For me the simple elements of glass, light and heat when fused together create a special energy. That energy and spirit speak to me of passion and beauty, which inspire me to create colorful pieces of glass and silver art to wear, admire and enjoy. I am a fused glass and metal clay artist. In addition to jewelry pieces, I also create wonderful fused glass bowls, plates, clocks and holiday ornaments.
It was several years ago that I realized that there was a creative side to me and it was simply bursting at the seams. A friend took me to a beginning jewelry making class and the creative juices started to flow. But creating jewelry with machine made pieces was not enough. I wanted to be able to create the beads, stones and settings. I started by taking a glass lampworking class and started creating my own glass beads. I moved on to fused glass creating both large and small works of art.
Something was still missing for me, simply making fused and lamp worked glass pieces and buying findings to display them was not enough. I turned to Metal Clay and realized there was a perfect marriage here. Art Silver Clay (Metal Clay) is exactly as the name describes, it is clay that is 99.9% fine silver with the addition of a nontoxic binder and water. Because it is clay, it can be molded, rolled, shaped, carved, stamped, draped and adorned with other elements to create beautiful jewelry. Art Clay became a wonderful inspiration for me and has enhanced my creativity as a fused glass artist and metal smith. I have gone through several levels of education with Art Clay and I am currently a Master Instructor with Art Clay Silver and a certified instructor with PMC.
As a teacher, I love to help individuals find their creative side and learn to express themselves in new ways. If I can open new doors, new paths of expression for people, then I believe the work I do as a teacher and the art I create is worthwhile.
Learning to use Metal Clay is a very unique experience. Most of my students enjoy the instant gratification of making jewel with the Metal Clay. In an eight hour class, we make four pieces of jewelry, all made with fine silver. Students learn all the basic techniques for creating a piece of jewelry, drying, sanding, filing and firings. We learn to both torch and kiln fire the fine silver. We finish the class with finishing touches on the jewelry we have made; adding a patina, a jewel or just polishing to a high shine.