ROBERT LOPEZ has taught metalsmithing workshops around the country for 5 years to hundreds of students from around the world. He's taught at the Tucson Gem Show, headlined private retreats, been a guest instructor at private studios, taught small and large groups in his own studio, private one-on-one workshops, been a guest instructor at Idyllwild School of the Arts, and was published in Bella Armoire Jewelry Magazine. Robert is a self-taught metalsmith. He tries to design his pieces to stand out from everything else out there. He feels he was drawn to fabricating jewelry due to its difficult and physical nature, forcing the metals and stones to transform into what he envisions them to become. He began slowly teaching himself to smith, accumulating his collection of tools and knowledge of the art anywhere he could, but feels the greatest aspect of his learning came from himself as he endlessly experimented with the materials at hand. His raw and organic designs are fabricated with skill yet are free to grow without constraints or preconceived notions. His pieces are completely one-of-a-kind and made with his own hands, from sometimes rolling his own sheet silver from ingots he pours himself to grinding and polishing all of his own stones. Most of his pieces are designed with lots of texture, and layering; giving his pieces a very distinctive and distressed look.
I’ve been teaching Metal Clay and metalsmithing classes for adult education programs since 2007, including classes at the National Ornamental Metal Museum and Arkansas Craft School. I have been a technical trainer in several of my ‘mainstream jobs’ since 2003 (2013 on it has been one of my primary job duties) so I am skilled at quickly assessing different learning types and working to accommodate those variations on the fly to ensure positive learning experiences for students. I’ve been making jewelry professionally since 1999, and prior to that, I made clothing and costumes (including a few award-winning ones!), for myself, friends, and clients.
I received my ArtClay Senior Certification from Jackie Truty in October 2011, a few years after my crossover certification (also under Jackie), and then New Mokume Gane certification during the first US class. My PMC levels 1 and 2 were completed in 2004 and 2005, respectively, under Linda Kline. I was in the first group of certified Camp PMC instructors.
I love teaching- there is magic in sharing knowledge and it is very important to me that the knowledge I’ve gained through study and experience is passed on to others. Making things is also very important to me- it’s in my blood as my grandmother and grandfather were both artists and makers, in addition to their ‘mainstream jobs’. I think making things and passing that knowledge on is a vital form of connection.
Stephanie Chavez is a certified metal clay artist and instructor. She is a diverse artist, proficient in many jewelry mediums, although her love, passion and expertise remain in metal clay. She is honored to be selected among the first group of certified instructors in the new Camp PMC Certification Program. Originally certified through Rio Grande, she has been working with metal clay for over 11 years.
With national and international recognition through her online courses in metal clay and publications in Metal Clay Today; Stephanie has been considered an expert in her field. From beginners to advanced; she believes we each have the capacity to be inspired artists. Many people just need a safe and fun environment to explore their own creative limits. That is what she provides and shares, bringing joy to all those who attend her workshops. Students travel from around the U.S. to take workshops with Stephanie, where she teaches locally at her studio in South Jordan, Utah. She also enjoys traveling throughout the United States teaching at various studios, conferences and events, sharing her passion and excitement for metal clay.
Stephanie enjoys volunteering and sharing her knowledge. She is the president of the Utah Metal Clay Guild and the secretary for the Metal Arts Guild of Utah. She believes in continuous learning and growing. With an active family, she enjoys watching and supporting her kids excel in their favorite sports and taking new adventures with her Husband. In her downtime you’ll find Stephanie strolling the shores of her favorite lake often looking for treasures and inspiration; boating, hiking or walking her Pups.
