Wearable by Design
What do you create?
I work in silver metal clay. It's a very cool product. It consists of microscopic particles of silver or gold suspended in an organic binder to create a pliable material with a consistency similar to modeling clay. It can be worked with the fingers and with simple tools to create just about anything you can think up!
When Metal Clay is heated to high temperatures, the binder burns away and the metal particles fuse to form solid precious metal, 99.9% pure. The metal can then be sanded, soldered, colored, and polished like conventional materials.
I had taken a traditional silver fabrication class when in college and fell in love with silver. Later, I wanted to start a small jewelry studio in my apartment and was frustrated by the lack of originality in commercially available findings. Because of my previous experience, I wanted to work in silver and was looking for a way to make leaves and other unique silver items. I stumbled upon a book about metal clay. What a great invention! It allowed me to work in a small space with a much smaller investment in equipment. It allowed me to finally create all the things I had envisioned very easily.
Very cool Jennifer! I've never worked with metal but I love watching the shows on Discovery channel about building bikes and cars; it always amazes me what people can do with metal.
Tell us a little about your workspace please:
My studio consists of a six foot folding table upon which I've placed a closet shelving unit to hold my organized containers. I've organized it in such a way that those items that I use the most, are closest to me. Just to my left is a set of three drawers that hold my metals, my clay shaping and cutting tools and my filing and drilling tools. Next to that is a spinning container that holds brushes, pencils, scissors, etc. And lastly, there's a cup warmer that I place wet clay items to be dried.
Just below the first shelf are all my pliers, hanging so that I can easily grab them if need be. On the first shelf up is a television which keeps me company in the studio (the artists life can be a solitary one!). To the left of the television are four drawers that hold measuring devices and my saws and hammers. To the right of the television are two drawers that hold various sundry items that are seldom used (for more specialty work that I do from time to time).
Anything inspiring that you like to watch while you create?
The second shelf up holds organizers that contain molds, bolts and screws and items that I've collected that I find interesting -- kind of a curiosity cabinet. To the right of this is the organizer that holds findings, chains, clasps and jump rings. Above and to the right is the arm that holds my flexshaft -- the true workhorse of my studio. The top shelf holds boxes and resin supplies.
Below the desk I also have a set of bins that hold stamps, enameling supplies, scrap metals, metal finishes, etc. And to the right of the folding desk is a metal file cabinet upon which sits my kiln that I fire my metal clay pieces.
It's a cozy and very convenient set up for me. I love my studio!!
Wow, a place for everything and everything in its place ;) Thanks for sharing your workspace with us Jennifer! To see more of Wearable by Design's great metal work please check out her etsy shop.
All good things come to an end. In the wise words of one of our great Famous Seniors:
And now, the end is here
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain
I've lived a life that's full
I've traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way
Tomorrow (7/31) at midnight marks the end of our Christmas in July Sale. To see more of Frankie and his travel sized friends before the coach turns into a pumpkin please check out the Christmas in July Sale section of our shop.
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