Arlene Mornick

Arlene Mornick

Teaching Since: 2001
Involved Since: 2001
Department(s): Jewelry
Website URL:



The Artist: Sculpting and fabricating metals and other materials into unique objects of beauty is a transformative experience. The powerful heat required to fuse these elements arouses my creative spirit and focuses my artistry. The results are colorful and decorative designs that exemplify my own distinctive sense of passion and refinement. My work blends dissimilar elements and materials into detailed, flowing and harmonious articles and jewelry meant to be worn, admired and cherished. As a metal clay and fused glass artist, I create my own line of jewelry and I teach others how to do the same.

The Teacher: 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. I teach in four locations in the San Francisco Bay area and I am a regular contributor of step-by-step project articles for Lapidary Journal/Jewelry Artist.

The Medium: What is Metal Clay? Metal Clay consists of micron-size particles of metal plus binder and water. This makes it moist and supple when taken from its package. Texture can easily be impressed on the surface and the clay then formed in a variety of ways. Once the clay is shaped, its water content should be allowed to dry out either naturally through air-drying (18-24 hours) or by use of a heating device (eg, hot plate, hair dryer, etc.) for 15 to 30 minutes. In the water-dried state (more commonly called green wear), the binder is still actively holding the metal particles together. At this point sanding, filing, carving and other techniques may be performed cautiously.

Once the design of an object is complete, high heat is applied to the piece either with a torch or in a kiln. The heating process burns out the binder and begins the process of sintering: in which high heat promotes the attraction and bonding of the metal's atoms. The result is a solid, compacted mass of decorative metal. All manufacturers of metal clay will suggest firing schedules for the proper sintering of their product."