Sunday, January 1, 2012

Installing a Metal Clay Hinge: 4PAM 1.1

I thought the best way to start of my new year and my 4PAM commitment was to address some unfinished work. Last year I created this video tutorial on extruded, metal clay, self-contained hinges:

Well, I never followed through with a tutorial on how this could be installed and used. So here's the project that I made using the very same hinge from the video. Yes, the piece has been sitting on my work bench for that long... I'm just glad metal clay doesn't get moldy! Since it's the first 4PAM release, it's a bit fancy, and I can't guarantee this kind of production value on all my installments. Although I can promise lots of poor grammar, so forgive me for any you may find now or in the future. It's downloadable, and that version is a bit clearer than the preview. Enjoy, and Happy New Year!



  1. Happy New Year, Wanaree
    This is so interesting and gives me even more admiration for your work. Superb detail.
    May you have a great year.
    Nancy D'Agostino
    PS. Love the music too. Was that you too?

  2. Thank you for this tutorial, it has inspired me to have another attempt at making hinges.
    Love your work
    Happy New Year!
    Ann x

  3. Thanks so much Nancy! I hope you have a great year too. The music is some traditional folk music from NE Thailand, really cool stuff, unfortunately I can't claim it ;)

    Thanks Ann! I hope the hinges go better for you, and the tutorial helps a little!!

  4. This is great. I remember asking you about this at the MCWC last summer and now you have answered almost all of my questions about how you get the hinge to work in the box.
    I only have one last question for you, what kind of copper clay do you like best? I thought I heard you say you prefer Art Clay Copper and now in this post and in your tutorial in MCAM (which I cannot wait to try) you talk of using COPPRClay. I have only tried prometheus clay and I have been getting sporadic results.
    I look forward to your next post about the paper clay powder as that may mean the difference between the hinge working and not.
    Your work is so nicely done and well thought out. It is very inspirational and I am thrilled that you are sharing it with us!

    Thanks again!

  5. Hey Amy! ACC and COPPRclay have really different working characteristics. I use ACC a lot for sculptural pieces, like "Anam Cara" and "Phoenix Paradigm" but I prefer COPPRclay for mechanical pieces and stone setting. COPPRclay remains a lot more flexible when in it's greenware state, while ACC is stronger, but totally inflexible. I usually have both at my bench. ACC is much more effective for repair work, and seems to be overall a bit stronger once sintered. I never worked with Prometheus long enough to get consistent results either, finding that between COPPRclay and ACC all my needs are fulfilled! Good to hear from you!

  6. Great video and I love the bits of humor... spelling, grammar, nails, I'm right with you!
    It is nice to see other artist contribute so generously!~
    ~ Holly Gage

  7. Thanks Wanaree - I am experimenting with the different coppers the information you provided will be extremely helpful!!!

  8. Fantast, and well done Wanaree! Thanks for sharing your wonderful knowledge to us. I truly love your hinge design the best of all. Will it work on silver as well as copper?

  9. Wow, thanks for the positive feedback folks! :D

    I use this hinge technique with silver all the time. It's the only hinge I use come to think of it. It's the mechanism in "Anam Cara" "Mythos Gallery Box" and all my book lockets. You can see them all on my flikr page:

    Silver just requires a little gentler hand, but otherwise everything is the same. Definitely dust powdered Paperclay in the hinge and lid before firing, otherwise the silver may fuse. I'll be posting my Powdered Paperclay process next week, so please check back. Thanks!

  10. I wish this was around before I started hinge experimenting! Good job explaining all the hard work involved!

  11. Learning, laughing...great combination!

  12. Your'e SO GOOD! Beautiful presentation!

  13. Wanaree,
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful, inspiring tutorial. You work is amazing!!
    Natalie Knott

  14. Great Tutorial! Thank you!

  15. Thank you for sharing!!! Great video. I love the music. Wish you the best for 2012! Iliana

  16. Wow! Thanks so much for the great response everybody! It's really fueling passion for this project. Next post coming very soon!

  17. Nice video, Wanaree! I'll have to keep that hinge method in the back of my head for the locket I keep planning.

    Would you care to share how you made the video? I enjoyed doing the tutorials for Whole Lotta Whimsy last year, and keep thinking maybe I should do some for my blog. Videos are an interesting alternative, though. You did a great job!

  18. Thanks Vickie! I do everything on my MacBook, the PDF tutorials are created on Pages and the video put together on iMovie. It's pretty intuitive once you get going, and I wouldn't be able to do all this with out it. I would LOVE to see more tutorialsl from you!!

  19. These are great Wanaree - Thanks! The metal clay friends of St. Louis is doing a demo on hinges this month. Would you mind if I shared your tutorial with them? Giving you full credit of course.

  20. Hi. I'm excited for the powdered paper clay explanation! I make boxes all the time, firing with the lid on, and have to pray that after banging it around I can 'unstick' it. Freezer doesn't work, and I've read about applying bead release. I'm liking the sound of your idea.

    Lovely work.

    Sue McNenly

    1. Thanks much Sue! Let me know how it works for you :D

  21. Hi,

    I love your work and really appriciate that you share your knowledge with us.

    I was wondering if you have ever made hinges with Prometheus bronze clay? I am thinking about a bronze locket but I'm not sure whether it would work.


  22. Greetings Wanaree! You have taken PMC to the level of FINE ART! You have some very serious skills, as well as absolutely amazing style! With your many talents, I could see you playing the flute and tambourine for the music in the video, too.
    I'm wondering about your extruder; what brand is it? Mine does not have a tube option, so I've made my tubes using coffee stirrers, etc. a much less precise method. It's obvious precision & patience are a big part of your work.
    While I'm wishing, I'd love to see how you make your texture plates; maybe you could make a video of that process? And I'd like to get complete how-to's for the threaded vial memory pendant featured on the ACM Special How-To edition; I need help on the center, and would love to get details on the bails & other components you made for this gorgeous piece. Are those available anywhere? Many Thanks, and Sincere Best Wishes, Sharon M. Thompson

  23. Beautiful work! How do you keep the hinge pieces from fusing during firing? Thank you!

  24. This is an intresting blog that you have posted you shares a lot of thing about hinges uk, hinges and continuous hinges.

  25. The knot work border is graceful.