Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Everything isn't always what it seems....

That's snow on our thermometer!  And yet it is showing 80 degrees Fahrenheit!  
Right now it is actually less than 20 degrees outside!

Everything isn't always what it seems.

I'm busy thinking about making one of Barbara Becker Simon's fabulous hollow beads.  They look so solid, and yet are hollow and light! She has instructions in her book Metal Clay Beads published by Lark Books (2009).  One of the first steps is to make a sheet of textured metal clay.  Sounds easy!  But then why have I spent two days thinking about it?  I love texture!  I have almost all of Lisa Pavelka's texture sheets, I've started a collection of Helen Briel's, Linda Stiles Smith's and of course I also collect the fabulous Dynasty texture sheets Rio Grande sells.  I love them all! I love making my own and am always noticing new texture possibilities out in natures, on fabric, patterns of stones, even the ways overpasses and roads layer and converge.

Lora Hart wrote a great article to encourage metal clay artists to use texture sheets/stamps as a starting off point for their creations.  (The image below is the our last page commentary in our current issue.)  She urges artists to think outside the box and to use texture sheets/stamps in a unique way so that your piece is all your own.  I totally agree with her and I do use my texture sheets in different ways, over print them, turn them and even add to them.  Sometimes ideas come to me just by perusing my collection.
Page 78  Metal Clay Artist Magazine Vol.#2 Issue #1
Once I get past making the textured sheet of metal clay...I'll be able to move on to the hollow part of the bead.  Maybe I'll even make it into a ring! I love hollow rings.  I have always made and worn big jewellery--the bigger the better sometimes!  So making a hollow form for a ring allows me to make a large piece, economize on clay and not have to have someone carry my hand for me since it weighs too much.

I'll keep you posted on my progress! 

P.S.  I joined the RAW-Flickr group but right from the start--I made it clear that I was going for a RAM--Ring a Month as opposed to a Ring a Day!  I'd better get a move on--I've only got 18 days left!

Here's a few other great resources I'd recommend:
Pure Silver Metal Clay Beads, by Linda Kaye-Moses and PMC Beads, DVD by Tim McCreight


  1. Love your post !!
    The books you recommended are GREAT ! I have them both!
    You can also carve your own textures!!

  2. Thanks for the plug Miss Jeannette! Barbara's beads are a great way to modify a commercial texture. In fact - you have no choice. ;D Cutting up a dry, textured sheet and putting it back together is the epitome of alteration. In fact, if you use texture from more than one source you'll have so many more choices for each side of your creation. Be sure to post a pic when it's all shiny and strung.

  3. Thanks Lora and Lorena! Oh yes I will try making each side different like Barbara did with the beads on the cover. But I need to figure out how she made the seams so invisible and have the texture carry on over the edge. Nice attention to detail!!

  4. Thanks for the plug for my book, Jeannette. It is much appreciated. Just wanted to comment that when I bought my first metal clay book, it was the only metal clay book....Working with Precious Metal Clay, by, of course, Tim.

    Also, if you check out the picture of the first Master Class in PMC Decade, you'll see my old skinny braid and my back, worrying over a kiln that had misbehaved (this was before we had our computer-controlled kilns).
    Linda Kaye-Moses

  5. Great post, Jeannette ! And great books - in my library for sure! I love the RAM ;o) I might have to be going that rout too ;o)))

  6. Oh the dark ages--or as Lora says "near the turn of the century"...a kiln with no programmer! Oh--how nervous you must have been over having your creations in the kiln! I was doing pottery back at that time--and I learned to fire the kiln by colour (not temperature on a gauge!) Talk about archaic!

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