that have much experience, have many pieces and designs that are not brilliant. 
That being said, metal clay is a medium that even a beginner can create some really outstanding work.
To advance in metal clay, learn other metal working techniques such as riveting, sawing, soldering, etc.

Can you share with us what has been one of the best moments in your career and why?

Wow, I have had so many amazing things happen in my career.  I have been an artist for almost 30 years now and it seems publicity has always come my way.  The first time I saw my work in a gallery was exciting as was my first feature in a newspaper. 
Having my rubber jewelry, on the cover, of the controversial ‘Oil Spill Issue” , Vogue Italia. August 2010, certainly has to rank as a very exciting moment in my career.  Vogue Italia is considered by many as the top fashion magazine in the world.  The photography was by Steven Meisel a top international photographer.  Being the first Eco-artist on the cover of a major fashion magazine is still pretty surreal.

A very close second is getting to see the MCAM cover, that my work is featured on, for the first time at the Smithsonian Craft2Wear Show.  What an exciting day!

Can you talk to us about your experience doing the Smithsonian Show ?

The Smithsonian Craft Show, is a beautifully run show put on  by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.  It is definitely the big league!  I was one of 120 artists juried in out of 1300+ entries.  Because I normally do not do retail shows, it was really a tremendous amount of work to get ready for the show, set up for the show and to be at the booth for five days.  I still don’t know if I have fully recovered.  My favorite part of the show was getting to see all the other amazing art and to be able to meet and talk to other artists that I have admired “from afar”.  It really is the best of the best and it was very exciting to be a part of it.

I was one of forty artists invited to show at the October Smithsonian Craft2Wear Show.  All artists have previously been juried into the Smithsonian Show and it was quite an honor to receive the invitation.  This show was much shorter, three days, and it felt much more manageable.  Once again, I had so much fun seeing people interact with my work and because it was a smaller show, I was able  interact with other artists and their work.
One more exciting thing that happened at the show was that I was the only artist asked to speak at the lecture that was given during the show.  So many exciting adventures!

I want to thank Kathleen for taking her time to give me this interview and to be so generous to share her story with all of us.

To see more of her amazing work click on the following links:

Monday, October 10, 2011

More Vocabulary of Chains

Linda Kaye-Moses' The Vocabulary of Chains (in the latest issue of Metal Clay Artist Magazine, vol. 2, issue 4) and Joy Funnell's Summertime Bling chain necklace project (MCAM's last issue, vol. 2, issue 3) will have you thinking about chains and metal clay in a new light.

Coincidentally, I just completed a course about chain-making with Leslie Hartwell at Metalwerx, in Waltham, MA. Inspired by Linda's and Joy's articles and Leslie's class, I thought I'd share some more ideas for expanding your own chain vocabulary.

Often, we spend so much time and effort working on a piece that when it is ready to be paired with a chain, we grab the most convenient commercially-made one and we're done.

Integrating the chain and pendant requires a little pre-planning. Think about the chain, too, when you are designing your piece. What kind of chain will complement the pendant? Will the finished piece look unified?  How will the chain connect with the pendant? Also, think about other things, such as proportion—should the chain be large and chunky? Or thin and delicate?

If fabricating a custom chain is not your thing, there are ways to modify commercially-made chain that might be a solution for you.

Consider altering chain by methods like hammering, cutting apart, or applying patina.

Upper left: Altering commercial chain by cutting apart and interspersing with beads, plus adding patina
Upper right and bottom photos: custom made chains
For example; if you have a chain with large, open links—you can rest the edge of a link on your bench block and hammer it. The link can be turned and hammered all the way around, or just partially hammered. A pattern can be created by hammering alternate links or every link. How about hammering just a centerpiece where the pendant will hang?

Chains can be cut apart and the segments re-joined with interspersed beads—or like Linda's project—custom-made metal clay components. Graduated size chains can be linked into one, unified look. You can connect multiple strands of chain to single strand sections. How about mixing metals?

