Thursday, August 4, 2016

MetalClay REVOLUTION™ Ebook featuring new class catalogue, tools and artist anthology!

Metal clay is an incredible medium that never ceases to amaze me with it's potentiality. After years of creative exploration and work, I'm excited to announce the release of my new Ebook featuring a new class catalogue, new tools and artist anthology, available to view or download free right from

With so much to share, I'll be presenting these techniques and processes at limited hands-on workshops around the country in 2017 and 2018 (dates to be announced soon). Thank-you all for your continued support and excitement for this remarkable medium!


Monday, April 4, 2016

NEW "Dynamic Stone Setting" In Flexible Silver Metal Clay Instant Access Digital Class

"Dynamic Stone Setting"

Metal clay is an incredibly versatile medium for creating unique stone settings but the correct approach is critical. Like any other medium, there are pitfalls to be avoided in the working process. I specifically developed the stone setting process presented in this class to accommodate metal clay. Even when completely sintered and fully fired, the metal particles in metal clay have more space between them than traditional milled metals. This simply means there's more space for cracks and breaks to develop during setting. While traditional stone setting methods work to a certain degree, forming fired metal clay bezel tabs around a more extreme curvature can be risky business. My approach is different and has tested true through countless stone settings in my own studio.

I feature PMC Flex in this class because the longer working time allows for this kind of textured bezel setting plenty of working time before drying.

The class is available both as a bundle that includes my Signature Asian Design Set 2 "Tibetan Smoke & Fire" texture plate and as a class alone. For a limited time both are one SALE. Check out the MetalClay Arts Conservatory Digital Library for more.

This class is one of my favorite processes. I'm excited to share my techniques for successful


"Dynamic Stone Setting", an Instant Access Digital Class, covers working wet and dry metal clay, making custom tools, firing, kiln programing and high contrast patina finishing. Featuring my techniques for getting clean consistent impressions from the Asian Design Set 2 "Tibetian Smoke & Fire" Signature textureplate you wil learn forming and refinement, creating a swing bail, also learn non-fireable stone setting technique for fired metal clay and so much more. This class features 22 separate lessons and 21 demo videos, 110 pages of step by step class handouts and support PDFs (embedded with live hyperlinks to tool listings.) Everything is streamlined and easily accessible from multiple devices.

This deep relief, natural gum rubber texture plates were drawn and designed by Wanaree specifically for metal clay applications and were the secret to her professional  jewelry line for many years. They feature crisp, fine detail, rolling tracks (so you never have to worry about having room for your roller), and spillover groves for excess clay to escape to encourage clean impressions. With this class you'll even learn how to create a Texture Right Roller plus all the secrets for getting great impressions everytime out of your texture plates.

For this class you'll need a 30g package of PMC FLEX silver metal clay and one cabochon with at least a 7mm profile (perimeter of 75mm to 100mm.) A limited edition of our High Profile Sustainable Stones™ are available HERE.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

"Viking Shield Maiden Ring" Design Idea II

Second in a series of design ideas featuring my new Signature Texture Plates

"Viking Shield Maiden Ring" is inspired by the long lineage of women unafraid to embody their own strength and power. 

This original design features my "Circle of Life" Celtic Design Set 3. The stone is a hand collected and cut Sustainable Stones Quartz crystal by Steve Tieken.

This ring was constructed out of PMC 960, while the bezel wire was formed using a laminated piece of PMC Paper. Pasted together lightly in their greenware state, they fired together perfectly. PMC 960's strength (as compared to fine silver) allows the ring band to be rolled thinner, in this case textured down to 2 cards thick. The intricate knot work is cut in deep relief in this texture plate, so the clay details translate thicker, approximately four cards thick. This thicker detailing acts as an additional support structure for this thin ring band. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Design Idea: "Spinning Prayer Wheel"

Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing some exciting design ideas featuring my new SignatureTexture Plates! 

This piece was created using Asian Design Set 1 "Henna Bloom"

"Spinning Prayer Wheel" is a new custom designed piece for a long time client and collector of my work. The inspiration came from this piece of beautiful Nephrite Jade I brought back from Thailand and traditional Tibetan prayer wheels. 
 The stone is a hand cut Nephrite Jade donut and the the bail and ornamental elements are riveted through the center, allowing the stone to spin freely in it's setting.

CONSTRUCTION: The bail is 4 card thick PMC 960 slab with the texture "Peony Border" in PMC FLEX appliqu├ęd on top. These two clays meld well in the greenware state and fired together perfectly. PMC FLEX is excellent for these kinds of textured elements as it allows for a longer working and refinement time. The small "Henna Bloom" plate was fired separately and riveted through the entire assembly.

This design features my "Henna Bloom" Asian Design Set 1 

(available for purchase HERE)

Monday, February 15, 2016

Finely Detailed, Deep Relief Signature Texture Plates

I'm excited to announce the release of SIX finely detailed SIGNATURE texture plates! I hand drew and drafted each of these original designs, which are created and matched specifically for metal clay projects. With mirrored and sized designs that are calibrated to fit together and accent each other. All you have to add is your creativity. These plates are also featured in the Conservatory digital online classes and there are more classes in the works!  To purchase check out the MetalClay Arts Conservatory Shop

Much love,

4.5"x6" deep relief, natural gum rubber texture plates were drawn and designed by Wanaree specifically for metal clay applications and are the secret to her professional Celtic and Asian inspired jewelry line. They feature crisp & fine detail, rolling tracks (so you never have to worry about having room for your roller) and spillover groves for excess clay to escape to encourage clean impressions.

