No Time (or Clay) to Waste! Get Started on Your Holiday Gift Making

Kristal Wick
Kristal Wick
is the editor of
Beading Daily

Charms, charms, and more charms! I took my first metal clay class quite a few years ago because I wanted to make simple charms for my charm bracelets. Ha! The world of metal clay is endless and can suck you into its vortex without you even feeling a thing. Before you know it, you're having PMC dreams; you're looking at everything in your daily life as a possible "texture" for metal clayplastic bath mats from the dollar store, puppy kibble, and even spices such as oregano (organic materials will burn out in the kiln firing).

Metal clay is more accessible than you might think. Even if you don't have a kiln, there's tons of places (rec centers, schools, free universities, stained glass or bead shops, etc.) where you can rent their kiln, or take a class.


One of my fave techniques in creating metal clay jewelry is making my own texture stamps by carving erasers and carving blocks. That way you always own your stamps and designs and will not run into any copyright issues. This fun technique is thoroughly explained on the new DVD Metalwork: Exploring Metal Clay Basics with Susan Lewis. Even the most basic beginner can create beautiful creations right off the bat with Susan guiding you.

Everyone seems to enjoy metal clay jewelry, since you can make pieces in most every style and taste. I plan on making some very special holiday metal clay pieces for my peeps this Christmas inspired by this bamboo pendant in Susan's DVD. Most everyone I know is trying to calm down, taking yoga classes, or just trying to take a little time to smell the roses. This would be a lovely reminder; the combination of Asian-zen-like feeling and the simple beauty of silver.

The second piece has a southwestern aesthetic with cave-like petroglyphs carved into the silver. I especially like the small tad of bling and feather. Each pin could be reflective of each receiver by carving in special meanings and symbols. I think I'll also adapt the pin to a keychain for the guys in my life. The dudes are so tough to shop for, so it'll be fun to make something they'll actually use for a change (fingers crossed!).

A word of warning: metal clay can be extremely habit forming. So be sure you have enough on hand before you dive in! Either design style would also work as an ornament on the Christmas tree by creating a small loop at the top of each dangle. You could also create a series of dangles hanging down from each other for an added dimension of 3-D texture.

There's just a few ideas to spark your creative fire. Join me on my creative holiday metal clay extravaganza! An evening by the fire, a hot toddy, and something delicious to munch on; let's crack open a new pouch of PMC and knead together in Metalwork: Exploring Metal Clay Basic with Susan Lewis.

Come bead with me.


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