Meijerink’s Pueblo Pot

Meijerink_5_10Check out this gorgeous piece from Noortje Meijerink.  On her site, Noortje describes her technique for creating the ceramic porcelain pots and vases, and covering them in a homemade black slip.  Using a sgrafitto technique, she scratches geometric patterns inspired by Pueblo Indian art into the surface, revealing the white pattern on the black field.  Silver metal clay is used to further embellish some of these amazing pieces.

Be sure to check out her Web site.  This link is to the English version of the site, but feel free to click on the flag in the upper right corner if you prefer to read the site in Dutch.

Fitz’s Splash

Fitz_5_10jpgCheck out this gorgeous pendant from from Deb Fitz called “Splash”.  I’m fascinated by the subtle translucent colors that can be achieved with enamels in the right hands.  The three raised silver circles seem perfectly balanced with the stone, and I love the dimensional construction of the piece.  Very nice, indeed.

You’ll find more from Deb on her blog and on her Flickr photostream.

Alienor’s Steampunk Ring

Alienor_4_10I’m on a roll with my admiration of the French metal clay community.  Today’s feature is Sabine Alienor’s Steampunk Ring crafted from the new Prometheus Bronze Clay.  I just love all of the intricate details in this piece. 

Sabine’s Flickr Photostream is loaded with beautiful examples of her work.  Her Web site, which is presented primarily in French, features a blog, online store and loads of tutorials.  I understand we have Margaret Schindel to thank for the many English translations of Sabine’s French tutorials.  Check out Sabine’s Facebook fan page for more metal clay goodness.

Von Achen’s Seamless Ring

Von_Achen_4_10I love everything about this fine silver ring from Kenji Von Achen.  The shape, scale, texture and impeccable construction come together to make this piece work beautifully.   Kenji is another member of the French metal clay community.  They surely are a talented bunch!

Kenji’s got a strong online presence.  You can find more on his Web site, Flickr photostreamFacebook fan page and his blog, which is available in both French and English.

Rai’s Hinged Box

Rai_3_10Congratulations to Julia Rai for achieving level 3 status with the Masters Registry.  She’s the first individual to reach that level, so it’ s a particularly exciting achievement.  I’m fascinated  by the Master’s Registry.  Their site is a fabulous source of eye candy and the artists who are pursuing this credential are a great source of inspiration to me personally.

The Masters Registry is a structured program designed to challenge an artist’s creative and technical abilities.  To progress through the program, candidates submit a total of 50 projects divided into 5 levels.  Each project is evaluated and scored.  If a piece doesn’t earn a passing score, it can be re-worked and re-submitted until it does pass.  Each group of 10 projects completed successfully earns the candidate the next Masters Registry level.  So, Julia has had 30 of her submitted pieces pass the evaluation process, including the hinged box that’s shown here.  Kudos!

Julia’s new Web site exhibits a level of generosity and openness that I really admire.  She shows photos of each piece submitted, including those that did not pass the evaluation.  She includes background information about her creative process, some of the comments from the evaluators, and even the scores she received on each piece.

You’re probably already familiar with Julia’s other site, Metal Clay Academy, which is an independent resource for information about metal clay.  The site is very deep with lots of great information and tons of links.

Simon’s Mandala

Simon_3_10Have you seen it?!  Barbara Becker Simon posted this most amazing mandala piece yesterday on her Facebook Fan Page, and I just had to continue the buzz here on Metal Clay Magic.  I feel I could spend hours looking at the intricate details and discovering new aspects of this piece to appreciate.  I love the hands that encircle the center of the donut, but my most favorite bit is the series of bugs (or are they spiders) that ring the piece.  In Barbara’s own words, the piece was, “too much ding, dang work”, but we are surely glad she put in that time.  It seems this piece will be exhibited at the PMC Conference, so I’m looking forward to seeing it in person.  You can see a photo of the piece in the greenware stage here.  Or, click here to see the back of the piece, which is also intricate and gorgeous.

Check out Barbara’s Facebook Fan Page and her Web site for more masterpieces!

My Gordi Turtle

DSC05832I was able to re-arrange my crazy schedule to attend a workshop with Gordon Uyehara last week.  The session was hosted by the most gracious and hospitable Florida Suncoast PMC Guild, which is based just 2 hours from my home.  I really enjoyed getting to know this great group of gals, and I learned so much from Gordon. 

