Tuesday, March 30, 2010


There is nothing I find more energizing than taking a workshop with an artist whose style I absolutely love. I decided last fall I wanted to pursue the art of precious metal clay (PMC). I went through all the articles, recommendations for tools and materials, made an Excel sheet of what the vendors carried and their prices, and chose the kiln and tools that I would order. I bought a book or two on PMC jewelry and read tutorials and watched videos.

I even tried making a few pieces. One I am very proud of, as it was not a beginner project, is my 5 peas in a pod. Yet I still had doubts about my ability to remember everything I’d learned and put it into practice. And I certainly didn’t want to waste PMC on practices or failures, given its not inexpensive price.

So, after being in the energetic doldrums for what seemed like forever (I think they call it “winter”), I went to a PMC Certification class in mid-March, conveniently located in my home state of Wisconsin. But not just any class, though. This one was being taught by my very favorite PMC artist, Irina Miech.

We made earrings out of sheet clay using scrapbooking stamp cutters. Other projects included a leaf-shaped pendant with a dichroic glass bead, a filigree style leaf made out of syringe clay, a pendant with a prong-set faceted stone, a band style ring, a hollow metal bead, and a pod bead made from a dried flower pod.

I left this class so energized, I immediately registered for the PMC Level 2 class next weekend. What did I learn from this experience? Find an artist whose work you love and take a workshop from them. Having someone there to demonstrate the techniques in person and to answer questions is invaluable! The encouragement from the instructor is uplifting and energizing. Interacting with other artists is stimulating.

I have found that this is what works best for me.

What works best for you in inspiring your creative energy? Comments?