In my tiny office/studio in Orlando, FL, I express my dual business personality. About half of my working time is spent as the Retail Program Manager for the National Mango Board. That’s right, I promote mangos for a living. We have an awesome website at mango.org, where you can learn how to select, ripen, cut and use mangos in your own kitchen. If you invite me to your house, I’m likely to bring a mango and teach you how to cut it, because I’m truly passionate about mangos. They are beautiful, delicious, healthy and so versatile to use in recipes. Go out and buy one! You won’t regret it.
My other passion, the one that infiltrates my every free waking and dreaming moment, is metal clay. I am fascinated by the transformation from pliable clay to carvable greenware, to solid metal. I watch with wonder as my fired pieces submit to my manipulations that take them from frosty white to polished silver to purple-patina coated to their finished state where shiny and patina find the perfect balance. I feel myself growing and expanding as each piece evolves, and the clay teaches me something new every time I handle the material. What started as a hobby has become an obsession and a spiritual experience that feeds my soul and drives my imagination.
I first handled metal clay in 2009 during a week-long introductory class with Pam East. Since then, I’ve been on a mission to study with the best teachers in the metal clay community. I came to metal clay from several years working with polymer clay, and my original intention was to combine the two. Once I put my hands on metal clay I was hooked and haven’t looked back. I’ve hardly touched polymer clay since then, except to build molds and armatures. It just goes to show, you never know where the curving path of life will take you!
When I started my own metal clay journey in 2009, I also started the Metal Clay Magic blog, where I featured other metal clay artists and their work. I wanted to create a site to recognize metal clay art that made me say, “wow”. In 2012, after a lengthy hiatus from the site, I invited a diverse group of metal clay artists to join me and convert Metal Clay Magic into a group blogging project. We hope you enjoy this new journey.
Currently, I sell my own jewelry creations wholesale to galleries and boutiques. The wholesale business model suits my lifestyle and my personality. You can find my work at StudioMcManus.com.
I believe jewelry can help a woman feel more connected, more grounded, in this crazy fast-paced world. My work reflects the shapes and textures of the natural world, providing a touchpoint for the wearer during her hectic day.
On the homefront, I’m married to Jim McManus, a talented 3D photographer and audio engineer, and our 3 sweet kitties. When I’m not pushing mangos, marketing my business, making jewelry or blogging, you might find me working in my yard, keeping the herbs trimmed and the flowers blooming.