Flash and Fire Challenge Winner – Advanced

May 2, 2019 | Challenges, News

Cèline Gaspard

Winner: Advanced Category

“About four years ago I came across a book from Sabine Singery, a well-known French metal clay artist whose work really appealed to me,” says Cèline. “Then I started researching online and met a worldwide community of artists who really made me fall in love with metal clay. I’ll always remember the feeling I had when I fired my first ring with a torch and saw the magic happen for the first time!

“I’ve always been creating things, be it in painting, embroidery, or sewing, but metal is a long-lasting material and there’s some kind of nobility about it. Also, I think that one of the most interesting things about metal clay is its ability to be shaped, carved, impressed, giving you the opportunity to really follow your inspiration without having to “fight” with hard metal. Sometimes I’m making something in metal clay using a very small paint brush dipped in water and thinking “Hey! Do you realize you’re actually working on METAL here!”

Cèline’s winning piece is a sterling silver and enamel necklace. “For the Challenge, I knew I wanted to make something related to the marine world, as its mysterious inhabitants and odd-looking creatures always appeal to me. But I didn’t have a definite plan, I had bits and pieces of ideas scattered in my mind and the most difficult part was to put them together in a coherent set. I also had this beautiful shell called a cardium, that I definitely wanted to include in my piece. When I looked at Gordon Uyehara’s tutorial, I immediately thought I could do something interesting with my shell.

Underwater Lush – Sterling silver (950/960 formulas)

“Inspiration is somewhat whimsical; it comes and goes and honestly I don’t know how… Sometimes I just have this urge to actually make something, my hands demand it, and hopefully my imagination goes along. But sometimes it doesn’t and it’s almost like a physical pain! But going outside, looking at what surrounds me, be it in the city or in nature, always ends up with some kind of idea that my hands will eventually develop in some way.

“The best advice I could give? Even though it seems easy to start all by yourself, eventually take a class! You will spare yourself a huge amount of disappointment and failure, and although experimentation is a major way of learning, more experienced people will always teach you things you wouldn’t have thought about. AND – have fun, take pleasure in it, make it an adventure!”

Learn more about this challenge and future ones here