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I love jewelry, and I love making jewelry. I also love a good sale. Last weekend I headed to an estate sale. I found a box of stuff, you know, that stuff that is found in old drawers. The short story is, for a few dollars, I found a cardboard box full of junk, with the exception of a couple of things. One being this really cool over sized medallion.

1 Ant Button

I couldn’t wait to get back to my studio and make a mold of it.  I created a mold using a two part silicone mold material and pushed in my BRONZclay.

Bronze pendant button, clay and mold

Original Medallion, Silicone Mold and Bronze Clay

I centered the textured clay over a large copper drying form and  used the dehydrator to get it to the greenware state. After 30 minutes I started refining the piece.

3 Bronze pendant sanded front

Front Sanded

Back Refined

Back Refined

I quickly cut a hole in the center to allow for the pavillion (the portion of the cz below the girdle) to set in. I made a bezel, making sure I properly captured the girdle (the outer edge of the widest part of the cz, separating the crown from the pavillion) of the cz.

5 Bronze pendant - unrefined CZ

CZ nestled into the cut hole. I made a snake with the BRONZclay and pushed it through a syringe to create the bezel. This photo is before sanding.

A bail was fashioned from the leftover scrap(s) of clay.  Considering the larger size of this piece, the bail was made just a little “beefy”. Because of its extra large size.

6 Bronze pendant with bail unattached

Bezel refined with bail ready to attach.

7 Bronze pendant bail added

Bail attached.

Bail pasted on with bronze slip and dryed.  Photo also shows the hole for the CZ.

Bail pasted on with bronze slip and dryed. Photo also shows the hole for the CZ.

I fired it in coal carbon in the kiln for the long schedule of 500F/hr ramp with a target temperature of 1550F and held it there for a full 2 hours, to ensure a full and complete sintering.

9.1 Bronze pendant fired

After firing.

Back after firing.

Back after firing.


The firing was successful, and after cleaning, I treated it with Patina Gel to give it an antiqued finish.

Polishing after a dip in Patina Gel.

Polishing after a dip in Patina Gel.

14 Bronze pendant finished and modeled

Finished piece.

I really like how it turned out. The bronze is great with this champagne colored cubic zirconia, and overall, I’m happy with the contents of my auction find.  This piece could also be made into a large bracelet cuff, or just use the center to make matching earrings.  We have this design available on our website. Click here to shop for the Aztec Medallion mold.



Check out our new selection of Mushroom, Brecciated, Butterfly Wing Jasper and Orthoceras Fossils. Available in various shapes and cuts.
These beautiful gemstones are all different and unique; find free-form cabochons and calibrated shapes.

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We also have the metalsmithing tools you need to create a beautiful setting, including Bezel and Wrapping Wire and Torches & Solder!

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We photograph each stone. Pick the exact gemstone that is right for you!


Terri McCarthy is truly an inspiration!  She transformed her studio in the historic Grafton Mill in Grafton, WI and it includes an open studio classroom.  I have had the pleasure of taking classes from Terri.  Adults who have an interest in fabricating jewelry or small metal objects are welcome in her studio, for individual or group instruction.  Terri is a well respected and accomplished metalsmith in her own right as well as a talented instructor.  Her teaching style is laid back, she has a great sense of humor and gives each student the time and mentoring needed when questions arise.

Her studio is beautiful and well stocked with every metalsmithing tool you can imagine.  She routinely brings in well known artists and instructors for weekend classes. Terri offers ongoing workshops in casting, enameling, fold forming and etching, in addition to her regularly scheduled classes.  If you ever get the chance to take a class from Terri or one her invited metalsmithing guests, you’ll learn a lot and have fun too!  Terri’s website

One of the classes I took focused on etching metal.  This was a first for me.  The process was interesting and fun! Now I have some great raw material and ideas for pendants and earrings.  I used bronze and copper in this class.

Here are a few photos of some of the etched pieces I created.

Etched Copper

Etched Copper

Etched Bronze

Etched Bronze

Etched Bronze & Copper

Etched Bronze & Copper


Here are a few photos of Terri’s work.


Enameled Pendant by Terri McCarthy

Pendant by Teri McCarthy

Pendant by Terri McCarthy


Enameled Brooch by Terri McCarthy


I used the E-3 Etch Kit by Sherri Haab. Cool Tools also carries Silver, Copper, Bronze and Brass Sheet, the perfect blank canvas for etching!  Etching metal is an interesting technique that cannot be duplicated in any other fashion. It is achieved by protecting certain areas and leaving the rest open to the action of the acid. The greatest master of this technique was certainly Rembrandt (1606 – 1669).  He produced over 300 etchings in his lifetime.


Design your next project with our cool new Jewelry Shape Templates.


Choose new designs like larger bails, great for bronze and copper clay.  Other fun shapes include: Yoga Poses, Flowery Asterisks, Tiki’s Toy and Oriental Fan.

Our popular Jewelry Shape Templates are versatile and easy to use.  Utilize the graduated sizes and different shapes to make endless design variations. These templates are great for Silver Clay & Polymer Clay too!



New Antique Molds are here!

