Friday, February 25, 2011

Number 7!!!

Hi everyone,
Well, here I am again...showing you the latest silver and copper metal clay ring of mine for the RAW project. I have 8 and 9 done already but you will have to go to my blog to see the little hints and photos! I will post them here when I post them on the Flickr site.....only my blog has the early bird specials!!! (oh, that could so be a ring!!! what does a early bird look like, I wonder???).....
Anyway, this was a really fun ring to you know, I am experimenting with pre-fired bits of metal clay that I haven't used in the projects they were intended for (earrings, this time) and since I don't solder, I am always trying to think of new ways to attach the ring band. This time I decided to use a lovely little bit I had made in Gordon's glass last Feb. It was textured with a tearaway plate of a cherub image that I have always liked. I decided to antique it with acrylic paint (like I showed how to do at the PMC Conference) and then heat set the paint so I could lightly sand the ridges to show the little cherub. I used 2000 grit sandpaper and a light touch to bring him into view. I then antiqued a fine silver #7 disc I had made with the same color paint so both pieces would work together. I choose the number 7 because the size was right and the holes I had pre-drilled before firing were in the right direction to hold the rivets. I had to be careful of where I put the rivets since they would show and I wanted to use them as part of the design...(not in the middle of the cherubs tummy)....makes a difference to think about these things first. I also had to make sure I made the shank long enough to go around my finger and be comfortable but still have enough left over to go to the ends of the top panel. I decided to use rivets on the #7 disc and twisted the image so it lined up on the band. After those two rivets were in, I formed the shank until it was where I needed it to be and the correct size for me to wear. I also wanted the opposite end to be riveted down to hold the shank in place and I needed the rivet to work with the image. If you look closely on the image, you will see that the little cherub is holding the big ball (large #7 disc) in one hand and is throwing a small ball up with his other hand. I am really delighted that this ring is held together with only 3 rivets!! I decided to leave the little square of sterling on the right upper corner because it repeats the square outline of the is kind of boring without that little unexpected bit of silver peeking out of the edge. I also decided to put in the amethyst pre-set to pull all of the colors together. I hope you like it and it inspires you to play with different ways of using the needed bits in your jewelry pieces (such as ring bands, pendant bails, earring know...the essentials that you design around) ....anyway, have fun in your studios...I know I am going to! Kelly

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bird a Week 8/52 - Fluffy Chicks

This week - two birdies - as I made my first pair of bird earrings for the Bird a Week Challenge!

They are made from Art Clay Silver and I applied the texture with a small brass brass onto the fully dried clay. I find if I give the dry surface a quick wipe with a baby wipe and then brush it with the brass brush I get just the right depth of texture.

I have been making some things other than birds since the start of the year (in case you were wondering!).

Here are a couple of rings. This huge white CZ ring is set with 2mm lab grown rubies....

which go all round the band.

The ring below is enamelled with a central 2mm CZ and 3mm CZs around the band.

See - I'm not totally bird brained ;-)

Have fun

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Julia Rai Interviewed by the Etsy Metal Clay Team

I was very flattered to be asked to do an interview with Evelyn Pelati Dombkowski, a member of the Etsy Metal Clay Team for their blog. She asked me 10 - well, 11 actually - questions about the Metal Clay Masters Registry. I've just achieved Masters Registry IV - the first person in the world to get to this level, so Evelyn asked me a bunch of questions about my experiences in the Registry. You can read the interview here. I also gave them a scoop on one of my newest pieces, which is one of my favorites. It's called Destiny and it's a brooch which uses metal clay sheet as a texture on the surface.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Book Giveaway !! New Directions in Metal Clay by Cece Wire

Another great Lark Jewelry book about metal clay. New Directions in Metal Clay by Cece Wire was one of my first books about metal clay and I really love it. The book is full of information about different types of metal clay and techniques.Throughout the book you will see wonderful images of jewelry by very talented artists like Cece Wire(the author), Barbara Becker Simon, Ann Davis,Catherine Davies Paetz and many more. The projects are easy to follow and have great images and step by step instructions.
I like it so much that I want to give it away to one of our followers!
What I ask for you to be able to win this book is to follow the Metal Clay Artists Magazine's blog and leave a comment. Please remember to include your contact information.
Bonus points:  You can have more chances to win this book if you post the giveaway in your blog, Facebook page or tweet about it.  To earn the bonus points you must add another comment in this post letting me know where did you post it.
If you have a twitter account,here is a link for you to tweet the giveaway:

We will choose the winner in February 25 !!
Good luck !


