Precious Metal Clay (PMC) and Art Clay Silver and Gold
Precious Metal Clay - Gold and Silver Jewelry You Can Design and Create Yourself!
Are you interested in working with precious metal clay (PMC, Art Clay Silver, PMC Gold, Art Clay Gold, Aura 22, etc.) or in buying jewelry or other items created with metal clay? This page will introduce you to this remarkable jewelry making material and my recommendations for some of the best metal clay artists, teachers, projects, resources and information available online.
What Is Gold or Silver Precious Metal Clay?
Gold or silver metal clay is made up of particles of precious metal — pure silver or gold or a precious metal alloy such as sterling silver or 22k gold — held together with water and an organic binder to give it a malleable, clay-like consistency that can be impressed with texture, carved, sculpted, drilled, sawn and manipulated with various other methods and techniques to arrive at the desired form and texture.
The precious metal clay object is allowed to air dry naturally or is dried with a dehydrator or applied heat, such as a cup warmer, to allow the water to evaporate. Once dried, the metal clay jewelry or other decorative or functional object is fired at a high temperature with a torch or in a kiln, during which time any remaining traces of water evaporate and the binder combusts and burns off. What is left is just the precious metal, either fine silver (.999 silver, which is 99.9% silver), sterling silver (which is 92.5% silver) or 22K gold. PMC Pro, which is 90% silver and 10% copper (.900 silver), is considered coin silver and is not strictly a precious metal, although it is branded by Mistubishi as PMC (Precious Metal Clay). Both PMC Pro and sterling silver clay need to be fired in activated carbon to prevent oxidation from forming during the firing process that would prevent sintering or fusing of the metal particles. You can also mix equal parts of fine silver and sterling silver clay to get enriched sterling clay, AKA 960 sterling (which is .960 silver).
Metal clay—both precious metal clay and base metal clay types and formulas—allows the artist extraordinary creativity because it can be formed into nearly any shape you desire. It can be molded, shaped by hand, cut, extruded via syringe, painted onto a form, and more. It can be embedded with certain natural and synthetic gemstones (either faceted or cabochon stones) and settings can be created for gems and other stones that cannot withstand the heat needed to fire the metal clay and need to be set after firing. This particular lens will focus on precious metal clay. To learn more about bronze metal clay, please visit my comprehensive articles on BRONZclay, BRONZclay Tools and Supplies and Bronze Metal Clay.
As a certified PMC artist, handcrafted jewelry designer and Senior Editor and Technical Editor of Metal Clay Artist Magazine (now Cre8tiveFire online), I have done a great deal of personal experimentation and research on metal clay. I have gathered and exchanged ideas and information with some of the world's top metal clay artists, teachers, authors and suppliers. I'm sharing the majority of this information in my series of metal clay articles here on HubPages (formerly on Squidoo) as a way of giving back to the metal clay community, which includes some of the most knowledgeable, supportive and generous people it has been my privilege to know.
~ Margaret Schindel
Instructor Cindy Pankopf Answers,"What Is Metal Clay?"
Silver and Gold Metal Clay Brands, Formulas, and Forms
In addition to the two original brands of gold and silver precious metal clay, Art Clay and PMC, several newer brands of silver have been introduced, including MetalMagic and Aussie Metal Clays, among others. Metal Clay Brands and Formulas describes the precious metal products from Art Clay and PMC, including the key similarities and differences between formulas, comparable vs. unique products and formulas, and the key characteristics and most suitable uses of each.
Forms of Metal Clay: Lump, Slip, Syringe and Paper
Silver and gold metal clay comes in four basic forms: lump clay, syringe clay, slip AKA paste, and paper AKA sheet. Forms of Metal Clay describes the key characteristics of these four different forms and the typical/most suitable uses for each of them.
In general, it's best to use the densest form of clay you can (i.e., the one with the highest metal content/lowest shrinkage) for the application you're using it for. Lump clay is densest, very thick slip (AKA paste) is the next most dense, followed by syringe and then thin slip. So for attachments or repairs, in particular, while many artists use syringe, using thin snakes of lump clay will provide stronger joins.
