This page provides you with a quick idea of what's been added in the past month. If you are a regular visitor, you can see what we've added since your last visit here.
March What's New Archive - you can see everything that was added during March 2015 here.
A metal clay book was added.
Allison Croat - Making with Metal Clay - UK Amazon link
Allison Croat - Making with Metal Clay- US Amazon link
If silver is your colour, you've found the right book! Making with Metal Clay has all the projects you need to start making your own stunning silver jewellery. Projects range from the colorful Tutti Fruity Ring from silver clay master Lesley Messam to spring brooches and beautiful flowered pendants. There are pieces here that would make fabulous gifts, though you'll have to make two since you're sure to want to keep one for yourself. So whether you're a complete beginner or a seasoned silver clay artist, there are projects here to thrill you.
A new kiln supplier was added.
Tabletop Furnace Company - USA
At just 12 lbs, the RapidFire Pro front-loading kilns are the ideal solution for artists looking for an ultra-portable firing unit without sacrificing the power, performance, and features needed to manage projects. The RapidFire kilns are designed to rapidly heat to 2200 F (1205 C) for jewelry, metal clays, enameling, and more. Models are available with either standard or programmable digital controllers.
A new website resource was added.
Google are now penalising websites that are not mobile friendly in their search algorithms. Check if your website is mobile friendly with this simple test. It will also give you tips on how to make your website mobile friendly if it fails the test.
This year Rio Grande are not publicising the finalists prior to the Gala Dinner at which the awards are handed out so the artists themselves are publicising their pieces. Here are those in the metal clay category that we know about.
A metal clay book was added.
Nana V Mizushima - Fine Silver by Hand - Introductory silver jewelry projects using low-fire metal clay - UK Amazon link
Nina V Mizushima - Fine Silver By Hand: Introductory Silver Jewelry Projects Using Low-Fire Metal Clay - US Amazon link
Fine Silver By Hand is a compact 72 page book to slip into the toolbox of those new to metal clay. Illustrated with hundreds of color photos and filled with concise information, the book introduces the easiest way to work with fine silver using only handtools and portable firing methods (no electricity needed!) Featuring five beautiful projects - "Ancient" Coin, Teardrop Pendant, Textured Ornament, Molded Objet D'art and Silver Leaves. The techniques, materials and tools are all presented for anyone with no jewelry experience. Nana has also taught on the popular Jewelry Making Show on the DIY television network. Detailed information on techniques, suppliers, resources and websites are also included.
A metal clay polishing video tutorial was added.
Getting a Mirror Finish on Metal Clay - from Cool Tools
Finishing your jewelry creations to near perfection, helps set your work apart from all the rest. A mirror finish, offers a level a sophistication that is unmatched by other colorants and patinas. In this tool demo, learn to get a mirror finish on metal clay, with a simple sanding stick and a set of polishing papers.
A metal clay DVD was added.
Susan Lewis - Metalwork Exploring Metal Clay Basics - US Amazon link
Master metal clay basics from preparing your work surface to polishing your artwork as you learn how to create your own metal pendants, bails, and more! Join jewelry artist Susan J. Lewis, metal clay instructor of 12 years, in 3 watch-and-learn lessons as she shows you step by step how to transform a tiny packet of clay into stunning handcrafted jewelry. Order your copy of this dynamic DVD to: Get started the right way with a comprehensive tools and materials overview. Create one-of-a-kind pendants with just the shape, size, and style you want. Avoid mistakes and make the perfect piece with sizing tips and shrinkage must-knows. Save money with tricks to using that precious leftover clay Make your mark and give your pieces a professional look with texture and finishing how-tos. And more!
A metal clay book was added.
Irina Miech - Irina's Metal Clay Collection for Beaders - UK Amazon link
Irina Miech - Irina's Metal Clay Collection for Beaders: A Master Instructor's Favorite Projects - US Amazon link
Irina Miech chooses her favorite projects from her four, successful metal clay books in this "best of" collection. She is also adding value with three new projects to the book, for a total of 23 great projects. Pendants, rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings are made from precious metal clay and combined with gemstones, pearls, crystals, and beads to make beautiful jewelry pieces. Easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions, detailed process photography, and Irina's signature style set this book apart. Everybody will jump at this second chance to discover these wonderful designs, all in one book!
A new creativity resource was added.
Any activity where you put your work “out there” can be terrifying. You are suddenly open to criticism from people you really don’t know…especially if you post on the internet.
Sometimes faceless strangers can make unkind remarks, but you must realize that the remarks they make are about themselves, and usually have nothing to do with your own work. You are sharing your creation, and something you are proud of, your own first-born. Positive comments will outnumber the negative ones, so focus on the positive ones. Read more....
A new metal clay firing resource was added.
User guide for the Paragon kilns commonly used for metal clay.
A new glass resource was added.
This great chart shows you the chemical composition of coloured glass.
A new photography resource was added.
Photography Quick Reference
This useful chart shows you the depth of field, shutter speed and ISO effects in picture form.
