Tag Archives: cool tools

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!

Creating with Antique Molds by Karen Trexler

While Cool Tools Antique Molds are great for making satisfying charms and pendants by firing exactly what you pull from the molds, they also offer opportunity to create unique pieces by manipulating the clay once it has been removed from the mold. I made both pieces by beginning with the Wild Child Antique Mold with EZ960® Sterling Silver Clay. In both pieces I thought it would be nice to remove the background, and cut away the silver clay in the background with my Ultra Clay Pick while the clay was still soft.

For the piece pictured on the right, I also pressed clay into the Sunshine and Lace Antique Mold and decided I wanted to work with mostly the ends. I gently placed the Wild Child piece on top of the Sunshine and Lace piece and scribed a line to follow and cut away the middle so the pieces from The Sunshine and Lace Piece will line up perfectly with the edges of the Wild Child piece. Once I cut away the excess from the Sunshine and Lace piece, I gently dampened the edges that met with a small amount of distilled water on a brush before adding just a touch of EZ960 Sterling Silver Paste from a syringe to the edge and pressing them together. I used the brush to run over the seam to smooth it out before allowing the piece to dry and refining the edges of the piece as a whole by sanding it while it was in its greenware stage. I fired the clay piece before soldering a pin back to the back so it may be worn as a brooch.

I created the piece on the left in a similar way, only I was only working with only the Wild Child Antique Mold. I pressed clay into just the flower portion of the mold (located in her hair) and made small flowers that I attached to the main piece with paste. Once I was happy with my design, I allowed the piece to dry before cleaning it up, firing it, and soldering on a pin back as I did in the first piece.

I hope this inspires you to put your own spin on an Antique Mold, the possibilities are endless with so many to choose from!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cool Tools Antique Molds are made from 100% silicone mold material that does not stick to metal clay, or any other type of clay, so no release is needed. Molds are reusable and can be placed on a heat source to dry clay. Safe to 500°F. Use molds to create a pendant, earrings or a focal point on a cuff.

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: 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.

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.