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
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 !