Cynthia Morgan (Morganica) discusses how she makes jewelry, including jewels and vessels in crystal, glass, metal clay, and enamel. She reviews her work in silver clays and base metal clay, using precious and semi-precious stones, and enamel. Included will be making, carving, and layering metal clay, setting stones into metal clay, enamelwork on copper and silver metal clay, and engineering mounts and settings for pate de verre jewelry pieces.

8 05, 2021

Jeweled, enameled boxes. From hell. Part 1.


Twistbox, one of the four silver, enamel, and gemstone boxes I'm working on. Here, I'm starting to refine the dried clay, trimming and sanding until it's as perfect as possible before firing. "Ever hear of 'crawl, walk, run?'" an exasperated instructor once asked, "Ever TRIED crawling first?" I can hear her now, over my latest, learning experience: [...]

Jeweled, enameled boxes. From hell. Part 1.2021-05-10T12:41:18-07:00
20 09, 2020

Sunday morning musings, 2020-style


Nathan and Grizz are inseparable, or at least Grizz thinks so... If Nathan does anything, from putting on clothes to sitting in a lawn chair on the back porch, Grizz wants to do it, too. "Can you believe it?" I chortled to the Resident Carpenter-Blacksmith, "They said to get a SECOND dog, it would calm Grizz down! TWO [...]

Sunday morning musings, 2020-style2020-09-20T14:09:09-07:00
20 02, 2020

Metal clay tests: Aussie Gold Bronze Ultimate Premium and Origami Flex


Fresh out of the second (sinter) firing, this Gold Bronze Ultimate Premium clay acquired a really gorgeous patina. Too bad it had to be polished off... Ros Bailey of Aussie Metal Clay asked me to test their newest base metal clays, Gold Bronze Ultimate Premium and Gold Bronze Origami. She sent a package of each all the way [...]

Metal clay tests: Aussie Gold Bronze Ultimate Premium and Origami Flex2020-02-21T22:47:49-08:00
20 08, 2019

Changed perspectives: The Enamelist Society Conference workshops


Carved wax shapes in an electroforming bath. After 12 hours or so, we enameled the copper-covered result. Workshops and conferences shove attendees off a steep cliff and 'way, 'way, 'way past the deep end of their comfort zones. If a conference makes you feel as if you're drowning, congratulations: It was worth the price of admission. I'm so [...]

Changed perspectives: The Enamelist Society Conference workshops2019-08-19T18:30:54-07:00
2 08, 2019

On-campus enameling


Since Willow's arrival I've developed a soft spot for squirrels. This little lady follows people leaving the UofO cafeteria, begging for treats. I said hello, and she followed me back to my dorm room. "I know what YOU'RE looking for," said the nice kid with the beard, "I'll bet you want some silverware, huh?" "Yup," I responded, smiling, [...]

On-campus enameling2019-08-02T20:57:08-07:00
20 11, 2018

Studio practice makes perfect (or not)


I almost titled this post "losing my religion." I've never, in my whole life, had writer's block, or lacked for art ideas. Quite the opposite: No sooner do I start work on one idea than the next pounds on the door, demanding to kick my current project to the curb. Lovely problem to have, but it makes actually FINISHING a [...]

Studio practice makes perfect (or not)2018-11-19T16:04:23-08:00
2 02, 2017

The art of frustration


Necessity may give birth to invention, but the mother of art is frustration. If you want to build a strong vocabulary in an artistic medium, you must achieve frustration. Fail at it. Badly. Repeatedly. If my current frustration level with metal clay is any indication, I'm about to become the DaVinci of PMC.   Here's what I'm telling myself: This is [...]

The art of frustration2017-07-03T14:24:30-07:00
28 11, 2016

Cliffhangers, clues, and claying around


Today is jitterday, IOW, my monthly trek down to the orthopedics hospital, where they do all kinds of x-rays and studies to discover if Elmo and I will stay together. The docs will be looking for signs of healing and bone growth. If they don't find any, we wait for another month and go back for a recheck. If they [...]

Cliffhangers, clues, and claying around2020-10-06T19:41:55-07:00
22 08, 2014

Rolling silver, part II


As I mentioned in an earlier post, I headed down to Eugene--my first trip to Eugene, by the way--for a PMC class from goldsmith-and-PMC-expert Carolyn Scott Kent. Jo Ann's brushing the fired PMC3 with a brass brush to bring up the silver. PMC, or "precious metal clay," is basically ground-up metal in an organic binder, so you can [...]

Rolling silver, part II2017-10-07T18:06:59-07:00
20 08, 2014

Rolling silver


Every so often you need a game-changer, a slight step out of the ordinary to freshen your thinking, anneal-soak the stresses out of your brain and slowly cool out some of the thermal shock of life. A breather, I guess you’d call it. That’s what I’m doing this weekend, in Eugene: I’m taking a PMC class, and having a ball. [...]

Rolling silver2020-06-21T19:12:55-07:00
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