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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bronze Clay Prometheus™ - NEW

I'm so excited!  I just received a 100g pack of Prometheus Bronze Clay from Jen Tattam of Metal Clay Australasia and Bronze Clay syringe to play with. 

I've been so keen on working with Bronze Clay since I heard about it, sometime last year.  Just haven't had the opportunity to do it yet because a kiln is needed for firing it as it's an alloy of copper  and tin and requires firing at a special sequence.  But guess what???  I've ordered one (a kiln) and it's on the way :-) . I'm just counting down the minutes, hours and days until Friday gets here.

Prometheus Bronze Clay is really new!  Shrinkage is only 7-9%, firing temperature is only 700C for just 30 minutes, so there is NO need to fire Prometheus™ Bronze Clay for hours in a firing pan filled with activated carbon. How great is that!?!?

Plus, it looks so yummy right out of the package.  Looks good enough to eat!  But probably won't taste so good though.

Check out the Metal Clay Gallery for outstanding examples of art jewellery made with Bronze Clay!  Below is one example of what you'll see there.  Believe me, it's worth a look!  You'll be amazed.

Bronze Clay Bracelet - Vickie Hallmark - USA

If you would like to see some fabulous Silver and Bronze jewellery, in person and you're in Sydney, visit Robin Hill's shop "Flourish Arts" in Birchgrove, 39 Cameron Street, Birchgrove. Corner Gipps & Cameron Streets. Open week ends 10am-5pm & by appointment. Often open Thursday's & Fridays but best to call first ---0414980700.  There you will find  stunning Fine Silver and Bronze, original, one-of-a-kind jewellery by award winning jewellery artist and teacher, Christine Dawson.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Introduction to Precious Metal Clay at Patrick's

Here's (photo on  left) an image of the fantastic jewellery that was made in the class that I taught at Patrick's today.  Patrick's been after me to line up a class for a couple of his beading ladies for some time now.  Well it finally happened and we all had a ball.

Patrick couldn't wait to make a chainmaille bracelet with his piece, as you can see from the image shown at top centre. He picked the Tidal Lines texture mat. Very nice! I left all my gear at Patrick's place 'cause I couldn't get it all home on the train. I'll be picking it up in a couple of days. He said that he'll be making something else by then. Claudette (at head of the table, shown photo above left) was just so excited about her creations. Her's are the two pictured on the left (top left inset photo). Sorry about the quality of the image, I had forgotten to take my camera along so these were taken with my mobile phone. Anyhow, Claudette was especially pleased with her pieces after burnishing them. I can't wait to see what fabulous beading thing she does with her marvelous toggle and clasp. And the pair of earrings are lovely, too.

Amanda's three on the left (below Patricks' in the top inset photo). At first Amanda made a sorta long and narrow toggle for her amazing clasp and then decided that it just didn't work, aesthetically, so quickly produced the boomerang one... it's much bigger from the original one (as you can see). We all agreed that it looks so much better now.

The texture mat on the left is called "Interferance" and it's the one that Amanda used in her design. This is a new texture stamp, in my studio, which I hadn't used before. But now that I see what you get with this one... you bet that I'll be using it pretty soon.

The texture mat on the right is called "Tidal Waves" and it's the one that Patrick and Claudette used in their design. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Book Review: The Art of Jewelry - Plastic & Resin: Techniques, Projects, Inspiration

Book Reviewer: Roz Eberhard Swan

The Eclectic Studio

Click here for Product Details

Authur: Debra Adelson
Edition: Hardcover


I am literally jumping for joy over finally having a reference book that really shows what can be done with the marvellous media of Plastic/Acrylics and Resin.
Commencing with a solid Introduction to plastics and safety, you then progress to Techniques and Tools that are used in both media, incorporating plastics with other materials, such as Metals, there is even a brief section on techniques for metalworking. Certainly enough for someone unfamiliar with this, although to be honest, to get the best out of this, you need to work on your metalsmithing skills - and that does not mean soldering as the vast majority of projects use cold connections, sawing and piercing as the main elements.

