Monday, August 29, 2011

New Materials are Changing the Way We Adorn Ourselves

Terri Parson recently brought her new collection for Fall into the Bottle Tree Gallery. Terri works in polymer clays. One of the new evolving materials available to craftsmen today. Parson uses a high-tech polymer to craft very organic pieces that reflect the finesse of nature. Her inspiration coming to her from walks and outdoor activities. She typically crafts every element of her pieces down to the clasps and fasteners.

"If you look at one of my pieces and think of polished stones in a stream, hot bubbling springs in Yellowstone National Park, golden sunsets, coral realms, or ancient cultures, then I’ve done my job as a visual communicator, she says. "

Artist Frank Wimberley has been working with the new precious metal clays. They are made up of precious metal such as silver, water, binders, and small particles of either silver or gold. The clay is molded by hand into a desired shape then heated in a kiln or torch to remove the binder and fuse the metal powder into a solid form that is a precious metal, durable object.

There are two types of clay-like materials that fire into a pure metal object, Precious Metal Clay and Art Clay. They shape easily and shrinkage is minimal. Some materials can even be fired with a blow torch or over a gas stove, while other forms have to be kiln fired. The kiln-fired clays will shrink more and require more skill.

(c) 2009 - Ruth Mitchell - all rights reserved

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