Artist Project Series: Little Red School House Ring by Jeannette Froese LeBlanc

Written by Rhonda Rein

Our tenth artist for the Artist Project Series with Creative Fire using EZ960® Sterling Silver Metal Clay is Jeannette Froese LeBlanc, the promotor, write and editor for Creative Fire. Jeannette is also a teacher who holds a Master’s degree in education as well as several Bachelor’s degree’s in history and arts.

Jeannette was inspired to create this ring by a red schoolhouse in rural Ontario.  The school house was built in 1876 and captured her heart as a child.

Follow along and learn Jeannette’s process step by step for making this beautiful piece as well as more about Jeannette Froese LeBlanc and the history around this cherished school house here.

 

December 7, 2017

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Artist Project Series: Penannular Brooch by Julia Rai

Written by Rhonda Rein

 

Our ninth artist for the Artist Project Series with Creative Fire using EZ960® Sterling Silver Metal Clay is Julia Rai, an award winning artist, teacher and writer. She is well known in the international metal clay community.

Julia explains, “Penannular style brooches have been used to fasten clothing since the late Iron Age. This style of brooch has a loop of metal with terminals or flattened ends and a moveable pin. The pin is pushed through the fabric and the end of the ring goes under the sharp end of the pin. The ring is then turned locking the pin in place. There are a wide variety of designs for the terminals of historical penannular brooches and this is where the fun comes in on this modern take on an ancient design. I have used a natural theme for the hoop, texturing it to resemble bark. The terminals use pod, fungi and lichen forms and this is echoed on the curve of the pin.”

 

Follow along and learn Julia’s process step by step for making this beautiful piece as well as more about Julia Rai here.

November 9, 2017

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Artist Project Series: Kim Nogueira

Written by Diane Rein

Our seventh artist for the Artist Project Series with Creative Fire using EZ960® Sterling Silver Metal Clay is Kim Nogueira, an automaton maker and art jeweller from the Virgin Islands. Her jewelry is full of old fashioned cranks and levers, adding individuality to every piece. Follow along and learn her process step by step for making this beautiful, advanced piece, as well as more about Kim Nogueira here.

Check out Kim’s website here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 6, 2017

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Deb DeWolff: EZ960® Leaf Earrings

Written by Rhonda Rein

Check out these earrings created by Deb DeWolff! Made with EZ960 Sterling Silver Clay and polymer clay, these are bezel inlaid with polymer leaf cane. Using a jig she made from polymer clay, she created these beautiful bezels with EZ960. The backs are textured with the Cool Tools Rollable Texture Tile – Flower Party. Learn how to create polymer leaf canes by watching the video here. 

May 22, 2017

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Artist Project Series: Iwona Tamborska

Written by Rhonda Rein

Iwona_Tamborska
Our fifth artist for the Artist Project Series with Creative Fire using EZ960® Sterling Silver Metal Clay is Iwona Tamborska, a Polish artist and member of the Goldsmithing Artists Association. Her project is quite advanced, but all artists will still learn something new. Iwona’s process includes drawing out a detailed plan, applying Gilders Paste, setting CZs and creating hollow forms. Follow along and learn this process step by step, as well as more about Iwona Tamborska here.

April 4, 2017

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EZ960® Sterling Silver Clay Update

Written by Alan Rein

Hello everyone,

We recently updated our EZ960 firing instructions and our Gemstone Firing Guide to accommodate those artists that are firing the metal clay for extended hold times. The original firing schedule for EZ960 has not changed:

1675F for 2 hours
1700F for 1 Hour
1725F for 15 minutes

However, we have added to this schedule:
1675F for 3 or 4 hours – recommended for bending post-firing.

We have found through experience, trial and error, and then testing with a pyrometer, that most kilns are firing properly and at the stated temperatures. There are some kilns, however, that can or do fire somewhat lower than what the digital display states. This can be due to several reasons (age and use of the kiln being one of them). Regardless, and because of lower firing temperatures, some artists have experienced, when bending post-firing, cracking and even breakage of their Sterling Silver pieces after firing at the recommended firing times and temperatures. By testing with a pyrometer, we have found that these problems are due to an under-firing kiln. That being the case, for those artists who wish to bend the metal post-firing, we recommend firing for 3 or 4 hours at the 1675F temperature. This longer firing time, as simple as it is, has proven to be an excellent insurance policy to ensure the clay is completely sintered, and then, can withstand the additional rigors of bending post-firing- this is especially true for underperforming kilns or for those that may have experienced cracking or breakage when bending.
Having said that, the next question was, logically, “what about co-firing cubic zirconia and lab created gemstones at this temperature (1675F) for the longer hold time of 4 hours?” Can they take the heat for an additional 2 hours? Well, we tested every color and type of cz and lab created gemstone in our inventory, and the answer is…. if the gemstone can tolerate 2 hours at 1675F (open shelf, no carbon), it can tolerate 4 hours at 1675F (open shelf, no carbon). One exception being the golden topaz – it turned slightly darker, but it did not burn, nor did it change in the quality of the hue.

