Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Colors in Nature -- Pennee Parker

Our featured artist of the month is Pennee Parker of All Wired Up Jewelry Designs. Pennee loves to try any and all techniques. She has never met a stone she didn't adore. Her number one inspiration for a design concept is the colors in nature. She loves bright rich hues coupled with smooth lines bringing out the beauty in both.  

What is the biggest mistake you've ever made? What did you learn from it?

The biggest  mistake- pictures attached! I have made pendants using classic metalsmithing techniques. I wanted to try it with metal clay. I really wanted to have a super pendant with both sides textured. I read Lisa Barth's "Designing from the Stone" and was inspired! I read PMC Technïque", I thought I could solve all problems associated with shrinkage and setting a stone after firing. How wrong could any one artist be?? As you can see from the pictures this was no small mistake. So much sterling metal clay went into that pendant and it was a disaster! With loads of ideas and assistance from my metal clay groups, I was able to salvage the pendant so that it wasn't a total disaster. Also, the pendant wasn't one I would ever sell. I kept it to  remind myself to go slow and really think out each step and that not only was I able to save it but I liked the end result.

When did you first become interested in Metal Clay? How long have you been designing jewelry using Metal Clay?

I became interested in metal clay when I started selling on Etsy. When I did searches looking at various artists work, I was drawn to all the beautiful patterns and textures I saw being done in clay. I took one class at my local community college and I was hooked. That was 4 years ago, now I can't wait to take a Rio certification class to get to the next level.

What inspires you?

What inspires me? I don't think I am very different from any other artist when it comes to inspiration. I love to travel and I am always drawn to the wonderful architecture I see in foreign countries. I love all things involving nature, flowers, plants and trees. Everything around me seems to produce another texture, shape or style variation.

Sterling Leaves and Vines Vineyard Bracelet by All Wired Up Jewelry Designs
Would you tell us your creative process?

My creative process is not one I would recommend to anyone. I can't draw worth a lick. I am so envious of artists that can put something on paper and then produce it in metal. I see my idea vividly in my mind. With clay, if what I see isn't what's coming out, I either roll it back into a ball and start over or look at it from a different perspective and I may make something entirely different from my original idea but one that was lurking there possibly waiting for another day. I will say, I am very focused. Once I begin work it's really hard to distract me from the flow. My family will tell you I am the master of 20 minute meals. When they finally distract me long enough to demand food!

Why did you pick the name All Wired Up Jewelry Designs?

All Wired Up Jewelry Designs is probably not very original, but I started as a wire artist and continued to use wire in metal work. Many people would say I have a Type A personality, I pretty much stay wired up for most of the day. So to me the name suits me. I'm not sure my shop name always fits my style of jewelry, but so many customers know the name that it would be hard to change it even if I wanted to.

"Everything around me seems to produce another texture, shape or style variation." -- Pennee Parker

Why did you design the giveaway piece? What is special about your giveaway piece?

I love earrings! Depending on my mood, I just can't have enough pairs to pick and choose from. I got some new textures and decided I wanted to do a line of new earrings. Hoop style in different sizes and patterns to add to my shop. Because they are new to my shop, light weight and easy to wear, I thought they would make a great give away for our blog. Visit Pennee here

Textured Teardrop Hoop Earrings by All Wired Up Jewelry Designs
What are the major challenges when creating metal clay jewelry?

My vision with clay is setting stones in amazing 3-dimensional shapes and forms. I find this so difficult with faceted stones since shrinkage is such a major factor. The stone looks perfect when the clay dries- table level, lots of sparkle, just the right amount of clay to hold the stone or stones in place. Then I fire and sometimes the clay fairy smiles on me and sometimes she laughs and tilts my stone to some weird, absolutely inappropriate angle and I sigh and start again!

To enter our blog giveaway please follow these rules:

Every person is eligible to enter the blog giveaway with up to FOUR (4) entries. How can you get an entry?

You can do any of the following and then let us know that by leaving a comment under this feature so we can keep track.

1. Follow our blog = 1 entry
2. Check out featured artist and post favorite piece on the blog = 1 entry
3. Heart featured artist’s shop = 1 entry
4. Follow featured artist on Facebook = 1 entry
5. Make a purchase = 2 entries
6. Refer a friend = 1 entry
7. Tweet about the giveaway using key word metalclayheads = 1 entry
8. Share the Metal Clay Heads blog giveaway link on FB (Go to http://www.facebook.com/MetalClayHeadTeam and click Share) = 1 entry
9. If you voted and commented on our last challenge = 1 entry

The giveaway will run for two weeks. We will announce the winner on October 30th. Good luck! 


  1. Great interview Pennee! I love hearing about your creative process! Lovely earring too!

  2. Great post! I love how you capture textures in metal clay. There is textures, then there is skillfull textures done so correctly they just stop you in your tracks to stare! I love your designs and hope the "Clay Fairy" smiles!

  3. I enjoyed reading your post and your jewelry is beautiful! I feel very inspired right now. Thank you!

  4. Love it! Your designs are so beautiful.

  5. Wonderful interview and I love that bracelet Pennee.

  6. Great feature! I think it's important to share our failures as well. Your work is beautiful Pennee!

  7. Thanks so much for all the lovely comments everyone- I am honored to be on such a great team with so many supportive wonderful artists!

  8. wonderful interview & your jewellery is gorgeous. I love your 'rescued' piece :)

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  10. Pennee -

    What a great article. Your textures are beautiful. I love those give-away earrings! May the clay fairies smile upon you always!