Tuesday, 12 July 2005

Bling, bling and a whole lotta bling!

I've finally got some spare time to do some of my own work, which is fun!
Last week, one of my students brought a ring in, which had broken, she wanted to repair it. It was big, chunky, and beautiful. I just had to have a go and make something similar myself, and now it is in the kiln!
I have taken a lot of photos of the whole process, as I might write it up as a step-by-step project. It is a ring made by simply drawing the design with an Art Clay 650 syringe, directly on the mandrel. It is pretty easy, so great for someone just starting out. I've also added an advanced step, as I'm setting a seriously big blinging stone on the ring. This is also done with the syringe.
I can hear my kiln clicking away in the background, and I can barely wait to get the ring out. I love big, blingy, sparkly stones, and the one set on this ring ticks all the boxes. It is a deep champagne coloured, triangular, 12 mm big cubic zirconium. Beautifully facetted. Sparkly... Blingy...
With the stone set, the ring certainly isn't a pretty, elegant, daintly little ring; it's more of a in-your-face, look-at-me ring.
Without the stone, it is a cute, unusually shaped ring, and using a smaller stone, it could be done to look elegant.
It is easy to change a design to fit what you like - take parts of it, and ignore the bits you don't like. Replace them with something else, or simply leave them out.
I'll post a photo of BlingBling when it is finished. Here is a taster.

Tuesday, 5 July 2005

Working with Argentium Sterling Silver

If you are up to date on your jewellery raw material you have probably heard Argentium Silver being mentioned lately. Well, here is a blog, talking only about this great new material. If you haven't tried it yet (like me!), I'm sure you will soon. In the meantime, learn more about it here. If you've never heard about Argentium Silver, take the time to read more on this blog.
Working with Argentium Sterling Silver: "Argentium Sterling is simply a modern adjustment to the traditional sterling formula. It is still 92.5% pure silver --it has to be in order to be called 'sterling'-- but it replaces some of the traditional 7.5% copper with a rare metallic element called Germanium."

Friday, 1 July 2005

Market, lies and websites.

Interesting discussion about jewellery and contemporary artists. Click to read the full article.
ALTERNATIVES contemporary jewellery - Unlimited
: "So, what exactly is the value of jewellery today? Does it represent what it represented in the past? Probably not. Industry and fashion have changed the approach to jewellery by removing its symbolic and ancestral value. In a society where much importance is given to superficiality, jewellery has been deprived of any cultural value thus limiting its understanding and consequently its distribution. In an interesting article published here in the Klimt site, Ramon Puig Cuyas evidences the fact that jewellery is unable to be the sole protagonist of our time, in the sense that today jewellery has to share its symbolic role with items that have become very powerful status symbols, like cars, mobile phones, internet and have in a way replaced what jewellery used to stand for. We can do without jewellery today, but we cannot go without being connected to a computer.

Thus, what is the sense of jewellery in a society that has stepped into a new century with a creed for money and technology?"

Tuesday, 28 June 2005

Lark Books looking for metal beads for publication

This is exciting - how about submitting some beautiful metal clay beads?

Lark Books > Artist and Author Submissions > Designer Entry Forms:

"Lark Books seeks images of handmade contemporary metal beads for publication in a book titled Making Metal Beads. We wish to receive images of not only individual beads, but bead groupings and beads as elements in a finished piece of jewelry. Diverse techniques and styles desired: transformed commercial seamless beads, beads made from tubing, soldered double-dome beads, cold-connected beads, fused ones, and those made in hydraulic presses all considered."

Inspiring Courses

I've just had two weekends of courses in a row. Tiring, but a lot of fun!
The courses are so inspiring - it is lovely to fill a room with creative people, put a new material in their hand, give them the basic techniques, and then let them go ahead and create. The pieces some students produce in the short time of a day course are impressive. And it is fascinating to see how people's designs are so different. When they start playing with textures, adding stones, adding syringe work - considering they don't get much time to really sit and plan their design, the results are stunning. And that is in ONE day, with people who have never worked with Art Clay before.
The students all have different backgrounds, some are completely new to crafts and arts, others have backgrounds as sculptors, painters, card makers, silversmiths and metal artists. I've had so many fascinating people as students; teachers, web designers, accountants, jewellery artists, mums, glass makers, polymer clay artists - most of them will go back home and take inspiration from their backgrounds and daily life, and will bring this into their metal clay creations. When they decide to stay in touch, it is so exciting to follow their progress. They come back with questions that pushes me to explore, test and push my work in silver clay further. I probably learn just as much as my students.
Unfortunately, despite putting the camera on the table, I forgot to take pictures on both weekends, yet again. Aarrgh.
Petra Wennberg
Art Clay Senior Instructor
SilverClay - a subsidiary of Petra Lyon Ltd

Thursday, 23 June 2005

Exciting new prices...

Hello there blog-readers, today you get a sneek preview.
I'm just about finished with updating the website - I've got new amazing summer prices on all the clay.
 50 gm of Art Clay 650 used to be £45.95 - now it is only £39.95! That is £6 off! And all the prices have been updated so if you buy 3 of any pack you get about 10% off, and if you buy 5 or more you get about 20% off. Very exciting!
And I have also prepared a page on the website for a new product which will be launched later this summer - Slow Tarnish Clay, Paste and Syringe.

Wednesday, 15 June 2005

Why this blog?

This blog makes it easy for me to share any exciting information I might have, ideas, tips or special offers.
It will be about Art Clay, silver and gold clay, and all the exciting things you can use with it - like, glass, porcelain, enamelling, transfers, resins, accent gold for silver, and anything else I can think of.
Who am I?
I'm Petra Wennberg, a certified Art Clay Senior Instructor. I discovered metal clays a few years ago, when I was making wire and bead jewellery. I thought it sounded like a joke to start with: "A clay that turns into fine silver? Yeah, sure!" - when I realised it was true I got VERY excited.
A little over 1.5 years ago I discovered that I was pregnant, and decided that it was time for a life change. I decided to work with Art Clay full time and left my job as an Events Manager for a marketing agency in London. I said good bye to the big city and hello to the quaint little village Corfe Castle, in Dorset. I now split my time between being a mum and selling Art Clay and zillions of tools and equipment to use with the clay. I also run courses in my studio, so you're more than welcome if you want to learn more!
So, I hope you'll enjoy my posts, if you have any comments, please add them.