About the artist:
Dixie Murphy lives in nearby Riverside. She has a degree in art from FSU, has studied and worked in graphic arts. She works in polymer clay and metal clay, and teaches both at the Jacksonville Gem and Mineral Society. She worked in polymer clay at her kitchen table for 20 years and was introduced to metal clay 2 years ago. She now describes it as “an addiction”. She especially loves including faceted stones, favoring cubic zirconium because of its affordability, fire, beautiful color and availability in large sizes.
About the medium:
Metal clay is made of very small particles of metal formulated in an organic binder that gives it a putty like consistency, making it handle something like modeling clay. It can be impressed with a texture, rolled into snakes, carved, molded, sanded and glued together with “slip”. After drying it is fired in a kiln – her firing schedule is usually 1650 degrees, held for 2 hours. The organic binder burns off, and the silver starts to soften. This results in the particles of silver sticking together, a process called “sintering”. Its something like an open jar of lemon drops sticking together in damp weather.