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Archive for June, 2012

Jun
25

A wonderful new assortment of Antique Molds have just been added to inventory – be the first to get the new designs!

You will love the new collection featuring butterflies, flowers, mythical creatures, stunning patterns and more.

Our antique molds are hand crafted from the original element so you get a perfect impression. A mold is a great way to own the beauty of these collectibles without the investment of the original, and the sizes are just right for jewelry components.

We use 100% silicone mold material that does not stick to metal clay, or any other type of clay, so no release is needed. Use any type of precious metal clay, polymer or ceramic clays. The molds can be placed on a heat source to dry, and can even be placed in an oven or toaster oven. Our molds are safe to 500F.

Most of our molds have flat bottoms for easy molding. Use the molds as stampers or impress small bits to create a collage. The photo shows finished pieces made from fine silver clay. The samples have been oxidized with Patina Gel and given a matte finish.

Check out all 300 Antique Mold designs to get your next beautiful jewelry project started today.

Jun
22

More Findings are pouring in! Over 150 new and unique jewelry findings have just come in at Cool Tools.

Our impressive new collection includes swivel findings, beautiful charms, unique spacers, intricate connectors and a variety of others. Discover the eye-popping selection of finishes including silver, brass and bronze.

Use our new Pinch Settings to set gems and stones fast and easy. Our amazing new selection of Multi-Strand Spacers offer versatility for up to five strands! Our new Swivel Findings are the perfect fit for your next unique jewelry project. Swivel Findings bring your pieces together like no other finding can! You will love the way our new Pendant Findings finish off your creations.

Shop through our always-expanding selection of jewelry findings today and find the right piece to complete your creation.

Jun
20

Congratulations to Louise Musto-Choate, the winner for the Cool Tools Survey Contest for May. Louise has won a $100 Cool Tools gift certificate for taking our survey and offering us some of her thoughts.

Louise was excited and told us a little about herself:

“I am so happy to have won the $100.00 gift certificate this month.  Ever since I started using metal clay, Cool Tools has been my number one go to company.   I began using PMC3 two years ago after many years of designing one of a kind beaded jewelry; I needed a new interest.

My inspirations come from simple every day natural items such as leaves and twigs to using templates and stamps.  When I am on vacation, I bring back my peace and quiet times through my designs and incorporate either beads, stones or cabochons in my pieces. My customers became so interested in how my jewelry is made that once I explained the concept of metal clay, they wanted to learn it as well.

I began teaching classes in October 2010 and offer several different levels.  My students are so surprised and happy with their finished pieces, never thinking they could design anything.  Many have given them as gifts which is a great compliment to them and me.

My jewelry is shown in several area galleries and open studios throughout the year.

I love that Cool Tools offers so many new products all the time.   I will use my gift certificate to assist me in making something beautiful.

Sincerely,
Louise Musto-Choate”

After every purchase, you receive an email asking you to fill out a survey to tell us about your experience.  We read every comment and your thoughts help us improve as a company. Keep filling out our survey and help us congratulate Louise this month!

Jun
15

The grand prize winner of our 2012 Cool Tools Antique Mold Design Contest is Laura Medeiros for her Chicken House pendant made from COPPRclay. Laura will receive a $500 Cool Tools Gift Certificate!

We loved the creativity and whimsy of this piece. Laura made it hard to figure out that any molds were used for the components, and she used a variety of molds in unusual ways.

The Chicken House (we keep calling it the Chicken Shack) is so cool and has a hinged door. Laura really thought “outside the box” and used our molds and new and exciting way.

Below is Laura’s story:

“I began working with metal clay in 2001 when my husband purchased a class for me for a Valentine’s gift. I also work in polymer clay.

The rest of the time I am a striving artist, (I don’t struggle with my art, it’s the rest of life that’s a struggle) and I’m an arts educator to pay the bills.

My style is a little bit fantasy, a little bit goth, a tad steampunk, and a sprinkling of whimsy.

In my youth I was a sci-fi and punk geek. The results of my influences and interests are completely unique.

My Copper Chicken Hutch was made using four different Cool Tools Antique Molds. I really tried to use them in an unconventional manner.

I used the Lotus Blossom mold for the roof shingles and weeds along the side of the hutch. I used segments from the Large Dragonfly mold for the barn door panels.

On the back is the Rooster mold and for the bail I used the Tiny Rooster.”

Congrats Laura! We hope she enjoys her prize.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2012 Cool Tools Antique Mold Design Contest. Everyone here at Cool Tools really enjoyed seeing our molds used in so many beautiful and exciting ways. We loved seeing our products used in a wide variety of  jewelry designs.

