Big Changes Coming in 2017

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Our Subscription Service Provider


For the past several years all editions of Metal Clay Today have been housed inside a “secure zone” provided by Business Catalyst.  It has been a good system but it does have it’s limitations.  For one thing each time some-one renewed their subscription it had to be manually updated.  And a subscriber could renew their subscription twice if they’d forgotten or the system didn’t allow them access.

Both problems made us uncomfortable and for those who ran into the problems annoyed!

We believe we’ve found the answers in SendOwl!  We like it because subscription delivery is practically instantaneous. Won’t allow a subscriber to renew twice and will notify you when your subscription is about to expire.

Here’s how it works –

  • When you click on the link to become a Premier Subscriber, immediately a pop-up opens to Paypal for you to purchase your Premier Subscription.  
  • After you’ve paid for your subscription, you’ll be taken to a link to download your first edition of Metal Clay Today.  You’ll also be sent an email acknowledging your order payment with more information about accessing new editions.
  • This email also contains the link to your payment history and subscription management area.  Keep a copy of this email. Please bookmark this page for future use.

Later, when you want to log back into your dashboard to retrieve your editions or make changes to your account –

To log into this area, you will need your email address and Gateway Transaction ID.  Clicking the link will take you to the subscription management area.

The Gateway Transaction ID can be found in a couple of places.

  • The first of which is in the receipt email sent to you on at time of purchase.
  • The Gateway Transaction ID is also listed on your order details page.
  • Once you have logged into the subscription management area, you’ll be able to download current and past editions of Metal Clay Today and if necessary cancel your subscription to Metal Clay Today.

Moving all subscribers over to the new system will take time, so if you’ve been using the Clayers Club to access your editions you’ll be able to continue without interruption.

The second change to subscriptions is the way past editions viewed.

Become a Premier Subscriber using the recurring  payments option.  This option allows you to have access to all past editions during the length of your subscription.  Price per year – $19.95

Become a Premier Subscriber using the non-recurring payment option.  This option allows you to have access to the last edition and every edition issued for the next year.  Price per year – $19.95  

 

Do You Teach?

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I’d like to share something with you.  It’s a template for teaching a class.  I received it from a dear friend years ago when I was teaching religious education classes.  I’ve used it ever since because it is so effective.

It’s a great little tool (just a simple excel spreadsheet) to help you stay on topic and on time, and includes a column for materials you’ll need for your presentation. If you like it, feel free to use it!

Another column to consider adding is one for the cost.  If you’ll be selling supplies to your students it might be nice to have the information available for planning purposes.

Time Action Lesson Materials
Time you anticipate to start. Will you do a demonstration show, movie, or a   talk? What lesson do you want your student to learn? List the materials you’ll need for your demonstration, movie or handouts.

 

Rio Grande Issues Call for Entries for 2017 Saul Bell Design Award Competition

Rio Grande has issued the call for entries for the 2017 Saul Bell Design Award competition. Now in its 17th year, the international competition encourages designers to push the limits of their skills and imaginations as they create original jewelry art.

“These are people who care deeply and passionately about our craft; most of them have dedicated a lifetime to honing their skills,” says Alan Bell, President of Rio Grande, which hosts the annual competition. “Everyone in the industry benefits from their design leadership and the excitement they bring to the jewelry and metal arts—the new directions and possibilities that emanate from them, and spread to the wider jewelry world.”

There are now eight categories in the 2017 competition: Gold/Platinum, Silver/Argentium® Silver, Metal Clay, Enamel, Hollowware/Art Objects, Alternative Metals/Materials and two Emerging Jewelry Artist categories. The two Emerging Jewelry Artist categories are open to designers who are 18 years of age and younger and 22 years of age and younger as of Oct. 27, 2016.

One of the jewelry industry’s foremost design events, this competition is judged by jewelers and industry leaders who are masters of their craft. They look for originality of design, successful incorporation of materials, wearability (except in the Hollowware category) and quality of workmanship as they examine each finalist piece both by hand and on model.

“I consider the Saul Bell competition a breath of fresh air, you never know what to expect, other than it will be authentic and something you have never seen before, often born of genius.” Says Zoltan David, who took first place for 2016 in Alternative Metals/Materials. “It is a celebration of the jewelry arts, unconstrained by tradition or conventionality. It is the ‘Tip of the Spear’ as a jewelry competition.”

