[Editor's note: We asked Janet to write about this topic because it is an issue that comes up time and again. Teachers and suppliers of metal clay routinely get emails or calls from people asking for help with complex projects when it is clear that the artist has little or no experience with metal clay. In a tough economy, it can be hard to explain to these artists what they probably don't want to hear - that they need to start with the basics. And, no, you really can't explain all there is to know about metal clay in one email. I recently forwarded one of those emails to Janet for her help and asked her to write about what she would advise the budding metal clay artist.]
Metal clay is a great medium to work in for beginners to advanced artists. For a beginner, it isn't too scary to work with on your own, because if you mess up you can wad it up and start again. For the advanced artist there is always a new skill to learn.
For you beginners out there, keep exploring on your own. Lora Hart's post here contains some great resources for free online instruction. But when you have an advanced project you want to tackle, take a class first. You never know, you may come up with even a better project than your first!
For you intermediate to advanced artists, follow my rule of thumb: try to learn something new everyday!
Until next time have fun claying around.