Online at AMCAW

Julia has written a number of online tutorials for the Alliance for Metal Clay Arts Worldwide (AMCAW). These include written step-by-step instructions, video clips to illustrate specific techniques and a downloadable PDF for you to keep. The tutorials on the AMCAW website are member only so you need to join AMCAW to see them. General membership is $60 for a year and gives you access to a wide range of member benefits. Find out more here…

This intermediate level metal clay project uses simple tools to create a hollow square box with a screw top lid and a flower shaped neck. The stone settings are created by using small flower cutters to create lovely garden themed settings for the 3mm and 4mm stones. A more informal stone setting method with syringe clay is used for the smaller stones and allows you to pop a stone quickly and easily into any little gaps or grouped together to create some colour and interest. The design provides lots of opportunities to add your own embellishments or create an alternative theme to decorate the box and you can really let your imagination flow. By adding a bail, this could also be the basis of an interesting pendant.

The advanced metal clay level brooch is made from a unique paper template, designed by you. This means you can produce something truly one-of-a-kind. It uses a two-layer process allowing you to create apertures into which you can add colour in any way you like. The layer that creates the apertures is only two cards thick and full of holes so it’s challenging for everyone, even more experienced metal clay artists. In the dry state, it’s very fragile and requires you to really understand the nature of dry metal clay, especially when you are refining this layer. The brooch components are created using metal clay, you just need to make the pin using Sterling silver wire. This is the sister project to the open butterfly pendant which is also in the Creatures and Critters Collection.

Butterflies are fascinating creatures with a wonderful life cycle that sees them change from an unassuming caterpillar into a fabulous and colourful flying marvel. The variety of butterflies around the world have inspired artists for centuries and they offer many options for interesting designs. The design you create may reflect a natural form or could be something with more of a fantasy element, the choice is yours.

In this intermediate level metal clay tutorial, you’ll make a butterfly pendant using your own template design for the wings, giving you a huge range of options to make it personal. Creating something unique is the goal of all artists looking to set their work apart so have fun researching butterflies to gain inspiration for the design. It’s challenging creating something with holes in it as it’s obviously more fragile than a solid form but there are lots of benefits from making something with cut out areas.