Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Found: Great Ideas

by Jennifer Roberts

We recently announced that we are sponsoring the latest Metal Clay Artist Magazine contest. The theme is “Metal Clay +.” So, what does that mean?

“Metal clay needs to be featured prominently in the design. You can use any kind or combination of metal clays you wish! The rest of the piece must include one or more non-metal materials – resin, polymer clay, glass, enamel, porcelain, bisque, cement, beads, fabric, found objects, etc.”

Depending on your point of view, that may seem like an incredible menu of endless, exciting possibilities or just enough rope to hang yourself with. So, over the next few months, we will offer up some of those “+” examples for you, compliments of our talented Senior and Certification Instructors. Click the images to view larger.

This month, found objects!

Ruth Greening
"Shell Shock" (right)

"A River Runs Through"
Quartz crystal beach rock and river rock
. (below)

Janet Alexander
PMC3 + stick pendant.
Janet found this stick while hiking and the pattern was carved by insects!

Lora Hart
Left: "Button Ring"

Below (left to right):
"If You Need A Hand," "Parapet" (felt), "Communion"

Bottom row:
"Vessica" (silk cocoon)

All photos of Lora Hart's work by Marsha Thomas.


Sheri Wendeler-Short said...

I am brand new at metal clay. I have a torch given to me by a friend and want to make pendants out of quartz crystal points, maybe adding cabs. How do I do this?

Janet Alexander said...

Hi Sheri,
Metal clay is a great material for making pendants. I would suggest that you make a few pendants with just the clay first so you can understand more thoroughly how to fire it (sintering),how to form it, and it's shrinkage values. For now, maybe you could hang the quartz crystal points from the pendant (after sintering) by drilling a hole in the pendant and wire wrapping the crystal to the pendant.

Setting stones is an advanced skill that should be learned after you have worked with the clay for a time. There are some stones that can be embedded into the clay and fired with the clay, but quartz is not one of them.
Taking a class on stone setting and embedding stones could be a way to learn how to do this. Thank you for your question. It is a very good one!