Adding a patina to the chain might be just that little extra something to bring the entire piece together with a customized feel.

If you enjoy making more complex work, there are many additional ways to design chains to complement a pendant. You can be daring and fabricate a chain, or a section of chain, from metal clay. Or, you can make your own chain by soldering wire. Several books are available for soldered chain technical information and design inspiration. Here are three that I really like:

The Complete Metalsmith by Tim McCreight. This book has a wealth of information—so it's a worthwhile addition to your books anyway—but in this case it offers many tips on chain construction, chain styles, clasps and bails.
Creative Silver Chains by Chantal Lise Saunders. Nice step by step instructions on some interesting designs, plus a very good introductory section with information on materials, techniques and design inspiration.
Making Silver Chains by Glen F. Waszek is another well-organized book with great step by step instructions and a lot of good lessons for working with silver.

~ Evelyn

Monday, October 3, 2011

Now You See It, Now You Don’t…Transforming Your Workspace

The latest Reader Challenge is to show us your workspace. 
We all love to see where other artists work! 

MCAM reader, Yvonne Kuennen shares her experience with organizing her space and clearing the clutter… 
When you work with metal clay, you tend to fall in love with it because it takes up so little space. It’s extremely portable, and a very small toolbox will hold most of your tools. Many of the basic tools are common things you might find in your kitchen or around the house: miniature rolling pin, cookies cutters, picks, emery boards, brushes, etc. In no time at all the tools multiply; and, before you know it, take over a portion of your house! The other people who share that living space are forced to give it up. It really is unfair—to everyone concerned. 

It is a challenge to organize so many tiny tools. You can’t have too many tools or too many beads (everyone knows that)! The question is, what do you let go of? 
In my study of Feng Shui I ran across a book entitled Clearing the Clutter. Then I attended a workshop on the same topic. The basic premise for Feng Shui is in the clearing of spaces. The best tip I learned was to create three boxes (or bins) with these labels: donate/repurpose, pitch and keep. The trick for me was getting the boxes to the thrift store or the trash before I got a chance to pull things back out. I kept telling myself, “less is more.” It is so true. 

Sort it all out and systematically categorize the things you are sorting through. If anything appears to be taking up too much space, find a bin for it. Be ruthless…is it being used? Selling or donating unused items is the easiest route in making them go away. The cash or credit you receive is such a plus that the pain of letting go is minimized.
Space planning is also no small feat. It requires a good deal of thoughtful planning and engineering. It also requires a high degree of organization. Without organization, you don’t know what get rid of. In my own case, the dining room table became a parking lot for all stages of design and production. 

I struggled for months (years to be truthful) to figure out a better order for all these things. I had several different beading rooms, but each one became a cluttered nightmare with no visible tabletop to work on.
VOILA! My husband Michael, the wood artist, built a wall-to-wall bookcase from “stick.” It is five sections from floor to ceiling, made of alder-stained cherry with cupboards beneath each section. Each cupboard now houses the myriad of tools and various pieces of equipment for my trade.

One cupboard has kits for seven students (my maximum for teaching workshops), the next has a tower of drawers to house all the molds I’ve made, a variety of texture tips, cutters and the like. The third holds all my firing equipment in a work bucket. The fourth has all my scrap glass and tools for making the dichroic cabochons. The fifth stands empty—yet to be filled, but that is a good thing since I am not finished. I still have beads to organize (get rid of)? The best organizing tool that I have found for beads are 5.5 x 9 x 1 inch trays with separator black felt bottoms. Some even have tops that snap shut. These trays stack neatly, and once labeled, make it easy to find a particular bead.
Bringing peace into your house by organizing your workspace can be done without a degree in Feng Shui. It is highly recommended to understand the principles of this ancient art of placement and worth any time you can spend studying it. The timing is important because the process is difficult on an emotional level. Several weeks in between “pitches” made it easier for me, and each one was less painful than the first. The art of organizing your workspace is a process, and you have to remember to “trust the process.” What a difference it has made to have a clean dining room table! 

