A look back at the metal clay world in 2011. Last year was the year that things got really complicated for metal clay artists!

So many clays and ways to fire! It’s never been more confusing for a beginner. Luckily, there are bloggers to help clarify the issues.

Sterling PMC was released late last year, early testers have positive reports. Here are links to some of those:

http://janetalexanderdesigns.blogspot.com

http://celiefagojewelry.blogspot.com/2011/11/testing-new-pmc-sterling.html

In 2011 I continued the series on virtual studio visits:

Most organized studio ever award goes to Lori Anderson’s studio, seen at Art Bead Scene Blog. And I LOVE that bead cabinet. Amazing.

http://artbeadscene.blogspot.com/2011/02/ready-studio-saturday-with-lori.html

Love these pictures of Stevie B.’s workshop, over on his blog, in this post, So, you wanna see where the magic happens?

http://steviebjewelry.blogspot.com/2010/05/so-you-wanna-see-where-magic-happens.html

and from “More Virtual Studio Tours:”

Here’s one at CRAFTzine.com, Anna Maria Horner’s new studio. It’s all white and the tools aren’t moved in yet — but I like that — it’s so full of possibilities, and it’s easier to imagine it as your own.

It makes me think, hmm, I have an attic…

My favorite book of 2011 is Do the Work by Steven Pressfield. Which I reviewed here:

http://dev.allthingsmetalclay.com/2011/07/03/review-do-the-work-by-steven-pressfield

2011 was also a good year for printable, inspirational posters:

But there is this gap, from Ira Glass

http://dev.allthingsmetalclay.com/2011/06/09/steal-this-art-encouragement-from-kate-harper

It was a good year for free tutorials, videos and ebooks. Find them here:

http://dev.allthingsmetalclay.com/category/free-tutorials-and-videos

For me and my art, in 2011 I finally shared a little more art online, applied to more shows and was in two in 2011.

I had an acrylic mixed media collage painting in a show at Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago. The name of the show was “A Testimony to Being.” And I had a petri dish creation in the Petri Dish show at the Target Gallery at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA.

I have three shows booked so far for 2012, including two solo shows.

A post on how I get into shows is here: http://dev.allthingsmetalclay.com/2011/12/22/how-i-get-into-shows

I really enjoyed making 56 rings for the Ring-a-Week Challenge. The social interaction, support and creative challenge were really cool. I finished in 3 months. I intended to continue, but having reached the annual goal, I didn’t.

I would definitely try a flickr-based challenge again.

Another blog category that grew in 2011 was Calls for Entry and Contests:

http://dev.allthingsmetalclay.com/category/calls-for-entry-contests

From the business category, we had a number of posts on how to sell online, including a review of the useful book, “How to Make Money Using Etsy”:

http://dev.allthingsmetalclay.com/2011/05/08/review-how-to-…ney-using-etsy

I’m looking forward to another great year with the Chicago Metal Arts Guild. And to giving speeches and talks — I have two scheduled so far and I’ll be on some panels at the Self Employment in the Arts Conference.

I hope your year in art and jewelry is looking wonderful too. Please post and tell us what you’ve got planned!

I’ll end the blog year in review with this quote of the week:

Nobody will stop you from creating. Do it tonight. Do it tomorrow. That is the way to make your soul grow, whether there is a market for it or not.

~Kurt Vonnegut

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