Recently, metal clay circles have been buzzing with talk of the Silhouette CAMEO®. Many artisans are excited about the CAMEO® and its possibilities, but just as many are perplexed and wonder what it is and how it works with metal clay.
The Silhouette CAMEO® is an electronic cutting machine originally designed for use with paper. Metal clay artists soon discovered that it is also an exceptional tool for cutting and engraving dry, unfired metal clay.
This machine cuts clean, precise shapes and embellishments in any variety of metal clays. It can also be used to create metal clay wire and bezels that can be embedded directly into wet clay. This does away with the shrinkage issues that accompany firing traditional wire and sheet metal with metal clay. With the engraving feature, the CAMEO® carves intricate textures and channels perfect for filling with enamel, resin, or epoxy.
For the artist, it means they are no longer limited to ready-made stencils, textures, and stamps. Designs can be precisely re-created and images converted to fit varying sizes and surfaces. Janet Alexander used her CAMEO® to create letter embellishments and explained, “The Silhouette allows me to draw my design on the computer and adjust the size for the final piece. It’s like having my own personal CNC machine!” Alexander also uses the engraving feature extensively. “By removing the cutting blade and using an engraver stylus, it can also engrave a design instead of cutting. It not only saves me time, but it also makes my designs more precise.”
For the adventurous metal clay artist comfortable with basic computer skills, here is an exciting, new, breakthrough tool that artists have only just begun to explore.
For more information, visit www.PMCConnection.com. The Silhouette CAMEO® is available at PMC Connection.
Jennifer Roberts is the owner and operator of PMC Connections, along with her father, Earl Roberts. PMC Connection is an importer and distributor of precious metal clay and PMC accessories. Their emphasis is on the newest forms of precious metal clays, which have low shrinkage rates, short firing times, and a wide range of firing temperatures. They also have an extensive network of teachers who can provide hands-on instruction.