With my new organized workspace, I find myself being much more productive .

My head is clear and I find more room to design and plan new projects. In demonstrating my respect for other people’s space, my relationships have improved. I have started cooking again due to the newly cleared dining room table. The kitchen is no longer permanent parking space for the crème brulee torch, torch stand and tumbler!
~ Yvonne Kuennen

Friday, August 26, 2011

I am an Artist and very proud of all my "cakes" !

I have seen a lot of discussions lately about what "Metal Clay" is for some metalsmithing people and I am surprised to see how much misinformation they have about this innovative material.
I understand their lack of knowledge, and those who tried it and said it was a mess, and it does not work. Well, I have some news for you; you did not work with the clay the right way.

I respect everybody's opinion but I think there is a point where we need to be careful in how we talk about people who have chosen to work with metal clay, we can express our thinking without being rude and without insulting.
I have been called lots of names because of my ethnicity but I never thought I will be called "names" because of the medium or material I choose to create some of my work.

One of the latest names I saw was "Cake Decorator", people who work with metal clay are consider to be that by some.
I am okay with the name, I LOVE CAKES !!!
Other people feel we are "pretending to BE" metalsmiths.
We are not pretending to be "Anything", we are just people who have chosen to work with Metal Clay and create art. We are not "cake decorators", "metalsmiths", etc. We are just Artists that are open to experiment with new materials and we are always willing to learn new techniques.

I always encourage my students to learn how to solder and fabricate pieces because it will benefit their own metal clay work.

I started my journey in the art by learning metalsmithing, it was my wonderful and talented teacher -Claire Holliday- who introduced me to this novel material, metal clay, that Claire used to create some of her work. 
One of Claire's metal clay pieces was featured in the front cover of the Metalsmith magazine, a publication of the Society of North American Goldsmiths.
Sea Seed No. 1 (Brooch)
©2005 Claire Holliday
Fine Silver
Photo: Dean Powell

In 2010 I had a wonderful opportunity to show my work (not exclusively metal clay) to other talented and renowned metalsmith artists, among them, Thomas Mann. Thomas was so intrigued and interested that traded one of his pieces for one of mine.I was honored to do a trade with him !
Thomas visiting my table and looking at my work.

Another fascinating and mind opening experience that helped me expand my creativity and techniques, was when I had the pleasure to participate in a workshop and lecture by Robert Ebendorf at the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, Texas.
What I learned from Bob gave me a new dimension to create, incorporating traditional metalsmith  fabrication techniques with the distinctive style promoted by Bob's work but keeping my own creative voice and designs.
In case you don't know, Bob was one of the founding members of the Society of North American Goldsmiths and an inductee of the National Metalsmiths Hall of Fame.

During the workshop, when Bob saw one of my hand sculpted copper clay trees of life, he suggested to me to create a piece using what I learned from him and using the tree of life as the center component.

This piece was later featured in the front cover of the Metal Clay Artist Magazine, and many other publications.

I really want to give thanks to a lot of my metalsmiths friends and colleagues that are open to see beyond the material. I have learn a lot from all of you. 

Keep learning, keep experimenting, keep creating !

Lorena Angulo

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Splash of Colour

I love adding colour to my work and sometimes it does not need a lot to make your work really stand out from the crowd and if you are lucky catch the eye of a potential customer.

I made these earrings above recently and they all have a little enamel, but just a bit of resin would work equally as well. There are lots of different ways to add colour including Keum Boo, prismacolor pencils and patinas so get thinking! 

Even one simple colour in the middle of a piece can make all the difference like the enamelled ones below.

So why not give it a go and add a bit of colour to your life ;-)

Have fun....

