Dani Ferreira

Winner: Beginner/Intermediate Category

Last summer, Dani saw a metal clay workshop advertised at her local art center and got curious. “I had never heard of it, but decided to give it a shot and signed up,” she says. “I had so much fun creating a pendant with silver metal clay that I was completely hooked and signed up for classes. I still take metal clay classes, and have also started taking silversmithing classes so I can combine mediums in the future.”

“What I like best about working with metal clay is the versatility. I can create just about anything; it lets me be as creative as I can be. I can construct and shape in so many ways, and explore so many possibilities. It has inspired me to think outside the box and create new free forms and different types of jewelry pieces.”

Dani’s winning project is a silver lentil locket with a lab sapphire. “I think lockets are awesome and wanted to create something really cool for my son. The lentil by Sian Hamilton gave me the idea of incorporating a lentil with a locket. I wanted something masculine, fun, and modern for a young adult. We used to binge watch Pirates of the Caribbean movies when he was younger, and the cogs in the mold pattern remind me of pirate-y steam punk.”

InCognito – Fine silver locket

“It was very challenging to create this piece. I had to make changes along the way, and during the process I lost my best friend. It took all the courage and strength in me to finish this project in time for the contest, in honor of someone so supportive of me over the years.”

“Metal clay pushes me to be creative which is a very healing process for me. I am always observing the world with ideas flowing. Walks by the beach always inspire me with endless ideas, soothing and healing. I try to pick up elements and ideas from nature and animals; anything dark or weird also inspires me to be creative. I like trying to combine various ideas into one.”

Suggestions for others? “I am only a beginner, but I can suggest what works for me; explore and challenge the clay, try to find ways you could incorporate new elements into it. Going to class is instrumental: I am a huge visual learner. And meeting other metal clay fanatics is fun!”

Learn more about this challenge and future ones here