EMC Team Member Abroad - A workshop with Anna Mazon

It was an excited group of students that gathered in the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors in early May to attend a workshop with Anna Mazon who had come over to the UK from Poland to teach.
Anna makes wonderful intricate work, and you can see examples on her website and in her Etsy shop Drakonaria.  
The workshop was organised by Lynne Glazzard and was held in her lovely studio in Glaisdale, not too far from Whitby. The view from outside the workshop across the dale (above) was just beautiful!
Anna was going to teach us how to make her Herbarium Pendants, and had made some workshop samples for us to pick up, study, coo about, and aspire to!
Over the two days Anna gave us frequent demonstrations of all the techniques she uses to make the pendants.
Her English was excellent, which was just as well because our Polish was non existent!! Throughout the weekend there was much laughter and hilarity, including about how we pronounce some particular words!! There are many peculiarities in our English language!
This another piece of Anna's and you can see the detail and precision she achieves.
When she demonstrated the leaves and flowers apparently these were large ones so we could see them! You can see the pencil beside them for size comparison.

Anna works in such a small scale that in between the laughter, at times there was total silence in the room, we were all concentrating so hard.

  It was enough just to remember to breathe when creating the tiny embellishments!


 Some of Anna's ways of working were not for all us of though! I know I would not be able to get my knee up to this position, below, for stone setting!! I just went with putting my piece on the table for that bit!!!

By lunchtime on day 2 our pieces were ready for the kiln.

 This was my piece below, I was delighted with all I had learnt and what I managed to achieve. Of course I had to add a little Critter into my piece for my Weekly Critter Challenge. Can you spot the birdie?
Here are some of the partially finished pieces.

I took this photo of my finished piece later at home once I had patinated it.

On the Saturday evening Lynne had arranged for us all to go into Whitby for a fish and chip supper down by the harbour. The weather was kind and it was a beautiful evening...
... followed by a walk all the way to the end of the pier for some of us afterwards!
It was a wonderful workshop. I certainly learnt a host of new skills. My thanks to Lynne and to Anna.
If you get a chance to take a workshop with Anna Mazon I highly recommend it. I'm sure she will be doing more travelling abroad to teach in the future so do keep a look out for her.
Finally... as part of my Weekly Critter Challenge I always write a poem to go with each piece. This is my poem inspired by the workshop with Anna.
From Poland she came to the North Yorkshire Moors
Excited we gathered to learn from her lore
With great skill and patience her secrets she told
And exquisite examples were there to behold
We learnt how to work in a manner so small
Techniques so absorbing you could hear a pin fall
Our final results we will all proudly wear
Thanks to Anna Mazon -
Artist Extraordinaire


Textures 201 - An exploration in texture - not your usual ideas.

I'd like to talk about the difference between low relief and high relief.  With metal clay, it's surprising how even a shallow texture can be an unusual and interesting detail - think wallpaper.

Along the way I'm going to take you through a few common and less expensive products that can deliver a nice texture for you if for instance you don't have any silicone molding compound laying around.

First you should get yourself some "Silly Putty" and keep it with you at all times.

You might see something out and about that you could take an impression of and see if what you think might look great, really is or not.  "Silly Putty" molds, stretches, snaps, and did you know it bounces too?!  HA!  Never mind, that's for another topic on another day but in all seriousness, this putty is perfect for testing your textures.  The impression with "Silly Putty" will only be temporary.  If you really like it, you'll have to go back and get a mold made from stronger stuff.

TULIP and Scribbles paint writers are paints in small bottles with small writing tips.  

You draw with them and when the paints dry, they leave a raised surface.  I like to collect little patterns and I will check through my stash and choose one to draw onto card stock.  I keep in mind the size I want to make and depending on the type of metal clay I'm using, I adjust for shrinkage.  Then I draw my design with pencil or pen and I'll outline these lines with my paint, squeezing out a fine line that conforms to the lines of my drawing.

Here's a link to a video on the basics of using these paints.

If you think that the hole in the tip is too large for your pattern and you're getting too much paint, you can get a set of these bottles "Jacquard Set Of Three Squeeze Bottles & Tips" 1/2 oz., with their complementary metal tips that restrict the flow of the paint for you.

These smaller bottles are pretty soft, easy to squirt some paint into and their tips are smaller than the openings of standard applicator bottles, so if you want a thin line, these do the trick.

@ $6 for a 4 ounce bottle or $13 for a set of 6, leaves a shiny finish.

@ $9 for a set of 6 - will give you higher relief when you follow the directions on the package and get the paint to puff up.  The following photo shows it un-puffed.

How to use Tulip® Dimensional Fabric Paint
1. Shake container. Hold tip to surface and squeeze gently while drawing your pattern. Let it dry flat for 4 hours. You can actually use it at this point for a medium relief texture.  2. For a Super Puffy/deep texture: To puff paint, preheat iron to hottest steam setting. Steam activates paint. Hold iron above paint, but not touching it and steam until the paint rises.
I drew some squiggles and then smooshed it to another piece of paper.  I think this would make a great background and you could add fine appliqué details to the top.