Winning the award helps propel jewelers to new heights in their careers and to global levels of recognition and acclaim within the industry. The winning pieces will be promoted throughout the industry and displayed in the exclusive Plumb Club during the 2017 JCK Las Vegas show.

“I have been fortunate enough to win many of the jewelry industry’s top design awards, and I can say that the Saul Bell Award is the most important to me,” says Ryan Roberts, multi-year winner. “No other competition covers so many aspects of what it takes to make a great piece of jewelry. Winning a Saul Bell truly means that you’ve had your work scrutinized by the industry’s top designers, jewelers, and jewelry media professionals. I feel it is the most important design competition in the business.”

Entries are being accepted July 18–October 27, 2016. Finalist pieces will be due by January 26, 2017. The entry form and detailed information about the competition, including submission guidelines and information about each of the categories, are available at saulbellaward.com.

 

Tell Me What You Think!

For many months now, I have been contemplating the idea of an Artists’ Network which includes an Instructors’ Network. I’ve even gone so far as to register both domain names!  Imagine if you will, an online resource for artists everywhere.  It would be an easy to use directory service, which the owner of the listing would be able to update as needed without the help of an administrator.

So my question to you today, is there a need for such a service?

logo_artistsnetworkDo we need an Artists’ Network to join other artists in our common purposes, getting found online by prospective clients, forming friendships, learning from each other, and creating new opportunities?

Is there a need for an Instructors’ Network where any artist who teaches (regardless of certification or formal education) could be found?

If you’d like to test drive either one of these services before giving me your response please visit the Artists’ Network or the Instructors’ Network by clicking on the name. To join either network without cost, put in discount code N0FDP1WK for your free listing.

I value your opinion and hope you’ll take a moment to look at the sites and to give me your feedback using this survey.

 

Las Vegas Glass and Bead Expo – March 30 – April 3, 2016

I’ve gotten the most wonderful opportunity coming up this Spring and I wanted to share it with you.  As an artist entrepreneur it’s always exciting to be accepted into a big show.

This Spring, I’ve had the good fortune of being accepted to teach at the Las Vegas Glass and Bead Show!

dreamstime_s_47444217This show has always been a favorite of mine.  It’s where I was first introduced to metal clay!

I won’t be teaching metal clay.  I’ll be teaching a class entitled  ONLINE ARTISTRY – ESTABLISHING YOUR ON-LINE PRESENCE

As you can see from the graphic on the side, it’s more about “Taking control and building your on-line presence!”

In this short 90 minute presentation I’m hoping to help newbies  learn how easy and inexpensive it can be to get online. I’ll be talking about creating a personal website using simple tools, understanding e-commerce and marketing on a shoestring.

It’s really very humbling to be allowed to present at this wonderful event among so many incredible metal clayers.

The Glass Craft Expo is always a terrific time.  So bring your friends.  Have fun. Eat fabulous food, see great shows and laugh with your friends.

Even if you don’t take classes this year (and I’m hoping you will), you’ll be sure to enjoy seeing all the unique items brought by interesting vendors.  Metal Clay Today is going to be there too.  So if you are in Las Vegas, please, please, stop by and say hello.  All of us, Pat Evans, Teresa Mahler and myself would really enjoy meeting you!

Visit www.glasscraftexpo.com or call 800-217-4527 for more information.

Artist’s Making an Impact!

IMPACT ProjectMetal Clay Today has as our mission to give recognition, encouragement and a voice to the many gifted artisans, teachers and enthusiasts in the metal clay world. That is why we are assisting Holly Gage in announcing her new endeaver, the Impact Artist Project.

According to Holly,  “IMPACT is a non-profit organization taking a unique approach to educating Metal Clay users, and potential users, by bringing new awareness to the capabilities and wonders of Metal Clay.”

Holly who is the  Program Director says, “We had to think differently about a project that would go above and beyond the typical advocacy guild or art program. As the economy challenges folks, art guilds and programs across the board have seen a decline. Being an artist, teacher, or business in this environment has become increasingly challenging. IMPACT has designed a variety of incentives associated with doing various ‘growth’ activities. As you choose the activity that suits your personal needs, you grow as an artist, teacher, or business depending on your interest.” Built into the incentive program are the tools of the trade, such as Metal Clay, books, and hand tools. Each activity has a points reward value equal to gift certificate dollars that you get to spend at one of the IMPACT Sponsor’s stores.