HOLLY GAGE of Gage Designs is a 2015 Saul Bell Design winner recognized for distinction in jewelry design. She creates contemporary jewelry and teaches her unique techniques with a gentle blend of design instruction and technical proficiency. Holly brings her innovation, creativity, and gift of helping others find their artistic voice through classes, mentoring programs, and master workshops available in the US and abroad. She is a full-time jewelry artist, Certified Metal Clay Instructor, author, and conference speaker. In addition, Holly holds a BS in Fine Art and Education. Her jewelry and articles on techniques and design can be found in over 65+ regional and national publications including the Best of America Jewelry Artists; Named 3rd in Handmade Business: Top 12 Makers, Movers, and Shakers; Metal Clay Today; Art Jewelry and Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist; Making Jewellery: among others. You can find more information about Holly’s jewelry, classes, and awards, along with numerous Metal Clay tips and tutorials on her web site and blog at
Hi! My name is Alex and I love to work with metal clay! Just Why? Because I like to make things by my hands, I like to do all by myself and yes, I like small detailing. In my "past life" I was an architect, graduated from college and from the Architectural Academy in Moscow. My first work for money was a scale model of a beautiful and pompous building - Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. I was a young boy with a little workspace at the architectural studio's corner. I made all with extremely high detailing using only thick paper and glue. After that I had an experience of 15 years of non-stop practice. I made interiors, exteriors (designs and projects) and scale models using balsa wood, plastic and more. My wife Irina has a similar art profession, she is an interior designer. I helped in her first work - Jewellery stores. She loved that and started to learn classical silversmithing. And I started to help her in promotion. But then her master said: "Hey! You're so quick! You can't wait for results! Silversmithing is not for you, try Metal Clay!" He was a real prophet! That was in 2010. We started to use ArtClay silver as our first clay. And gas oven as firing tool. Then I bought our first kiln and we finished Artclay Certification program.
For now we have our own MetalClayStudio, 6 kilns and approx 100-120 intensive courses every year (not including masterclasses). I think that metal clay is a future comes in our present life. We're trying to grow our community, our skill, and transform our love and passion to everyone into our jewellery and accessories!
MICHAEL MARX has been working with Metal Clay since 2001 and teaching since 2005. Michael holds Level 1 and 2 Certifications from PMC Connection and has taught everything from intro/beginner classes to advanced techniques with class sizes ranging from 1 on 1 to 16 students at a time. His preference is the advanced classes as he enjoys encouraging my students to push their abilities to the next level. Professionally Michael does work that is unique and that pushes the possibilities of metal clay, both in design and overall execution.
DONNA PENOYER began working in metal clay in 2005 but has been making jewelry for over 20 years. She is certified by both PMC Connection and Rio Grande; has studied a wide range of 3D media in countless workshops with national artists; has taught hundreds of beginner-through-advanced jewelry classes around the USA, England and Belgium; and has been featured several times on CRAFTCAST with Alison Lee. Her whistle amulets and other pieces have appeared in multiple books, magazines, online sources and exhibits. Donna lives in Pittsburgh, PA. See more about Donna at www.donnapenoyer.com.
CINDY POPE is a metal clay lover that went from being a producing artist to an instructor. Cindy is Rio Certified, Art Clay Level One certified, Hadar Jacobson Certified and is working on PMC’s new instructor certification program. Cindy started teaching about 7 years ago and travels extensively to teach intensive workshops and give presentations at conferences. She teaches on an online platform called Craftcast and does free instructional videos for Cool Tools an online retailer with a maker-based focus. She currently has 12 videos on the education section of their website with several more coming out this year and has designed a line of templates for them. Cindy's intensive classes have included intro to the silhouette designing earrings and open lentils with fired in place stones, mixed metal creations, leather tooling with a bronze focal piece, deep etching for enameling and resin pieces, leather journal design and converting hand-drawn designs for Curio use to create original jewelry pieces designed completely by the students.
LYLE RAYFIELD is an Art Clay Master Instructor who has been working with and teaching metal clay for the past 20 years. Lyle is also an Accredited Teacher for Hadar Jacobson’s powdered base metal clays and a Rio Certified PMC Artisan. In addition to teaching regularly at her home studio in Tucson, AZ, for the past 10 years she has taught/presented workshops at the Metal Clay World Conferences, Bead & Button Show, Art Retreat in the Desert, Glass Craft & Bead Expo, JewelryTools.com/Tucson Gem Show venue, After Midnight Art Ranch in Sonoita, AZ, and Multiplicity Art Studios in Katy, TX.
