Metal Clay Academy Newsletter
Autumnal Scene  

September/ October 2012
In This Issue
What's Your Inspiration
Did You Know...?
Catherine Witherill
Quick Links



It's that time of year again...to put on your central heating and snuggle down with warm clothes and enjoy crisp autumn walks.

It's also that time of year to get ready for your Christmas season and make stock to sell and to give as presents. Well, grab a cup of your favourite hot drink and maybe a cheeky biscuit or two and give yourself some time to enjoy our newsletter. We feature the fabulous Catherine Witherell as our Artist this issue and we talk to Sabine Alienor Singery about her recent win in the Facebook Groups Metal Clay Europe's competition.

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 

A new type of bronze has hit the market in the last few months. For those of you who enjoy working with the base metal clays, this might be something you want to try and for those die hard silver clay fans out there, this might tempt you to broaden your scope.

Goldie Bronze developed by Waldo Ilowiecki of Poland and Brilliant Bronze by Hadar Jacobson are both bright bronze clays which look more like gold than bronze. Both clays are in powder form and are available to buy from various distributors.

Sabine Alienor Singery's piece which is reviewed in this newsletter is made from Goldie Bronze and shows off the properties of this new clay beautifully and may whet your appetite to try something new.


What's Your Inspiration?



Sabine was introduced to fine work by her mother and grandmother at a very early age. Her mother taught her how to crochet and her great grandmother was a lace-maker. After being exposed at such a young age to fine and detailed work, Sabine continued with this and in 2000 produced her first line of crocheted jewellery. When she discovered Art Clay Silver very soon after, Sabine was intrigued and silver clay soon became central to her work.


Sabine made the decision to become an Art Clay Certified instructor and played a central role in setting up Metallurgia, an organisation which is a partner of the ACS Society, dedicated to the French silver clay community, of which she is currently president.

SA Hidden Treasure Locket
Hidden Treasure Locket 

But despite her first love of silver clay, she is also very keen on using other varieties of metal clay. In fact she tells us that this is part of what inspires her; the constant movement and development within the ever-changing world of metal clay encourages her to try new things and push her work further. Her piece 'Hidden Treasure' is a fantastic example of her willingness to try something new. It is made from a new product to market called Goldie Bronze manufactured by Waldo Ilowiecki. She used this product because it has a good tensile strength in its 'Hard' version which was ideal to make the lentil bead base of the locket. The Steampunk embellishments are made from the 'Soft' version. This was Sabine's first ever competition entry and she was delighted when it won first place in the Metal Clay Europe's Hidden Treasure Challenge.

SA Hidden Treasure Locket Open
Hidden Treasure Locket opened to reveal Sabine's children 

Because of the set theme, Sabine decided that she wanted something that could be opened to reveal a hidden element. She loves the idea of Steampunk, which she sees as a marriage of old and new and suits her style perfectly. Sabine says that she has no one source for her inspiration. She owns lots of art books which span centuries of history and she's hesitant to name specific artists because she tells us there are too many to name, but she is constantly impressed by those artists who push the boundaries of what's possible and then tell the rest of us how to do it!

SA Hidden Treasure Locket Back
The back of Sabine's beautiful locket 


If you want to see more of Sabine's work, then please have a look at her website 










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.

I am often asked when I teach beginners what are the best books to buy for metal clay and I always refer them to the Metal Clay Academy's website. It's featured on my Resource List for all my documentation. Since most of you are not beginners anymore it's easy to skip over the wealth of FREE information for beginners that we have on our website. From books and tutorials to blogs and magazines, there's enough information to keep the metal clay beginner inside for a week!

If you teach, it's a great place to refer your students to. I am sure they will appreciate it. And if you don't, browse through anyway - with so much information there you are bound to find something new.
Featured Artist



Catherine has always been creative, doing little hobbies when her children were young, making things because she didn't care for the items she could buy on the high street. When she began to work with ceramics she started to realise that this was her life, being an artist, making things and following her creative path. Catherine found her way to silver clay and took a class in 2000. She said she was immediately hooked, bought a kiln straight away and went home to experiment. Catherine has never looked back!  


CW Roman Ring

She works predominantly in fine silver clay - PMC+ and PMC3 to be specific. Unfortunately when she decided to experiment with base metal clays, she discovered that she was allergic to the copper element in both bronze and copper clays. But, Catherine tells us, that's fine with her since she prefers PMC; it's workability and the ease of firing makes it the ideal product for her. Silver clay is both her hobby and her business; she has taught classes for three years at a national mixed media art retreat called Artfest that happens in the Pacific Northwest of the United States each year.  


Catherine sells her work on her Etsy site and is a member of the EMC team which is an international group of metal clay artists who sell their work on Etsy. Last year she participated in the RAW (Ring a Week) challenge which saw her draw on a wide set of experience and techniques to produce some stunning work.


Catherine seems to be a person who can't sit still for long! She's always buzzing with ideas and things to try and in fact, she says it can be difficult to focus on one thing, getting distracted with other ideas. Normally when she sets out on one project it will develop into 10 or 20 others! Which might be why her style is so eclectic. Catherine describes herself as a collage artist, she collects ideas from all sorts of sources; medieval, line art, cartoons, flowers, romantic, bohemian, hippie chick, mixed media, whimsical, organic and then mixes them up into something new and innovative.

CW Peony Brooch
Catherine's favourite; her Peony brooch 


Her favourite piece is her Peony Brooch; she had an idea about this flower which she loves and wanted to make a tiered piece, somewhat stylized but evocative of the original multi-petaled beauty found in nature.  Catherine drew and carved each tier on round slugs of baked polymer, rolled metal clay onto them and then stacked and pasted them together.  The reason the petals curve is because the carving is also done along the curve of the polymer form.

So is her studio a haven? Not yet she confides; once their youngest child finishes high school, Catherine and her family are moving to a new home which has a huge area earmarked for her studio - this she tells us will be her peaceful and exciting retreat.


 Catherine's working philosophy is that she should absolutely enjoy what she is doing or what is the point? She makes what she wants to wear and she is always thinking about her next project. Perhaps that's why her Etsy page is called Happy Day Art and why her work shines with a joie de vivre which is unique and fun.


CW Leaping Hare
Leaping Hare Pendant 
CW Life Could Be A Dream
Life Could Be A Dream.

To see more of Catherine's work or hear about her thoughts on the processes she uses visit her Etsy page or her blog