Sunday, August 25, 2013

Text And Textures With Metal Clay - Metal Clay Heads Team Challenge

Presenting The 2013 Third Quarter Metal Clay Design Challenge by Etsy’s Metal Clay Heads Team. 

Entrants were posed with the challenge of designing a metal clay original work under the theme “Text and/or Texture”.

Metal Clay is a wonderful product that is soft and pliable, then dries hard by air, then finally hard metal when fired.  Each stage presents opportunity for the artist to form and fashion the metal clay with texture, shape, balance, color, endless possibility!

With each Team Challenge, the Metal Clay Heads team members embrace the task of incorporating new skills and techniques to gain personal growth as designers and artists.  Sharing ideas, learning from each other, the highs and lows of successes and failures, each member is encouraged and supported along the adventure.

The entries are gathered together and posted below in random order.  The voting is open to anyone and the winner with the most votes will have "bragging rights" as well as their design posted as the banner for this blog!

Please vote using the Poll to the right.  Share this post with anyone that might not otherwise know about the Challenge.  Everyone can vote, and there are so many people that would enjoy viewing the entries.  Comments are welcome!  Please feel free to leave a comment below this post.

As you view the entries, please click the artists' links to visit their shop and learn more about their work and see more photos.

AND NOW.......The Entries!

"Sunset at the Tree of Life" by Carrie Michael of Carrie Michael

This pendant has details and texture created by using metal clay in a syringe, as well as hand carving the metal clay.  The colors were applied with Liver of Sulphur using a paintbrush. The gemstone is held securely in a heart shaped setting that is incorporated right into the tree design.  The tree branches and roots flow out to the very edges of this pure silver pendant and seemingly embrace the frame itself.  Inspired by a true friendship.

"Symmetrical Name Charm" by Kathy of YorkAvenueStudio

Personalized name pendant with fresh style! This design shows off a name or word with a reversed image that becomes something unique as a special shaped charm. I make this design with golden bronze that shines like gold and sparkles in the light. The lettering is hand written into a sheet of foam that leaves grooves as the pen is pressed down.  The clay is pressed into the foam.  The grooved lines are now raised which gives the charm texture and more depth.
"Solstice" by Vickie of Jewelflyt
Round in shape, Solstice features a raised central circle - created using a mold of the end of a seedpod - set with clear 3mm cubic zirconia (lab created). The surround has been textured freehand, with a repeating pattern.  This handcrafted pendant is made from precious metal clay - fine silver.
"Hedge Parsley from the Flint Hills of Kansas" by Gayle of kitandkaboodleshop
Pendant is made from a hand made mold of Hedge Parsley found in a tree line at the edge of a prairie field in Kansas. It is handcrafted from Goldie Snow bronze. Gem is a Cubic Zirconia. Gayle has an excellent explaination of her process for making effective molds that capture the details of grass - Here is the link to her mold-making squidoo lens:

"Broken Heart" by Glenda Skarie from AdoriLargento
A duo pair of pendants that together spell "LOVE", made with Goldie Roman Bronze.  The background is textured with vines and twigs.  The tear between the two pieces is another texture that is possible with metal clay that allows for the "rip" affect in solid metal. 
"Ruby Flower Pendant" by Erin from heartsabustin
The pendant was textured with a stamp and the dragonfly was cast from a mold I created. The pieces were joined together, and the lab ruby was set in the center of the flower. The whole piece was fired together and oxidized to bring out the lines of the flower and dragonfly.  The ruby is open to the back - it is set completely within the metal clay and is totally secure. This allows light to reach the back of the stone, causing it to glow beautifully.

"Sideways Cross Tree of Life Bracelet" by Janie from lifeartdesigns

Silver metal clay memorial bracelet with name and date on the reverse side, the front is a sideways cross with a tree of life on top of the cross. It is attached with leather and sterling silver wire wrapping. 

"Ohio State Buckeye Fine Silver Pendant" by Anise from SeavBeach

Being an Ohio State Buckeye fan, I have been wanting to make jewelry for years to support my team. Finally! Made with fine silver and colored with alcohol ink.  The text is raised.

"Winged Sugar Skull" by Anna Siivonen from AnnaSiivonen

Hand carved texture in bronze metal clay.  The clay shrinks when fired and the details become distinct on smaller pieces.  This sugar skull features a heart with wings.  The bronze is oxidized to darken the detail.  Polishing finishes the metal and highlights the features of the artwork.

"Love Pendant" by Jennifer from envydesignsjewelry

Made by pressing silver metal clay onto a texture plate I made from my own drawing, it features the word 'love'. I surrounded the text with a vine of cherry blossoms. This pendant is made with recycled fine silver .999, and features a fabulous deep blood red trillion cut garnet.
Now it's time to vote!  As tough as it might be, please vote!  The more votes, the more support is shown for this team as a whole!
Voting will be open for two weeks and will close September 7th.  The poll is to the right of this post.
Best of luck to all the entries!  The Metal Clay Heads Team is such a wonderful group of talented artists with a passion for sharing techniques and this Challenge shows the diverse ways metal clay can be textured when wet, dry and fired!
Ready, vote!


  1. Very beautiful work! Love the photos! Good Luck!

  2. Note: on a mobile device, view the full web version of this page to see the poll box. The mobile version might not show the poll. The link at the page bottom will take you to the full version. Happy voting!