Winner, Jewelry Category
Liz Sabol’s winning piece, The Man in the Moon pendant, was designed as part of a celestial series of pendants that she’s in the process of producing by die-striking. “I made the metal clay version as a prototype,” says Liz. “Only on the prototype, the moon glows in the dark! It’s a fun surprise when you walk into a dark room. The edge of the pendant has all the symbols for our solar system, as well as astrology.”
Liz discovered metal clay six years ago when she was making lampworked glass beads and thought metal clay might be the best option to make decorative bead caps. Once she started working with metal clay, she found that she loved it more than the glass.
“The possibilities are endless! Metal clay gives you so much control over design and construction. It’s also capable of the tiniest details. I’ve had some of my designs cast, but the details are never as sharp and delicate as my metal clay pieces. I also prefer the softer shine that silver clay tends to have because of the porosity, versus fabricated sterling.”
“Occasionally I make jewelry with traditional fabrication (sawing, soldering, etc.), especially when working with large stones. I solder fabricated and other metal clay components onto metal clay pieces as well, such as bails and gold accents, but the primary mediums I combine with metal clay are paint and resin.”
Liz’s metal clay creations have won Saul Bell Design Awards for the last four consecutive years. She won second place in the Jewelry Fashion/Bridge Collection category the last two years, with her metal clay pieces competing against fabricated jewelry from across the world. “The metal clay piece of which I am proudest is my Cheshire Cat necklace. It’s one of the largest pieces I have made, and definitely the most challenging. It won second place in the 2017 Saul Bell Design Awards, which was the most exciting milestone in my work.”
A cuff from Liz’s Dreamweaver series is featured in the AMCAW 2020 calendar, Exceptional Work in Metal Clay.
Liz’s advice to people starting to work in metal clay? “Don’t wait to get a kiln, you will really need it if you are serious about metal clay. Also, the biggest mistake I think beginners make is under-pricing their work. If you are thinking about making a business out of your metal clay designs, it’s important to get your pricing correct. If you don’t cover materials plus related expenses, overhead, and your time, it’s a hobby – not a business.”