A new silverwork training provider was added.
Bishopsland - Berkshire
Bishopsland is an internationally recognised, post graduate residential course, a bridge between university and professional life as a silversmith or jeweller. There is equal concentration on silversmithing skills and the professional skills needed to be able to work successfully as a self-employed maker. This integrated approach makes the course unique.
A new stone setting in metal clay tutorial was added.
Framed Bezel by Robin Ragsdale
This great tutorial is free to view on the Cre8tive Fire website. Goldie Bronze™ is a beautiful material. When constructing a bezel for a cabochon gem we need to treat the bronze clay differently than silver clay. A common method used with silver clay is to make a plug from jeweler’s investment to stop the metal clay bezel from shrinking smaller than the size of the stone. However, jeweler’s investment creates a nasty crusty black layer on fired bronze clay that can be impossible to remove. This dilemma led Robin on a quest to find a repeatable process for making bronze bezels. After months of experimentation and a box of failures she now has a reliable method that works every time!
New beginners metal clay information was added.
Binder Problems - Janet Alexander
Useful blog posting about failed binder and how this affects the clay. From Janet Alexander through PMC Connection.
Binder Problems: Restoration Experiments - Janet Alexander
Follow up blog posting from Janet with some experiments to see if the binder can be restored once it's failed. She tests some of the things people have said help, with mixed results.
A new jewellery photographer was added.
Based in Wiltshire, this photographer offers a postal service with prices clearly on her website. She also provides an image touch up service.
A new PMC training provider was added.
Jan Simon Design - Leigh-on-Sea, Essex
Beginners PMC classes.
An update was made to a beginners PMC training provider.
Denman College - Marcham, Near Oxford
Jewellery making classes including silver clay.
A new colourful metal clay tutorial was added.
Blue Window Cufflinks - Rosa Martha Celorio
This great intermediate metal clay tutorial is free to view on the Cre8tive Fire website. Try your hand at enameling with these simple yet elegant enameled cufflinks.
A new UK metal clay tool supplier was added.
This UK dolls house site has a range of tools ideal for working small - just what you need when working with silver clay!
A new photography for business resource was added.
These days, most artists do their own photography. You need excellent digital images for online sales venues like Etsy, your own website, art fair applications and marketing materials. Sometimes your photos come out a strange color, have cluttered backgrounds, not cropped properly, skewed, or you just didn't see that big hair laying on your creation. Even Better Images can help with that. Take your photo from bad original to a Basic Fix to an Even Better Image!
A new jewellery making video tutorial was added.
The NTAP!™ tool is an effective, top-quality, hand-held wire jig that's ideal for use with any of your Now That's a Jig! pegs or pucks. The pliers tips are designed with a jig slot on one tip and a removable 3mm peg on the other. Secure your NTAJ! peg (or puck) to the jig slot using one of the threaded nuts (included) and adjusting as needed to get the spacing you want. Then position your wire between the pegs and squeeze the pliers to hold the wire as you wrap it around the pegs. The pliers are jointed to give you the benefit of parallel action-keeping the jaws even, no matter what combination of puck or peg sizes you are working with. Having the work in your hand gives you a great range of maneuverability as you wrap your wire.
A new silver clay supplier was added.
Aussie Metal Clay - Australia
Available to the Australian market only. Comes in fine silver, 960 silver and bronze and copper varieties.
A new advanced metal clay tutorial was added.
Summertime Bling Necklace - Joy Funnell
This great tutorial is free to view on the Cre8tive Fire website. Making chain requires patience because it takes time to make all the individual links. This chain is linked in the greenware stage and fired fully assembled with a decorative clasp worn at the front. It has a sinuous, slinky feel, plus the stones add a nice bit of bling.
An update was made to a metal clay event.
When: 18th - 19th August 2015 (pre-conference workshops), 20th - 23rd August 2015 (Conference), 24th - 25th August 2015 (post-conference workshops)
Where: Guest House Retreat Center, CT, USA
Booking is now open for this conference. Presenters include Anna Mazon, Barbara Becker Simon, Terry Kovalcik, Donna Penoyer, Noortje Mejeirink, Kim Paige, Michelle Loon, Suzanne McNenly and Robert Dancik.
Conference fees include the following:
Overnight accommodations for 3 nights
All meals, from lunch on Thursday to lunch on Sunday
All presentations, open studios and evening activities (materials fees may apply in open studios)
Mojo Lounge beer, wine and cheese nightly
Door prizes and other goodies we have in the works
Pre and post-conference workshop registration is open. Book your workshops here.
A new downloadable resource for making your own stamps for metal clay was added.
Very useful resource for creating your own stamps to use with metal clay. Even if you don't use the Photocentric Stampmaker equipment, you'll learn some useful tips on how to create the black and white transparencies to use with photopolymer plates.
A new downloadable metal clay firing resource was added.
This useful resource from Pam East tells you how to programme your Paragon SC2 kiln.