“Circle Of Life" collection is perfect for lentil beads, bead caps, rings and buttons,
featuring  a fine Thistle and knot work boarders!
Featuring Wanaree's unique Trinity Claddauh design and Trinity Tree of Life,
this collection is perfect for rings, pendants and earrings.

Featuring Wanaree's "Henna Bloom" design and and finely detailed
flora boarders, this collection is perfect for pendants, earrings and rings

Featuring Wanaree's Tibetian fire and smoke inspired designs.
 This collection is perfect for pendants, stone settings, and rings.

This texture plate is featured in both "Seamless Stone Set Shadow Box"
and "Dimensional Tree of Life Talisman"
 digital classes.

This texture plate is featured in both "Salmon of Knowlege in Copper"and 
"Dimensional Tree of Life Talisman" digital classes.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


I have to admit, turning 35 this week has me feeling nostalgic. 10 years ago I opened my first boutique and took the dive into professional art and 8 years ago I began working in metal clay. The MetalClay Arts Conservatory Digital Learning Library is well into it's second year, the new Conservatory SHOP is now open and I am so thankful for all the people I've met and for everyone who has supported me along the way, this would have never been possible without all of YOU!

To say thank-you I've put together a free class for making my favorite homemade tool, the "Texture Right Roller"! The texturing process demonstrated will yield vivid and consistent textures and cut down on your working (and fumbling) time.

Having the right technical foundation can save on time and money, especially when it comes to creative endeavors. One of the things I realized while travel teaching was my working method and approach to metal clay are distinctly different from what is widely utilized. I think part of the reason is before I ever taught anything, I made my living with metal clay as a professional jewelry artist, learning by doing, spending thousands of hours in the studio with both production work and custom design. Time is your bottom line and cutting working time is just as important as material sourcing. This texturing method streamlined my wet clay process significantly, leaving me more time to form and shape and less time spent on repairing or re-rolling. To enroll click below or register HERE

I hope you enjoy this tool as much as I have, thank-you for all your continued support and excitement. Check out some of my other digital workshops (listed on the right side panel) and stay tuned, 2016 is going to be a great year with new work and new techniques!



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Importance of Discomfort in the Creative Process

photo tanner/tieken © 2015
I think its basic human nature to desire comfort, to be and remain comfortable whenever possible. It's just easier, if there's nothing wrong there's no need to change and we can continue on following the same trajectory without much thought. Somehow this state gets mistaken for the "Yes! Now I have arrived!" epiphany/pitfall that's actually the death bell for creativity.

For example, take two seeds from the same indigenous plant, grow one indoors and another outdoors. At first you may see the indoor sprout thriving as the outdoor sprout struggles. We may even think to ourselves "oh, poor outdoor plant, it just doesn't have the same chance."

It's very likely that the outdoor sprout will get knocked down by the wind, and we may pity the sad little thing but in truth something magical happens when stress is applied: the plant changes and evolves, now turning it's efforts to strengthening the stem instead of continuing to weakly reach towards the sun. It may go days without water, forcing the roots to dig deep and tap into reserves hidden beneath the soil. It may have to struggle with a neighboring plant for resources... all the while the indoor plant is quite comfortable and sheltered, but a dire shift has already occurred in the indoor plant. It never had to struggle, it never had to evolve, it never had to adapt so in truth has become dependent on us for it's very survival.

The outdoor sprout, put under the right amount of pressure (not too much just enough to force it to adapt) doesn't need to be babied or coddled.

Creativity is much the same way to me. It's not silence, agreeability and complacency that makes it stronger, it's criticism, discontentment and the drive to be more. Stress and pressure is the force exerted and when mixed with the unwillingness to be defeated or lay down broken that evolution and growth occurs automatically. If you look at the natural world, everything is perpetually ever-evolving, changing, adapting... a story that is telegraphed into every molecule and cell.

Encouragement is important but as in all things extremes are dangerous. If you notice that outdoor plant is dying of thirst, yes, water it! Keep in mind, the balance in life is somewhere in-between, if we abandon the stress created by critical thinking and honest reflection we will have a very weak and needy result that can't endure the test of time or the real creative force of nature. Yet it has to also be nurtured, given access to the resources that can become it's arsenal for survival.

While it's nice to be given complements and told how amazing everything you do is, it can be a great disservice. At a certain point, if you don't learn to detach your ego from your work and process criticism, moreover learn to be self-critical you can't grow and your work will become stagnant. So it's really a matter of deciding which is more important, being told how great you are or embracing greatness as a verb, an action grounded in struggle and work, not some lofty destination.

Be wary of anyone who comes along and offers to plant, water, shelter and feed your creativity because it will be just as needy and dependent as our poor indoor plant. Step into discomfort, embrace fear, reach for the unknown and rejoice in the lessons learned from failure. Instead of searching for compliments, cultivate that drive to survive, that force within oursleves to push through, your creativity will bare fruit and you won't need anyone to tell you how great your work is. Count every battle scar, view your work critically, and revel in the process of your potentially uncomfortable evolution. This is where real creative freedom resides, the strength and wisdom revealed through the willingness to embrace the inevitability of both failure and success.

Anyone promising you an easy road through the creative process is trying to sell you something. The creative process requires work, it demands passion. It doesn't care what you achieved last year or yesterday, it doesn't need the perfect studio or the perfect equipment, those are just environmental influences. When passion and drive fuels the creative process limitations are just obstacles waiting for their future antidote to be discovered.

Until next time, create, practice and persevere... what we cultivate today is the foundation of our artistic expression tomorrow.  Sincerely, Wanaree

copyright wanaree tanner © 2015 all rights reserved