Flash & Fire The AMCAW Tutorial Collection What’s It All About?

Sep 10, 2018 | News

From the very beginning, the AMCAW Executive Board felt strongly that we wanted to provide immediate value to our members.  We are all taking a chance on AMCAW.  Nonetheless, AMCAW is something that we strongly believe in and want to do everything in our power to see it flourish.

Knowing the generosity of spirit that exists within the metal clay community, we reached out and were abundantly rewarded with generous donations. Fourteen amazing tutorials, not available for free anywhere else, were made available.  The collection is an exclusive benefit for AMCAW members as a reward for believing that we can Shape the Future of Metal Clay.

Since the launch, we have been wondering what our members are making, and being inspired by from this wonderful collection.

Personally, I am a serial learner.  Even though I teach metal clay and metalsmithing, I also regularly take classes of all kinds.  I believe that we can always learn something new, even when we think the technique has already been mastered.  I haven’t had much time to create lately, but I can’t wait to sit down and test out a few ideas from this collection.

Someone asked for a little more detail about the projects and techniques that are featured in the collection.  Easily done!

Lis-el Crowley provided us with 3 tutorials:

  • The Fused Dichroic Glass Cabochonstutorial describes a method to create one of a kind sparkling dichroic cabochons that can be set in traditional or metal clay settings.
  • In Custom Prong Settings,Lis-el provides a method to create and embed fine silver wire into metal clay. The wire can then be shaped and manipulated into a prong used to hold an object in place.
  • In Scratch Foam and Dichroic Glass, you will learn to use a ball stylus on Scratch Foam to create a completely unique texture of your own for metal clay.Then using that texture, create a windowpane setting for a piece of dichroic glass fired in place.

Rodica Frunze created a special tutorial just for AMCAW. In Devotion, A Fine Silver Metal Clay Necklace Clasp tutorial, Rodi provides step-by-step instructions to create a delicate and detailed clasp in a style often found in her work.

Sian Hamilton’s Floral Delight Pendant tutorial provides instructions to create a custom texture for a domed, embellished pendant.  Sian tells us how to use polystyrene sheet and molding compound to create this lovely pendant.

Lora Hart teaches us how to use different materials as resist under liver of sulfur to create beautiful patterns in different colors on silver in her Ir-resist-able Patina tutorial.

Paula McDowell – I had the opportunity to write a tutorial for the collection.I do a lot of work in base metal, and I love sharing these techniques for successfully adding color using enamels on bronze, copper and steel metal clay.  In Torch Fired Enamel on Base Metal Clay. I provide step by step instructions to create forms that will work well with enamel, as well as the torch fired enamel process that I use.

Wendy McManus is a natural story-teller.  In What’s Your Story?, Wendy outlines how to develop the story that will connect your buyers with your journey, collection or a special piece. This effective strategy should be a part of every marketing plan.

Evelyn Pelati provides us with a great tutorial to make Loop in Loop Chains that will really set your custom pieces apart. Evelyn gives us instructions on cutting, fusing, shaping and assembling fine and sterling silver wire components to make an engaging custom chain.

Cindy Silas tells us how to create Reversible Inlay Earrings.  She describes how to use polymer clay as a mold to create the metal clay component. Then Cindy shows us how to create and secure the decorative polymer clay inlay into the component.

Tracey Spurgin’s Tip of the Iceberg – Seaglass Pendant in Metal Clay provides an innovative way to capture and wear a unique found object. In her tutorial, she uses a beautiful piece of sea glass, drilled and rivetted to the metal clay holder for security and disply.

Carrie Story surveys a variety of tools and attachments to get your metal clay creations looking their very best.  The Kiln Gods Were Kind! Now How Do I Polish It? give us some great tips and tricks for polishing.

Gordon Uyehara generously donated three tutorials:

  • The Bronze and Copper Clay Ammonite Pendant tutorial provides a step by step guild to create an intricately sculpted sea creature complete with tentacles and a cubic zirconium eye. Gordon shows you how to create a mold from a fossilized ammonite and to lovingly sculpt your own creature from bronze and copper clays.
  • In Bronze and Copper Link Bracelet learn to make a linked metal clay bracelet. Gordon teaches you how to make the components, and the dry construction techniques to assemble the mixed metal components into a bracelet.
  • The Metal Clay and Found Object Earrings tutorial teaches you how to plan and create a stencil that will frame your found object. Once fired and finished, Gordon shows you how to embed the object properly using UV Resin.

I have visions of working with all of these techniques to create things that distinctly reflect my aesthetic.  I hope you will be inspired as well.

By Paula McDowell

The tutorials included in Flash & Fire: The AMCAW Tutorial Collection are owned by the author/contributors. You may not share, duplicate or distribute this content. You are encouraged to make the pieces detailed in the tutorials for your personal use, but you may not duplicate these pieces for sale. AMCAW is not responsible for the accuracy of the content in these tutorials. AMCAW is not responsible for any harm or injury you may encounter as a result of these tutorials.