I am definitely a creature of habit. If I find a dish that I like at a restaurant, I will order it every single time we eat at that particular restaurant. I hang my robe on the right-hand hook in the closet and never on the left one. I almost always sit in the same chair at the dining room table to eat.
I'm this way about my use of metal clay, too. I spent the evening working on one of my dragon necklaces (I've had two versions sketched out for months and am only now getting around to finishing them). Metal clay is manufactured and sold by two different companies - Mitsubishi Materials Corporation makes PMC and Art Clay World (through, I believe, Aida Chemical Industries Co., Ltd.) makes Art Clay Silver. I usually use PMC rather than Art Clay Silver. There's no real rationale behind this - it's simply that I started out with PMC and liked it and never felt the need to try Art Clay. I've actually had a packet of Art Clay sitting at the bottom of my tool box for about 10 months, unopened, that I bought at the Art Clay booth at Bead & Button last year. (Embarrassingly, I kept referring to their product as PMC. Even more embarrassing, I learned later that the extremely nice and helpful lady (remember I had only been working with metal clay for about a month back then) who assisted me and who was very tolerant about my gaffe was none other than Jackie Truty - president and owner of Art Clay World USA. I will have to go and offer my abject apologies this year... Anyway, where was I?)
I decided to be bold this evening and actually opened the Art Clay packet. To my surprise, it really does handle differently than PMC. I use low-fire PMC (PMC3), and I bought the equivalent in Art Clay (Art Clay 650). I found that the fresh Art Clay is much firmer right out of the packet than PMC, which I like. It also drys out much, much faster (for the uninitiated - metal clay is notorious for drying out very quickly), which I don't like. I'll be interested to see whether the shrinkage rates are the same for the two types of clay.
On other fronts, I've had another piece accepted for publication. This was an interesting case for me, as the piece in question had been rejected a couple times before I managed to get it placed. I think this raises an important point about publication in beading and jewelry magazines generally. Although there are numerous magazines available for purchase these days, each one has it's own focus and interests. Sometimes when I've had a piece rejected (which happens a lot - I know I focus on the positive and only tend to mention my success stories, but I've had a lot of rejections as well), I worry that it's no good and think about dropping it. However, it's virtually impossible to second-guess an editor's preferences, and I'm learning that's it's better not to try. Anyway, this one will be published in the summer. I will let you know further details as they become available.
I hope everyone has a great weekend. See you on Monday!
I am an intellectual property lawyer by training and have a background in English Renaissance literature. I love science fiction. I primarily watch Sesame Street these days and find myself humming "Pop Goes the Weasel" at odd moments (guess why). I can happily eat ice cream in the middle of winter when the wind chill is 20 below 0. I have been making beads and designing jewelry since 2007.
2010 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Other Finished Bead Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2010 - Grand Prize, Gold Medal Winner, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework and Chain Jewelry-Making Contest
2010 - Finalist, Bead Star, Stones, Plastics and Designs with Heart Categories
2009 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay
2009 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Beyond Glass, Handmade Beads and Components
2009 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Arts Awards, Necklace
2009 - Finalist, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Beading Contest, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist, Bead Star, Pearls
A word about copyright
As indicated in the copyright notice, the contents of this blog are copyright by me. To the extent that instructions to make jewelry, beads, knit items or other instructions are included in this blog, they are free for you to use to make the projects for personal use. They should not be used for commercial purposes, ie, to make items for resale.