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Aug 15 2018

Enameling on Bronze

This post is intended for people who enamel or wish to enamel on metal clay.

Bronze is considered hard to enamel. One thing that happens repeatedly, for example, is that the enamel flakes off. This can happen right away (which can be dangerous if you are enameling with a torch), or it can happen over time. The enamel on the piece in the photo below flaked off over a period of a few months. Every once in a while I saw that another piece was missing.

However, there is one condition under which the enamel stays on: the enamel needs to be enclosed in a recessed area. In the photo below, for example, you can see high areas and low areas. The low areas are closed on all sides.

In the low areas it is safe to enamel without the risk of the enamel flaking off.

Here are a few more examples. In all of them I used One-fire Brilliant Bronze.

How do we do this? One way is to build a second layer, with cutouts, on top of a backing layer. I find it easier to start with a 6- or 8-card layer, dry it, and then carve out the recessed parts with a diamond burr, taking out a thickness of about 2 cards. (All of the carved-out clay can be re-used, of course).

Draw the picture

Carve out the unmarked areas

Copper and steel clay can be enameled with or without recessed areas. Here are a few examples:



Low-shrinkage Steel XT

Low-shrinkage Steel XT

Jul 19 2017

New Templates are Now Available!

Five new original templates are now available on my online store. All are 6″ x 4″, clear, and coated with a protective film. Most of them are free-form, and can be used for making pendants, earrings, and bracelet links.

Here they are:

Template #1

Template #2

Template #3

Template #4

Template #5

Jul 9 2017

Coming Soon! Hadar’s Templates™ for Metal Clay

In a couple of weeks, a new line of plastic templates for metal clay will be available on my store. The initial release will consist of five templates. I designed these for my upcoming enameling workshops, but they can be used for any other application. In designing them I had in mind free forms for pendants and earrings, which don’t seem to be widely available. Here are renderings of the templates:

Jun 24 2017

Enameling Workshops 2018

A new workshop taking place on three separate dates is now listed on my Online Store: These three dates are all the same workshop: Torch-enameling on Copper, Steel, and Bronze Clay. The focus of the workshop is preparing pieces structurally suitable for enameling while using the advantages that are specific to the medium of metal clay.

The workshop takes place at my studio in Berkeley, California. The total cost of the class is $500 plus materials. After signing up you will receive a list of tools required for the class, as well as a list of accommodations around the studio.

The number of participants is limited. Please note that January 12 workshop is currently full. If you have any questions please contact me at hadarjacobson@gmail.com.

Here are a few photos representing the type of projects that we’ll be making in class:

Mar 9 2017

Workshop: Color on Metal Clay

This is a 5-day intensive taking place at my studio in Berkeley, California, on May 19-23, 2017. Please sign up here.

This workshop will cover coloring metal clay by hot-bluing, patina, acrylics, colored pencils, felt, and chip inlay.

Here are a few class samples:







Patina and rock inlay

Patina and rock inlay





Colored pencils

Colored pencils

Colored pencils

Colored pencils




Rock inlay

Rock inlay

Chip inlay

Chip inlay

Sep 15 2016

Mixed Metal Jewelry from Metal Clay – Second (Revised) Edition

The second, revised and expanded edition of my book Mixed Metal Jewelry from metal Clay is now available in the form of a CD.


The first edition was published in 2009 and went out of print about a year ago. The second edition is up-to-date with the developments that have occurred in the metal clay field since the publication of the first edition.

The first part of the book covers the possible combinations of copper and bronze. This is a good reference for anyone who would like to start making mixed metal jewelry. There is also a discussion on the concept of married metals, and an overview of other possible combinations of clays in a married metal design.

The second part covers the combination of copper and silver and discusses the issues of firing these clays together. Two projects introduce the technique of mokume-gane in copper and silver. As it turns out, most projects can be done with White Bronze instead of silver, without compromising the look and strength of the pieces.

The third part includes projects which combine copper, bronze, and silver as components. It covers textures, forms, movement, and mechanisms.

