The Precious Metal Clay has to be one of my favourite categories of the Saul Bell Designer Awards. It is tough to rival the complete flexibility that the medium allows for in both design and fabrication. What was once a tricky, sticky clay is now available in multiple formats and metals, and can be used with just about any other type of material to allow for endless possibilities. This is why I find this category so inspiring: because the designs are limited purely by each artist's imagination.
Here is a look at some of those imaginative artists...
Wendy Wallin-Malinow, Wallin Malinow Design, Portland, Oregon
Wendy is a veteran of the Saul Bell Designer Awards, having already been a finalist in this category in 2005. (She was beaten out by Kate McKinnon and Gordon Uyehara) Wendy's work is unconventional and eclectic, using a wide range of materials and styles. She has been featured in many industry publications, including Jewelry Artist Magazine. Her designs often combine PMC with polymer clay, creating designs that are full of color as well as texture.
Lizards Jewelry, Lovettsville, Virginia
I was just introduced to this artist this week and immediately fell in love with her work so I was thrilled to see her name in finalists for this category. Graduating from The Maryland Institute of Art in 1985 Liz has been honored with praise and awards throughout her jewelry making career and it's not hard to see why. Her designs are imaginative, colorful and put together with a great deal of skill and care.
She has been working with PMC since 2004, and became certified in 2006. Many of her designs feature strong Southwest design elements. She also has a unique style which combines geometric shapes with organic lines that give many of her pieces an almost sci-fi feel.
Mid Cornwall School of Jewelry, Cornwall, UK
Although the Saul Bell Design Awards are open to anyone in the world, their publicity isn't particularly strong beyond US borders, so I was thrilled to see a fellow Brit make the finalists list for this year. With a full portfolio of qualifications and certifications, Lisa is an extremely experienced and talented jewelry designer. She runs the Mid Cornwall School of Jewelry and is also the executive director of the UK PMC Guild.
Her design that won her a place in this year's finals is titled "Flying Carpet".
Baduel-Crispin, L'Ange Est La, Ploemeur, France
Another European artist, although her international status only ends there. Angela was born in Brazil and grew up between there and Hawaii. She specializes in custom made pieces, and her work is popular with fashionistas in France and beyond. Her work is colorful, using enamels and semi precious stones, and also elegant, favoring simple, stylized shapes. (There's those circles again!)
Angela's work has been featured in several industry and fashion magazines including Studio PMC.
Stay tuned for more news and reviews about the Saul Bell Designer Awards!