Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Please allow me to introduce myself...

I guess I was meant to be a metal clay addict, given that my name is Jessica Clay.  

I have been working with metal clay for around five years and selling my jewelry for the past year. I am primarily self-taught but have taken classes with many wonderful artists who have influenced my work, including Barbara McGuire, Marla Frakenberg, and Christi Friesen. I am a member of the PMC Gild and have a level one PMC certification.  I am also a member of HandmadeMN, a group of Minnesota artists who sell their work on etsy.com.

So what is metal clay?  Metal clay comes in a variety of forms, silver, gold, bronze, and copper, and some people are in the process of developing a steel and white bronze clay.  The clay is made up of tiny particulates of metal mized with an organic binder.  The clay has a consistency of modeling clay.  The clay is sculpted and then fired with a torch or a kiln, which is preferable for full sintering.  There are to major manufacturers of metal clays, Precious Metal Clay (PMC, made by Mitsubishi) and Art Clay (made by Art Clay World).  Once fired, silver clay is .999 or fine silver, even more pure than sterling silver. 
I love to work with metal clay because it is an accessible and affordable way to make lasting fine jewelry. It is so much fun to open my kiln and see my creations all shiny and glimmering.

Most of my work is inspired by nature. I drive my husband nuts when we go for walks, because I am always scouring the ground for leaves and twigs to use as casting pieces or textures for my jewelry. I like to keep my designs simple and elegant.

I hope to use this blog to give you a glimpse into my work, let you know about specials in my shop, showcase other artists, and teach you more about metal clay and jewelry making.

Thanks for joining me and welcome to my blog!

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