Cynthia Morgan (Morganica) discusses how she makes small glass sculpture for pendants, brooches, tiny vessels, and bracelets, and her journey learning to integrate her glass art with new skills she’s developing in metal clay (PMC/EZ960/base metal clay/etc), precious and semi-precious stones, and enameling. This section includes tutorials, musings, business and marketing strategies, admired artists, the pitfalls and perils of learning new artforms, and some new examples of her work. It includes making, carving, and layering metal clay, setting stones into metal clay, enamelwork on copper and silver metal clay, and engineering mounts and settings for pate de verre jewelry pieces.

20 08, 2019

Changed perspectives: The Enamelist Society Conference workshops


Carved wax shapes in an electroforming bath. After 12 hours or so, we enameled the copper-covered result. Workshops and conferences shove attendees off a steep cliff and 'way, 'way, 'way past the deep end of their comfort zones. If a conference makes you feel as if you're drowning, congratulations: It was worth the price of admission. I'm so [...]

Changed perspectives: The Enamelist Society Conference workshops2019-08-19T18:30:54-07:00
2 08, 2019

On-campus enameling


Since Willow's arrival I've developed a soft spot for squirrels. This little lady follows people leaving the UofO cafeteria, begging for treats. I said hello, and she followed me back to my dorm room. "I know what YOU'RE looking for," said the nice kid with the beard, "I'll bet you want some silverware, huh?" "Yup," I responded, smiling, [...]

On-campus enameling2019-08-02T20:57:08-07:00
20 11, 2018

Studio practice makes perfect (or not)


I almost titled this post "losing my religion." I've never, in my whole life, had writer's block, or lacked for art ideas. Quite the opposite: No sooner do I start work on one idea than the next pounds on the door, demanding to kick my current project to the curb. Lovely problem to have, but it makes actually FINISHING a [...]

Studio practice makes perfect (or not)2018-11-19T16:04:23-07:00
2 02, 2017

The art of frustration


Necessity may give birth to invention, but the mother of art is frustration. If you want to build a strong vocabulary in an artistic medium, you must achieve frustration. Fail at it. Badly. Repeatedly. If my current frustration level with metal clay is any indication, I'm about to become the DaVinci of PMC.   Here's what I'm telling myself: This is [...]

The art of frustration2017-07-03T14:24:30-07:00
28 11, 2016

Cliffhangers, clues, and claying around


Today is E-day, IOW, my monthly trek down to the orthopedics hospital, where they do all kinds of x-rays and studies to discover if Elmo and I will stay together. The docs will be looking for signs of healing and bone growth. If they don't find any, we wait for another month and go back for a recheck. If they [...]

Cliffhangers, clues, and claying around2017-07-03T14:25:18-07:00
22 08, 2014

Rolling silver, part II


As I mentioned in an earlier post, I headed down to Eugene--my first trip to Eugene, by the way--for a PMC class from goldsmith-and-PMC-expert Carolyn Scott Kent. Jo Ann's brushing the fired PMC3 with a brass brush to bring up the silver. PMC, or "precious metal clay," is basically ground-up metal in an organic binder, so you can [...]

Rolling silver, part II2017-10-07T18:06:59-07:00
20 08, 2014

Rolling silver


Every so often you need a game-changer, a slight step out of the ordinary to freshen your thinking, anneal-soak the stresses out of your brain and slowly cool out some of the thermal shock of life. A breather, I guess you’d call it. That’s what I’m doing this weekend, in Eugene: I’m taking a PMC class, and having a ball. [...]

Rolling silver2017-02-02T14:40:56-07:00
22 02, 2012

Coldworking small castings


Q: Is there a better (faster, cheaper) way to coldwork small glass sculptures? A: Yep A BeCon or two ago, Richard Whiteley, head of the Canberra glass school, said that glasswork fresh from the kiln was only half finished; coldwork was necessary to take it the rest of the way. Ouch. I happen to agree with him, but as much as I love HAVING coldworked, I hate DOING coldwork and seem to be on a neverending quest to avoid it. Right now I'm testing a bunch of machines to see if they can automate the finishing process for small cast glass sculptures, like pendants.

Coldworking small castings2019-02-05T10:30:27-07:00
19 10, 2009

The pendant


"Hi, Cynthia!" Andrew calls gaily, as he pounds up my driveway, "Can I come in? Wow, cool!" He gazes around my studio with wide eyes, taking in the art hung on the walls, the pendants pinned to the black velvet drape suspended from Oliver Wendell Kiln's gantry, and me, covered in plaster, making a mold. "Grandpa said you were doing some kind of art show and I wanted to see."

The pendant2017-02-02T14:41:54-07:00