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Metal Clay Academy Newsletter
New Year 2013  
Happy New Year!  

January / February 2013
In This Issue
News
What's Your Inspiration
Did You Know...?
Anna Mazon
Quick Links
Greetings!

 

Hello!

We wish you every happiness and success for the New Year and hope you had a lovely break during the festive period.

We start 2013 with a bit of a bang and feature 2 artists whose work I admire enormously. Anna Mazon is our featured artist and shares some of her thoughts on her work and processes. What amazes me is just how she struggles with her idea of perfection and how that motivates her to do her work. Michael Marx gives us a glimpse into his world when he discusses his very personal Self Portrait and hopefully makes you smile at his very unusual and beautiful artwork.

Hopefully both artists will give you a bit of a push and inspire you to try something different in 2013!

If you'd like to be part of the next newsletter, then drop me an email. We'd really like to hear your views, suggestions and opinions.

Emma Gordon 
News
Well the New Year has begun and if you have decided that this is your year, to get you and your work out there, what better way to do it than to enter a competition or two?

There are two really good ones coming up and there is still time to design and implement your ideas!

Fire Mountain Gems are running a Metal Jewellery Competition and their closing date is the 31st of January. So still loads of time to create a masterpiece.

And if that's a little too tight for you or you want another challenge, the fantastic Bead Dreams Competition sponsored by Bead and Button are accepting entries until the 26th of March! Good luck!

The Saul Bell Award Finalists have been announced. Congratulations to;
Anna Mazon
Liz Hall
Wanaree Tanner
Cindy Silas
Christi Anderson

Good luck to all you fantastic ladies nominated in the Metal Clay category.


 

What's Your Inspiration?

Michael Marx

 

Michael is a sculptor and has been ever since he was a small child. He began expressing his ideas and visions of his art in polymer clay, but when he discovered PMC in 2000, he was hooked. PMC just had that flexibility of form he needed to transform his artwork into silver. Michael prides himself on making artwork which is thought provoking and full of personality. His pieces are certainly unique, with their own characters and sense of humour!

Self Portrait II MM
Michael's Self Portrait complete with its fantastic mount 

 

We asked him to choose one of these amazing pieces to discuss and he picked his "Self Portrait II". Why this particular piece? Well he tells us it is one of his all-time favourites, primarily because the finished piece came out as he had initially envisioned it. This piece started from a drawing which became a personal totem for Michael. Initially he made it in polymer clay which in turn became the image for his business card. Once he started making his art in silver, he knew it was a piece that had to be made. It's very personal he tells us, a real insight to his character; half gorilla half devil it represents not only the strong gentle side of his personality but also the mischievous, humorous side too. There is a high degree of complexity in the design and execution of the piece and there are a wide variety of techniques he used in its overall construction which he felt made him push himself creatively.

 

"The mount incorporates elements that have been part of my artistic expression since the beginning; cut wood flames, polymer clay sculpture and bright paint" he tells us. He believes that these parts enhance the entire meaning of the piece.

 

So what's the pendant made from? It is PMC3 on a sterling silver chain, with the mount being made from wood, acrylic paint, polymer clay, found materials and brass bullet casings. Michael says that PMC3 allowed him to make the piece exactly as he had imagined it without compromise on strength or durability. The mount materials allowed him to create with bright bold colours and details that he wanted for the overall effect.

Self Portait On it's own without mount  MM
Michael's Self portrait II 

 

It's quite clear that Michael enjoys making art which provokes a reaction; from a giggle to a frown and everything in between! But where does Michael get his inspiration from? He says that he tries to be as open minded as possible to visual stimuli. Everything from fine art to pop culture influences him as an artist and he has a love of comic books and street art. He also respects the work of artists like Stanislav Szukalski, Nanami Cowdroy, Gordon Uyehara and Wanaree Tanner. These artists he tells us; inspire him to push harder and continue growing in his work. But his wife and son are also huge inspirations to him and he couldn't do what he does without their love and support.

