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Jan
13

beautiful cubic zirconia

New Larger Sizes! Hundreds of Cubic Zirconias!

We have expanded our collection of beautiful cubic zirconia to include larger sizes. Whether you are working in metal clay or using traditional fabrication or casting methods, we have what you need. Featuring Pears up to 15mm x 18mm, Round 10mm – 16mm and Triangle up to 14mm’s. These stunning gemstones will make any creation sparkle. The possibilities are endless!

Shop now to be the first to get these beautiful treasures!

SHOP NOW! http://ow.ly/WZYLV

Dec
30

New-Metal-Clay-Molds

More Antique Molds… 20 New Beautiful Designs!

Add more new designs to your collection!
Choose patterns like: Checkered Past, Nice Nouveau, Starlight Palm and Royal Garden. Use them for centerpieces, accents, components or texture.
We have over 600 beautiful Antique Molds to choose from. Shop today! http://ow.ly/Wqu9Z

Dec
23

CoolTools-New-Gem-Stones

Larimar, Pietersite, Blue Tiger Eye…New Gemstones! This release includes beautiful Larimar, Labradorite, Apatite, Pietersite, Blue Tiger Eye and Tiger Eye with Hematite. Choose from earring sets, freeform cabs and drilled pendants! Each image is the individual stone you will receive. Pick the perfect gem for your next project!

SHOP NOW! http://www.cooltools.us/New-Gemstones-s/1651.htm

Dec
9

 

Lisel Crowley

Lisel Crowley

 

Cool Tools was delighted to host Connecticut Metal Clay Artist and Instructor, Lisel Crowley recently. While here in the midwest, Lisel took the time to visit the Cool Tools Studio to film several new videos for our video library. The first video, already released, features Lisel creating one of a kind textures using Scratch Foam and Xiem stylus tools. We will soon release two additional videos that showcase Lisel’s talents and artistic style; Her Embrace Setting video that marries a dichroic glass gemstone with her own unique take on a metal clay setting, and her Art Nouveau pendant, which showcases her artistic style and a cool new template, designed to easily create a metal clay bezel for a cz, glass cabochon or other fireable stone.

We first met Lisel in August of this year when she hosted the 2nd Metal Clay Mojo Conference in Chester Connecticut. Lisel brought together a wonderful group of artists and talented instructors from the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Poland and beyond. In addition to being the creator and organizer of the Metal Clay Mojo Conference, Lisel is also the founder and director of the Metal clay Artisan Guild in Connecticut. Building community and furthering artistic excellence in metal clay is a passion for Lisel, who strives to provide continued support and mentoring for her students and fellow metal clay artists.

A self described “creativity addict,” Lisel also likes to work with fused glass, alcohol ink painting and silk dyeing. She loves engaging in the creativity process and is constantly trying new media, techniques and styles. Her work has been featured in The Crafts Report (now Handmade Business), Art Jewelry Magazine and Easy Metal Clay. For a complete listing of Lisel’s upcoming classes and workshops, check out her website at liselcrowley.com.

 

Watch Lisel’s Scratch Foam Project

Check out the photos below that show the different stages of the Scratch Foam Project

Pendant in green-ware state - unfired

Pendant in green-ware state – unfired

Finished Pendant ready to wear

Finished Pendant ready to wear

Finished Pendant and Scratch Foam with Design

Finished Pendand and Scratch Foam with Design

Oct
20

Check out Bill’s Kickstarter Campaign

Inventor of BRONZclay and COPPRclay, Bill Struve of Metal Adventures has a new invention called the The 3DMetalCreator.  This new innovation is a creativity tool that allows you to easily create 3D metal objects by extruding a thick metal paste.  Bill has created a kickstarter campaign to help support this invention.

What is metal paste?   Metal paste consists of very small metal particles mixed with a binder, water, and other materials. It is softer version of metal clay. When the paste is dried, it is somewhat flexible and can be refined or modified using simple hand tools like those used for metal clay. During firing, the metal particles join together into solid metal. Since the end result is metal, standard metal working techniques such as filing, drilling, polishing, soldering, welding and adding patinas can be used.

3DMetalCreator

3DMetalCreator

How will the funds from this campaign be used?   From his previous experience manufacturing 3DMetalCreators for the beta testers, Bill is confident that he will be able to produce sufficient 3DMetalCreators to satisfy the December, 2015 rewards. Bill needs funds to scale up production and to create a 3DMetalCreator community. Bill produces the bronze paste by methods similar to those used in the production of our metal clays. The BRONZpaste3D cartridges, on the other hand, are filled with paste from the tip so as not to introduce air. The paste is very thick and contains metal particles and is therefore not suitable for currently available cartridge filling equipment. He has developed his own equipment to fill cartridges and needs funds to scale the production. He also noticed air in a few cartridges and will need to improve the filling process to avoid this. He has literally tons of experience developing copper based metal clay and have made test batches of silver clay. Due to the requests of the beta testers he plans to use his own funds and those from this campaign to complete the development of silver paste to load into cartridges.

Created by Bill Struve using the 3DMetalCreator

Created by Bill Struve using the 3DMetalCreator

Bill’s campaign page is loaded with great photos and more of Bill’s story. Click on the orange heading at the top of the page: “Check out Bill’s Kickstarter Campaign”.

Sep
3

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.

 

Aug
18

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!

Aug
14

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.

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Enameled Pendant by Terri McCarthy

Pendant by Teri McCarthy

Pendant by Terri McCarthy

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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.

Aug
11

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

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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!

 

Jul
28

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!

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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