Have you seen the new Lorena Angulo Limited Edition Stamp?

Lorena Angulo Limited Ed Stamp

I’m really excited to announce Lorena’s new stamp will soon in the mail to all of the very patient Premier Subscribers of Metal Clay Today.

Lorena is an accomplished artist. Her style is so unique and  recognizable that whenever and wherever you come across one of her pieces you know it.  So when she agreed to work with Candace Gates (Dynasty Studios) to create a limited edition texture stamp for Metal Clay Today Premier Subscribers we were thrilled!

Lorena was born in Mexico where she had a first hand opportunity to experience the diverse cultural and artistic expressions of her country while traveling around Mexico.

She lived in Chiapas, Mexico for the first years of her life which gave her a wonderful experience and memories about the folk art and the amazing jewelry that native Indians wore and made for special occasions.

Lorena initiated her studies in Mass Communication Sciences at the Universidad Iberoamericana Noroeste in Baja California, Mexico to later continue with her major in Mass Communications and Advertising at the University of Texas at El Paso.

After several years of doing art and graphic design, as well as managing the business side of her family’s printing shop, she moved to New Jersey to start her own family.

In 2003 Lorena and her family moved to San Antonio, Texas where her passion and love for art motivated her to study metals at the Southwest School of Art and Craft. It was in this school where Lorena had her first experience with metal clay through the hands of a wonderful teacher, Claire Holliday.

Lorena’s work is full of her culture and traditions from Mexico, every piece has a story to tell.

She earned her certification from Rio Rewards and is a member of PMC Guild, SNAG and MCASA (Metal Clay Artists in San Antonio.)

Her new book, “Behind the Brooch: A Closer Look at Backs, Catches, and Pin Stems is available at http://www.schifferbooks.com/behind-the-brooch-a-closer-look-at-backs-catches-and-pin-stems-5372.html

If you would like to visit with Lorena, visit her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LorenaAnguloJewelry

If you’d like to own her new Limited Edition Texture Stamp,  visit http://www.metalclaytoday.com/OrderYrMCT.html

Lorena’s stamp is only available because of the collaboration and talents of Candace Gates of Dynasty Studio.

I thought it might be a good to include a reminder about Dynasty Studio’s Angel Policy.

“Dynasty Stamp is an “angel” company. You are welcome to sell products you have crafted by hand, using Dynasty Textures up to a maximum of 250 pieces per design. Each piece you create for sale must be personally hand stamped and crafted by the selling artist. Mass production or assembly-line construction, production by workers for hire or syndication of hand stamped craftwork for sale is strictly prohibited. Dynasty Stamp is the sole owner and has the exclusive copyright for the enclosed artwork, images and textures. Further usage terms may apply, please visit www.dynastystamp.com for complete terms.

One thing I’d like to include… if you are inspired by the work of Lorena Angulo in your designs, mention it!  If you make a piece without changing a thing, have a heart, give the credit to Lorena and Dynasty!

 

Angel Guardian-Lorena Angulo-GSC.small

 

 

 

Are you interested in a Metal Clay Conference in Las Vegas?

I’ve had the great pleasure of attending a Metal Clay World Conference and a PMC Conference.  At these events, I met so many wonderful and fascinating metal clay artists.  Artists that I am so happy to call friends.  There have been a few hearty soles that have taken on the challenge of putting together metal clay events.  All of them are delightful I’m certain, but maybe not as large as those previous conferences.  So I have a question for you… would you be interested in a Metal Clay Conference in Las Vegas?

LVM is a professional company that manages conferences all over the country. They are interested in organizing a metal clay conference, but because the niche is so small, they want to incorporate polymer clay and a small amount of glass as well. They would like feedback, because once committed, this is a huge undertaking with lots of financial implications on their part. You can contact Patty at patty@lvmanagement.com to let her know what you think.

They would have classes, a vendor room, much like the Metal Clay World Conference of old. Only they are totally unbiased and would only be interested in throwing the best, most complete conference ever.

The conference would be in Vegas, because rooms are cheap and nearly everyone can get a flight there. This would be for 2015, so they need all the feedback they can get.

Please let Patty know what you think. Just like the Glass Community has Glass Craft and Bead Expo, which also includes small amounts of polymer clay and metal clay, I think it would be fabulous to have a metal clay conference that has polymer clay and glass in it. There is such a wide crossover of techniques, molds, stamps, etc.

Correction to the Special announcement from The Art of the Bead!

If you are an artist who has not exhibited at the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee, they have a great opportunity for you!

Last year they promoted several of their artists who had never been to the show. They really enjoyed introducing the artists’ work and the artists were pleased as well!