Metal Clay Materials, Tools, Supplies and Equipment
Very little in the way of tools, supplies and equipment are needed to begin working with precious metal clay. Basically you need a smooth, flat, non-porous work surface, such as a sheet of window glass (not automotive glass) or a smooth, glazed porcelain tile, a piece of smooth nonstick sheet, some plastic wrap, a cup of water, a synthetic bristle paint brush, a clay roller (you can use anything from a commercial clay roller to a 6" to 9" length of brass tubing or PVC pipe), an appropriate lubricant (I prefer olive oil), some rolling spacers (playing cards, strips of card stock, etc.), something to cut with (a craft knife, pin tool, or even a sewing needle glued firmly into a handle, such as baked and drilled polymer clay or even a wine cork), something to fire your pieces with with (for small-to-medium sized pieces of fine silver metal clay that aren't too thick, a simple butane kitchen torch will do just fine; for larger, thicker and/or very dimensional pieces or pieces made from sterling silver or coin silver clay formulas you'll need an electric kiln with a programmable controller), and something to fire on (a firebrick or a piece of Solderite board set on a heatproof and flameproof surface if you are torch firing, or a kiln shelf if you are kiln firing).
While you can do quite a bit with just these basic tools, supplies and equipment, if you decide you love working with metal clay you'll no doubt want to add to these to give you more options. For a comprehensive look at what else you might want, my guide to Metal Clay Materials, Tools, Supplies and Equipment provides my personal recommendations for the elements of a well stocked, basic metal clay tool kit as well as supplemental items that you may want to add over time to allow you to use specific techniques or work faster, easier, more efficiently and more effectively.
PMC and Art Clay Silver (and Other Metal Clay) Workshops, Specialty Classes and Certification Classes - Finding an instructor, class, workshop or certification
As metal clay grows in popularity, there are more and more opportunities to take classes of all kinds. You may want to start by checking your local adult education programs and bead shops - many now offer affordably-priced classes and workshops in metal clay.
Many metal clay artists are also instructors, and most provide class schedules on their sites See my lists of recommended Metal Clay Artists and Metal Clay Instructors, below, for some of my favorites.
There are several excellent sources of online metal clay classes, including CraftArtEdu, CRAFTCAST and Craftsy. One of the benefits of taking an online class is that you can go at your own pace. Even live online classes, such as those on CRAFTCAST, come with video recordings of the class that you can download and refer to again and again. So any time you need a refresher, you can take one - in your pajamas, if you want. ;) Nearly all online classes also come with downloadable handouts.
If you would like to get a sneak peek into what an online class is like, I invite you to check out my in-depth review of Patrik Kusek's online class on Craftsy, "Silver Metal Clay: Adding Stones & Dimension".
You don't need to be officially certified to teach metal clay classes, and you can benefit enormously from going through the certification training even if you never intend to teach.
If you have some metal clay experience and can afford to take one or more certification classes, I encourage you to do so. Certification training costs several hundred dollars per class, but most certified metal clay artisans agree that the quality of the instruction they received and the new techniques they learned were well worth the investment in their education.
Art Clay World and PMC Connection sponsor metal clay certifications and offer highly structured training programs in which students must complete successfully a series of projects designed to develop and demonstrate proficiency in specific skills and techniques. Rio Grande has discontinued its Rio Rewards certification program.
Each of the companies use different curricula, and each offers discounts to certified artisans (but certification by one company does not entitle you to discounts from either of the other two). Art Clay World divides its certification into Level One and Senior Level curricula. PMC Connection has Level I, Level II and Level III certifications, and although you are not required to take all three classes, the prior level(s) must be completed as a prerequisite for taking Levels II and III.
Both companies' certification programs have excellent reputations, are limited in size to ensure that each student receives individual attention, and are taught by some of the foremost metal clay experts in the world, including Jackie Truty, Gordon Uyehara, Lorrene Davis, Pam East, Lora Hart, Katie Baum, Janet Alexander, Cindy Pankopf, Lisa Pavelka, Delia Marsellos-Traister, Kris Kramer and other well-known and widely-respected metal clay artists and instructors.
Most of the techniques you learn in a PMC certification class will apply to Art Clay Silver, and vice versa. Choose the certification class whose curriculum, cost, timing and/or location meets your needs best.
The Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery in the UK also has an acclaimed, brand-neutral Diploma in Silver Metal Clay Proficiency program that is far more comprehensive than any of the metal clay certification programs and incorporates traditional jewelry making skills to provide a thorough, professional grounding and credential.
Here are some good places to find metal clay classes near you, from beginner workshops to certification class schedules, from both US certifying organizations to the MCSJ Diploma courses.
- Art Clay Instructors in North America
This page provides a list of Art Clay Instructors located in North America who are actively teaching.
- Cornwall School of Art, Craft and Jewellery (CSACJ)
UK-based Cornwall School of Art, Craft and Jewellery was co-founded by talented metal clay artist and teacher Julia Rai and Marion Wilson. CSACJ offers a very wide range of excellent metal clay classes as well as private instruction.
