Cindy Miller: Jewelry, Studio 326
I sculpt metal clay wet to achieve fluid designs and then dry them flat or on curved surfaces to create a variety of forms. Once dry, I use wood carving tools and craft knives to refine the shape or carve designs on the pieces. I also create textures by carving, or embossing a variety of materials that can be used to impress textures into the metal clay. Hollow forms are assembled from several pieces using slip made from the metal clay. I sand the dried clay to a smooth surface and place in the kiln to fire. Once the pieces are fired, I add color with colored pencils on the rough unpolished surface of the bronze or silver clay then seal the surface with acrylic. I then polish the areas of the metal that I want to highlight. I sand by hand and use magnetic and rotary tumblers depending on the finish I want to achieve. Sometimes I use traditional metal working techniques to attach found objects and I cut and polish many of the stones I use in my designs.
I believe we all respond to art at a primal level. My art is inspired by nature. As an artist and anthropologist I think about how nature has been depicted throughout history and I can’t help but feel a connection to artisans of the past that have taken inspiration in nature as well. I study ancient pieces for inspiration and I’m always captivated by the ingenuity, creativity, and artistry I find.