Blogging for the first time

I’ve been told a number of times that I should blog. I must say I feel intimidated and fearful. What should I say, and why should anything I say be thought of as important enough to put out there in the ether and be read? Then again, I’ve never been one to hold back. Anyone who knows me knows I’ve been putting my foot in my mouth for many years. If I believe it, if I’m passionate about it, I say it. So, isn’t a blog really just letting others know what I’m thinking but instead of coming out of my mouth, it’s coming out of my fingers? Thinking about it that way, it’s not as intimidating…I guess. So, my first blog. It’s really about my mission, my passion. Which is women. Sorry guys, you used to rule the roost in the world of jewelry making, but watch out! We’re coming up round the clubhouse turn fast on the outside. And, although there are definitely more women traditional metal smiths out there, I believe, and hope, that the rise of metal clay has also had something to do with the large number of women who have entered the jewelry making arena in the last 15 years. Metal clay is the great equalizer. You don’t have to have great muscle strength to use it. You don’t have to have the mega bucks to buy hammers, saws, clamps, rolling mills, draw plates that you may or may not use in 10 more years. And you don’t need to apprentice yourself to a master bench jeweler for the next 20 years to get REALLY good and be accepted into the ol’ boys’ club as a “goldsmith” (even though I’m using silver, I’m told that goldsmith is the term if you are using precious metals in jewelry, and silversmith, is the term you use for non wearable, functional items such as teapots and carving knives). That isn’t to say that you don’t have to “pay your dues” in metal clay. It’s taken a bit of time to cancel out the memory of some of the work that came out of the metal clay arena the first 10 years or so. One of the detriments of having an easy learning curve. And, I believe, one of the reasons that some traditional metal smiths were so turned off by the possibilities of metal clay. But, I’m proud to say, that we’ve come a long way and there is some stunning, creative, and highly professional work being done in metal clay these days. And there are many of us still seeking our creative spark, experimenting, stepping tentatively out into the world of jewelry. I’ve even begun to embrace copper metal clay, even though my first love will always be silver (and gold) and my goal will always be to convince metal clay smiths that silver is not THAT expensive, in the scheme of things. I’ll be talking about that in my next blog, I think. So, to all those women out there who believe they have something to express in a tangible way, to make a statement or create something lasting, but don’t have the muscles to swing a hammer or don’t want the flux fumes of a soldering torch to permeate their basement studio, silver clay is here! It’s waiting for you to grab it and mold it and ro  

16 thoughts on “Blogging for the first time

  1. I don’t know what you were so worried about. That was an excellent first posting and we look forward to many more.

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  2. ב”ה

    I just took a class in metal clay and I’m trying to set up a place to work with it here in my space. I first started designing (and, in some cases, making or getting someone else to make) jewelry in my FIT years back, well, back in the 70s. So I’ve worked in a lot of ways and designed a lot of pieces (not like a lot as compared to people who actually sell them, but I digress). Thanks for the blog — I think I’ll keep an eye on it

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  3. The ease of the media and the ability to fire smaller pieces of it with a hand-held torch has opened the door of metal jewelry making to many over the past decade. Sure there have been some truly horrid pieces sintered and then proudly worn (or tossed into the recycling pile), but there have been some pieces that took and still take my breath away. Metal clay is here to stay as a media and an art form. The fact that some more traditional silversmiths and goldsmiths look upon the media as a sad stepsister doesn’t negate the material nor the talented artists who work with it.

    Congrats on your first blog, Jackie. Keep it up.

    Sandra Graves

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  4. Reblogged this on bitsofclay and commented:
    Jackie,
    I think you gave a wonderful response and explanation in defense of metal clay. I, love working with it. I usually use PMC3, because I got my two certificates in it. I am now working in Bronz and Copper clays The firing is sometimes iffy for me, in my experience. This wonderful medium is in its usage infancy.

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  5. Great blog! I also started to blog on a writer’s site. It’s scary at first, but you l’ll get the hang of it.
    I’m going to follow you!

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  6. Great Job, Jackie!! I’m new to silver art clay, thanks to you and your enthusiasm on JTV. I love it and am pressing on. My first necklace and earring set (Horses) drew many admiring comments.

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