Creative Challenges

At different periods in my creative life, I've avoided challenges. I tell myself that a true artist doesn't need outside motivation to produce, which is certainly true. However, the right challenge can be fun, and fun feeds the artistic muse. Playing is really at the heart of making. If it's fun, we'll do anything.

After seven weeks of participation in two different weekly challenges, I've spent my down time this week (illness) reflecting on the rewards of participating in challenges. I thought I'd share some of my insights.

A deadline institutes pressure to keep up. It limits time for procrastinating. It kicks you into movement. Stop over-analyzing that piece and just get it finished!

As David Bayles and Ted Orland say in their quintessential treatise, Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmakingquantity is more important than quality. I love the story of the ceramics teacher who offered his students two choices. At the beginning of the year, they could elect to be graded based on the quantity of work, which would be weighed, or on the quality of the work, with just one perfect pot needed for that A. At the end of the year, all the best quality pots belonged to the quantity students.

A weekly challenge clearly supports that idea of quantity. Not all offerings will be great, but the sheer process is really what is needed to get to the next level. Let go of the fear of perfection (the lack of it) and move forward.

Beyond the forward momentum boost, challenges offer creative community. Others are traveling the same path, sharing their insights. A step they take can pop a new idea into your own head and be the beginning of something exciting and rewarding. There's a sense of flow and serendipity that is beneficial.

Challenges can lead to new opportunities. Perhaps a new medium will come to your attention. Perhaps an exhibition will pick up the best of the challenge work. Perhaps a gallery or magazine editor will see your work as a result of increased exposure.

To truly keep the challenge pace, modifications  may be needed. For example, the wrap ring at the top of the page was a deviation for me, due to a need to make something simpler and quicker than the other, more complex, rings also shown. It still fits with my body of work, but it gives me more options. I have loads of new ideas because of that change. I can't wait to try them out another week.

Putting yourself out there can lead to creative growth. Try it!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

We are on Flickr !!

Metal Clay Artist Magazine has open a group in Flickr (Flickr is an image and video hosting website and online community). 
In this group you can share pictures of your work and get inspired by all the images we will be posting.

Come and join us in this new adventure !
We will love to see what you are creating !

Click in this link to join us: Metal Clay Artist Magazine .

Bird A Week - Blue Garden

At the start of 2011 the wonderful Ruth Baillie started a Bird A Week Challenge. Having never used birds in my jewellery I thought this would be a great time to start. The challenge was simple. Make a bird a week in any media and upload it into the BAW flickr album. The rules - there weren't any!

I decided to make my own personal rules to try to stick to. I wanted to use silver clay for as many pieces as possible and they needed to be saleable items so I could afford to keep it going!!

The piece above I called Blue Garden. It is my 7th bird for the challenge. Made in Art Clay Silver with enamelled accents. It measures approx 36mm in diameter. Below is the reverse using a Rolling Mill Resource texture and a 3mm lab ruby.

So far I have managed to stick to my own rules, will I make it through the year though? Well with some travelling planned it is certainly going to be a challenge at times and I may have to improvise a bit!!! ;-)

Anyway we shall see....

Have fun

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Directions

I just wanted to share some information about an upcoming exhibition on Crafthaus I am co-curating with the fabulously talented Susan Silvy. There is an open call for entries going on right now so if you would like a chance to join in on this, get over to Crafthaus and fill out an application. The call for entries ends on March 1. Our very own Jeannette Froese LeBlanc is one of the jurors of the show…so if you are going to bribe her, time is running out. (KIDDING!!!)

There is some incredible work being submitted – don’t be left out! Below is our official press release that gives all of the details about the exhibition, the Art Clay World photo exhibition surrounding this and the catalog to benefit CERF that will be coming out as well! Please join us if you can!

The exhibition is titled: “New Directions: Powder Metallurgy (Metal Clay) in a Sheet Metal World.” Ann Davis is heading the jury team which also includes Jeanette Froese LeBlanc, publisher and editor of Metal Clay Artist Magazine, and Gywnne Rukenbrod, Executive Director of HandMade in America. The exhibition will run online from April 15, 2011 to May 15, 2011.

Currently, there is an open call for entries for the exhibit which is scheduled to be viewable online at .The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2011 and participation is available to Crafthaus members only. The exhibition will remain online after the closing of the show.

Art Clay World has generously offered to host a photo exhibition of the New Directions: Powder Metallurgy (Metal Clay) in a Sheet Metal World exhibition at the Metal Clay World Conference this summer in Chicago! Therefore, those artists juried into the online exhibition will gain additional exposure at the conference.

Finally, a print catalog is also going to be produced of the exhibition. All proceeds from the catalog are going to CERF (Craft Emergency Relief Fund). Each artist juried into the online exhibition will have a page dedicated to them within the print catalog showcasing up to three images with a short write up and contact information.

