Message From The AMCAW Founders

Aug 14, 2018 | News

Metal Clay is giving artists and innovators from all walks of life new ways to express their creative vision. Since its introduction to the world in the late 1990’s, metal clay has flourished and evolved in exciting ways. From its simple beginnings with only two brands and two types of metal, the offerings have expanded dramatically to include many brands and formulations to suit a variety of needs. The metal clay community spans the globe and is growing rapidly because of enthusiastic sharing, artistic exploration and new product developments.

At the same time, awareness of metal clay is not widespread. As a relative newcomer on the artistic scene, only a small share of people even know that it exists. Amongst those in the creative world who are aware, there is a segment that looks upon metal clay with disdain, not recognizing it as a valid and valuable medium for creative work. Educational and artistic standards for excellence are lacking, and this contributes to the ambiguous reputation of metal clay amongst creatives working in other media. There is little to no formal education in the medium and training opportunities are limited, especially for quality metal clay education at the local level.

The large-scale international conferences, which provided opportunities for metal clay artists to network, share ideas and learn from each other, are sorely missed. Regional events are excellent for connecting with smaller sub-sets of the community but are not a replacement for the energy and momentum that can be created when a larger, more diverse group comes together.

In light of these challenges, we’ve noted a rising tide of interest in having an organization to focus, educate, support and inspire the metal clay community and to foster the growth of metal clay as a respected artistic medium throughout the world. We’ve had hundreds of conversations and spent many hours researching how to best make this happen.

As a result, a group of us have come together to spearhead the creation of an international metal clay organization. The Alliance for Metal Clay Arts Worldwide (AMCAW) is a not for profit corporation whose leadership will include metal clay professionals and enthusiasts from around the world.

As we bring on members and receive funding from sponsors and donors, we will begin to implement our highest priorities as determined by the Board and by feedback from the community as a whole.

These priorities include the creation and implementation of:

  • A non-brand-specific teacher certification program which will be a standard for professionalism and excellence in metal clay education
  • A non-brand-specific artisan certification program which will be a standard for excellence in technical expertise and craftsmanship in the medium of metal clay
  • An annual or bi annual metal clay conference with an international scope
  • An interactive website with educational resources, online gallery, membership showcase, virtual events and other features that will evolve to meet the community’s needs
  • Newsletters and other communications to share news, challenges and inspiration
  • Opportunities to showcase the work of metal clay artists from around the globe, online, in print and in exhibitions
  • Challenges and competitions designed to encourage and promote artistic development and growth
  • A support system to assist local groups and guilds to form and prosper
  • A support system for bringing metal clay education into formalized arts programs including public schools, colleges and universities

We are excited for the future of metal clay and are honored to serve our community in this way. We hope you will consider participating by becoming a member, providing us with guidance and feedback, serving on a committee and getting involved as other opportunities arise. This organization is being created by and for the metal clay community, and it will take all of us working together to make it a success.

Join our community of over 350 metal clay artists worldwide in our inaugural year! As a sign of our appreciation, every new member will receive a copy of Flash and Fire, The AMCAW Tutorial Collection. This e-book, valued at more than $300, contains 15 tutorials generously donated by leading metal clay artists. These tutorials are not available for free anywhere else, and the collection is an exclusive benefit for AMCAW members. We want to thank all of the contributors for their generous donations that directly help AMCAW get up and running.

If you believe that the metal clay community needs an organization that serves all of us, regardless of brand or formula preference, experience level or location, then join AMCAW and help us shape the future of metal clay.

Gratefully yours,

Paula McDowell                   Lis-el Crowley                                   Wendy McManus

President                               Vice-President                                  Secretary