I recently had the opportunity to chat with beading author, teacher, and award-winning designer Kristal Wick to discuss her new book Metal Clay 101 for Beaders. Check out our earlier teaser post about the book here.

What do you find appealing about metal clay as a jewelry material?

I have always love the mixed metal look. Metal clay gives me the opportunity to create my own custom findings and charms in copper, bronze and even sterling silver — such a fashion forward look! I wear a lot of different jewelry styles from simple office wear (in my past life working in a cubicle farm) to outrageous over-the-top wearable art (teaching on a Swarovski cruise) and wanted to capture both ends of the spectrum for my beady peeps! No matter their style, they’ll find something exciting to create in my book to showcase their personal story because I believe that is truly the mission of handcrafted jewelry-to tell a story.

What is your favorite technique to use with metal clay?

Anything with beads! I love combining my love of metal clay with beads (particularly seed beads) since they are my addiction! I wanted to incorporate beads into my metal clay world so they’re equal partners. This book does just that! While I was pondering my initial book idea I did some research and found many of the metal clay books and techniques very challenging and intimidating. I decided to present some very simple techniques even the most basic beginners could succeed at; mix with their beaded jewelry and delight in this expression.

What do you hope readers will get from reading Metal Clay 101 for Beaders? 

I want my readers (particularly beaders) to just go for it. Dive into metal clay and eliminate any fear of trying something new. This is an exciting way to explore and introduce metal clay as your bead stash’s new BFF! Using copper and bronze clay to begin with then moving into silver clay presents a more cost effective way to explore this creative venture and you don’t have to worry about ruining an expensive piece of silver clay for your first project!


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