Then we get to the awesome projects. Rings, necklaces, brooches, pins, bangles and bracelets. 22 projects that will be hard to choose which one to start with.

These are contemporary designs, no cutesy, no bling bling. Just clean lines and designers pushing your thought process of materials to use. Using broken headlight glass to create stunning sawn shapes for a necklace, using a billard ball to make a ring, dipping felted balls in resin and so on.

Sure there are more of the stock standard creations of making a simple bangle from a mould but there are some wonderful twists to the norm, for instance using paper to create a laminated ring.

If you have to have intricate step by step photos to work from, you will be challenged. This is very much a book that relies on written descriptions of the steps with a few photos. I found no problem with this at all and I am actually a visual learner. But, I do work with these materials already.

My only criticism is the area of finishing. This could have been explored a little further other than sandpapers, files and polishing machines, the later not being something everyone has. Products such as Micro-Surface polishing pads and Micro Glos polishing compounds have produced wonderful results in high gloss finishes without machinery were not mentioned and I am sure there are other products that do similar.

I also loved that every few pages you are presented with a gallery of work. The artists represented here have produced exceptional, varied, luscious pieces, each and every one. I have been drooling ever since I got this book!! There is a nice short bio at the back about the designers and in some cases their websites (thank you) and even a page of templates to use.

This is the first book produced on Resin and Plastic Jewellery that looks at both media in a modern, contemporary manner, that takes you to a higher level of craftmanship, while still managing not to be over daunting. I know my mixed media students will be buying this book in droves. I hope that Lark now goes one step further and produces a book for students on mould making, so they can make even more wonderful pieces in resin.

About the Reviewer: Roz has worked as a multi media artist for over 16 years. Disciplines used in her unique wearable art and jewellery pieces include Off Loom Beadweaving, Textiles, Felting, Polymer Clay and Resin. The past few years have been spent working with Precious Metal Clay (PMC). As a certified Teacher with PMC she incorporates its limitless possibilities in her jewellery and objet d’art designs. Roz is the inaugural President of the PMC GUILD of Australia/NZ and works with community colleges in Sydney and private workshops around the country.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Queen of Hearts

This is a pmc pendant that I made from some of my reconstituted slip pot.  Coated a layer of it onto the background. I will say that I really do like that moon dust affect.

This one weighs 13 grams. I wouldn't make a solid one this size again due to the costing. Next time I will do it as a hollow form. Sure weighs a lot. Definately not good for an earring.

Another thing that I would have done differently... is to have added a cz on the crown rather than the silver rosette, for a bit of flash.

I'm gonna enjoy wearing it though!

Striped Translucent Skinner Blend Cane & Flower Component Cane Workshop

I'm delights to tell you all that I will be teaching this one day workshop at Studio Amara, in Berrima, NSW on Saturday, September 26, 2010.

This workshop includes two projects. How to create a two-part skinner blend. A simple method of creating sheets of perfectly graded coloured clay. You'll learn how to make your own translucent coloured clay and manipulating it into a skinner blend bullseye cane.

One of these sheets will then be worked into a skinner blend plug whist the other will be built into a flower component cane. A skinner blend plug is a condensed block of clay that is very useful when making other types of polymer clay canes.

Saturday September 26• 10am till 4pm • Anglican Church Hall, Berrima•
Cost $ 140.

Please contact Kathy Guerts on 02 4877 1026 or 0403 341 941
or via email for sign ups.

Ancient Tribal Bone

This bead is made with polymer clay and made to resemble carved bone. Ultra-fine layers of differently coloured clay make this pendant resemble the fine graining of real bone. A variety of tools is used to give an aged tribal look.

The fine silver band is handcrafted using a texturing tool and buffed with a steel brush to give it more of an aged feel.

This contains fine layers of a polymer clay cane that I made with a Fish Bone design that I created.

Length 6.8cm x Width 1.2cm (at it's widest).  Leather cord (4mm thick) with sterling silver findings.  Measures 53cm (21 inches).