Renowned polymer clay artist Donna Kato's site offers affordable, prerecorded online classes in a variety of crafting media. The metal clay classes are taught by top instructors including Gordon Uyehara, Lorena Angulo and Joy Funnell.
Alison Lee hosts a large number of top artists who present 90-minute live, online classes in their specialty techniques. Metal clay instructors have included luminaries such as Wanaree Tanner, Holly Gage, Celie Fago and Patrik Kusek, among others.
Craftsy offers online classes in quilting, sewing, knitting, cooking, cake decorating, painting, photography, jewelry making and other crafts. Includes HD video lessons, handouts, a mobile app, and a class forum with the teacher and other students.
- Metal Clay Classes group on Yahoo!
This is a spinoff group (from the excellent Metal Clay Gallery group on Yahoo! Groups) where instructors and organizations can post metal clay classes.
- Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery (MCSJ)
MCSJ is an outstanding school offering high quality classes in jewelry techniques and materials, including an extensive metal clay curriculum. Founded and directed by respected artist, instructor, and Saul Bell Award Finalist Lisa Cain.
- PMC Connection Teacher Map
Find a metal clay instructor near you by searching this interactive map.
Professional Metal Clay Guilds and Organizations
Prior to discontinuing its operations after the June 2012 PMC Conference, the PMC Guild was the official professional and educational organization for Mitsubishi's PMC (Precious Metal Clay) products. Art Clay World is the equivalent organization for Aida's Art Clay products. Now that the PMC Guild has ceased operations and Art Clay World announced that it no longer will be sponsoring a biennial Metal Clay World Conference, the metal clay education and conference landscape is changing.
Two artist-run biennial conferences focus on techniques and sharing of best practices and take place on alternating years. Metal Clay Mojo takes place in odd years (e.g., 2015) and Metal Clay by the Bay takes place in even years (e.g., 2016).
- Art Clay Society
The Art Clay Society describes itself as "a community of metal clay artists designed to foster artistic, business, and personal growth through inspiration, education and communication." It welcomes all metal clay artists using any metal clay brand.
- Art Clay Silver Official Site (in Japanese)
A content-rich site that obviously has a ton of great information. Unfortunately for non Japanese language readers, the machine translations I got by using the Google Translate tool were poor and it was frustrating to try to decipher, but worth it.
- Art Clay World, Tokyo, Japan (in English)
Far less content than the full, "official" Japanese language site, there still is a lot of good, basic information, and the English translations are excellent.
- Metal Clay by the Bay Conference
This biennial conference in San Diego is run by jewelry artist Sheila Schwede, who describes it as "a convergence of Metal Clay Artists sharing and learning about all types of Metal Clay." It attracts presenters and attendees from around the world.
- Metal Clay Masters Registry
The Metal Clay Masters Registry is a rigorous, independent, professional credentialing program that allows metal clay artists to demonstrate their proficiency and mastery of this medium both technically and artistically.
- Metal Clay Mojo Conference
This biennial metal clay conference run by Lis-el Crowley in Connecticut includes technique demonstrations, presentations, round table discussions, panel discussions, critique sessions, open studios and social activities in an intimate setting.
- Archived PMC Guild Content on Rio Grande Site
The PMC Guild promoted instruction, research, teaching and exhibition of Precious Metal Clay between 1997 and 2012. Rio Grande hosts most of the archived content. Enter "PMC" in the search bar and select Articles and Videos from the pulldown menu.
Great Metal Clay Information and Education Resources
These are sites I personally recommend to learn more about working with metal clay.
- CreativeFire by Metal Clay Artist Magazine
After five years of publishing Metal Clay Artist Magazine in print, publisher and EIC Jeannette LeBlanc moved the magazine online. New content and archived print projects are added frequently. I continue to be the Senior Editor and Technical Editor.
- Care and Feeding of Your Paragon SC Kiln (Pam East)
Pam East's excellent article covers several key maintenance issues with troubleshooting tips that will help you keep your Paragon SC-series kiln in good working order for many years.
- Comparing Paragon (blue) and Sierra (white) kilns (M'EDA Creations)
A detailed chart compiled by Mary Ellin D'Agostino comparing the general features and characteristics of Paragon vs. Sierra Evenheat brand kilns (not model-specific). Great if you are trying to decide whether to buy a Paragon or Sierra Evenheat kiln.
- Cool Tools Learning Center
The Learning Center on Cool Tools has fabulous information including PMC: The Magic Clay, The Metal Clay Toolbox, detailed firing guides for silver and bronze clay, a kiln buyer's guide and excellent video demos and tutorials by Mardel Rein.