Created in 2008, Crafthaus is a lively online social network/community of contemporary fine craft practitioners and enthusiasts. It currently hosts over 2,000 artist members from around the world as well as a number of art/craft related publishers, institutions and galleries. It is an edited website and an annual membership fee of $20.00 is involved in joining the community. Crafthaus regularly features a selection of their artists, and awards 2 artist grants each year. It hosts monthly changing online exhibitions, curated by and for the membership exclusively and lists a wide range of exhibition and publication opportunities. Members are encouraged to display images of their work (photo guidelines apply) and to communicate with each other both within and across media “borders.”

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Purple Star for Margaret!

What's better than a gold star? Why a purple one of course!

Our Senior Editor, Margaret Schindel, was just awarded a Purple Star Award by Squidoo for her lens, Precious Metal Clay - PMC and Art Clay Silver and Gold. This lens was the first of more than a dozen Squidoo lenses Margaret has published on a variety of metal clay topics:

Metal Clay - Precious Metal Clay / PMC and Art Clay Silver and Gold (winner of the Purple Star Award)
  • Metal Clay Brands and Formulas: Precious Metal Clay (PMC), Art Clay Silver and Gold and more!
  • Precious Metal Clay / PMC and Art Clay Types: Lump, Paste, Syringe and Paper
  • Metal Clay Tools and Supplies - for Precious Metal Clay (PMC) and Art Clay Silver and Gold, and Bronze, Copper, and Steel Clays
  • Techniques Overview for Precious Metal Clay / PMC and Art Clay Silver and Gold
  • BRONZclay Bronze Metal Clay
  • BRONZclay Tools and Supplies
  • Setting Gemstones in Metal Clay (Precious Metal Clay / PMC or Art Clay Silver and Gold)
  • Metal Clay Weaving Tutorial - Making Woven Fine Silver "Fabric"
  • Metal Clay Product Reviews
  • Drying Metal Clay
  • Reconstituting Dry Metal Clay
  • Making PMC silver metal clay oil paste

  • This is a great source of information that every metal clay artist should keep handy! Thank you Margaret for your time and generosity! Look for Margaret's new series of new lenses about PMC Pro that should be published very soon.
    Way to go Margaret! MCAM is proud of you!


    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    Latest ring for RAW...

    Hi everyone....
    Thought I would show you my latest for RAW. No metal clay this week though....the ring I was working on had copper metal clay as part of the design but it broke in half as I was fitting it in I set it aside to work on later. I really didn't want to chuck it across the room!
    For this ring I used sheet sterling, epoxy and polymer clay. I am having so much fun with these rings! I really like the idea of being able to try out some things that I wanted to do for a while. I did find out that I need to practice using my saw a bit more. Maybe the next one will have metal clay sides. I do like doing these stackable type rings....anyway, I hope you like it....what are you making in your studios?? Have fun, Kelly

    Second ring for RAW (February).

    After being sick for more than seven days I had to do something to lift my spirit !
    I knew I needed to make my second RAW ring for February and I decided to make it with a different material this time.
    I choose to have a play-day with myself and paper clay. 
    I have never made jewelry with this clay and I taught this could be a great opportunity to experiment and play.
    The first idea in my head was to hand sculpt a "Calavera" (skull) ring and add color with colored pencils. The clay is very easy to mold and hand sculpt.

    I am sure this will not be my only ring made with paper clay because I love the versatility and how easy is to add color to it.

    Here you have it !

    ©2011 Lorena Angulo
    Paper clay, colored pencils and beads.
    3.75 inches by 1.35 inches

    Keep playing !! Keep creating !!


    Sunday, February 13, 2011

    Look what one of our writers is up to! Great news Lisa!

    JTV Gem Expo: Jewel School Announces Exciting New Jewelry-Making Products and Guest Experts

    Jewel School by JTV Margot Potter and Lisa Pavelka Lisa Pavelka, award winning artist, designer and author, has entered into a long-term relationship with JTV to help their customers take their jewelry crafting to the next level. Her goal is to provide you with the necessary items and details to create high end jewelry that can be worn to the most formal events or sold at an upscale designer shop. Lisa expressed that she is delighted to join the Jewel School family because this gives her an opportunity to reach people who can’t always go to design classes and workshops that are often far away from home or too costly to attend.  Margot Potter(left), our Jewel School design expert, is pictured with Lisa (right).

    Lisa has just launched a new line of professional artist quality clay suitable for jewelry making. Lisa is recognized as one of the world's leading experts on the mediums of polymer clay and metal clays, as well as resin art and crystal design. She has made dozens of television appearance and has authored four books and two DVDs on polymer clay art. She is also a featured magazine columnist and contributor for Metal Clay Artist magazine.
    Jewel School by JTV Lisa Pavelka polymer clay jewelry making kits

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Valentine's Day is coming !!!

