Like many, Nancy Heise doubled down on her hobby during the “safer at home” coronavirus quarantine. She invested in an art medium called PMC, or precious metal clay.
“Other than a couple of clay classes, this was all brand new to me,” said the Marathon resident.
Then, she entered a contest and placed first in the beginner category in the Creative Hope Jewelry Project Challenge and Virtual Exhibit. The contest, open to artists around the world, was about spreading calm, hope and promise for both viewers and the artists.
Heise won with a gorgeous fine silver pendant studded with semi-precious stones with an underwater theme.
“Underwater, life is constant,” Heise said. “I find both healing and inspiration in the ocean that is teeming with life and flowing movement.”
The precious metal clay medium originated in Japan in the 1990s. It’s a combination of small particles of metal (silver, gold, bronze or copper) mixed with an organic binder and water. The pieces are carved and filed and then fired in a kiln. Heise spends hours if not days on each piece, creating it, then adding the finishing touches of patina, which create the contrast, and buffing the final piece.
Heise said she wants to plan a Keys workshop for those who want to learn more about the craft.
For now, her pieces are posted to her Facebook page and can be found by searching her full name, Nancy Heise.