- CornerStone - PMC Connection blog
The PMC Connection blog is on sabbatical, but their CornerStone blog archives are well worth checking out. You'll find many interesting and informative posts on a wide range of timely topics, written by a variety of PMC Connection instructors.
- Enameling on Fine Silver Metal Clay
This article from the Ganoskin jewelry site includes Excerpts from the book "Enameling with Professionals" by Jean Vormelker. It gives detailed instructions for embellishing your newly-created fine silver pieces with enamels.
- Getting Started With PMC (Tim McCreight)
A great overview of PMC and a good place to start if you're new to working with PMC. Tim McCreight explains the basics briefly but very clearly.
- Getting Started with Precious Metal Clay (PMC Connection)
This introduction to working with metal clay includes tips for beginners and several attractive and easy-to-make projects developed by Jeannette LeBlanc, Publisher of Metal Clay Artist Magazine. I co-wrote and/or edited some of the projects with her.
- Kiln Comparison and Tips by Tonya Davidson
A great guide to metal clay kilns with a detailed comparison chart of the most popular Paragon models, from the inexpensive Firefly to the spacious Home Artist, Explains key considerations, such as height, kiln brick vs. muffle interiors and more.
- Metal Clay Academy
The Metal Clay Academy is an online resource that aims "to provide comprehensive and independent information and resources for anyone interested in finding out about metal clay." Lots of wonderful information on a huge range of topics.
- Metal Clay Gallery board on Yahoo!
A fantastic resource for those who are serious about working with metal clay of any type, brand or formula. Many of the world's best artists and instructors are members of this incredibly active and informational board.
- Metal Clay Video Demos (Metal Clay Supply / Metal Clay Guru)
The Metal Clay Guru channel on YouTube (sponsored by Metal Clay Supply) includes video demos of selected products. You'll be able to pick up many tips and techniques that can be adapted for use even if you don't have or purchase these products.
- Photopolymer Plates Instructions (Maggie Bergman)
A great place to start if you want to make your own photopolymer plates for texture molds. By talented Aussie artist Maggie Bergman, who introduced photopolymer plates to the world of metal clay.
- Tim McCreight Answers Common Kiln Questions
This article on the Ganoksin site by internationally renowned metalsmithing and metal clay guru Tim McCreight will be extremely helpful to anyone who is trying to decide whether to buy a kiln for metal clay work, how to choose one, and much more.
Recommended Metal Clay Suppliers - My favorite suppliers of metal clay and related materials, tools, supplies and equipment
The vast majority of these sites are ones I've personally done business with and can recommend without reservation.
There also are a few international suppliers with whom I have not done business personally, but whose sites are easy to use, helpful, and offer good product selections, and that are run by people whose knowledge and experience I respect.
- Art Clay World USA
Jackie Truty, author of the excellent book "Art Clay Silver and Gold," is president of Art Clay World USA. She offers a wonderful selection of Art Clay Silver and Gold products and related precious metal clay tools, supplies, books and videos.
Contenti carries Art Clay Silver products, a very nice selection of hand tools and finishing supplies including 24k gold foil for keum-boo and Accent Gold for Silver (AGS), firing equipment, UV resin and jewelry making tools.
- Cool Tools
In addition to selling PMC, Art Clay and Metal Adventures bronze clay and copper clay as well as Goldie Bronze and Hadar's Clay metal clay powder, Cool Tools also sells many products developed by founder Mardel Rein. The textures here are fabulous!
- Fire Mountain Gems
Fire Mountain Gems carries an enormous selection of jewelry supplies. They carry PMC (including 22k Gold PMC), Art Clay, FASTfire BRONZclay, BRONZclay and COPPRclay, as well as cubic zirconia, metal clay tools, supplies, kits, books, videos and more.
- Gem Resources International
Shirley offers a great selection of faceted and cabochon natural and lab-created gemstones and cubic zirconia (CZ) stones, many of which can be fired in the kiln. Her prices are unbeatable and she's a pleasure to work with. Shirley asked Judi Weers t
- Metal Clay Alchemist (formerly Art Clay Canada)
Talented metal clay artist and instructor Carrie Steele and her partners carry the largest selection of tools, materials and clays in the Canadian market, including Art Clay, PMC, Metal Adventures and Hadar's Clay products.
- Metal Clay Findings
MCF offers a large selection of fine silver (.999 silver) and sterling silver findings that can be embedded in and fired with silver metal clay and/or used in conjunction with fired metal clay. The Crafted Findings line includes a riveting tool.
- Metal Clays
Israeli-born jewelry designer Liad Wischnia-Nemeth and her husband David Nemeth sell metal clay, tools and supplies at discounted prices, plus their own proprietary tools such as bead builders and bezel builders and their own MetalMagic brand clay.
