Irina Miech is a multi-talented jewelry maker, a practitioner and teacher of great reputation. If you have wanted to go beyond the basics with metal clay, I can definitely recommend Irina's Metal Clay Collection for Beaders to you. Published by Kalmbach Press, Irina's latest book is a chronicle of her own artistic journey with metal clay, moving from 10 beginner projects through 13 intermediate and advanced projects that will teach you how to mold, shape, carve, and otherwise manipulate this most fascinating of metal materials.
The only downside is if you already have any of Irina's other metal clay books: most of the projects are reprints, so you'll want to look through it first before deciding whether there is enough new information to warrant buying it. If, however, you do not own any of the previous books, this is the one to get! The materials and tool, tips and techniques sections are at the end, so if you are familiar already with working with metal clay, you can skip it. If you need more information or a crash course, you can go there first. However you choose to use the book, the projects are gorgeous, as is all of Irina's work. Check this out:
For a sample of Irina's work (not found in the book, but similar to some of the pieces), you can try this free project made available by Bead & Button magazine.
I credit metal clay with a breakthrough of sorts in my artistic work. I often have a vision of a very specific finding for a design I'm working on, but then I am unable to purchase something that meets all of my requirements for the piece. Because of the possibilities opened with metal clay, I can create any finding that I can imagine. (p. 6)Is it time for you to take the plunge too? I think you'll find this book inspiring!
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