The project was his Cosmic Honu pendant, which is a sea turtle.  The basic construction was pretty straightforward, but the real fun was in decorating the turtle.  It was very cool to see how everyone in the class gave such a different look and personality to their turtle.  The school of class-produced turtles is pictured to the left, with Gordi’s class sample leading the pack.  My turle is pictured by itself to the right.

DSC05831Some of you may be asking where I’ve been recently.  My day job with the National Mango Board is busiest in the first three months of the year.  I’ve already made half a dozen business trips since the start of the year and tomorrow I leave for a week in Mexico.  Along with the travel comes a constant stream of deadlines.  I love my job and I’m not complaining.  Just please know that my blogging schedule will pick up again after I get through this current batch of madness.  Thanks for your patience!

McKinnon’s Fine Silver Chain

McKinnon_2_10Okay, so today’s post really isn’t about this fine silver chain, lovely though it is.  It’s actually about all the new stuff Kate McKinnon is cranking out these days, including a nice little video about metal clay safety that she has posted on YouTube.  If you are a reader of Kate’s blog, you know she is outspoken and opinionated – both qualities that I quite like.  The beauty of this video is that she has managed to keep her more incendiary positions off the agenda, so she can speak clearly and directly about metal clay safety, a subject she cares about deeply.  Check it out.  I think you’ll enjoy it.

Kate has also promised a second YouTube video about the advantage of full firing, and she’s got a DVD and a new book in the final stages of production.  She was also recently added to the faculty of CraftEdu.com, which is Donna Kato’s new education program for fine craft.  Check out Kate’s blog for a glimpse into the stream of consciousness that is her world. But look out, it’s a fast-moving stream.

Oh yes, the fine silver chain is made of metal clay which was fired, fused and forged.  The sweet s-hook is fine silver wire, forged and with a metal clay sculptured end added for flair.  I’ll bet that baby is really strong!

Van Kleeck’s Eccentric Donut Earrings

VanKleek_2_10Kathy Van Kleeck is shaking off the chill and letting the subtle signs of spring inspire her to create with gusto!  I love her take on the tried and true donut shape in these Eccentric Donut Earrings.  I get the feeling that no shape cutters or templates ever touched these pieces, which are infused with the raw energy of Kathy’s hands working the clay.  Her fingerprints create a most interesting and organic texture here.  Very nice.

In addition to new creations in clay, Kathy has been refreshing her online presence.  She has moved her blog, so be sure to update your blog reader to her new home.   And, check out her Etsy store for new listings.  You can also find more about Kathy on her Web site.

Horn’s Turkish Round Bracelet

Horn_2_10The chunky texture of this turkish round chainmail is beautifully complemented by a COPPRclay toggle clasp in this piece by Darcy Horn, also known as the Jade Dog.  I especially like the cool shape of the toggle bar, which looks to me like a forged piece of copper wire.

You can find more from Darcy on her Web site, blog, Flickr photostream, Facebook fan page and Etsy store.

Funnell’s Moonlit Sea Pendant

Funnell_2_10This colorful creation from Joy Funnell is not what it appears to be.  At first glance, I thought she had masterfully used enamels to get these gorgeous colors exactly where she wanted them to go.  After reading her blog post, I learned that she used the very inexact science of LOS patination to achieve this effect.  Wow!  She calls the process “selective patination” and my mind is spinning with the possibilities.

Joy’s online presence includes her blog, her Web site and an Ebay UK store stocked with metal clay supplies.

Barth’s Leaf Broach

Barth_1_10I was poking around in the Yahoo Metal Clay Group’s photo collection and stumbled across this talented artist and her lovely leaf broach.  Lisa Barth does amazing work and often incorporates natural stones in bezel settings with her metal clay creations.  I just love the lacy texture she created in a few sections of this leaf.  It adds a rich, organic feel to the piece that’s really nice.

You can see an extensive gallery of Lisa’s work on her Web site.

If you’re not a member of the Yahoo Metal Clay Group, you might want to check it out.  It’s really easy to join, and some of the most talented and experienced artists and teachers in our community are regular contributors to the discussion forum.  You’ll learn so much just by reading the threads, and if you have a specific answer, there will be lots of knowledgeable folks eager to help you.