- Metal Clay Supply
Metal Clay Supply carries a huge assortment of metal clay, tools, books, videos, stones, findings and more, including the full range of metal clay products from PMC (including PMC Gold), Art Clay, and their own fine silver clay powder, MetalMagic.
- PMC Connection
PMC Connection carries PMC silver and gold clay, Hadar's Clay base metal clay, Aura 22, an excellent selection of texture tools, kiln and torch supplies, a terrific assortment of silver chains, and a nice selection of natural and manmade gemstones.
- Rings & Things
Rings & Things carries Art Clay and PMC, products, BRONZclay, FASTfire BRONZclay, COPPRclay, embeddable findings and a growing selection of metal clay tools, supplies and equipment (including kilns and torches), plus gemstone beads and findings.
- Rio Grande
Rio Grande sells the full range of PMC silver and gold clays as well as BRONZclay and COPPRclay, and a wide variety of metal clay tools and supplies. They carry a huge selection of gemstones, beads, metal, findings, and jewelry tools and equipment.
Metal Clay Artists
Be Inspired by the Work of Some of the World's Top Metal Clay Artists
There are many, many incredibly talented and creative metal clay artists around the globe whose work I admire, far too many for me to be able to list on this page, unfortunately. (I wish I could include them all!) Following are links to the work of a representative selection of some of my favorite metal clay jewelry artists that will provide you with eye candy and inspiration.
- Lorena Angulo
Lorena Angulo is an extremely talented and prolific metal clay artist and instructor whose designs are heavily influenced by the folk art of her native Mexico. Her beautiful and distinctive art has been exhibited in museums and galleries.
- Angela Crispin
Angela is a fabulously talented artist whose elegant and innovative designs have been featured in many, many books, magazines and other publications. She also has written excellent tutorials, including the one for her fabulous, cone-shaped "Oh! Ring"
- Lisa Barth
Lisa has a marvelous sense of line and proportion and her designs are wonderfully harmonious and flowing. Most include bezel set gemstones and natural themes.She is the author of excellent books "Designing From the Stone" and "Timeless Wire Weaving".
- Samantha Braund
Samantha's work is created by combining sculptural metal clay, exquisite wire wrapping and gemstones. Her distinctive designs are flowing and organic, inspired by female archetypes from myths and legends, and often with sea/ocean themes.
- Lisa Cain
Lisa runs the Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery and is a Metal Clay Master II and an extraordinary, award-winning jewelry artist. You can view samples of her work on the MCSJ site.
- Ann Davis
Ann is a multi-talented, multimedia jewelry artist, teacher, author and owner of the wonderful La Ruche Davis teaching studio. She works not only in metal clay but also in traditional metalsmithing techniques, electroforming, glass, enamel and wax.
- Lorrene J. Davis
Lorrene is an award-winning jewelry designer, bench jewelry, Art Clay Certified Master Instructor and member of the Revere Academy faculty. Her work in metal clay features wonderful textures and beautifully-set gemstones and fused glass.
- Celie Fago
Celie is one of the metal clay community's original pioneers and she continues to innovate. Her elegant designs are extremely detailed, finely crafted and often include color from polymer clay, 24k gold keum-boo accents, acrylic paint and patinas.
- Joy Funnell
Joy is an award-winning artist who creates wonderful jewelry that combines silver metal clay with transparent enamels and dichroic glass. Many of her pieces also include her unusual, handcrafted silver chains. Her silver masks are stunning.
- Holly Gage
Holly is an extraordinarily talented and innovative metal clay artist. Her work is extremely detailed and beautifully designed and crafted. Many pieces include gemstones, crystalline titanium and graceful sculptural elements.
- Beverly Gallerani
Bev is best known for her wonderfully detailed and textured sea-themed metal clay jewelry with molded shells and colorful iridescent patinas. She often incorporates gemstones or her own dichroic glass cabochons into her metal clay designs.
- Liz Potter Hall
Award winning jewelry artist Liz Hall has a distinctive, whimsical style featuring organic and geometric silver clay frames and bezels filled with colorful, intricately patterned polymer clay inlays including faux wood and iridescent faux opal.
- Vickie Hallmark
Vickie is an award winning jewelry artist who works in a variety of media including metal clay, glass, fiber. Her enamel on metal clay pieces are lovely, and she is best known for her bird-themed designs and metal clay-Argentium wire combinations.
- Lora Hart
Lora is a tremendously inventive and talented jewelry artist who combines metal clay with found objects to create pieces rich in personal, world and natural history. She often breathes new life into ordinary items by embellishing them creatively.