    Valentine's day is coming and it can be a big motivator to create and design hearts. 
    I love to design hearts all year round in my work, hearts for me have a strong meaning in my life. I grew up in Mexico surrounded by them, mostly the "Milagro style hearts".

    ©2010 Lorena Angulo

    The heart symbolizes how we love, who we love and why. It also means how we love ourselves and how we take care of ourselves and our health. A heart is a symbol of passion, passion for what we do and for life. 
    Live your life to the fullest!

    Do you like to create hearts? Why do you like them?
    Show us some pictures of your hearts ! We will love to see them !

    Keep Playing, Keep Creating !!


    Saturday, February 5, 2011

    Win a free MCAM back issue of your choice!

    We're so delighted by Stacie Hooder's excellent review of MCAM and a giveaway of the current issue on the CraftGossip blog at that I've decided to do a giveaway of our own. If you are the next person to leave a comment on our blog about Stacie's review we'll send you a free copy of the MCAM back issue of your choice! (Print copy-within North America, Digital-anywhere.) Note: The winning comment should demonstrate that you actually have read Stacie's review. ;)

    Good luck!


    p.s. We're looking for great photos of terrific metal clay pieces for our gallery and cover!!
    Please be sure to take your photos in the highest resolution possible on your camera.

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    Back again.....

    Hi everyone....
    Well, here is my latest ring for the RAW project on Flickr! This time I used the bottom half of one of my epoxy cones and carved out a large cone shaped opening into it. I was going to set a large rivoli stone into it but I changed my mind and decided I liked being able to see the inside of the cone. So, I changed my design a bit. I gilded the inside with some 24kt gold sheet and lightly burnished it down. I was going to only use the cone bottom but it looked lonely on the band so I added some metal clay discs of mine that have just been sitting around. I domed one up and one down and I wasn't crazy about the way they looked together...I thought they needed a little somethin' somethin'! So, I slid a epoxy disc in between them. That did the trick! Playing around can have unexpected results!
    Everything is held together with one BIG rivet...although, there is a little bit of chemical bonding with the pearl....but that doesn't bother me as it gets the job done!! I also really liked beating the heck out of a gold band that was a size 5, up to a size 9! I didn't think it would be so easy! And fun!! I am really enjoying these little projects...these epoxy experiments are really interesting! I made some in the last couple of days ago that did some really interesting things that I wasn't expecting!! You will see them as rings in the future! Hope you like this ring...stay warm in your studios and have fun!! Kelly Russell in case you want to see more of my work....

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    My first RAW ring for February

    I had a super fun time making my first ring a week for February. This time I decided to just have fun and play with metal and the cork. 

    I riveted the brass band to the copper base and twisted the copper rays to hold the cork in place. 
    Simple and FUN !!!

    6/52 RAW 2011
    Lorena Angulo

    Keep playing, keep creating !!


    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    Ring a Week 2011

    I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in RAD (ring a day) last year. This challenge thought me a lot and gave me more confidence in my work. I met a lot of incredible talented artists from around the world, who share the same passion for art and jewelry. 
    A lot of the artists who participated in RAD where a little sad that our journey was over. This is the main reason why Thomasin Durgin decided to form a new group for us to continue with our journey.
    RAW(ring a week) counts with 264 artists who are creating rings in any medium or material. Everybody is welcome to join the group at any time. 
    Lots of my friends are now participating in RAW like Kelly Russell, who has been posting in the blog about her rings. I am very happy to see them all in this challenge.

    My first month of RAW is over. 
    I managed to create 5 rings.

    © 2011 Lorena Angulo
    RAW, January 2011

    Keep playing, keep creating !!


    New MCAM review and giveaway on!

    We were absolutely thrilled when Stacie Hooder, the fantastic jewelry making editor at, let us know about her new review of Metal Clay Artist Magazine, and even more excited once we had a chance to read what she's written. Stacie has gone into detail about the things that make our magazine special, and about why she feels it's worth subscribing to even if you don't have room for one more metal clay book or magazine (in which case she recommends subscribing to our digital edition).

    We're extremely proud of and grateful for Stacie's superb review of MCAM, and we're also excited about the giveaway she's doing. If you'd like to win a free copy of the current issue of the magazine, visit to read Stacie's review and leave a comment on her post before midnight CST on February 16th. And if you already have the current issue, we hope you'll leave a comment about what you think of it! :)

    Thanks again, Stacie, for this fabulous review of MCAM!

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