EVA SHERMAN began beading as a way to spend time with her daughters but soon became hopelessly addicted. In 2005 she traded in her architectural career for the opportunity to spend all her time among beads, and opened Grand River Bead Studio in Cleveland, Ohio. Eva now happily spends most days in the studio creating, writing and teaching, but has been known to take her show on the road. She has discovered an affinity for working with wire and metals, and prefers to design in an organic and unstructured style. Eva has authored two books on jewelry design: "Organic Wire & Metal Jewelry" and "Cool Copper Cuffs".
CARRIE STORY is a metal clay artist, instructor, manufacturer and supplier. From an early age, Carrie exhibited an interest in the creative arts and garnered recognition in college, winning a state award in graphic design. In 2005, Carrie began creating beaded necklaces, bracelets and earrings and soon after established her own business, Divine Ornaments. After discovering metal clay in 2008, she immediately knew this medium was the right fit for her. After many years working in metal clay, Carrie began Clay Revolution and started manufacturing Five Star Metal Clays. Carrie continues to bring innovative products to the market and strives for a diverse selection of materials. Known for her approachable and dynamic teaching style, Carrie maintains an enjoyable atmosphere where students feel free to express their own gifts and talents while encouraging individuals’ creativity, curiosity and appreciation for art; Carrie’s dedication to teaching is obvious to her students.Carrie, who gains inspiration for her creations from nature and animals, currently serves as a Contributing Artist for Metal Clay Today, the developer and manager of Camp PMC and is on the advisory panel of AMCAW. Carrie is committed to her own professional development and continuously seeks out opportunities to improve her skills so that she can best serve her class.
GAIL STOUFFER operates a teaching and production studio for jewelry and glass in the Texas Hill Country. She has a Master of Art Education from Texas Tech, and a BFA from Long Island University. Gail is PMC Guild Level 2 Certified, and teaches jewelry design, construction, and metalsmithing techniques at studios and art centers internationally. Over the last 18 years, Gail has served as an adjunct faculty member at The Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, Texas Tech University, and has been a visiting instructor at Arrowmont School of Art & Craft, The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, The Pittsburgh Glass Center, Phoenix Center for the Arts, and BeadFest Philadelphia. "My work conveys the beauty of identity and acceptance through natural forms. Each piece is a symbolic representation of struggle, rebellion, transformation and acceptance of who we are versus who we are expected to be. These messages are communicated boldly, directly, and sometimes defiantly. My goal is to create highly personal, wearable objects that are emblematic statements of strength, energy and inspiration."
KAREN TREXLER was lucky enough to discover my love for jewelry making early in life in a high school jewelry making class where she was introduced to the basics of metalsmithing. Karen pursued her passion for making and attended Ball State University and received a BFA before continuing on to get an MFA with an emphasis in metalsmithing and enameling from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. During her time at UW- Madison she served as Lisa Gralnick’s personal assistant and learned a great deal about teaching from assisting her by preparing demos and covering classes for her courses. Karen has had experience hosting workshops in electroforming and enameling at university settings. After graduating from UW-Madison, she shifted her making emphasis from traditional metalsmithing to working with metal clay, falling in love with the accessibility and diverse possibilities of projects resulting from the flexibility of the material. Karen was hired on as Cooltool’s resident artist, where she regularly develops metal clay projects and practices instruction in the videos that are released. Through creating these videos and sharing her practice with others, Karen learned a love of sharing creativity and empowering others as makers.
LISEL CROWLEY has been a presenter at the last two MCAS, in 2016 and 2018. She was slated to be among the instructors again this year but has had to withdraw from the symposium. We thank Lisel for sharing her metal clay knowledge and passion with our attendees in past symposia and hope she knows her presence will be missed.