- Trish Jeffers-Zeh
Trish is a prolific creator for whom creating art is a process to support physical, mental and spiritual growth. Her work marries metal clay with glass, ceramics and precious stones in graceful, evocative, organic designs.
- Jennifer Kahn
Jen is an innovative artist who combines metal clay with gemstones, wire, feathers, textiles, and whatever other media catch her fancy. Her large turquoise cabochon necklaces bezel set in textured silver clay are extraordinary statement pieces.
- Linda Kaye-Moses
Linda is an extraordinary jeweler and metalsmith whose work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian. She creates unique jewelry communicating narrative and focusing on the power of myth and adornment, often paired with "nesting cases" to display them.
- Terry Kovalcik
Terry creates exquisite metal clay jewelry with textural depth and dimension. He is best known for his lockets and boxes that allow him design the inside as well as the outside to incorporate secret surprises as special gifts for the wearer.
- Patrik Kusek
Award-winning artist Patrik Kusek is the author of "Woodland Chic: Metal Clay Jewelry as Nature Intended". His work is inspired by nature, antiques and diverse sources. He describes his approach as "curating objects, concepts, attitudes and memories.
- Helga van Leipsig
Helga is a renowned, Netherlands-based award-winning artist whose inspiration comes from nature. A lot of her work involves adhering or embedding squares or dots of silver clay sheet into lump metal clay structures with evocative patterns.
- Anna Mazoń
Polish artist Anna Mazoń must have "fairy fingers" to create her delicate, intricate metal clay flowers, vines, leaves, ferns, berries, twigs, acorns, and other tiny gemstone adorned forms inspired by nature, ancient cultures and literature.
- Tim McCreight
Tim is a designer, teacher, prolific author, publisher, silversmith and metal clay pioneer. His PMC jewelry and functional objects features clean, thoughtful, elegant and often deceptively simple designs and flawless craftsmanship.
- Lesley Messam
Lesley Messam is a wonderfully talented and creative artist whose technical proficiency has earned her the prestigious Metal Clay Masters Registry IV credential. Her designs have graceful, elegant lines, unique textures and often combine materials.
- Christine Kramer Norton
Christine's metal clay jewelry is truly exceptional. Her designs are bold, striking and sensuous, combining metal clay with gemstones and her handcrafted chain maille. She complements and contrasts shapes, textures, colors and finishes artfully.
- Catherine Davies Paetz
Cathy is best known for her playful water-etched metal clay designs and her gorgeous transparent enameling. She often adds precious accents to her pieces with gold, gemstones and pearls, and frequently incorporates wire into her work.
- Julia Rai
Julia's work is exquisite and often incorporates traditional metalworking techniques, gold, gemstones, glass, resin and enamel. This link shows the 40 projects she submitted that earned her the prestigious Metal Clay Masters Registry IV credential.
- Susan Breen Silvy
Susan is an extremely talented jewelry artist who works in metal clay and glass. Her highly textured designs range from nature-inspired to Zentangle-inspired to ornate, filigree-like pieces. Many have pops of color from gemstones or dye oxide patina.
- Barbara Becker Simon
Barbara is a wildly talented jewelry artist. She makes hollow lampworked glass beads over textured silver metal clay cores, hollow silver beads and links with detailed original textures and invisible seams and glass and silver Maltese cross pendants.
- Sabine Alienor Singery
Sabine is an extremely talented metal clay artist whose beautiful jewelry usually centers around musical and retro/ancient themes. Her designs are graceful and elegant and often feature filigree or openwork elements and regal stone settings.
- Jennifer Smith-Righter
Jennifer is a multi award-winning jewelry artist whose precise, detailed, one-of-a-kind designs often are inspired by nature and/or mechanical objects. Her formal education in both art and architecture are evident in her sstunning work.
- Ivy Solomon (AKA Ivy Woodrose)
Saul Bell award-winning designer Ivy Solomon designs intricate, sometimes whimsical jewelry made with sterling silver frames embellished with fired PMC, colored with tinted epoxy resin and filled with clear resin. Her work is truly stunning!
- Wanaree Tanner
Wanaree is an incredibly talented, prolific and innovative artist and a wonderful, highly sought after teacher. Her metal clay jewelry is characterized by intricate, layered textures, complex construction, harmonious design and sustainable stones.
Jackie is an Art Clay Master Instructor and the President of Art Clay World, USA. Her books "Art Clay Silver and Gold" (and its companion video) and "Metal Clay: The Complete Guide" are terrific. She has been featured on numerous television programs. (Please use the "Art Clay World - class descriptions, instructors and calendar" link above to find Jackie's classes.)