This year they are seeking submissions from any bead artist who has never shown their work at Bead and Button.  They will choose five (5) artists to exhibit on a consignment basis.  These artists will receive extra attention and separate displays as they are introduced to an international clientele.

Artists must make pendants or other focal beads in ceramic, raku, glass, polymer clay, precious metal clay, metal or organic materials.   Artists will be chosen on quality, creativity and originality.  They will choose a variety of media.  The advertising will include an announcement that these artists are new to Bead and Button. Deadline for submissions is March 15, 2014.  Sorry, but they are only set up to work with artists from the United States at this time.

If you are interested in this opportunity, email Chris at Chris@theartbead.com for submission details including a sample copy of the consignment contract and comments from last year’s artists.   If you have a Gmail email account, please provide them with a different email address or your Etsy link. They are looking forward to hearing from you and seeing your work!

This announcement is being provided by The Art of the Bead! Visit www.theartbead.com to learn more about this opportunity.

It’s a RECTANGLE, only a RECTANGLE! Or “Why Can’t I Cut a Straight Line?”

Melody Piersonby Melody Pierson

I needed to make something out of metal clay that would work. I’d had a string of bad luck or I was just missing something somewhere. Remember when you starting learning Algebra in High School. You had a series of steps to follow to find what “X” meant. If you missed a step, you would scratch your head and keep asking yourself “Y”?

WHY wasn’t anything working? I am not so NEW at this anymore. It’s been a few years and I’ve made and sold some cool pieces; even learned a trick or two ON MY OWN by experimenting. Then came the LULL. When you stop using your information, you forget stuff.

So there I was, saying, DO SOMETHING EASY. Make earrings with just two metals, fire them and be done with it. I’m lying. The earrings were going to be one type of metal. Period. But NOOOOO, that would be too easy. Here’s the deal, NOTHING is easy. I don’t care what the teachers and your friends say, NOTHING is easy. Ahem, unless you are over-eager and start rushing through things and feel nervous because you think you have just lost any bit of talent you have had.

First challenge. Cut out two rectangles. The same size. Wait, first step, make the clay, roll out the clay with the proper thickness and then cut the rectangle(s). Well, I have all the materials. The mixing bowl, the stirring knife, the “mister” with distilled water, a self-healing cutting mat (has more scars than Pacino in “Scarface”), 3 kinds of craft cutting blades, (choose one, Melody and stick to it for crying out loud to cut a simple shape), olive oil and on and on…

The first problem, really, was the thickness and the dampness of the clay…too thick, too damp. So I rolled the clay some more and took out thinner slats (I have colored slats, the green thickness surfaces, playing cards set up by thickness…) I stuck with the slats. I rolled out the clay again but first I had to choose which roller. I have the same 3 clear plastic standard size rollers everyone first gets. Why 3? I don’t know. I think two of them got together and had a roll in the clay somewhere, with no protection. I also have the dark grey rollers, one bigger, one smaller and finally the new uber-roller, acrylic and solid. It’s a very scary roller. I chose the scary roller and it laughed at me when clay started sticking to it. I glared back at it. Thinks he’s so smart because he’s bigger than the other ones. Yeah, well, I’ll show you.

I decided to roll out the clay again on the cutting mat of a thousand slices and put a thin, but oiled, plastic bag over the clay. I reached for the acrylic and then backed down. Choose your battles carefully. The grey roller.

Metal Clay Tools of the TradeWell, it went nicely, I must say. I rolled out a very nice piece of lovely smooth clay and took out a plastic template shape cutter with different size rectangles. I picked the wrong size rectangle only twice and on the third I used the biggest one, in case I made more stupid, ridiculous cutting mistakes, like not cutting evenly around and inside that rectangular space. What was my problem? I tried every cutting tool. You know, the HARD part was really lifting the cut clay OFF and OUT of the template. Then, I wised up. I lifted up the template and just cut away the excess. It worked! Now, I just had to do another one exactly the same.

You are all saying, poor, poor girl. Cut two rectangles at the same time. Why are you making your life so hard? Well, I don’t know. I had lost my mojo and it was hard getting back into the process.

Finally two rectangles. YAY. They kind of looked alike. They were both crooked because when I moved them onto another area of the cutting mat, they swayed a bit. Maybe my hands swayed and they went along for the ride. I don’t know, for crying out loud. All I know is that I couldn’t make two simple 1441468_10151786726258090_2040369567_nrectangles and I was very close to hitting the bottle, of distilled water and mushing them together again. Yeah, well, actually, that’s what I did. It took me three hours to make two acceptable rectangles.

