I’ve found an instructor for metal clay! (2 spots left for the June 3 class, at Lowe Mill…)
(image courtesy of Cindy Miller. Go look at her beautiful work!)
One of the challenges of cosplay, or historical re-enactment, is getting All The Stuff. Providing oneself with the various pieces of one’s impression can take quite a long time and be expensive…not just in money, but in commitment to learning new skills.
I’m trying to be more strategic about this.
So, in order to get some metal pieces that I need, that I can’t buy, I could trade for them with someone who feels as comfortable in metalwork as I do in fiber….but that means I would have to Project Manage in my hobby, and I do enough of that in my day job. Also I would have to sew for others, and I think I’m pretty much done with that. (I so miss the Selfish Seamstress…I owe her so much self-realization!)
I do like playing with clay…here’s some Gorgons I threw together for a Medusa mask in 2016…
…so I am very excited about the possibilities of metal clay. It’s metal powder suspended in an organic binder, that you fire in a small and precise kiln, and the binder burns off, leaving metal. Real silver. Real bronze.
I was given this book, Metal Clay for Jewelry Makers, for Christmas, and several packets of BRONZclay™.
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Studying this book has been both inspiring and a bit intimidating. Lots of new things to consider. So when, during the local ComiCon, I stumbled upon Cindy Miller’s studio at Lowe Mill, filled with her beautiful work aligned in aesthetic with my Bronze Age impression, I decided to ask her about instruction.
She does several levels of metal clay classes in the summer, and I pounced on one of the remaining spots for Intro to Metal Clay.
Cindy is a trained archeologist, and was very encouraging regarding the artifacts I want to try to make. I was under the impression that I was kind of ‘cheating’, by approaching metal objects via a modern processed material that reduced the need for force in shaping the metal, and controlled heat to make it possible. She pointed out that although the steps may have been rearranged, the basic ideas were unchanged from ancient times, and showed me a ring that was made using techniques from ancient Egypt.
This explanation addresses some of my concerns, as this is a ‘means to an end’ sort of activity for me, and not one where the historical production method itself holds my interest.
So now I’m gathering ideas for all sorts of things metal clay might do well for making…more on that in a following post.