- Gordon K. Uyehara
Gordon is a multi-award-winning, world renowned jewelry artist and author of the excellent book "Metal Clay Fusion." He is currently taking a break from live teaching for personal reasons but has recorded several online classes on CraftArtEdu.
Metal Clay Instructors
There are so many wonderfully gifted metal clay instructors around the world that I wish I had space to list them all! Since I can't, following are links to just some of the best and most respected metal clay teachers, in alphabetical order.
- Alice Alper-Rein
Alice has been teaching jewelry making for more than 25 years. She taught metal clay certification courses for many years and continues to teach metal clay classes in various techniques in the New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania area.
- Lorena Angulo
Lorena is an extraordinarily talented artist whose work proudly reflects her Mexican-American heritage. Her award-winning metal clay jewelry has been featured in numerous prestigious publications. Find her classes online at CraftArtEdu.com.
- Maggie Bergman (Australia)
Maggie introduced the use of photopolymer plates for creating custom molds for metal clay. She is a Senior PMC Instructor who works in fused glass, lampworked glass beads, and enamels combined with metal. She offers private metal clay instruction.
- Lisa Cain
Lisa is an award winning artist and the founder and director of the Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery and has earned the Masters Registry II credential. MCSJ has an outstanding reputation for superior educational experiences and top instructors.
- Angela Baduel-Crispin
Award-winning, Brazilian-born Angela Baduel-Crispin is an extraordinarily talented jewelry designer and creator, metal clay artist and certified instructor. She designs fabulous metal clay jewelry and is a sought-after teacher.
- Lorrene Davis
Lorrene is a Certified Master Instructor in Art Clay Silver as well as an award winning jewelry designer. She teaches a variety of metal clay workshops in her studio in Placerville, California.
- Pam East
Pam East is a fabulous enamelist and a certified Master Instructor in Art Clay Silver. She has written articles in numerous publications and is the author of "Enameling on Metal Clay." In 2014 she published two comprehensive DVDs on the subject.
- Celie Fago
Celie is a world renowned polymer clay and metal clay instructor and pioneer, an amazing artist, a trained metalsmith, and an an extraordinarily talented jewelry designer. She is one of the top metal clay artists and teachers in the world.
- Holly Gage
Holly offers wonderful workshops as well as business, creative and technical mentoring for jewelry artists. She's a superb teacher who really engages her students.
- Lora Hart
Lora is a PMCC- and Rio Rewards-certified metal clay instructor who designs fabulous, historically inspired precious metal clay jewelry and art objects. She teaches a variety of metal clay workshops and creative and business mentoring (mentorials).
- Judy Haupin
Judy teaches PMC classes in Brookline and Haverhill, Massachusetts. She offers introductory, project-based and technique-based metal clay classes as well as open workshops that include the cost of firing.
- Hadar Jacobson
Innovative, award-winning metal clay artist and author Hadar Jacobson has published wonderful instructional articles on metal clay numerous publications, is author of metal clay books, developed Hadar's Clay and is a sought-after metal clay teacher.
- Patrik Kusek
Patrik is a highly respected, innovative jewelry artist and instructor who teaches in his studio in the San Francisco Bay Area and nationwide. He is the author of the book "Woodland Chic" and also offers metal clay classes online on CRAFTCAST.
- Donna Lewis
Donna is an award-winning metal clay artist and teacher based in Arizona. She teaches metal clay classes in her studio and at major conferences including Bead Fest and Bead&Button. She's also the inventor of the excellent LiL BeLLA clay humidifie
- Lesley Messam
Lesley creates stunning jewelry in various media. She has achieved Masters Registry IV and teaches a variety of superb (and fun!) jewelry classes in the UK including silversmithing, lampworking and introductory and advanced metal clay classes.
- Marissa O'Brien
Marissa is a delightful, energetic and multi-talented jewelry artist and instructor. She teaches a wide variety of metal clay techniques and projects in her classes and workshops in the greater Boston area
- Kate Qualley Peterson
Kate is a well-known metal clay artist and instructor who teaches a variety of metal clay classes in her home studio only. She also offers private one-on-one instruction. Her work is absolutely gorgeous!
- Julia Rai
Julia is an award winning jewelry artist, co-Director of the Cornwall School of Art, Craft and Jewellery, instructor at the London Jewellery School, Director of the Metal Clay Academy, Masters Registry Level IV, and on the staff of Metal Clay Artist.
- Barbara Becker Simon
Barbara Simon is a world-renowned, award-winning, innovative jewelry artist known equally well for her work in lampworked glass and metal clay and author of "Metal Clay Beads". She teaches in South Florida, at conferences nationwide and on CRAFTCAST.