IMPACT provides its members with a vast web site of resources, a wonderful forum for discussion, many supportive programs for guilds and their members, educational webinars, and a vast incentive program of activities designed to help members grow their career by keeping them motivated and excited about their own achievements. Individual artists can share their successes, ideas, and techniques for Metal Clay use through The HUB, as well as perusing through Event Postings; Discussions; a Metal Clay Project Showcase; Tips, Tricks, and Tools; Articles and Tutorials; Classes/Workshops; Teaching Facilities; Instructor Listings; Businesses Helping Businesses; Business Listings, and more.

hfebjejh-1Among other organizations, IMPACT is being supported by industry leaders such as: Jewelry Artist Supply.com, CoolTools.us, RioGrande.com, and Art Clay World. Currently, the IMPACT Artist Project is in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign to raise $25,000 dollars in an effort to bring their project to life. http://tinyurl.com/oktgz2s

This week, Holly Gage has offered her soon to be published e-book, “The Journey of Self Discovery through Metal Clay” to every donation level for free if the IMPACT Artist Project achieves their reach goal of $50,000, in addition to whatever level folks have pledged. You’ll have to hurry if you want to receive “The Journey of Self Discovery through Metal Clay” and get involved. The kickstarter campaign ends soon.

Contact:
Holly Gage
http://www.ImpactArtistProject.org
ImpactArtistProject@Gmail.com

What’s happening at Metal Clay Today?

There has been so much happening here with Metal Clay Today and my own life, I feel I should take a paragraph or more to let you in on it.

I usually try to not let me personal life interfere with my work.  I’ve learned all too well lately that sometimes it is just too difficult!

I’ll give you just a brief synopsis of the past few months…

MargaretAround the end of last year, Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimers.  We’d been asking her for awhile to choose an assisted living place so we could move her while she was still able to enjoy her new friends.  (I’ll bet a lot of you know that conversation.)

Things were progressing as expected until Mom went into the hospital.  A short time later she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Due to her other problems, our only option was to keep her comfortable and in a good place. Needless to say we were all on an emotional roller coaster trying to figure out what would be best for her.

A short time later Mom had a stroke and heart attack.  She survived it, but it left her unable to eat and drink.  We spent her final days surrounding her with as much love and affection as possible.  She went to dance with my Dad in heaven a short 5 days later!

I began to have serious doubt about the longevity of Metal Clay Today during this time.  It was soooo hard to get everything done, on time and well.  Fortunately, a friend suggested in her Facebook posting, that everything is easy with more people. It struck a cord with me, I began to think “What would happen if I opened up Metal Clay Today?”   I put out the word, and an amazing thing happened.  I immediately received so many emails from other artists volunteering to do something to keep this enterprise alive.  Metal Clay Today Winter 2014-2015The response was simply phenomenal!  Thanks to these artists new life has been breathed into Metal Clay Today; Alisa Siceloff, Brandy Boyd, Colleen White, Deanna Duncan-Allen, Helen Thomas, Jennifer Gastelum, JoAnn Wadler, Kristy Tamarack, Marilyn Cook, Marla Downing, Martha Biggar, Mojca Gazič, Steve Rossman, Teresa Mahler, Theresa Fiorella and the friend who gave me the idea,Tonya Davidson! And starting with the Summer Edition, Pat Evans, will become the new Senior Editor of Metal Clay Today! It is my intentions to introduce you to all of these wonderful and talented artists in the upcoming editions.

So what can you expect in the upcoming months?  I am in the process of finishing the Winter edition. I was working on it when Mom’s health started failing. How do you like this cover?   We’ll be featuring JoAnn Wadler, Steve Rossman, Carol Bray and more!

Pat Evans is working on the Summer Edition right now.  Our intention is to have it online at the intended time.  We will get the Spring 2015 edition out just as soon as practical.  Any Premier Subscribers whose subscription has expired during this time frame will have the editions sent directly to them.