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Yoga for Metal Clay Artists

Sometimes when I’m working at my bench, I concentrate so hard it occurs to me that I almost forget to breathe! Not a good thing, because I like to breathe and plan to keep doing it as long as I can.

Another thing I do is tense up my muscles all around my neck and shoulders. And I don’t blink my eyes often enough… You get the picture.

I’ve been practicing yoga for many years, and I have realized that I should apply some of my yoga practice when I’m working. I discussed the idea with Rosie, my yoga teacher, and she had several suggestions. I thought I would share a few ideas with those of you who also think you might benefit from this.

All of these movements should be done very slowly, gently and deliberately. Never do anything that hurts. These are gentle stretches intended to release your body from the tension that builds when we concentrate so hard. This is not intended to be a workout!

Start with the breath. These are called 4-7-8 breaths. Sitting up straight, inhale slowly and mindfully to a count of 4. Hold your breath to a count of 7. Then, exhale slowly to a count of 8. Slowly repeat a few times, taking care not to make yourself dizzy.

Now the eyes– periodically it’s a good habit to give your eyes a little break. Try these movements; look up to your forehead, then straight down to your chin. Stretch your eyes to look as far to the periphery as you can. Look up, then down, several times. Then do the same thing, but look left and right– from ear to ear. Afterward, rub the palms of your hands together vigorously to generate some heat. Then, cup your hands over your eyes, resting the heals of your hands on your cheekbones and your fingertips at your forehead. Close your eyes and let the warmth and darkness relax the eye muscles.

Next, the neck. Sitting up straight, with your shoulders evenly across, slowly lift the neck as if to stretch the spine. Very slowly and gently lower your chin to your chest. Then, slowly tip your head to the right and roll your head around—right, back, left, and front. Roll very gently and don’t strain your neck. Keep your chin pointed to the center and pivot around it. Next, repeat in the opposite direction. After that– stretch upright again, lifting the neck. Keeping your shoulders down, slowly and gently turn your head to look over your right shoulder. Then, move across to look over your left shoulder. Relax.

Now, the shoulders. Again, sit up straight, shoulders straight across. Then, lower your shoulders down. Roll your shoulders around to the back, then raise them up to your ears, then forward. Roll your shoulders several times, gently. Relax. Repeat in the opposite direction.

Last, something for your forearms, wrists and hands. Sitting up straight, hold your arms against your sides. Raise your forearms at a 90 degree angle out in front of you, hands straight out with the palms down, fingertips pointing forward. Holding your forearms in this position without moving them, bend your wrists so your hands are facing straight up– palms out, fingers pointing to the ceiling. Now slowly bend your wrists so your hands are facing down, backs of the hands out, fingers pointing to the floor. Keep your forearms in the same position without moving them. The wrists and hands will do all the moving. Repeat up and down, several times. Then, bend the wrists so your fingertips point right, backs of the hands out, palms toward you (as much as possible), forearms still not moving. Repeat by bending your wrists to the left. Left, right, several times, slowly. Then, still keeping the forearms straight, stretch your hands out fully, palms out, fingertips pointing up to the ceiling. Then squeeze the hands into in a fist. Stretch and squeeze, several times.

I hope you find these exercises calming, but at the same time getting the blood flowing! There are many more ways yoga can be practiced at your bench. Give it a try. Namaste!

~ Evelyn

Monday, August 1, 2011

Metal Clay World Conference

After much anticipation, the MCWC finally arrived!  I packed and loaded my car and headed off to the airport.  But it seemed that between the heat and road blocks in my area, and the freak thunderstorms in the Chicago area, I was not to make it there.  But eventually, I did and boy was it worth it!

Yup!  That's right-- 37 degrees! (That's 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit!) Who says Canada is always cold?

 Don't they know I'm trying to get to the airport to catch a plane and go to the Metal Clay conference????

