Author Archives: Rhonda Rein

Artist Project Series: Nesting Ring by Tracey Spurgin

Cool Tools is proud to continue our support for the Artist Project Series with Creative Fire.  UK Jewelry Artist, Tracey Spurgin has created this detailed, stunning Nesting Ring using EZ960® Sterling Silver Metal Clay. 

Because EZ960 is a sterling silver alloy, one of its best attributes is its post firing strength. This inherent strength makes EZ960 the perfect choice for jewelry that takes lots of abuse, such as rings and bracelets.

The design of this ring allows you to wear each of the two rings individually as a stand alone, or simply nest them together to make one statement cocktail ring. A two for one ring, how awesome is that!?

Follow along and learn Tracey’s process step by step for making this piece, including how to fit the two rings together, here.

MCAS 2018

Donna Penoyer in action teaching her Whistle Pendant Workshop.

Metal Clay Artists Symposium • August 23-26, 2018

This exciting 4-day event, at the Sawtooth School for Visual Art (SSVA), features the most innovative workshop leaders in a creative environment, sharing inspiration, techniques, and cutting-edge technology with the metal clay community through hands-on workshops, breakout sessions, free Technique Discovery Workshops, Meet and Greet opportunities, a month-long metal clay exhibit and more!

MCAS Badge

Cool Tools is proud to have supported this event and occur as a Badge Sponsor. Not to mention, doesn’t our logo look great with the Sawtooth School for Visual Art logo

I really had a blast at MCAS! During both class days, my classes were with Donna Penoyer. Donna is a fantastic teacher, full of knowledge and tips on working with metal clay. Her classes were both a little challenging, but fun nevertheless. Donna Penoyer is known for her whistle creations, including creations of whistles hidden within her pieces. Sometimes you wouldn’t even know a piece whistled unless she showed you! I’m happy to say that the whistle I created DOES whistle with a nice pitch to it. As always, there are lessons to be made in every class you take. My personal lesson was that I need to be more thorough in creating both sides of a hollow form to ensure that both sides match up evenly. Below is a picture of a whistle created by Donna Penoyer.

Whistle Pendant created by Donna Penoyer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also learned how to create a celtic knot using flexible metal clay. I was so impressed with what Donna had come up with for us to learn this process. While the process is a test for one’s patience, it is certainly satisfactory and I look forward to create more celtic knots in the future. Below is the celtic knot I created. As I said before, taking classes is all about learning, and with this particular piece I learned to be more cognizant of my application of the paste. This piece requires a lot of paste in order to hold together, and because of this, too much paste can cause a loss of texture. I did not plan to have a center for my piece; however, I created one to off set the loss of texture in the middle from pasting the pieces together.

 

MCAS is a wonderful place to get to know other metal clay artists and their passions, thoughts and ideas. It’s also a great pleasure as a Cool Tools employee to interact with and meet Cool Tools customers. We love our customers! I encourage any metal clay artist to join MCAS next year, you will not be disappointed!

EZ960® Sterling Silver Clay Rose Necklace by Karen Trexler

Check out this beautifully hand crafted necklace by Cool Tools’ resident artist, Karen Trexler! What I personally love about this piece is how you can see her fingerprints, creating a soft texture for the petals. Karen explains her process for creating this piece out of EZ960 Sterling Silver Clay below:

I started this necklace with EZ960 rolled to 2 cards thick. Immediately after rolling the clay, while it was still still fresh and soft, I cut half round sections to pinch into petals. The clay was a dream to work with, making tight bends for the rose petals without ripping. I attached the petals together to form the flowers simply by pressing them together before attaching all the flowers together with EZ960 Sterling Silver Paste from the syringe (EZS-010-S). I used a brush with distilled water to clean up and smooth out the paste connections. Finally, I pressed silver embeddable eyelets (FND-909) into the end flowers so that the piece could be worn as a necklace before drying and firing the clay. I concluded this piece by using the embedded eyelets to attach the rose pendant to the chain (CHN-260).

Artist Project Series: Creating a FS999™ Vessel Pendant By Janet Harriman

Our second featured artist for the Artist Project Series with Creative Fire is Janet Harriman. Janet has been working with metal clay for almost 14 years, and has been making jewelry and winning awards for over 40 years. She teaches workshops on metal clay, metalworking and enameling. For the Artist Project Series, Janet has created this unique Vessel Pendant out of FS999 Fine Silver Clay.

In the article found below, Janet takes you through her process step by step. Her process is particularly interesting because of a failure she experiences during firing, which leads her to an inventive fix.

To view Janet’s process and to learn more about her, please click here.

 

Artist Project Series: FS999™ Dino Bracelet by Gordon K. Uyehara

We are delighted to support and introduce “The Artist Project Series” by Creative Fire with FS999 Fine Silver Clay. After so many beautiful and creative pieces during this series with EZ960® Sterling Silver Clay, we are so excited to see what comes next with FS999! This series will feature 12 artists over the next year or so. Each artist will let us observe into their studio while they create a piece of art using FS999 Fine Silver Clay. 

The first featured artist is Gordon Uyehara from Honolulu, Hawaii. Gordon has created a beautiful and intricate Dino Bracelet, while showing his process step by step.

To view this process beginning from Gordon’s sketches, please click here.

EZ960® Rings : METALCLAYSTUDIO

Both of these beautiful rings were made with EZ960 Sterling Silver Clay by Master Elena Chistova, from Nizhniy Novgorod city in Russia. Her wonderful instructor is Alexander Kraft, who teaches metal clay and enameling at the METALCLAYSTUDIO.

 

The flower ring stuns with its beautiful coloring by using our Cool Tools Patina Gel. How awesome is that!?

 

If you are interested in the METALCLAYSTUDIO and their classes offered please click here.

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

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.

 

PMC Sterling: Single Firing Method

Since the inception of PMC Sterling, it has had a 2 stage firing process as stated below:

Kiln Fire – 2 Stage:

  • 1000°F / 538°C – 30 minutes (open shelf)
  • 1500°F / 815°C – 30 minutes (activated carbon)

As confirmed by Tim McCreight, a Single Firing is also possible using the Water Method. This method fires at 1525˚F / 830°C for 30 minutes.
Click here for instructions.

 

Artist Project Series: Penannular Brooch by Julia Rai

 

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.

Artist Project Series: Liz Sabol

Wow! The possibilities really are endless when working with EZ960®. Our ninth artist for the Artist Project Series with Creative Fire using EZ960 Sterling Silver Metal Clay is Liz Sabol, a relative newcomer to the jewelry world, who is also a veteran in design and graphic arts. This EZ960® piece is a Champlevé design that utilizes colored depressions in a solid piece. Follow along and learn her Saul Bell Design Award winning work step by step as well as more about Liz Sabol here.