ArtisanCraftExpo2015_7.25x4.75Amidst all of this, something pretty positive happened to me.  I was accepted to teach at the 2015 Artisan’s Craft Expo in Las Vegas, NV this July!  I’m very excited about it.  If you’re planning on attending, I hope you’ll stop by the booth to say hello, maybe take a class or two. Pat will be there and many of the artist’s who’ve been featured and written for Metal Clay Today.

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Passing on the Passion of Metal Clay!

Contributing ArtistYears ago when Arli Wolfson, Lori Phillips, and I decide to harness our collective passion for Metal Clay in the form of Metal Clay Today, we decided it was important to include other artists in the experience.  We suspected there were other Metal Clayers who were as engaged and hungry for articles and step-by-steps for working with metal clay. We still think we were right.

Our mission statement (do they still call it a mission statement?)  reads, “Metal Clay Today is devoted to giving recognition, encouragement and a voice to the many gifted artisans, teachers and enthusiasts in the metal clay world.”

I can gratefully and wholeheartedly state, we’ve the great pleasure of getting to know some of the worlds most gifted, talented, generous artists, artists who work primarily in metal clay. In addition, ALL of the Contributing Artists to Metal Clay Today are volunteers.  And I’m hoping that after today, you’ll become one of those artists!

In the Writer’s Guidelines, we give you the basic information about being a Contributing Artist, how to submit, submission dates, etc.  But have you ever thought about the altruistic effects of being a Contributing Artist?

Because Metal Clay Today is an online only magazine, it is read from Edmonton, Canada to Auckland, New Zealand and most continents in between.  If anyone knows a metal clayer in Greenland or Antarctica, please tell them about Metal Clay Today!

My point? There are metal clayers everywhere!  Some of them are isolated and the internet is their biggest source of fresh information about metal clay and new techniques. You can be their source of inspiration and encouragement and in the process become an internationally known writer!

We all remember the first time we worked with fine silver, copper, or bronze clay.  We studied the package directions. Read everything we could and eventually taking the plunge, were rewarded with the ah ha moment.  When we held our first piece of metal and realized we could make art with metal clay! Wouldn’t you like to be the one to pass on your love of metal clay to the next metal clay enthusiast?

To be a Contributing Artist, you only need to have the passion for working with metal clay and a willingness to share what you know about it! Visit http://www.metalclaytoday.com/contributing_artists.php and add your name to the list of  the many gifted Contributing Artists to Metal Clay Today.

A match made in heaven. The artistic soul finds copper and bronze without the carbon mess!

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This is not our usual blog article!

Carrie Story is a Metal Clay Artist, Instructor, Contributing Artist, Metal Clay Today Challenger and now the owner of Clay Revolution!

When she told me about her new adventure, I suggested she share why she is so excited about this product. I must say, I think her enthusiasm is contagious. I think you’ll enjoy. – Tes

Prometheus Clay has been popular around the globe but has somehow never hit the mainstream in the United States. I was fortunate enough to try out a bit of copper and bronze and could not have been more excited. This stuff works great!

Why am I so excited? I hate the carbon mess and time involved. This clay does not require carbon, so it can be torched (yes, torch fired bronze!) or fired in a kiln on a very short schedule. It is the perfect option for beginners, cost conscious projects and impatient people like me.

Prometheus Copper and Bronze.

The consistency is slightly spongier than the current local brands. Workability is long and does not seem to get as hot when you roll and kneed it. Wet joins are easily achieved by squishing the clay together. Dry joins are easy with a homemade oil paste. You can purchase premade copper and bronze syringe, making joins even easier. Drying time is long.

Firing, wow, I can’t even describe how great the options are. But I’ll try.

Bracelet by Kim Paige

Bracelet by Kim Paige

Torch firing – quarter size pieces torch fired with no problems. Place them on a fire brick. Get them as hot as you can as quickly as you can. Bring up to a cherry red color and hold for seven minutes. Quench before it cools down. This will remove most of the fire scale.

Kiln firing – For pieces larger than a quarter or thicker than 1/4″, you may want to fire in a kiln. Place the piece on a fiber blanket or steel mesh for best results. Preheat the kiln to 1500ᵒF for copper and 1700ᵒF for bronze. Open the door and place the blanket or mesh with the piece inside. Close the door immediately. Let the kiln heat back up to the target temperature, then fire for 30 minutes. Open the door remove the piece with tongs and quench immediately to remove the fire scale. Yes, it is that easy.