Help us congratulate Laura on her 1st place finish and be sure to keep an eye out for the next Cool Tools Design Contest!

Jun
14

Congratulations to Robin Ragsdale, the 2nd place winner for our 2012 Antique Mold Design Contest!

Robin has won for her Bronze Hair Stick made from BRONZclay.

Below is Robin’s Story:

Almost 30 years ago, I graduated from college with a BFA. My main interests were ceramic sculpture and photography. In the real world I ended up being a graphic production artist.

After over 20 years working mainly with computers, I realized I wanted to use my hands again. That’s when I heard about PMC and knew I’d love it.

I took a 1-day class in 2006 and never looked back.

I love using Cool Tools Antique Molds in my work. I used the Trumpet Vine mold for my bronze clay hair stick and embellished it with Accent Silver and labradorite cabochons.

The inspiration for this piece was the need to get my hair off my neck while doing art fairs in the hot summer.”

Robin’s design is simple and elegant. The execution of the piece is clean and balanced. The addition of Accent Silver makes this design a stand out.

Robin will receive a $200 Cool Tools gift certificate for her 2nd place finish. Help us congratulate Robin on her beautiful entry.

Only one position remaining! The 1st place winner of the 2012 Cool Tools May Antique Mold Design Contest will be announced tomorrow. There were so many beautiful pieces submitted and it was so hard to pick a winner!

Be sure to check back for the exciting 1st place announcement!

Jun
13

Finally, the winners of the Cool Tools Antique Mold Design Contest from May have been selected and we are anxious to announce them all!

We planned on only selecting one winner for each place, but we could not decide on 3rd! There were two pieces we loved, so we decided it was a tie. Both winners have won a $100 Cool Tools gift certificate!

The first winner is Amy Marez for her Fiesta del Sol bracelet. Amy used PMC STERLING for her mold components and combined it with sterling silver sheet and wire into a piece that is clean, beautiful and well made. This design showcases how well PMC STERLING and traditional metalsmithing techniques can be combined seamlessly in the right hands.

Below is Amy’s story:

I began making jewelry about 12 years ago, mainly stringing beads.  I did this off and on until about three years ago when I decided I wanted to take jewelry making to the next level.  I took a metalsmithing class and I was hooked!

Over the past three years, I have spent numerous hours experimenting in my work shop and along with fabricating metals, I have also been learning enameling and have recently been working with precious metal clay.

I love creating, and love it even more when others like my work enough to wear it!

The name of this piece is Fiesta del Sol, named after a variety of Mexican Sunflower.  I was inspired by the floral sunburst pattern of the Oval Concho Antique Mold.  The bracelet was fabricated using sterling silver sheet, sterling silver wire, fine silver bezel wire, and Kingman Mine Turquoise.

The conchos were made from PMC Sterling.  I started by making the conchos. They looked so pretty lined up together that I knew I wanted to make a bracelet!  I soldered sterling silver tubes to each concho to connect them to sterling silver rings.

After fabricating the entire bracelet, I oxidized the silver and hand brushed it to reveal the details and texture. Finally polished it and set the turquoise cabochons.”

Congrats Amy!

Tied for third place is Kim Jakum for her Ravenna Pendant made from fine silver clay. Kim’s design is so simple, just the mold on an elegant shape, but what makes it special is that she echoed elements from the mold as embellishments that are so tastefully done and the finish is the perfect complement to the design.

Here is Kim’s story:

I’ve been a jewelry artist for almost 20 years but it was about 4 years ago that metal clay became my main focus.

I have been very fortunate to have studied from the best. I took levels 1,2, and 3 PMC certification with Irina Miech, Rio Rewards from Tim McCreight, one on one classes with Lisa Barth, and last summer classes in Vermont with Celie Fago!

I have recently been accepted into the Artisan Group which provides celebrities samples of their hand crafted products. At the moment, I’m busy making a special gift for Mila Kunis. My business cards will also be included in this years CMA awards gift bags.

I love working with metal clay because the possiblities are endless. I also teach metal clay classes out of my beautiful Wisconsin studio and have an Etsy shop: www.metalmorphis.etsy.com.

To create the pendant I cut a shape from the Eastern Frames Jewelry Shape Template. The center element is made from the Ravenna Antique Mold. I added tiny metal clay studs for embellishment.

After firing, a liver of sulfur patina was added and the piece was polished.”

Congratulations Kim!

Help us congratulate both Amy and Kim for their beautiful Antique Mold Design Contest entries. We hope they enjoy their $100 prizes!

Stay tuned: 2nd place will be announced tomorrow!

