metal clay jewelry

I first came across Gordon Uyehara 4 years ago. His amazing metal clay creations led me to write about him. I have been a huge fan ever since. I have often wished I could attend his workshops. However Gordon, who is from Hawaii, doesn't seem venture to the frigid north and I haven't made it down south. But now I can get to learn from him through his awesome new book. 

Metal Clay Fusion, a masterclass issue which I received for review, became the best selling jewelry book on Amazon soon after its launch in March. No wonder, as this technique has become popular in the last few years and continues to grow in leaps and bounds. The superlative instruction by one of the top teachers in the field definitely adds to its hot ticket status. I couldn't be more pleased as Gordon is a genuinely nice guy.

metal clay jewelry
Bronze and Silver Pearl Pendant
Gordon pours years of experience into this volume, sharing numerous tips throughout. The book begins with Tools and Materials which includes thorough coverage of the equipment he uses and the ever growing list of metal types. For instance, he not only recommends a digital electric kiln, he adds that a brick type kiln is easier to maintain and would be better suited for long firing times required by some base metal clays. And yes, he does still torch fire smaller pieces himself.

metal clay jewelry
Bronze Fox Mask Pendant
The Fundamentals section includes kneading and re-moisturizing clay, different ways to join clay, how to fill seams and holes and even how to roll a perfect snake. Firing Practices covers all the ins and outs of a critical procedure that could make or break a piece. Gordon shares his own firing routines here.

Bronze and Copper Flora Bracelet
metal clay jewelry
Bronze and Silver Faux Bone Brooch
Intermediate Skills is a fascinating part of the book as he covers embellishment techniques like stenciling, paintbrush skills, carving and the use of a drying form to add dimension to a piece. He uses this technique in some of his project designs such as the hollow bead and fox mask.

metal clay jewelry
Tri-metal Hollow Bead
The book is not divided by technique. Gordon chose to teach the techniques through their uses in the 22 projects. That is clearly his instructional style - coming up with a design first and then showing the methods needed to achieve it. For example, he covers how to make a hidden pin for a half drilled pearl in the top design. In the poison pill ring design, he demonstrated how a hinge is created.

metal clay jewelry
Poison Pill Ring
The contemporary designs in the book are less complex than his own masterpieces (see his website) but are nonetheless still exquisite and perfectly made. They can be easily adapted for different clay types. He definitely encourages readers and students to customize the designs.

metal clay jewelry
Tri-metal Pendant
There are also a number of non-jewelry designs in the book which shows how versatile metal clay can be. They include condiment spoon designs, an earring tree,  a bronze Asian bell which does ring, chopstick holders and this amazing turtle incense burner.

metal clay jewelry

No matter what level you are in, if you are serious about metal clay jewelry at all, then this book is an absolute must for your library.

Mahalo, Gordon for this gorgeous and long overdue book.


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