When they dried and were transferred off the coffee mug warmer which actually does work as a coffee warmer, I stared at the two pieces. Sanding was required. I have sanding paper, sanding metal files, sanding thin sticks, sanding smoothies, power tool sanding attachments and a sand tray with rocks in them and a little rake to play with to calm myself down. I used sanding paper. I should have used those big sanding smoothies and pretend I was doing my nails. Joke. Nobody who works with metal clay has nice nails, except one woman in a video and they are clearly fake nails, but I digress.

They became as straight as they were going to get. Anyway I convinced myself that if it all looked so perfect it wouldn’t have that “hand-made” feel to it. I can lie to myself with the best of them. In any case, I thought they looked kind of boring. I made two holes on each of them, one at the top for the jump ring for the ear wire and one at the bottom because hey, what’s a pair of earrings without a little dangle? I decided the dangle would be a smaller rectangle. Back to the cutting mat, the clay, the slats, the roller…

Now, began the process of not one, but two, fatal errors. I decided that these earrings were going to have a second metal, inlay, in a geometric shape, an L form, on each rectangle (four of them) in complimenting positions. No, I’m not joking. Of course I first used the wrong kind of metal clay for the inlay and then proceeded to not position them equally nor properly. After such time, when it had dried all on its own, I had to sand them out and use the proper clay and begin this process again. Earrings. Just a pair of metal clay rectangular earrings. Really?

1422608_10151789994238090_1773578181_nFinally, finally, 16 hours later, I tell no lie…I decide I am now going to fire the two phases in one programming effort as clearly explained by Hadar Jacobson, whom I adore. Whatever made me think I could follow these simple instructions after all these hours of trial and error and exhaustion and just not stick to doing it the old-fashioned way, I don’t know. I really don’t know. I figured it was an “all or nothing” kind of decision. Throwing carbon to the wind, if you will.

The earrings were a disaster. Over-fired, mostly melted. Thank goodness it wasn’t a total loss. I had thrown in some 1385157_10151793274488090_783549173_nhand-rolled beads with leftover clay and at least I could string a few of those.

Is there a moral to this madness?

Yes there is. When you haven’t done something in a very long time, do not presume it is like getting back on a bicycle. It’s not. Not with with me and metal clay. I have to read everything all over again and take baby steps.

I must plan the work and work the plan, blah blah… How does that leave room for Divine inspiration? It doesn’t, really if we remain too strict with ourselves.

OK, the real moral of the story is that if you are an artist, any kind of artist, in order to get creative and execute any kind of flourish or special design, you have to know the rules. I repeat. You have to know the rules SO WELL, that you can bend them and break them because it’s there in your head.

Then and only then, can you “think outside the rectangles”.

Later, that week, Melody attempted to make a ring…(to be continued).

Set the Table Challenge… still time to enter!

WOW, did I goof! It was brought to my attention that I still have September 15, 2013 as the last day to enter the Set the Table Challenge on the website. It should have been October 15, 2013.  In an effort to correct this error, I’ve modified the dates to give you a chance to participate. See the bottom of this page for more information.

My excuse is that I updated the website before the anticipated release of the last edition.  It was not online at its usual date because we wanted to share with you all of the wonderful things that happened at Metal Clay by the Bay.  We were involved with Metal Clay by the Bay from the beginning and bursting to let you know all about it.

Unfortunately for me, I didn’t do a reset on everything involving the challenge. I’m sorry! These Challenges are designed to stretch your metal clay creativity and give you an opportunity to discover companies like NobelClays who cater to us metal clay enthusiasts.  NobelClays is an awesome company with wonderful products!  They have been very generous in their sponsorship and we’d like to offer you another chance to participate in this challenge.I hope you’ll forgive me for making this blunder!  I look forward to seeing all the ways that you have Set the Table with metal clay.

Here’s a few reasons why I hope you’ll take this challenge…

the Sponsor is

null   and

everybody who enters will receive

10 grams of microSPHERE and

 a 25% discount on Noble Clays!

First Place is  500g Bronze Ruby

& 50g Silver Sterling,
this is a value at $223.00 (USD).
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Second Place is 300g Bronze Ruby and

330g microSPHERE

Valued at $70.20 (USD) for Bronze and $24 (USD) for microSHERE
+ null

Viewer’s Choice is

 100g Bronze Ruby and 55g microSphere

  + null  

Entry into the Set the Table Challenge is FREE and open to all Metal Clay Today registered subscribers.

So if you’re ready, it’s time to

Set the Table

with metal clay!

Enter today by visiting
https://adobeformscentral.com/?f=QvoJlLb53FnXHOHwfyB9yw#

Entries will be accepted until November 1, 2013.

Voting for the Viewer’s Choice Award begins November 8 and runs through November 25, 2013.

Winners announced November 30, 2013.

Keum-boo with Celie Fago then Enter There’s No Boohoo in Keum-boo! Challenge

There's No Boohoo in Keum-Boo ChallengeThis is a terrific challenge and possibly one of the most difficult of all of our challenges. 

