MCAS 2018

Written by Rhonda Rein
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!

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September 12, 2018

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