The beginning of my great love affair with PMC began in 2007. I had always wanted to try traditional metalworking techniques but was too intimidated by the cost involved, mostly for the tools needed. One day I saw Nana Mizushima make a silver leaf necklace by coating a real leaf in metal clay paste. I could not believe what I was seeing! I read everything I could find on this wonderful material and realized that most of the tools needed could already be found in my house. I was also impressed with the versatility of metal clay as many things could be done with it that couldn’t be done with traditional techniques.
I find my inspiration in ancient and medieval European imagery. Not necessarily the jewelry or clothing from these periods, but more the way things may have looked: a rocky beach with an ancient, craggy tree, rock walls and overgrown gardens and primitive depictions of the moon, stars, and sun. I want to invoke feelings of another time and place, not recreate it.
I try to incorporate many techniques into each piece I create. I love layers, contrasting textures, moveable parts, asymmetrical designs, and gemstones. Most of the gemstones I use are fired in place while a few are set after. I tend to use a lot of cubic zirconium simply because they are more durable and heat resistant than many natural gemstones. CZ’s are not the only stones used in my creations, however. I also use many natural and lab grown stones such as garnet, sapphire, ruby, peridot, spinel, alexandrite, moonstone, sunstone, labradorite, and black onyx among others.
I still read everything I can about metal clay and am constantly trying out new techniques. Challenging myself to try new techniques and experimenting has helped me better understand the possibilities of metal clay as well as develop my own abilities. Recently I’ve been experimenting with other metal clays such as copper, bronze and gold. Each type of clay comes with its own advantages, challenges, and beautiful possibilities.