I still recommend pieces larger than a ping-pong ball be fired in activated carbon to achieve proper sintering.

PrometheusR Metal Clays (40)Since we haven’t used the clay much in the United States, we really don’t have multitudes of test results yet. I will continue to compile information on this, but to start here are a few working tips:

Test your piece after firing to make sure it is sintered properly. Tap it with a little piece of metal. If it “tinks” it’s finished. If it “thunks” refire it. If you don’t test it and start polishing, you risk removing all of the detail you worked so hard to put on. A quick test will prevent a big disappointment.

Heating this brand of bronze tends to bring out the copper color. So the best bronze colors will be achieved with carbon. Even just laying some carbon next to the piece in the kiln will help. However, polishing with fine grits has resulted in the goldish color coming back. As with all bronze, you can never predict exactly what color it will turn out. That’s part of the fun!

The clay is a little drier than most others when it comes out of the package. Rehydrate it with a few squirts of water before you start working. This clay holds the water very well and works perfectly once conditioned.

 


 Special Offer!  Visit http://www.clayrevolution.com/ for free shipping with orders over $40. Enter PROSHIP at checkout.

 

The Incredible WHITE COPPR Clay Contest!

Interested in learning about a new contest being offered by Rio Grande?clay

Let me quoting directly from their blog…


“A few weeks ago, Rio Grande released new WHITE COPPRclay™ from Metal Adventures, and the response has been tremendous! Clearly, you are as excited about this cool new metal clay as we are. To celebrate the design options this clay offers, we are sponsoring a contest, and we invite to you enter by posting your WHITE COPPRclay™ jewelry designs—or expressions of love—to our Incredible WHITE COPPRclay™ Contest Pinterest board! For all the details, keep on reading!

To begin, order some WHITE COPPRclay™ from Rio Grande (if you haven’t already). This clay offers you so many great design options! For inspiration, take a look the recent Jewelry Design Options: Mixing COPPRclay and New WHITE COPPRclay post here on The Studio.

Next, take the following steps to enter our Pinterest Incredible WHITE COPPRclay™ contest. All entries will be posted on our COPPRclay Pinterest board. The new deadline is June 30, and we’re accepting entries starting right now. Here’s how to enter:

1. Request access to our Pinterest board.

Leave a comment on this blog post requesting an invitation to our Pinterest board and, while you’re at it, be sure to tell us your Pinterest account name. (You’ll need to sign up for Pinterest first, if you’re not already a Pinterest member.) We’ll email you an invitation via Pinterest and then you’ll be able to pin your entry on our Incredible COPPRclay™ Contest Pinterest board!

2. What should my entry look like?   

Simply share your love of WHITE COPPRclay™ by creating a pin on our Pinterest board! There are so many ways to express your love and excitement: You can pin a photo of your WHITE COPPRclay™ jewelry designs, or a sound bite of you singing a WHITE COPPRclay™ love song. Create a meme. Pin a haiku. Post a video. The sky’s the limit! Whatever you choose to do, keep it family-friendly and just share the magic.

3. Do it again! We will accept up to five entries per person or business.

When the June 30 deadline has come and gone, we will choose a winner, and that creative person will be honored right here on The Studio with a post that spotlights his or her jewelry. The spotlight post will link from G+, Facebook, and Twitter, and will be pinned on our Pinterest WHITE COPPRclay™ board. That’s an awful lot of readership! As for the rest of you creatives who enter, we will randomly repin some of your entries to our WHITE COPPRclay™ board on Pinterest. What fun!

MariaElena Baca

So what are you waiting for? Start now and request your invitation to post to our Pinterest board today. We can’t wait to see how creative and how far out of the box you can get!”


If you would like to learn more about working with this terrific new product, check out MariaElena Baca’s upcoming article on WHITE COPPRclay™ in the Summer Edition.

MariaElena Baca
MariaElena Baca is an award-winning jewelry designer who has been making and designing jewelry for over 15 years. She began working with metal c
lay a little over 13 years ago, and in 2007 received her certification in PMC through the Rio Rewards Program. Though metal clay is a primary area of expertise, she is trained and knowledgeable in many other areas of jewelry-making and enjoys combining various methods to produce her pieces.