At Cool Tools, we are continuing to add new designs to our inventory.  Our new selection includes;  Winged Dragon, Egyptian Prediction or Saturn’s Galaxy to name a few. Use them for centerpieces, accents, components and texture.  These molds work great with BRONZclay, COPPRclay, PMC, ArtClay, Metal Magic Silver Clay, Sculpey Regular, Sculpey PRIMO! and Sculpey Souffle Polymer Clays and Kato Polyclays!


“Top: “Moon at Rest”, Bottom left: “Moon Scape”, Right: “Pharaoh”


Top: “Saturn’s Galaxy”, Right: “Stars & Moon”, Bottom: “Starry Night”, Middle Left: “Sun Beaming”


Top: “Flying Dragon”, Bottom Left: “Dragon Warrior”,


Top and Left: “Aztec Lock” & “Aztec Lock Small”, Right: “Roman Symbol”


Left: “Roped Anchor”, Top: “Supernova”, Bottom: “Stay Anchored”










Shop over 500 beautiful Antique Molds today to be the first to get these new designs.


Artists have been making bronze jewelry for thousands of years. With the introduction of bronze clay, modern jewelry artists have a wonderful medium which is inexpensive in comparison to silver and gold clays, allowing the artist to be more generous and experimental with their designs and creativity. In this video, I create a rustic bronze clay pendant  If you are new to metal clay or bronze clay, you will love this project.

Bronze pendant with texture tile

This is the texture I used for this piece.

Bronze Pendant

My first bronze pendant.

I haven’t made many pieces out of bronze clay as my first love is silver clay.  I’ve seen so many beautiful bronze pieces in magazines, at trade shows and on line that I thought it was high time I jumped in to see if I could improve my techniques, gain a better understanding of the firing schedules, work with  patina gel and understand the shrinkage rate. Above are  photos of my first piece.  I was surprised at how easy it was.  I looked in magazines for inspiration.

I then decided it was time to create the video and show all of the steps it took to make this piece. Click on the video screenshot below to watch the video or order the kit we created that includes 30 grams of BRONZclay to get you started.

Bronze clay video screen shot

 Here are a few other photos that I took when I created this project.

Here are the stages of this pendant.  The first two are the pendant and the bail.  The bail was placed over a straw to dry.  The third is the pendant ready for firing and the last photo is the final piece that I antiqued by using Patina Gel and then polished with polishing paper.

Stages of this pendant. The first two are the clay pendant and a smaller piece for the bail which was placed over a straw to dry. The third is the pendant ready for firing and the last photo is the final piece that I antiqued by using Patina Gel and then polished with polishing paper.

Here is the pendant directly after firing.  It is sitting on the texture tile (Body Wave).

Pendant directly after firing. It is sitting on the texture tile (Body Wave).

Bronze pendant with text and temp unfired

This photo shows the template I used.

If you would like to order the texture or the template separately, click on the product codes below:

Texture Tile – TTL-414

Jewelry Shape Template – TMP-211

I will continue my bronze clay projects and show you my progress.





Introducing Exquisite Montana Agate Gemstones created by award winning Joe Jelks of Horizon Mineral Lapidary. Joe’s attention to detail is well known in the lapidary world.

He cuts, grinds and polishes each stone individually.

These beautiful gemstones are all different and unique and we photograph each one individually.

Shop our great selection of these one of a kind treasures at:

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Here are some examples of the product in multiple forms. The first is a fired, finished piece with Patina Gel. The second is a fired piece that was brass brushed. The third piece is an unfired piece of dry Metal Magic Silver Clay.


Introducing a new silver clay product on the market called Metal Magic Silver Clay. This product is 75% fine silver and 25% binder by weight, which means that it shrinks 25% during firing in comparison to other brands of .999 silver clay that shrink 10 – 15%. It is available in 3 three sizes (25, 50 and 100 Gram packs) and comes in lump form only.

Metal Magic Silver Clay is a high quality  that was easy to work and manipulate.  Because it shrinks 25% we do not recommend this product for rings.  On a positive side, because of the shrink factor, this form is excellent for highlighting details and texture

We tested Metal Magic Silver Clay, check out our video to see the results!  Click the link below to order this product and watch the video.


Introducing the most exquisite collection of stones we have ever offered! This collection of beautiful cabochons includes Botswana Agate, Petrified Palm wood and Fossil Coral.

These stunning gemstones are highly polished on both sides. Choose the perfect one for your distinctive creation.

This is an exclusive small batch of unique gems. Each image is the individual stone you’ll receive; pick out the perfect one for you. This is a limited assortment, order now!

Hand Cut and Polished in the USA


PMC960Introducing our new PMC 960 Combo Packs featuring equal parts of PMC3 and PMC Sterling for making PMC 960 clay.

PMC 960 clay is a new technique of enriching the sterling silver clay with PMC3. Mixing these two clays results in a stronger metal clay that can be fired on an open kiln shelf without carbon. 960 provides all the benefits of PMC3 and PMC Sterling, and creating it is quick and easy.

Shop our discounted PMC 960 Combo Packs today and see how this new clay is the perfect solution to strength and simple firing.

Watch our new PMC 960 video to learn to make this new clay that offers the best of both worlds.