Besides the project samples, the book includes over a hundred photos contributed to the second edition by metal clay artists. Thank you all for your wonderful work. The book would not be complete without you.

Jun 14 2016

Call for Entries

Two of my books, The Handbook of Metal Clay: Textures and Forms and Movements and mechanisms in Metal Clay, are already on their second edition. (The Handbook of Metal Clay is actually on its third edition, in the form of a CD.)

It’s now time for a second edition of my third book: Mixed Metal Jewelry from Metal Clay, which went out of print quite a few months ago. The new edition will come as a CD and is planned to be published around the end of this summer.

Those of you who have the first edition, and those of you who haven’t but have pieces of mixed metal to show, are invited to submit photos for the new edition. Any combination of metals is accepted, including silver and base metals, even pieces that only have separate components made of different metals. All brands are welcome.

The requirements:

  • The photos should be high resolution, at least 4″x4″, 300dpi.
  • Deadline: Please submit the photos as soon as possible, or no later than August 15, to my email address: hadarjacobson@gmail.com.
  • For credit purposes, include your name, photo title, and the name of the photographer, if applicable.

I look forward to seeing your creations!

Jun 3 2016

Travel-Teaching Classes 2017

My first two travel-teaching classes for 2017 have been added to my Classes page on my website.

There are 2 spots left in the February intensive at my studio in Berkeley, California.

t-Sea dragon

The first travel-teaching class is the annual Tucson workshop which takes place on February 10-12, 2017, during the big gem show. This year the topic is structural carving, which means forming sculptural objects by subtraction, starting from a solid lump of clay.

t-Rufflest-IMG_3906[1]t-Sting ray

To sign up please contact Lyle Rayfield at: bdangled@dakotacom.net.

The second class is actually 2 separate back-to-back workshops in Lafayette, Louisiana. The first one is 3 days, on March 22-24, 2017. It covers preparing forms for chip and rock inlay. This class is almost full.


The second one is on March 25-26, 2017. This workshop covers hand-forming and texturing vases and knobs, then coloring them patina-style.

t-Redt-Pencils 2

To sign up please contact Paula McDowell at: paulamcdowell@bellsouth.net, or lapmcguild@gmail.com, phone: 517.285.5523.

May 13 2016

More Class Samples for Sculptural Carving Workshop

Here are more pieces that I have been working on for the Sculptural Carving Intensive on February 24-28, 2017.

t-Sea dragon

t-Sting ray



t-Copper spiral


t-Rufflest-Seahorse 1

t-Tapered Spiral

t-Cage earrings

t-5-wing earrings


Apr 26 2016

New Metal Clay Techniques and Upcoming Workshops

In the never-ending pursuit of hollow forms, I’ve been working over the past year on a new way of creating them. In fact, this way is the opposite of any hollow-form technique I’ve been using so far. Instead of building up the forms from layers of wet clay, I treat dried chunks of clay as if they were rocks or chunks of wood and carve the forms into them. Carving may be a misnomer, since this term is usually conceived as surface decoration. In this case the carving is structural, and there is no surface decoration. The surface of the pieces is either solid-smooth or perforated.

Sculpting by subtracting material rather then adding it, as done in wood and stone sculpture, requires some adjustment of our brain muscles, since it makes us think “in reverse.” This is not an easy task, but the results are so rewarding! Once you start using this technique, new ideas keep popping up and endless possibilities open. Many things that are very hard or impossible to make in metal clay because of the nature of the wet clay and its consistency, are made possible in this way of sculpting.

The photos below are samples of what I’ve done so far. I will keep posting as new techniques come up.

I’ve scheduled two sculpting/structural carving workshops for 2017. These are 5-day intensives taking place at my studio in Berkeley, CA.

January 12-16, 2017: this class is currently full. Please email me at hadarjacobson@gmail.com if you wish to be on the wait list.

February 22-26, 2017. This class is still open. Please sign up here by paying the deposit.