@$10 for a set of 6 - in the Shiny finish

Pebeo Porcelaine cloisonné outliner - between $9 and $14 a tube, can be applied on porcelain, china, glazed earthenware, terracotta, metal, enameled sheet steel, copper and glass.  Once baked at 300 degrees fahrenheit, according to the instructions on the tube, the colors are permanent, microwave safe, uv resistant and have remarkable resistance to dishwashing and to normal detergents.  It can also be used on card stock to create texture sheets and you don't have to bake it!

They are available in 10 assorted colors with nozzles.  The paint is tack free in a few minutes, and fully dry after a minimum of 24-hours.  NOTE:  I also used a tiny sample tube of "Diamond Glaze" in the photo above for another comparison.  Looks pretty good doesn't it?

A good trick with this media would be to use a heavily textured paper as the base to draw on and then you draw your pattern with a pen and trace over it with the paint.  Remember that after the paint is dry, it's usually more compact and the line is thinner than when you first squeezed out the paint.  This is a good thing because your picture detail becomes more refined.  It's also good to note that each paint tube can have it's own consistency.  I had two tubes and one was dense like icing and the other was more liquid and flowing.  You can take your chances at the craft store.  These tubes need to be punctured to open the flow of the paint so too bad, you can't try them before you buy them.

Martha Stewart has some new molds and here's a set I just got.  

I love the stars and the little round caps, heck, I love the whole package!  Martha comes through!

*****IMPORTANT WARNING:  DON'T USE "Silly Putty" OR ANY OTHER SILICONE MOLDING PRODUCT directly on a silicone product like these Martha molds without a release agent such as a dusting of powder or cornstarch or a light layer of grease.  The "Silly Putty" will stick to it and become almost impossible to remove completely and even if you do remove it, the mold may become discolored.  This goes for those clear rubber stamps too.  BE CAREFUL and try your mold material on a section that you don't plan on using, to test the compatibility of your materials.  I'm trying to prevent heartbreak here so please be careful.*****

Back in "Textures 101", I talked about "MOLD-N-POUR", a 2 part molding compound I've used.  When any of these textures you've made meet with your approval, just make a mold of it and you'll have your permanent custom mold and can make as many design elements as you want with it.  You'll also have the positive and the negative of the pattern in both of these pieces.  An idea for a great piece of jewelry would be to make a combination that uses both the positive pattern and the negative in the design.

Some MOLD-N-POUR textures I've gathered.

stars on the street - see my molding compound?

hand towel textures

from a wall in my house


and the finished molds

Embossing powders

Technique #1 - use a rubber stamp 

and stamp your paper (I used a black piece) with embossing ink, dust with embossing powder and shake off excess.  Heat with a heat gun until the embossing powder has turned shiny and melted.  

It should have a glossy surface and be slightly raised.  Make a "Silly Putty" example to see what you made.

Technique #2 - Find a pattern, draw it with a pen or pencil on card stock or cardboard and then outline with an embossing pen, 

dust with embossing powder and shake off excess.  heat with a heat gun until the embossing powder has turned shiny and melted.  It should have a glossy surface and be slightly raised.  Make a "Silly Putty" example to see what you made. 

ALWAYS make "Silly Putty" examples of each design after they're made.


And last but not least . . .

If you have a plain, simpler deep relief line pattern from a rubber stamp or other texture (even one of these paint pen patterns), after texturing your metal clay with it, place an ephemera skeleton leaf over it and roll again.  

You should get your original image with a light filling in of the leaf veins into the empty spaces.  You can also do this with lace, mesh window screening and maybe even a textured paper. 

Please go out and experiment and see what you can come up with.  By no means be limited by my imagination, let yours loose!



- Catherine Witherell


what's your style?

As a Jewelry Artist I know the importance of have a unique style and point of view.  It’s important to make your Etsy shop a unique experience that defines your style and attracts customers that are looking for something specific. 

Although we at the EMC Team are bond by our talent and love of metal clay, we each have a distinct style and point of view.  So let’s review some of the artists and what we are known for.

Feeling beachy?  Check out Bev Gallerani at Mango Tango.  Her shop is full of sea shell and beach inspired designs.

Looking for handmade jewelry with a modern Eco-friendly vibe?  Go to Christine Street Gregg, at Chocolate and Steel.

Love art Deco?  EvelynPelati interprets them with a modern twist.

Easy to wear nature inspired designed are a natural for Joni Rae Doyle at Soul Harbor Jewelry.

Kelly Fehr is known for her incredible designs which incorporate braille lettering.  They are both beautiful and tactile.

For unique contemporary silver jewelry which combine color and pattern you can’t beat Liz Hall’s shop Lizards Jewelry.  The designs just blow me away.

For edgy rock n roll designs, from Batwings to bullets check out Tiffany’s Heist Jewelry.

Of course, if you are Jewish or need a gift, be sure to visit my shop.  I, Rachel Kranzberg Miller, am known as the Mezuzah maker in the Metal clay community!

All of the members of Etsy metal clay team have their unique voice, so whatever you are looking for you should be able to find what you need and get a one of a kind, handcrafted piece from a metal clay artist!

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