Thursday, 27 August 2009

Metal Clay Masters Registry - E1 Votive Figure

After my Thoth inspired project I've turned to Egypt for my Masters Registry votive figure....
The brief: Duplicate a Votive Figure from an Earlier Culture....Using primarily metal clay, make a figure that fits into this tradition.
Prayers to the Jackal headed god are found carved on the most ancient tombs in Egypt, and he has many duties. Annubis watches over the mummification process to ensure that all is done properly. He conducts the souls through the underworld, testing their knowledge of the gods. He places their heart on the Scales of Justice during the Judging of the Heart, and he feeds the souls of wicked people to Ammit (the crocodile demon). At first I was going to create the full Jackal version (as I thought it would be easier) but then I thought, what the heck, it's the masters registry, lets stretch myself a bit (for that read "lots and lots")
So above was my first few days work, design, plan, build a fine silver skeleton and fuse it all together then start the process of modelling the body.
And here's where I am tonight - hopefully you can see the rough shape coming together....There's obviously still loads to do...add more clay to shape and define the body, start carving more defined arms and legs, shape the feet, add hands, add the loincloth, add more to the ears etc etc etc.
I'm quite pleased with my progress so far though, he's even balanced enough to stand up on those two pins...
Nic x

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Student Work - August Course

I had three students today and we were very proactive! They learnt setting with CZ stones, Brooch Fittings and how to make a ring. One had done a "smidge" of PMC work the other two were completely new to it :)I love this pretty flower brooch that Claire did - we added polymer clay to give it a jazzy centre and the earrings were left brush finish (because they looked fabulous!)Sally made a dragonfly brooch with a sapphire CZ highlight and a gorgeous ring (which fitted perfectly!)
Finally these stunning earrings and custom Pandora style charms, made by Adele, finished off this talented trios creations!
Didn't they do well :)
Nic xx

Friday, 21 August 2009

PMC and Enamel Charms for the EMCTeam Swap

Did you know about the EtsyMetalClayTeam? It a fab bunch of Metal Clay Artists who sell their wares on Etsy, all gathered together for mutual self promotion. Anyway while we were chatting together on our forum we decided to do a charm swap. One bracelet for each of us and one for charity (28 charms in total!)

I'm so happy to say my charms are finally going to be winging their way to America today :)
Here they are straight out of the kiln & freshly enamelled. And here they are polished up & with their Swarovski Crystals added!

Spirals were chosen because I love their organic form and in Celtic belief the spiral symbolised the journey from darkness into light. The little crystals just complemented the colour so well I had to add them too! I can't wait to see what the other folks have made (I've had a sneak peek of a few and they look AWESOME!!
These are Lindas (Clayology) , Dinas (Dina Alexander) , Catherines (Happy Day Art), Ruths (Birdland Creations) and Bevs (Mango Tango Designs)

Nic x

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Soldering PMC or Art Clay Silver Cuff links

Personally I use the complete cufflink mechanisms from Cooksons (NVU-101 you can find them here)

This is what I do for my fine silver (PMC/ACS) fronts onto the Cooksons cuff link mechanisms.
1) File off the little bump so you have nice flat contact
2) Burnish the area on the PMC that you'll be attaching the cuff link too
3) (If using paste) Blob paste onto the cuff link finding
3b) (If using Pallions) Clean and flux both pieces and the solder pallions
4) Hold cuff link finding onto cuff link with cross-locking tweezers (at an angle where you won't burn yourself while heating the piece)
4b) (If using Pallions) put solder pallions at join point
5) Aim the heat at the block around the fine silver cuff link gradually bringing the heat more onto the cuff link. Don't aim the heat onto the solder itself until the the fine silver is hot. The solder tends to melt when the fine silver is around the Salmon red colour.
6) Remove heat when the solder flows BUT continue to hold the cuff link finding in place as the solder will still be fluid until the metal cools a bit.
7) Pickle & polish as normal

Here's what they look like finished - hope that helps :)

Nic x

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

PMC Symposium Bristol

Last weekend was spent very, very happily at the PMC symposium in Bristol.

Guest presenters included Tim McCreight, Jeannette Landenwitch, Robert Dancik and the inventor of Bronze Clay-Bill Struve. It kicked off with a wonderful keynote presentation from Tim (far left in the picture), ahhh so the focus of the weekend was design....

This fitted well as we got so see for real fabulous Masters Registry creations including Maggi Bergmans bracelet and brooch with stilt rivets. Clare John demonstrated resins (she has a great selection of colours ans they look fabulous). Sue Heaser demonstrated Polymer Clay. Helga van Leipsig presented on using ceramic transfers on silver clay (her work is amazing and the effects look very similar to aluminium and silver mixed)

Then there was the Balloon Festival and the Red Arrows fly over. Lisa Cain is good very, very good at organising conferences - but a Red Arrows fly over!!! WOW!! ....(NB apparently Lisa said that it was just co-incidence and all that stuff was going on anyway, but I'm not so sure, lol)

Critique Sessions were available with:
•Tim McCreight •Robert Dancik •Lisa Cain •Jeanette Landenwitch •Chris Pate •Julia Rai
I was booked in with Tim McCreight who was extremely generous with his knowledge!
OMG then there was the eye candy!!!!
I put more here in my Flickr Photos - (just click the conference set)
There was soooo much more the stone setting with Jeanette Landenwitch, the riveting (literally) session with Robert Dancik where we saw some of the things you could do with cold connections and faux bone (I had to get some of that!).
Then there were lots of opportunities to buy stuff and a prize giving too £££ Major value prizes!!

All in all I shall definitely be booking next year and now I am also committed to participating in the Masters Registry. The Masters is a program linked to an independent evaluation system that is the most prestigious and professional credential in the field of metal clay. It's not cheap but you DO get world class designers evaluating your work and build up an impressive portfolio of professional photographs...

Nicola xxx

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