 

Michael's work can be viewed at his website or on his Facebook page

  

Fish MM
Kinetic Sea Creatures Workshop by Michael Marx 

If you are lucky enough to live in the region of Washington DC and want to experience Michael's art for yourself - he is teaching a wonderful masterclass in January at La Ruche Davis, details of which can be found here 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did You Know....?
The Metal Clay Academy has lots of information to browse through and this section just highlights an area you may have missed or have not looked at for a while.

We have a What's New At the Metal Clay Academy page. It is updated almost every day with suppliers, tutorials, announcements, classes and workshops and lots more. It is well worth dipping in and seeing whether there is something new that you could use. They are not always about metal clay, sometimes they are about items which could enhance your metal clay creations!

For example last month, we had two tutorials by the fabulous Sherri Haab,  did you see them? We had one about Electroforming and another about Etching on Copper

It really is a fantastic resource and it's wonderful because you can all contribute to it!
Featured Artist

  

Anna Mazon

Anna Mazon began working with metal clay about 4 years ago. She tells us she always wanted to make jewellery and when she discovered silver clay, it revolutionised her work and her life. What started out as a hobby has now become a full time business which she has been running for 3 and half years and she says, things are going very well!

 

Anna is known for her incredibly detailed and beautifully carved organic pieces of jewellery, inspired by nature and some fantastical elven imagination. She would describe her work as organic but with an approach that is very exact with heavily detailed pieces being her trademark. In fact she says, that one of her main challenges is to sometimes reign in the adornment of her jewellery and perhaps make it less ornamental; she is, she tells us always striving for a happy balance.

Golden Road AM
Anna's Golden Road set with her favourite stone, Labradorite 

 

As she develops as an artist, she is enjoying experimenting with new materials and enjoys this much more than she thought she would. Initially she only ever used Art Clay Silver, but with the development of Goldie Bronze, she tells us she has fallen in love with this new product because of its fast firing schedule and workability. She is also encouraged by her customers' responses to her jewellery made in this new medium; it's been very positive. This year will see her continue experimenting with new and interesting materials such as green and yellow gold, steel and other brands of silver clay.

 

Anna tells us it's very difficult for her to pick a favourite piece. She says that she is always dissatisfied with the results when she has finished. Her inner critic can always see something that could have been done better and she says that the finished piece can sometimes, in fact annoy her! So, when looking at her body of work, her favourites come from an emotional attachment, something she associates with a nice experience. Take for example, her 'Flower Storm' bangle which has just been shortlisted as a Saul Bell finalist; this is a huge thing for her. She also singles out her recent mixed metal ring, not because she likes the design so much as the processes she learned whilst making it. It was her first time using yellow gold clay which she mixed with green gold clay and PMC3, none of which she has used before. It was also the first time she had fired diamonds. So she sums it up "it really is a multi-brand, multi-metal ring with lots of 'firsts' " and it seems to have given her a lot of satisfaction.

 

Mixed Metal Ring AM
One of Anna's favourites - her 'firsts' ring 

 

So where does she work? She works from home in a studio which she has furnished from scratch, ensuring that she is surrounded by things that she loves; like the colour green and birch themed black and white accessories. It is a very peaceful woodland like space - until she starts to work, then it becomes chaotic and untidy. She confesses she is not a tidy worker and there are things strewn all over her workspace. One of her favourite tools that she uses all the time is a scalpel. She uses it for mostly everything she does, from cutting, shaping to texturizing and carving. None of her pieces could be created without it.

Storm Bangle AM
Storm Bangle - a Saul Bell Award Finalist 

 

 

 

Inspiration is never far away and she often finds it difficult to pare down her ideas into something she can make. In fact, it would seem that Anna is sometimes so overwhelmed with things she wants to make she doesn't know where to start. To sort these ideas out into something meaningful, she will draw her designs out before she makes anything. Currently she is working on some Slavic inspired pieces from her native Poland. But Anna is motivated to continue by being the best she can be, constantly striving for that goal of perfection. Whilst we all may think Anna's work is wonderful, amazing and perfect just the way it is, Anna it seems will continue to pursue her own idea of what perfection means to her. And we cannot wait to see where this takes her.

 

Sol Omnia Regit AM
Sol Omnia Regit Pendant 
 

 

You can view Anna's work here at her website  or on her Facebook Page 

 

Anna is also conducting a masterclass in the UK in May. For more details click here