So my question to you… will you take the There’s No Boohoo in Keum-Boo Challenge?

June 15, 2013 IS THE LAST DAY TO ENTER.
This challenge is being sponsored by JEC products, the creative genius of the UltraLite Beehive Kiln.  The unique size and shape of this kiln makes it perfect for creating superb keum-boo, glass cabochons, annealing metals, and of course, sintering any metal clay which can be torch fired. Its light weight, ability to maintain a consistent temperature, and reasonable price makes it a great kiln for metal clay instructors.Plus, UltraLite kilns are available in 120, 220, 230, 240 Volts!
Celie Fago calls the UltraLite the best kiln for keum-boo. Celie has graciously allowed us to post this video of her doing keum-boo with the UltraLite Beehive Kiln.

Never tried keum-boo?  Keum-boo adds wonderful beauty to every creation. Now is a great time to get started.  During this Challenge, The UltraLite Beehive Kiln and the Studio Kiln are available to Metal Clayers at a significant discount!  So what are you waiting for… give it a try.

Arli Wolfson has written a nice little tutorial on doing keum-boo using the UltraLite Beehive Kiln!

Click Here to read the article!

Don’t Forget to Vote for Your Favorite! “Build a Better Box” Challenge.

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Be sure to check out the slide show! Then take the time to vote for one of these incredible Metal Clay artists. Visit http://metalclaytoday.com/ to cast your vote.

Riparian Box BBB

Royal Crown BBB

Spice Box BBB

Stems and Bark BBB

Totem Pin Box BBB

Treasured Tea BBB

Tree Goddess BBB

Antique Box BBB

Bead Box BBB

Boxed BBB

One for the Road BBB

Craftsman Box BBB

Cup of Human Kindness BBB

Dino Box BBB

Dragonflies and Butterflies Keepsake box BBB

Time Helps Heal All Wounds BBB

One for the Road BBB

Queen's Purse BBB

Shell Box BBBKoi Reliquary BBB

Tales of the Heart winners announced!

TalesoftheHeart.logo.sm

A little while ago we announced that Mitsubishi Materials Corporation was sponsoring the Tales of the Heart contest. We thought you’d like to see the winning entries! So join us in congratulating to the following gifted artists!

Kimberly Nogueira took First place for her ‘Reliquary of Childhood Memories’.

Meenu Devrani won Second place with ‘My Heart is My Refuge’ and

Catherine Witherell placed Third with ‘My Heart’s Golden Secret Gives Me Hope’.

Please enjoy their beautiful works of art. Visit www.talesoftheheart.net for more information.

Time to Enter the Build a Better Box Challenge

If you are a new or seasoned metal clay artist, you may not have tried your hand at creating a box. That’s why we were so excited that Kim Paige agreed to write a step-by-step for creating metal clay boxes for the most recent edition of Metal Clay Today. She really breaks the process down into easy to follow steps so why not give it a try?

We’re Sponsoring this one and hope you’ll take the Challenge.

Check out these prizes!

First Place: $200.00 USD
Second Place: $100.00 USD
Viewer’s Choice: $50.00 USD

The rules are simple. Create a metal clay box. It can be a piece of jewelry or work of art. Your choice. Just make sure it includes metal clay.

Entries are being accepted until February 15, 2013.

Announcing the Tales of the Heart Contest sponsored by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation

The heart has been a recurring icon theme throughout the ages. All of our experiences touch our heart whether physically, emotionally, psychologically, or spiritually. This competition invites you to tell your story through the eyes of a heart. But not just any heart—the most sophisticated, expressive heart you can create. Whether comforting, provocative, touching, or gut-wrenching, our hearts hold our deepest secrets. What is the Tale of your Heart?

The judges are: Bill Griffith, Patrik Kusek, and Annie Pennington.

Competition details:

All objects submitted must contain a heart.

At least 50% of the piece must be made from PMC: fine silver, sterling silver, or gold.

Designs should go beyond familiar heart molds and cutters.

First prize: $1000.00

Second prize: $750.00

Third prize: $500.00

Submission details:

3-5 images per person, plus one detail of each piece, if necessary.

Good quality images are essential.

Photos should be JPGs

100 dpi (dots per inch)

RGB color format

The final size will likely be 2 MB (megabytes) or less.

Submit:

Please send images, along with your name, the title of the piece, size and the materials used to info@talesoftheheart.net

Deadlines:

Images must be received by midnight January 14, 2013 (US Eastern time). No exceptions.

Notification of winners will be on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013.

Questions: Email: Jeanette (Nettie) Landenwitch at info@talesoftheheart.net

or visit www.talesoftheheart.net