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Cynthia Morgan (Morganica) takes visitors on a journey through metal clay as she learns to use the stuff, from making, shaping, drying, and carving metal clay greenware, through layering and building up greenware through applications of slip, greenware, and solid metals, through finishing and mounting pieces. Includes tutorials, musings, and business discussions on PMC, EZ960, MetalMagic, ArtClay, and other clays, in silver, gold, and base metals such as bronze, copper, and brass.

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 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
19 10, 2009

The pendant


"Hi, Cynthia!" Andrew calls gaily, as he pounds up my driveway, "Can I come in? Wow, cool!" He gazes around my studio with wide eyes, taking in the art hung on the walls, the pendants pinned to the black velvet drape suspended from Oliver Wendell Kiln's gantry, and me, covered in plaster, making a mold. "Grandpa said you were doing some kind of art show and I wanted to see."

The pendant2017-02-02T14:41:54-08:00