Metal Clay Tutorials and  More

learn something new

I've been writing articles, teaching, and speaking about techniques with Metal Clay in combination with metalsmith skills from the day I started my obsession. Sharing with others is my favorite part because it only feeds the pool of knowledge in the end. Here you will find Free tutoriala. Keep your eye on this page as I add more items. For more learning also see the 1 to 1 Mentoring Interactive Online Classes.

Breaking the Ice: Kiln Firing
Fine Silver, 950 & 960 Metal Clay

by Holly Gage

After all the excitement of creating your Silver Metal Clay project, it’s time to sinter the metal into a beautiful piece of fine jewelry. To transform your creation from fragile greenware to a usable object, it will need to be fired at high temperatures. Kiln firing can open up a whole new world of creativity, allowing for large, more complicated items, enamels, and other heat-treated techniques.

• What You Can Expect and What Pieces Qualify When Kiln Firing.
• Kiln Set Up.
• Kiln Process for an Open Shelf or Open Air Firing.
• Selecting and Setting the Program to Run Your Kiln.
• Firing Flat and Dimensional items.
• Kiln Firing, Sintering, and Silver Metal Clay Basics.

• Firing PMC 925 Sterling Silver Metal Clay in Carbon

• Troubleshooting
Also, see my blog posts "Successful Post–Fired Metal Clay Connections" and
"How Do I Know If My Metal Clay Kiln Is Running Hot And How To Fix It?"

 

Breaking the Ice: Torch Firing by Holly Gage

Torch firing is a great way to get started with working with Fine Silver Metal Clay. It opens the door to making small pieces, earrings, charms, sculptural elements to be added to traditional metalsmithing, and so much more. For successful torch firing of Fine Silver Metal Clay, you need a well-sintered piece for strength and durability.

Also, see the Breaking the Ice: Torch Firing video on my blog
In the video you will see the whole process for learning the essential skills of torch firing:
• Understand the importance of shrinkage and how to calculate it.
• Knowing what to look for in a fully sintered piece.
• How to use a torch.
• Knowing the hot and cool spots of your flame.
• How to know when you’re piece is done.
• How to avoid accidentally melting your piece.
 

How to take Better Jewelry Photographs on an iPhone or Cell Phone by Holly Gage

I love sharing my student’s beautiful jewelry, so after each class, I always ask them to send me a beauty shot for that book I may finally write or to share on social media. My interest is spreading joy and beauty, and also for them to experience the grand public reaction to validate their efforts. Many of my students don’t have a professional camera and take photos with their cell or mobile phone. With images being shown on the Internet, over e-mail with clients, and on your website good pictures are a must!! So here are the basics to taking better pictures with your iPhone and inexpensive equipment. Many other brand cell phones have similar functions, so look in your photo editing software, and browse the choices. I using an iPhone SE, 13.7 software.

How to design metal clay jewelry for casting
Design to Cast Jewelry Line by Holly Gage


Casting in the jewelry industry is a tried and true practice for making multiples of a single design or making several components to be put together afterward. Several well-known artists and companies such as Tiffany, have used casting to create a line of jewelry distinctly their own.
 

Designing a piece Metal Clay master for casting is a bit different than regular jewelry design. Not all designs are good candidates. Covered here is a step by step of the process and designing dos and don’ts. In addition, you get invaluable advice about finding a caster, discussing your job, and communicating your needs effectively.

 

Recipes for using Liver of Sulfur on Silver
Beauty and the Beastly Smell by Holly Gage


Liver of sulfur, a stinky jewelry studio standby, can be used to create beautiful patinas on Silver. This mysterious and stinky solution creates colors as dark as night or as beautiful as an iridescent rainbow. And they range from subtle gold to magenta, purple, and everything in between. For some, it’s not just the smell. It’s easy to be intimidated or baffled by the surprising results that can be achieved. Liver of sulfur (LOS) can be fun and spontaneous on one hand and unpredictable on the other. I’ve done quit a bit of research and a number of bench experiments to bring you solutions, recipes, and answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about using it with metal clay.

Artist ADD
Are you an Artist that wants More, More, M.O.R.E. by Holly Gage


Are you obsessed with your craft? Have moments where ideas come so fast through your head that eating, sleeping and keeping up your home is secondary? At the same time, you may have the tendency for several projects to be going at the same time and with every new idea you’re off to start another. Maybe you finish those projects or maybe they sit on your workbench for months. What about the direction of your jewelry business, have you been deliberate with your efforts or have you tried a number of creative approaches to succeed, but lack the focus to really jump start a true pattern of success? Is this the creative process at work or is this something else? Is it time for M.O.R.E. (Mastering Overactive & Random Creative Energy) in your life?

 
Mentor-Apprentice Relationships by Holly
How to Make a Mentor-Apprenticeship a
Win-Win Relationship
by Holly Gage


A Jewelry Mentor-Apprenticeship is an exciting, fulfilling relationship for both parties involved. As the mentor imparts valuable skills and knowledge to their student, the student helps the mentor in the studio, while teaching, at shows, with their
website, marketing, and more. It’s a relationship where each helps the other to grow and prosper, and it’s very rewarding.
This article outlines the ins and out of how to find your mentor/apprentice match, and navigate the relationship for a positive experience.

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To contact Holly
hgage1@ptd.net
Lancaster, PA USA
717-445-5755

© 2021 Gage Designs. All rights reserved. This site and all jewelry designs, artwork, and information are protected under copyright law. Reproduction in whole or part are prohibited.