Bits and Pieces

Take the Bits and Pieces Challenge!  This monthly piece of metal clay fun will challenge you to create something with five different elements and a specific theme, which change each month. 


Bits and Pieces Challenge 

Theme: Freedom

September Bits and Pieces Challenge Elements:
1. Spines
2. Something natural
3. Texture made with paste
4. Negative space
5. For texture or used in the design – fabric

Download our helpful pdf with details, rules and tips!

Bits and Pieces Winners

Anca Crahmaliuc Bits and Pieces winner August 2021

August 2021 winner

Anca Crahmaliuc

Juror comments – Once again, the jury were blown away by the high standard of this month’s entries and had a hard time choosing a winner. In the end, they decided that this piece by Anca stood out and just screamed ‘FIESTA’! The jurors could really see the inspiration of Frida Kahlo in the design and felt these would be the kind of earrings she would wear. They also noted that the silhouette of the white bronze metal piece almost looks like a nod to the skull forms used so often in Kahlo’s and other Mexican work.

The mixed media element really elevates this piece. Just looking at the metal clay piece, the jury noted a very nice use of the clay and a well-made metal element but then with the addition of the feathers, the artist has thrust the piece into a whole different arena. Jurors loved the contrast between the rigid metal with its fine detail and shiny finished surfaces and the very loose and airy feeling presented by the feathers. Cool colors were called for and she has met this with the blue stone and green feathers. Then she adds a pop of fuchsia and there you have it – FIESTA! Fabulous job Anca, well done!

The rules are easy:

  1. Use any kind or type of metal clay.
  2. You must use all five bits and pieces.

– You may combine two elements into one thing, like a color and a stone.
– If a number of elements is stated – for instance three CZ’s – then ONLY use that many!
– Everything doesn’t have to be on the front of the piece but remember to show us the back if you use bits and pieces there.
– The fifth element can be used either as a texture or actually made as part of the piece.
– You’re free to add ear wires, chain, cord, brooch fittings, jump rings or other findings to complete a piece.
– You will find not just physical things to use but also some design elements to include. If you’re unsure what they mean, Robert Dancik has written a blog post as an introduction to the elements and principles of design which will help you. Read it here.

Don’t forget:
– Join the Metal Clay Fun with AMCAW Group on Facebook to post pictures of your piece in progress.
– Post a good quality image of the end product on our Metal Clay Fun with AMCAW when you’re done so we can all see how you’ve used the bits and pieces and interpreted the theme.

Member entries will be juried, and you’ll be able to see your jury comments which is a great learning opportunity. The jury will be looking for good interpretation of the theme, creative or innovative use of the bits and pieces, interesting or quirky pieces, fun designs – all the things we all love about working with metal clay!

Winners will be featured online in our Bits and Pieces Gallery and if you’ve posted good progress images, you may be the subject of a blog post on the AMCAW website!



Do I have to use the exact number of things quoted or can I use more or less?
If a number is quoted, for instance three CZ’s, then that is the requirement for the challenge. Some elements will have the option to add as many as you like but when a number is specifically given that’s the number to use. Some of the challenges ask for ‘…at least’ or words like ‘some’ etc to give you the choice. Always read the requirements carefully!
Tell me more about the piece that can be used as a texture or in the design.

In each challenge there is an element that can either be used as a texture or actually in the design. It could be something that you can use to hang the piece, like string, a ribbon or cord, or maybe something you can sandwich between two layers using cold connections or bezel or prong set after firing. Or it could be something that you use to impress into the clay or make a mold of to use in the piece. Think outside the box and see what you can come up with!

I'm finding it hard to include all five things.

The purpose of the challenge is to make you think and push your creative boundaries. Perhaps you can combine two of the required elements in one thing, like a color option and a stone. Or maybe something can be used for texture, not actually in the design. There’s nothing to stop you using something to add surface texture rather than what you might normally use it for. Could the embeddable eyelets be used to texture part of your design for instance? Be sure to explain how you’ve used all five elements when you submit your final piece but the purpose is to get you thinking creatively and that’s what makes it fun!

What if I make earrings, do I include the number of stone etc. in each earring or across both?

If you make earrings you can use the number of stones, embellishments etc in each or across both.