Chicago--as close as I got to it at least!
This year’s conference was the best MCWC to date!  Great work Jackie, Tom, Katie and staff at Art Clay World, USA.  The accommodations, workshops, lectures and presentations were top notch!  I attended as many conference presentations as I could--if only there were more days to the conference.  I had a very hard time choosing which lecture to attend.
I was so busy at the conference, I forgot to take many photos!    This photo is from the presentation by Deb Wajnarawski.  She is demonstrating soldering, and the live video is up on the screen.
The shopping was also most enjoyable! Talking with the vendors, many of whom are advertisers in our magazine is always interesting.  Some vendors save new products to unveil at the conference--so it is always cool to be in on something brand new! My credit card was squeaking by the time the vendor room closed…so I headed over to the polymer clay retreat room and did some damage in there finding great beads, pendants and rings for sale by the artists who made them.
This beautiful polymer clay ring is by Ponsawan Sila.

I enjoyed attending a pre-conference workshop with Ronna Sarvas Weltman. Along with learning some tricks for polymer clay, making new friends was serendipitous!  Meeting the people who have written for the magazine, or that I’ve chatted with online or on Facebook is the best part about attending a conference!! 
Pictured is Joy Funnell and a larger than life version of the cover which showcased her piece on the cover.  The second cover (bottom) is a piece by Hattie Sanderson.
Me, Pam East, Lorrene Baum-Davis, Hattie Sanderson and Mary Ellin D'Agostino.

Many people wore jewellery that they made, so walking anywhere at the conference was like attending a live art show!  After losing most of my pieces to a thief in airport security last year, I had to grovel and beg to borrow pieces from my friends.  Lucky for me, I have talented friends! (In the photo above I'm wearing a necklace by Kathleen Nowak Tucci.  Besides the necklace, also in this picture is Judi Weers, me, Ann Davis, Lorrene Baum-Davis, and Sherry Chaples.)

I also had fun celebrating the magazine's second birthday with birthday cake of course!

 During the conference, I presented a lecture on “How-To Write a How To”.  I know that it is rather surprising for me to talk about writing articles for a magazine!  Part way through my presentation, I asked everyone to “change hats” from a magazine reader and to put on their “writer's hats”.  What good sports everyone was! Thank you!

If you were not at the conference and you’d like copies of my handouts, please e-mail me: I'd be happy to send them to you. I gave out two handouts—one was a "fill in the blank" form. When all sections are filled in, the article you are writing is almost complete!  How easy is that?  The other handout is a completed sample. 

Everyone has a story, a technique or a unique way of doing something.  I look forward to having articles printed in the magazine from new artists, and from artists we all know and love!  Each issue of our magazine has been filled to the brim with outstanding articles and awesome projects, all written by metal clay artists! Come on--pitch your ideas!

~Jeannette Froese LeBlanc

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Gilders Paste - A new way to add color to your metal work

Gilders Paste is a wonderful medium to use if you are looking for a way to add color to your metal work. It is very easy to apply and I am sure you will have great fun doing it.

Gilders paste is a wax based medium used to highlight wood, porcelain, plastic, resin, metal, wax, etc. It comes in different colors and you can apply it directly with your fingers, sponge, cloth or use some mineral spirits to make the paste more creamy and easy to apply with a small paint brush.

Before applying the paste to the metal piece, we need to be sure it is free of dust and oil. If the surface is smooth you may have to use a fine sanding paper to create some texture in the metal. The paste will apply better if the metal has some kind of texture in it.

The paste dries to the touch in about 10 minutes and takes 12 hours to fully dry.
You have enough time to take the color out if you are not happy with it. You can use a cloth to take the color out or mineral spirit.

After your piece is totally dry, you have to finish the piece with a clear lacquer.

©Lorena Angulo
PMC3 and Gilders paste color Patina

©2009 Lorena Angulo
Copprclay and Gilders Paste ( African Bronze, Inca Gold and Silver)

©2011 Lorena Angulo
Bronzclay with Gilders paste (African bronze and Silver)

Keep Playing, keep creating !!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

2011 Metal Clay Design Competition

If you have not receive your latest issue of Metal Clay Artist Magazine, you may not be aware of this great opportunity to participate in a Metal Clay Competition.