- Wanaree Tanner - MetalClay Arts Conservatory
Wanaree Tanner is an award-winning and highly sought-after metal clay jewelry artist and instructor. Her work is incredibly detailed, intricate and stunning. She now offers online classes and live intensives through her MetalClay Arts Conservatory.
Metal Clay Projects
There are an increasing number of metal clay projects online. Many of them are free! However, some are better than others.
Here are some of my favorite metal clay projects for you to try. Whether you're a beginner looking for a quick and easy first project or an intermediate or advanced metal clay artist, you will find a project appropriate to your skill level. Enjoy!
- First Metal Clay Project for Beginners: Step-by-Step Tutorial (Textured Earrings)
Gale of Capescapes Jewelry has written this simple, clear and easy-to-follow step-by-step project tutorial especially for people who are using metal clay for the first time.
- Quilted Silver Beads
Tammy Powley's "quilted" silver beads are a quick and easy project for beginners. A good way to get started.
- Multi-Strand Necklace with Seed Pod Pendant
The Fire Mountain Gems site offers this intermediate-to-advanced tutorial by Tammy Honaman for a graceful seed pod pendant hung on a multi-strand necklace. I suggest substituting vermiculite for the fiber blanket, which can a pose health hazard.
- Dimensional Textured Earrings
Patrik Kusek's excellent free project sheets for Aftosa provide clear, step-by-step instructions and excellent photos. This one shows you how to make simple but elegant earrings that are textured and curved over a drinking glass for more interest.
- Water Etched Pendant
Another project sheet by Patrik Kusek for Aftosa. This one shows you how to use the water etching technique to create a subtle "etched" texture on metal clay by applying a resist and then sponging away a layer of the surrounding clay.
- Metal Clay Over Bisque Beads
Covering bisque beads with fine silver metal clay is an easy way to create hollow silver beads, and the thin layer of silver over the bisque substructure makes this a much more affordable approach than creating the beads entirely from silver clay.
- Rainbow PMC Earring Project by Mary Ellin D'Agostino
Mary Ellin D'Agostino of MED'A Creations developed the technique she calls "Rainbow PMC" that involves mixing powdered enamels into metal clay to produce delicately tinted fine silver. An intermediate project.
- Copper Clay Lace Heart Pendant
This simple heart-shaped copper clay pendant project from About.com's Tammy Powley is textured with a piece of lace.
Some of My Other Metal Clay Articles Online
This article is part of an extensive series of guides to metal clay I've written. Together, they form a comprehensive online library of reliable metal clay information that serve as a valuable resource and reference for metal clay artists and instructors worldwide. Here are a few more helpful articles on metal clay techniques, working methods and recommended products.
- Setting Gemstones in Metal Clay
This comprehensive guide covers a very wide range of techniques for setting gemstones in metal clay. Includes many settings for CZs, lab-created stones and natural gemstones that can be fired in place as well as stones that must be set after firing.
- Metal Clay Textures
The most comprehensive guide ever written on creating metal clay textures. Dozens of metal clay texturing techniques using common household items, unique homemade texture sheets and tools and commercial texture tools, many unusual, all inspiring.
- Metal Clay Weaving
A detailed, illustrated, step-by-step tutorial on how to create woven fine silver jewelry using PMC+ Sheet ,Art Clay Silver Paper Type or thin sheets of PMC Flex silver metal clay. Includes many tips to ensure that your project will be a success.
- Making PMC Silver Metal Clay Oil Paste
Learn how to make homemade oil paste out of PMC3 that will make strong joins and attachments on both fired and unfired silver metal clay. Covers alternative pure essential oils that can be substituted for lavender oil and Sherri Haab's Pastemaker.
- Drying Metal Clay
A detailed review of the most common methods for drying metal clay and the pros and cons of each. Discusses a variety of options including air drying, drying with cup warmers, hotplates, dehydrators, hair dryers, and drying props.
- Reconstituting Dry Metal Clay
Step-by-step instructions and helpful tips for various effective methods of rehydrating and reconstituting dried metal clay scraps, filing dust, and even entire packages of clay that have completely dried out to hard lumps.
- Metal Clay Storage
Wrapping metal clay airtight in plastic wrap is not the best way to keep it moist and pliable. This guide recommends better solutions for keeping metal clay fresh during work sessions including clay humidifiers as well as long-term storage solutions.
- Metal Clay Product Reviews
Personal, unbiased product reviews of notable metal clay tools, supplies and equipment. Discusses the advantages and limitations of each hand-picked product and tips for using them effectively, based on the author's personal experience with them.
Questions & Answers
© 2006 Margaret Schindel