Jun
11

Eight stunning new embossed Jewelry Artist Elements sheets have just come in. Check them out today.

Shop our new and exciting designs displaying an array of animals, feathers, borders, intricate patterns, tree of life symbols and so much more.

Our new Arts & Crafts era inspired metal clay design elements are coordinating sheets of embossed floral and vining designs, elements, and textures. Many designs include matching left and right elements. Our Craftsman designs reflect ornate Victorian philosophy in their elegant, but reserved designs.  Our breathtaking new Prairie Feather designs are sure to inspire whole collections for your jewelry. Our Jewelry Artist Elements Prairie Feathers designs produce raised images that  give the illusion of repousse and work beautifully with patinas and surface embellishments. The Tree of Life is one of the most sacred symbols of mankind. These beautiful Tree of Life designs are referenced in science, religion, philosophy, mythology to name a few. Crowns are a traditional symbol representing power, legitimacy, immortality, righteousness, victory, triumph, resurrection, honor and glory of life after death. Each design includes 2 sizes for coordinating elements and components.

Shop all 15 of our beautiful Jewelry Artist Elements texture sheets for you next project and start making remarkable jewelry.

Jun
8

An irresistible selection of Semi-Precious Gemstones are now available in our store.

You’ll find a rainbow of inspiration in our collection of gems. Choose from turquoise, amber, jasper, onyx, black lip shell and a variety of other exciting calibrated stones, all at great prices.

Blue Lace Agate offers stunning patterns of swirling blues and whites and was once believed to be a protective and healing stone. Our Fancy Jasper has a rich brick red body with swirls and specks of butterscotch, cream, and dark grey. Jasper is a variety of chalcedony (the quartz family) and means “spotted or speckled stone”. Sodalite is a rich royal blue mineral widely enjoyed as an ornamental gemstone. Sodalite is referred to as “the stone of the head and the heart” and was once believed to be especially useful for creative people. The combination of heart and mind makes it possible to make your visions a reality. There is so many others: Find more here!

Let a fabulous gem be the starting place for your next great design and start a revolution in your jewelry.

Jun
6

Congratulations to Pat Sorlien, the winner of the Cool Tools Random Review Contest for May! Pat has won a $100 Cool Tools gift certificate simply for reviewing a product she purchased.

Pat reviewed a Cool Tools Leaves and Tendrils Texture Tile and said: “Love, love, love. This sheet has become my go-to #1 resource. I am even using it for ring bands: so lovely with bronze clay when it turns green!” Pat was excited about winning and told us a little about herself:

“Thank you so much!!! I am very excited to have been drawn to win this shopping spree. Attached is a photo of me in my shop, plus a few other photos of projects I’ve made with Cool Tools products.

One photo shows a necklace I made with the Leaves and Tendrils pattern impressed into the bronze clay background. I even cut out two of the largest leaves and pasted them on top of the piece for additional texture. Also, I’ve included some other pieces made from your bronze clay, one using one of your antique molds (another personal favorite). I love opening the carbon pan after firing and seeing the beautiful colors, always a surprise and a wonderful treat!!!

As for the ring, I found a drinking glass which had the bug as a detail… (always looking for textures etc). I used Cool Tools Mega Mold to create a mold and this is also one of my favorites. I get lots of compliments on this ring, and people love the Leaves and Tendrils band.

This is my story: 6 yrs ago after a bout with breast cancer (after surgery) I decided to finally do what had been one of my dreams, creating jewelry. I went looking for books, then found Cool Tools on the web, watched Mardel, and fell in love with her video tutorials (another favorite). I’ve learned so much from her and I am constantly watching for new tips and techniques. She is so calm and precise, also I love her name.

You can see from the picture of me that I am into it all: love pounding metal, sawing, piercing, and using heat to create patina, (soldering is sometimes challenging). However metal clay is such a wonderful medium, I love forming, embossing and carving and especially enjoy pre finishing (its like weeding your garden).

Mostly I love creating something beautiful… with all your help!

 

Thank you Cool Tools!”

After every purchase, you receive an email asking you to review the product you purchased. Your reviews offer fellow jewelry artists insight to the products they are purchasing. You can go to any product page, scroll down to the bottom, and click on “Write a Review”.

The more products you review, the better your chances to win. A winner is selected every month.

Keep reviewing products and help us congratulate Pat this month!

Jun
4

A fresh new batch of products have just arrived this week! Everyone will find something they will love.

Shop our new selection of innovative productivity tools including our new Syringe Holder, Tool Trap, Work Surface Turnabout, several Books & DVDs, and much more!

These tools are perfect to help you get the job done quick, easy and accurately.

Get these new products today right here at Cool Tools.