Metal Clay Artist Magazine announced their annual design competition, the theme for this year is "Metal Clay Plus..." The magazine is looking for innovative combinations of metal clay and non-metal materials. Some of the non-metal materials you can use are: Resin, Polymer Clay, Glass, Porcelain, Ceramic, Fabric, Paper, etc.

This year competition is sponsored by USA-based PMC Connection.

Please, visit the magazine's website to see all the rules and requirements to participate.
This is the link: 2011 Metal Clay Design Competition

The deadline to submit your entry is by 11:59 Eastern Time on January 30th, 2012. You have lots of time to play and be creative.

Have FUN and participate !
Winning entries will be showcased in the Spring, 2012 issue of Metal Clay Artist Magazine.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Calendar: The Art and Design of Metal Clay Jewelry 2012

Note to all metal clay artists: Holly Gage has once again announced the dates and details for her annual calendar!

Calendar Submission for 2012
Submissions will start June 15, 2011 through Aug. 15, 2011
Release date: Late - October 2011

I am seeking images to feature in our next annual calendar, The Art and Design of Metal Clay Jewelry 2012. All jewelry forms - necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, brooches, and others will be considered. Unique and diverse design styles and techniques are desired. Metal Clay is the predominant material, but other media - resin, gems, metals, enamel, and more may be incorporated into the design. High digital images will be accepted by mail or
Gage Designs
c/o calendar submission 2012
P. O. Box 614
Bowmansville, PA 17507

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 then 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, Opened it is 11 x 17.

Please include the following information. 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.)
8. File name
9. Has your file been retouched?
10. Is your file 300 dpi?
Please direct all inquires to: Holly Gage, e-mail:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Alien Artists

Well friends--we've been very busy here at Metal Clay Artist Magazine (our second birthday is coming up in July and we put a lot into our special issue!) so we've fallen a bit behind on making a weekly contribution to our blog.  Fortunately, our last two posts had enough "meat" in them for us to chew on for a long time! Evelyn's how-to project was a wonderful surprise to find our blog--and she's received rave reviews!  I hope she'll do up another tutorials for our blog soon!  An Vickie's article about metal clay sintering--was thoughtfully composed and answered so many questions metal clay artists have wondered about.

My ring from Lorrene's class.
I started this blog post in March--with the great intention of posting it--but each issue of the magazine seems to take more of my time--as I learn more about design and layout, and we enter new markets...I have less "down time".  But I did manage to slip in a few classes this spring!  (One with Lorrene Baum-Davis,  and another with Celie Fago--both of which would make for great blog posts!)  And I was in Washington in April for the Smithsonian Craft Show--another outing I should report on!  AND if that were not enough--I have two or three blog posts that have been sent to me to post.  OY!

So I'll start from where I left off in March and promise to try and keep our blog more up to date!

As most of us know--we often give others the gifts we'd like to receive.  And I think that holds true with things we write about.  The following is a blog post I started to write in March--which seems to have turned into a "note to self".

Finding your own artistic voice is often a journey that takes a true artist a lifetime, since we evolve and grow and learn new things.  Many metal clay artists have jumped on board learning about the new clays, joining groups or have found like minded individuals in a guild.  Even with all of these opportunities, some artists struggle with finding their unique style and more importantly to feel that what they are working on has a purpose.  Other artists are over-whelmed with the amount of ideas and things they want to try and all of the medias and ways to express themselves--and so they bounce from one thing to the next, all the while amassing (a.k.a. hording) huge amounts of materials and tools along the way.  Added to this is the need to keep costs down in our studios, seeing ideas to fruition and throw in the twisted fact that some of us seem to need to be given permission to enjoy and explore our art on a regular basis.