We have updated our Gemstone Firing Guide to reflect this new data. Also see below photos of the gemstones, before and after their 1675F firing on an open shelf for 4 hours.

All of this is good news for those who wish to co-fire gemstones with EZ960 using the technique that Lis-el Crowley pioneered and uses to her advantage – forming and firing the clay flat, and then bending the metal around a mandrel post-firing to create adjustable rings and cuff bracelets.

 

Alan Rein, Owner

Cool Tools

1675 GEM FIRING CZ Firing Gemstones and LABs 1675 open shelf 4hr

March 24, 2017

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EZ960®: METALCLAYSTUDIO

Written by Rhonda Rein

We are always delighted to share pieces that have been created with EZ960 Sterling Silver Clay. The pieces pictured below were created by seven different students in Russia at the METALCLAYSTUDIO. The METALCLAYSTUDIO offers training on working with metal clay with both basic and advanced classes. Thank you to the folks at METALCLAYSTUDIO for sharing these photos with us!

For more information on the METALCLAYSTUDIO click here.

For more pictures of the work done by artists in this studio click here.

 

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February 24, 2017

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Artist Project Series: Kathy Van Kleek

Written by Rhonda Rein

unspecifiedAnother project is here for The Artist Project Series with EZ960®! We are thrilled to support Creative Fire with this process.

The fourth artist is Kathy Van Kleeck, a jewelry artist since 1994. She has created a unique ring using EZ960 Sterling Silver Clay while showing us her process step by step.
To view this process and to learn more about Kathy Van Kleek, click here                                                                                                               unspecified-1

unspecified-2

February 23, 2017

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Creating Reindeer Earrings

Written by Rhonda Rein

rhonda-earrings-7I wanted to create some cute Christmas earrings for ugly sweater parties and other festive activities that happen this time of year… so reindeer earrings it twas! I am new to metal clay so these were a little bit of a challenge, but with help of my Aunt I am very happy with how they turned out! Below is step by step instructions on my process.

Products used:

EZ960™ Sterling Silver Metal Clay

6″ x 9″ Work Surface

8mm x 10mm Garnet Oval Cubic Zirconia – Checkerboard

2mm Garnet Round Cubic Zirconia

Bezel Template – Oval 2 

Ultra Clay Pick

Scratch Foam Board

Rolling Frames & Cool Roller

Ball Stylus

Drill Set – 6 Piece

Needle File (circular end)

Sterling Silver Post – 6mm

The Wick Away

Paint Brush

Magic Carbon 

Firing Pan




rhonda-earrings-bexel-temp

Step 1:

Form bezels using Bezel Template – Oval 2 and the Ultra Clay Pick

 

 















rhonda-earrings-1

Step 2 & 3:

Mold the ears and paste onto each side of the bezel and let dry.

Using the Ball Stylus, draw a pair of antlers on the Scratch Foam Board.

Roll the clay on the Scratch Foam Board and cut around the edges with the Ultra Clay Pick.

File and Sand around the antlers to your liking.

 

 

 

 

 









rhonda-earrings-2

Step 4:

Gently drill holes into the ears using the drill and the circular end of a needle file.

Paste in the 2mm stones and let dry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 









rhonda-earrings-4

Step 5:

Paste Sterling Silver Posts onto the back of the bezels. Let dry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 











rhonda-earrings-6

Step 6:

After sanded and filed, place in carbon face down. Cover with carbon.

Fire at 1625°F for 2 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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Step 7:

Tumble for 3-4 hours. Polish as needed.

December 15, 2016

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Artist Project Series: Cindy Miller

Written by Rhonda Rein

cindy-miller-owl-pendant-cover-shot-2a-975x1300

We are happy to share the second featured artist for “The Artist Project Series” by Creative Fire. This series features 12 artist who are letting us observe into their studio while they create a piece of art using EZ960™ Sterling Silver Clay.

The second artist is Cindy Miller, a full-time studio artist from Alabama. She has created a vivid, beautiful owl pendant, while showing her process step by step.

To view this process and an interview with Cindy Miller by UK artist Julia Rai, click here.

December 14, 2016

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