Adopt An Alien, Creatures by Lindsey Banker

[Then there are others who stride along--showing off new works almost daily--and while I'm sure that some of these people are just aliens among us--as it is just not possible to be so prolific within a 24 hour day---or is it?]

Now while we all love new things, and our community has seen it's share of new things in the past few years, are we having too many new clays, tools, techniques come our way?  I had an interesting conversation last week with the owner of one of the bigger metal clay distributors.  This person expressed the opinion that with so many new clays that some people are jumping "off the band wagon" and sticking with one or two clays.  This is of course a logical step as people find their niche and focus on their own artwork.  But for many of us--learning about the properties and experimenting with the new metal clays and techniques is not only a part of our studio practice--learning and sharing what we have tried is exhilarating.  A tiny chance for us to participate in jewellery making history.

Speaking of jewellery making history, as most artists in the metal clay community now know, Lisa Cain and her staff at the Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery have worked out a way for us to make sterling silver metal clay. (See our current issue for her recipe Vol. 2 #2.) This innovation will undoubtedly change the course of work for many metal clay artists in the UK and Europe and those in other places looking to be able to add the universally recognized stamp of "approval" .925 to their creations.  It will be very interesting to see how artists embrace and add to the recipe and techniques developed by Lisa and her team.

And of course we are all aware of the rising price of silver and we are looking for ways to stretch our studio dollars.  This is pushing artists be more creative with their materials.  I am seeing more artists incorporating glass, polymer clay, resin, faux bone...and more into their metal clay creations.  A blog post by Celie Fago really turned a lot of heads. She talked about ways to incorporate or even substitute polymer clay into her metal clay designs as a way to stretch her studio budget. See May's post by Margaret Schindel (Our Senior Editor) for more photos and details. Photos from Celie's Blog:

"For many years I've made this toggle clasp out of carved solid snakes of PMC." 

"I remade it out of polymer then embellished it with little bits of PMC."       

Just yesterday an artist friend of mine--(and someone who should have gone to her class) was asking me "what I learned" in Celie's class.  Immediately I blurted out that I learned ways to economize my materials.  Celie didn't make this part of her lesson--but it's something I observed.  When she cut out a shape--if it was a series--she wouldn't make one at a time--she rolled out enough clay to make several pieces and therefore waste less material and kept her clay at the optimum freshness since it wasn't rolled out and rolled out and re-hydrated.  Seeing some of her beads and pieces filled or backed with polymer gave me so many ideas on how to keep on developing my ideas and minimizing the use of silver clay. Also check out Kelly Russell's work as she is also known for mixing her media and has posted some of her beauties on our blog.

Besides the amount of materials we have to choose from, keeping costs down in our studios, the next biggest struggle in studio life is actually getting down to business in our studios.  Ok...that should be "MY" studio. Oh yes, the truth is out--I'm behind on the blog and in working at my own bench on my own little ideas.  I wonder why I feel I need to have permission to freely create?  I see others online talking about this, so I'm relieved to know that I'm not alone.  But I'm sure many who struggle to balance family life and a studio business also find it hard to  justify  the time away from family or from pushing their business further along.  I know it is for me.  I have two young children, who I adore.  I also have the magazine--and all the stresses that go along with investing house and home to produce something that I feel is valuable and has a purpose.  Maybe I should be content with the magazine as my creative outlet--and not beat myself up for not "making stuff".  Or--is the bigger question--"why do I feel so darn creative, when I have to do the bookkeeping?"

Hmmm--something to ponder once I finish checking on what people have posted on Facebook today.  I'm curious to see what new pieces of art those "alien artists" who have more than 24 hours a day have made today!

~Jeannette Froese LeBlanc

P.S. If you'd like to see what we've been up to--our new issue is due out very soon!  Great articles, and great work again team!!  And it's our second birthday in July!!!  Check out what's in our new issue...
Cover Artist: Jen Kahn
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